Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A few questions with Blackie Starks of Isaac James

     I'm willing to bet if you live in or anywhere near the Midwest you have probably heard of a band called Isaac James. If you haven't then you've never been to The House Of Bricks in Des Moines. Sad to say you've really missed the boat if you have never encountered either entity. Some pretty rich musical history flows in the veins of Isaac James and if you want to know more I will direct you here https://www.facebook.com/isaacjamesband. I have seen Isaac James perform more than once and have even had a chance to interview the entire band in person. Every time I see them play their sets get better and better. I'm guessing that's what happens when you don't change members once a month. The band has been playing tons of shows and has been receiving support from some pretty unlikely places. Front man Blackie Starks was able to talk to me about some of that recently.

Greg: I've noticed Isaac James has been traveling pretty extensively lately to play shows, what is your favorite city to play in? 
Blackie: We've been getting a lot of love out of Burlington, Iowa as of late, even sold out a show in an auditorium of 2400 people co-headlining with Royal Bliss. That was an amazing night for Isaac James. 

Greg: Can you tell me about the web show that is featuring some of your music and how you tie in with the show? 
Blackie: Shotgun Mythos is a new series in pre production. They approached us to use our music and you'll even see the main character in the series donning some IJ gear occasionally from what I'm told. I don't really know much else at the moment except that it's supposed to have an action packed solid story line. 
Greg: How does Isaac James write a song? 
Blackie: We don't really have any one set method. We throw out riffs, collaborate, and voila... song is written.. sometimes I'll have an idea to start with, sometimes the song is written right on the spot. It's just good chemistry.
Greg: What is your biggest musical accomplishment? 
Blackie: I'd say the show using our music is pretty decent. There are some other big things in the works that I'm not yet at liberty to discuss yet but stick around, you're gonna like what's coming.
Greg: What is your best and worst show memory? 
Blackie: I love small venues. Always have... We rolled into Burlington, Iowa for the first time a couple of years ago and played a radio station sponsored event at a place called the Crazy Coyote. The people were shoulder to shoulder and lined up out the door... We were packed in the corner of this place and all you could see was heads from the stage to the back wall... it was loud as shit and people were singing words to songs that weren't even released yet. They were learning them from the live videos of us off of Youtube. That was awesome!!!
Worst show.. hmmm... We played in Chicago with some close friends and we were on just like any other night and the crowd just flat out wasn't in to it. I think we even cut our set short by a few songs because it was so ridiculous. Later, a local band on the bill told us it was pretty typical of that venue and area of Chicago. Still sucked though.... 

Greg: If you could play one venue anywhere in the world, where would that be? Why? 
Blackie: I've always wanted to play CBGB's but unfortunately they closed it down a few years back. That place is legendary in the rock world and it would have been cool to say I played there.

Greg: When can we expect the next Isaac James album?  
Blackie: We're writing for it at the moment and hope to have something released by early 2013.

Greg: Band names are sometimes clever cliches or something a band has happen to them previous to choosing a name. Isaac James has somewhat of a different story with the band name. Would you care to share with us and your fans how the name came to be?  
Blackie: Joel, our drummer as you know was a co founder of Stone Sour and in the midst of recording their second record, Joel's son Isaac James Ekman was diagnosed with cancer and passed away which ultimately led to his departure from Stone Sour. We felt if it hadn't been for this, Isaac James the band may never have existed so we named it in memory of his son.
Greg: I have one question that I ask everyone I get a chance to interview that is pretty unconventional, and you're no exception, so if you're up to it, here it is! If a gun weren't available what would your weapon of choice be?  
Blackie: A light saber.....

-Greg Waldrop

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