The scene you are in, is really the only one who tries to create awareness for such things as self-harm, which is the main subject for your song “Under The Knife.” Was there any personal experiences that contributed to this song’s lyrics?
That’s one of my favorite things about this scene-the freedom to express the uglier stuff and not just sing about getting wasted at the club all the time. “Under The Knife” took me a few attempts to write, because I didn’t want to screw it up. I think sometimes talking about such a loaded topic can do more harm than good, and I didn’t want it to be misconstrued as glorifying self harm. But after so many years of watching this epidemic grow instead of fade out, I figured it was worth a shot to bring some perspective to this topic. It’s totally personal, like all our songs.
What’s the meaning behind the Album title “You Can’t Kill Us”?
Last year, our band filed bankruptcy and had a drawn-out break up with our record label. It was a lot. There were definitely times where we wondered if the pain would be worth it. But now we’re on the other side, and we’re so glad we kept fighting. Hopefully our journey can inspire our fans to push through their demons, too.
In your song “Now You Know” You speak strongly about the stigma around being a “Female Fronted Band.” Has the stigma gotten worse or better since Icon for Hire started? Also was there any change after you released that particular song?
I am hopeful that the more talented, inspiring women join this industry, the less of a stigma it becomes. The issue is perpetuated by people who are only interested in the fact that a band has a chick, or by guys that make lewd comments to a woman on stage from the crowd. Everyone can play their part in treating all musicians with dignity regardless of gender.
It was really cool to see that after the song came out, fans started standing up for this issue online. Someone would leave a crass comment on our video, and then our listeners would rush to tell them that’s not how we do things here.
What can fans expect on the You Can’t Kill Us Tour?
We’re kicking things up a notch, for sure. We’ve added a full light show and are incorporating songs from the new album. The goal is always to make the shows energetic and intimate. And our favorite part is meeting everyone after the show each night!
Where did the idea for the Icon Army Headquarters come from?
We were seeing our fans come together in such a special way, and we wanted to create a place on the web where they could really feel at home. We’re engaged on various social media platforms, but we needed something more exclusive that would allow the fans to get new music and news first. It’s our fan club experience, and we’re loving the feedback so far.
Do you feel the decision to be unsigned helps you be closer to your fan base or hinder it some?
Yeah, it helps us create a sense of family, like we’re all in this together. Essentially, our fans acted as our record label on this album. If we had major label support, it could expose us to a new audience, without a doubt. However, we would never want to do that at the expense of the connection we’re experiencing with the listeners we already have. We’re really loving with the way things are.
Did you have a different writing process for “You Can’t Kill Us” vs your past albums/EP’s?
It felt so cool to be writing this directly for our listeners, rather than considering making a big radio hit or having mass appeal. In the past, our label had an opinion and we had to balance our artistic integrity and making our bosses happy. It was nice to throw all that out the window for this album.
What is next for Icon for Hire/ do you have anything you want to say to the Icon Army?
I (Ariel) am releasing a book in early 2017, and we plan to keep creating more music next year as well. We released our album throughout the year, 3 songs every three months, and we’re sort of hooked on that process now! You Can’t Kill Us is brand new, but we don’t want to stop writing just because we have a new record! We also want to thank the Icon Army for their crazy love and support!
Interview By:Danielle Rhew
Photo by: Ford Fairchild