Toronto-based Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs are playing a show at The Asylum Sudbury at 19 Regent Street in Sudbury on July 31 beginning at 7 p.m. The show includes Dirty Princes, Lightmares and Skin Condition. The show is licensed, but is for all ages. Tickets are $7 and the show starts at 7 p.m. sharp. The Star spoke with Iron Lungs guitar player, Timmins native and former Star reporter Joel French.
1. Describe your sound in seven words.
Classic Rock and Power Pop give birth.
2. Please explain your band name.
That was all Sam. The band was a band before it became the band it is now. Sam hacks a lot of darts, though. So maybe that?
3. How did you guys come together as a group?
I used to book the original Iron Lungs quite a bit because I loved them. That allowed me to befriend Sam. One day, the two of us found ourselves in my bedroom along with three of the four other members of the current band and we all decided to grab an instrument and play one of Sam's songs. After Sammy heard that, the rest is history.
4. What's your most memorable stage moment?
We've been lucky enough to share the stage with many bands we all love, but opening for Black Lips, Reigning Sound and The Flamin' Groovies, all on separate occasions, were all magical in their own way. We also got to play historic Death By Audio in its final days before shutting down and the atmosphere there was incredible.
5. What's the worst thing that's happened to you while performing?
Amps cutting out. Losing power. Pedals stopped working. The classic gear issues everybody has. We've never been pelted with beer bottles or attacked by wolves. Sam used to puke quite a bit, but that seems to have died down.
6. Name an influence that might surprise readers.
We love pop and rock music and that comes out big time in what we do. Slade, Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, The Cars, Dwight Twilley, Sweet the list goes on and on. Once you hear us live I don't think these influences would be much of a surprise. We wear them pretty freely on our sleeves. Motown, Doo-wop and punk rock used to play a lot more of a role in what we did and we try to keep elements of it in the newer material, but we are, without a doubt, a classic rock band.
7. For each member, what are your influences and how do they come together to create a cohesive whole?
We all like a lot of the same stuff. Especially when it comes to what influences the Iron Lungs. You'd be hard pressed to find my love of Drake or modern pop anywhere in the mix. Or Dave's love of psych and soul. Most of us played in bands together before we joined the Iron Lungs so we've all been around to see everyone grow musically.
8. How do you use technology in your music?
Sam recorded our first album in our jam space. We were basic. For the newest album, which took a year to finish and is now being mixed, we went to a proper studio. We aren't really all that flashy when it comes to technology. I mean, the new studio is amazing and we used a bunch of sweet toys in there, but it's mostly our producer, Alex Bonenfant, who uses the tech. He makes everything sound much nicer. We stick to our guitars. Lots of guitars.
9. How do songs come together for your band?
Sam writes a riff, or an entire song, and brings it to practice. From there we play through it, rearrange if needed, rearrange again if needed, and again. Sit on it for a while. Bury it on the backyard and dig it up when the time is right. We've come a long way in terms of being able to write together and map things out together.
10. What do you hope to achieve in the next year?
We will be putting out a record. It's a very different beast from to Gates Of Hell (our first album) because we spent way more time on writing and recording it. Our previous stuff was all very lo-fi and this is going to be a proper, polished rock and roll record. We weren't rushed at all. This is a huge step for us in terms of realizing our sound and our potential. We want to be bigger than a basement band. We want the venues to fit our sound. We will take over the world.
For local bands: Any local influences you'd like to mention? If so, how have they helped shape your sound?
In terms of shaping our sound I wouldn't say anyone in Sudbury was a particular influence. If it wasn't for bands like Statues and Living Daylights, I would never have had an interest in music past the spectator's role, though. I can also say that if it wasn't for Tom and James Yorke, Gilles Beaulieu, Curtis Dixon and I moving in together in Toronto seven years ago, I would probably have never been in a band.
- This news article was originally written for The Sudbury Star. See the article on the original site here.