If your like me, you crave new cutting edge music. Also if your like me, you think the south is full of slack jawed hicks. But again, if your like me, your also probably full of shit. Because I was proven wrong by the band Illuminate.
Hailing from Dallas Texas, Illuminate brings crashing vocals and strong lyrical meaning into their songs. The band caught me by surprise with their fresh style and strong presence, so I decided to track them down so I could find out more about them. After some stalking I found Ian Hancock, the bands bass player and scream factory. He was kind enough to sit down with me and answer some questions I had about the band:
RH: “Ian, give me a little history about the band. How did you guys meet and form Illuminate?”
Ian: “Illuminate was formed by me and Ben. Ben and I had been friends for a few years and always had wanted to start a band but it had never worked out. Then after I moved back to Texas, we started writing and recorded a few things. We really got things moving end of january with recording.”
RH: “Is that when you found your first drummer Patrick and Guitarist Chad? “
Ian: “Yeah, we found Patrick who moved from Knoxville after new years. In March we found our guitar player Chad through an Internet post. We met our other guitarist Mike through a friend and finally we had a band. 2 weeks before our first show on April 8th, our drummer Patrick moved back to Knoxville and we met our current drummer Stephen Payn through a friend. Stephen stepped up to the plate and learned all of the songs and showed true dedication and played the show flawlessly.”
RH: “Wow, sounds like you guys got it together. Is there an over all message to your music and how did you get your name?”
Ian: “There is an overall message we are trying to convey. Its that there is hope beyond your circumstance or struggle and that we need to build each other up and stay together. In Society we tear each other down for the smallest of reasons we really want to make Insparational music and really let people know that you should pursue and follow your dreams.”
RH: “Makes sense. All that really comes to light in songs like “Rise and Shine” or “Karma.” Your next show is coming up soon. What are you guys doing to prepare for it?”
Ian: “Lots of practicing and writing! We are going to play a song Ben and I had recorded several months ago, making some changes to the set list we have right now, and are adding some samples and a fun intro. to it. We are in the writing process right now we really want to progress as a band as much and as fast as we can we are still finding our sound.”
RH: “When can we expect to see your first album? “
Ian: “We have a 7 song EP available for download and we are going to be recording a full length with a possible release date as early as fall.”
RH: “Sweet! Can I have a lock of your hair?”
Ian stares at me, gets up, and walks in the other direction shaking his head.
RH: “Damn it… I guess this interview is over…”
Anyways, go to Illuminate’s Myspace and listen to their songs. Not many bands come around that actually mean something or have a purpose. Most are punk kids who want to get rich. But Illuminate is different. They stand for something and that is something most music lacks in today’s world. It’s all corporate tailored bull.
Ben’s vocals are slick and sultry and conveys the raw emotion and message in Illuminates songs. While the guitars, drums, and bass sing together in a hardcore harmony.
A stand out track is “Control Control” with Ian’s guttural cries and Ben’s overlapping vocals. The song starts out with a drum roll and then kicks off. I particular enjoy this song because it shows off every members contribution to the band. Though every song is great and it’s hard to pick and choose. Do yourself a favor and listen to them all.
Download Illuminate’s EP HERE.