INTERVIEW: IamIs talk about their new album “Go Supernovae!”, why they added postcards to the physical release, and more!

A short while ago, indie rock duo Iamis released Go Supernovae!, a nine-song cassette/digital download that showcases their unique take on dreamy indie rock (read our review here). The album itself at times plays like an alternative soundtrack to a David Lynch film, an observation that was only validated after watching the music video they made for their song “Lead Hands”; watch it below, then agree with me.

Now that the dust has settled a bit since the release of Go Supernovae!, I figured it’d be a good time to reach out to Shawna Dellecave and Jason Cox with a few questions regarding their band, their latest offering, and more.  Thankfully, they were nice enough to collectively answer my queries..

Never Nervous: When I describe the music Iamis makes to friends, I explain in short that you remind me of a mashup of classic Beach Boys and Tennis. How would you describe your music to someone that hasn’t heard you?

Iamis: The house band at the Black Lodge, a fictional place created by David Lynch, seems to fit just right.

NN: Tell us about your new record Go Supernovae!. How did you approach it differently than you have in albums in the past?

Iamis: This album was not really approached differently from others, but the creation of these songs span a longer timeline than our previous two albums. The simple and obvious truth is that these songs are reflections of what was going on in our lives at the time of their inception/conception.
Each song describes our dreams (“Hustlin”), love (“Lead Hands”), pain (“We Won Dah”), obsessions (“From Where Do You Come”), etc. The title of the album is a beckoning to not hold back or hold on- to live and experience as much as possible.

“The title of the album (Go Supernovae!) is a beckoning to not hold back or hold on- to live and experience as much as possible.”

NN: This album comes in an interesting package. Along with the cassette, you’ve packed a few clever postcards, all of which are sealed in plastic with a nifty Iamis wax stamp. How’d you come up with this unique idea?

Iamis: We are so excited about the use of postcards to share visual ideas for our music. The Kentucky Foundation for Women awarded us a grant to fund the production of Go Supernovae! but they discouraged us from releasing music on compact disk. We agreed with the idea that CDs are becoming a somewhat outdated format, but still wanted to have a visual and tangible product and that’s when the idea of postcards came about. Once we thought of postcards, we were flooded with ideas on how to utilize them, which included the wax stamp (any opportunity to use our IamIs symbol is a good one). We plan to use postcards to release our music henceforth accompanied with digital download codes for music as well, of course.

NN: What bands or artists inspire Iamis to write the music you’re responsible for? Anyone in particular?

Iamis: Dali, Escher, Pink Floyd, Quasi, The Olivia Tremor Control, Bjork, Phillip K Dick, and Aleister Crowley to name just a few.

NN: For years I’ve wondered how you came up with your band name. What exactly does “Iamis” mean, and how’d you come up with it?

Iamis: Our name came to us in a flash and as soon as we said it aloud, we knew it was right. It is the combination of 3 words- I am Is-. For us, it represents the idea of one word that describes all of existence. Further still, it is the expression of our eternal questions- who am I? What am I? The answer: I am is.

NN: What does the future hold for Iamis? Touring? More records? Videos?

Iamis: Yes, Yes, Yes. We dream of traveling all over, everywhere playing music. We will never stop recording music. Last year we assisted with the construction of another new studio space; This project was a joint effort with our very good friends and founding members of The Cut Family Foundation. Now, we are currently in the final stages of recording a collaborative concept album about a musician who travels through the universe. This project has lead to ideas of further collaboration with Crescent Hill Radio and local artist Joe Welsh (Adventure) for a comic book. 

Louisville has such a vibrant musical and artistic community, this is why we live here – it is very special and being part of it, all in the mix, is what it’s all about for us. When we leave our day jobs we never stop working, we go straight to the studio everyday. As far as video production, we are just starting to get our feet wet. True to our form, we like total creative control of every aspect- concept, acting, directing, post production. We were quite pleased with the final product of our “Lead Hands” video and are looking forward to the next bright idea to strike.

“Louisville has such a vibrant musical and artistic community, this is why we live here – it is very special and being part of it, all in the mix, is what it’s all about for us.”

NN: What do you consider to be your favorite Summer activity in Louisville?

Iamis: Grilling out in our backyard, gardening, croquet, tennis, golf, bike riding, stuff like that…

NN: Do you have a favorite watering hole in Louisville? Is there a dependable spot that you prefer to get a beer in a familiar environment and relax?

Iamis: The aforementioned studio is our favorite place to be- there is no better place to drink a beer and relax. We also feel quite comfortable at Holy Grale, Kaiju and Mag Bar.

NN: Describe your favorite thing about the internet. Whether it be a blog or a Youtube video, is there something lingering in cyberspace that continues to knock your skirt up?

Iamis: The internet is a blank canvas. You can do or get just about anything you want there. And, of course, it allows artists to connect directly with an audience no matter where they live.

NN: Before you go, tell us about the last record you purchased. What album, where’d you buy it, and how do you like it?

Shawna: The last album I bought was Of Montreal’s Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?. I love them – they have no bounds to their musical genre and they are prolific artists. I chose this album because the title reminded me of the Hindu goddess Kali, to whom I myself sing many songs. Of course it’s a great album! I bought it in Cincinnati at Plaid Room Records.

Jason: I recently purchased Tool’s second album, Aenima. Bought it at the mall after looking for it at the local joints and coming up short. It is amazing.