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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Idaho Green

Idaho Green, interview, Bandcamp

Idaho Green creates energetic garage punk out of Montana. In October, the band released its EP Do The Nelz, which is available to stream or purchase on Bandcamp.

The group is known for animated, party sets that often include French maid or clown costumes and if you’re looking for a good time, you can catch them for an all-ages show at Trunk Space on Jan. 19.

Below, read The Spec‘s interview with Idaho Green…

Tell us a little about yourselves…
We’re a band from Huntley, a very small town in eastern Montana. We all live in different places now, I actually live in Korea, our trombone/bassist lives in Missoula, Mont. and our drummer is living in Colombia right now. But, we get together as often as we can and learn whatever new songs we’ve written and go on tour. We enjoy a lot of Montana type stuff, like hiking and fishing, but we also enjoy anti-Montana type stuff, like skateboarding and voting Democrat (for the record, I voted for Jill Stein, lulz).

How long have you been making music?
We’ve been a band for about six years now. Originally we played in a ska band, since Dan, our trombone player, and I wanted to start a band, but he couldn’t play any “real” instruments. So out of necessity, we started a ska band, without any knowledge of ska music. Ha. Eventually, as we learned more about ska, and punk, and garage music, we sort of transformed into Idaho Green. We still play ska songs, but I’d like to think of us as a garage-rock band.

Who/what are your influences?
Certainly old stuff like Chuck Berry, The Sonics, and Sam Cooke. Sam Cooke’s probably my favorite singer ever. I’m also sort of a Sinatra nerd. And of course I love all those ’70’s/’80’s punk bands like the Dead Kennedys and Bad Brains and stuff. And being from Montana, an appreciation for Hank Williams and Patsy Cline and those folks is almost unavoidable. Is it ok to say I like The Beatles? Is that still not cool? Either way, The Beatles rule.

What is your favorite song you’ve released and why?
Probably the title track on our new cassette, “Do The Nelz.” It’s one of the first songs I ever wrote, and we finally recorded it with our good friend Tyson at Titan Recording in Los Angeles. It was really cool to see a song that I wrote when I was a stupid little high schooler turn out to sound so badass! Ninety-nine percent of it turning out sounding good is due to Tyson working his magic.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
To quote the great Robert Crumb, we’re just gonna “Keep on truckin’.” Of course, it’s really difficult to maintain a dynamic that works, especially when we’re all going a million different directions at the same time, but we’re really more of a family than a formal “band.” Plus, none of us are trying to “make it” in the traditional sense, so that keeps everything pretty relaxed. We have newer songs that we wanna put out as a 7 inch soon, but we’ve self-released everything we’ve done so far, and we’re hoping someone will help us put it out.

If you could no longer be a musician, what would you be or do for a living?
I’m almost done with my applied mathematics degree, so I think I’d probably work in that field. PUNK 4 LYFE. Honestly though, I think I have a bit too much piss and vinegar in me right now to settle down and get a career-oriented job or go to graduate school, but eventually, I want to teach math at the university level. But there’s rockin’ to do before that!

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
Local/regional bands and people in the scene always have the most impact. They’re always the best people to look to for advice on what to do, and what not to do. A few shoutouts- Kelly La Croix and (Do The) Nels Jensen played in a band called Noise Noise Noise, seriously, check them out. The song “Coke w/Lime” was the first song I ever heard made by a local band that made me think, “Woah, this is like…better than what I could come up with! I can’t make fun of this, it’s too badass!” Also, The Reddmen were a band from Rapid City that sort of had the same effect. “The Secrets of Amanda Prines” is one of my favorite songs ever. Mr. Dad from Minot, justinedrugs, Medicine Bow, and Duchovny, from Fort Collins, Laramie, and Greeley, respectively, and Buddy Jackson from Missoula are all decently local bands that rule.

Why do you make music?
Nothing’s more cathartic for me than going to an awesome rock show. So, I hope people take some kind of catharsis out of an Idaho Green show. That’s why we make a point of dressing ridiculous and playing super loud and wild. So, If nothing else, maybe we can help you redefine just how shitty a live performance can be. Better than nothing!

Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
E-mail us! And download our music for free! And hang out with us! We’re probably more bored and have more free time than you do, connecting with like-minded people is one of the few processes that never changes with time. As Oscar Wilde once said, “It is personalities, not principles, that move the age.”

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