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A Dirty Dozen with IAN ABLE of IAN ABLE BAND – July 2019


According to a recent press release: “Ian Abel Band, is a rock outfit made up of accomplished young musicians in Los Angeles, California. Lead singer, guitar player and primary song-writer, Ian Abel, formed the band with no purpose other than creating new and fresh music for Rock N Roll fans everywhere.  IAN ABEL has released the official music video for his single, “Shoes.” “I wrote this song at the age of 19 with a guy out of Nashville named Mike Cullison. I’ve held onto it because I knew the world needed to hear it and now they are.” – IAN ABEL” We get Ian himself to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our song “Shoes” is the second single we’ve released this year. It was used in the promo for the match between Cody and Dustin Rhodes at All Elite Wrestling’s inaugural pay-per-view, Double Or Nothing, on May 25th. I wrote the song when I was 19 so it means a lot to me that it’s getting so much love and attention now. As for hidden nuggets, not really. The only thing I think I would listen for on the third go around is in the first post-chorus instrumental section. We play a different chord progression than any other time because it adds a certain dissonant tension that thematically accompanies the songs original meaning.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Oh man this is a funny one… I was a freshman in high school and watched the movie School of Rock. That was it; that’s when I knew what I wanted to do. Yes, a Jack Black family film changed my life. haha

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

So clearly I bought the soundtrack to the film and would explore deeper into each of those bands discography. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my family was actually very musically inclined. Before then, it was all sports and school. So much so that I had no idea my dad had a bass guitar buried deep in my parent’s closet and my mom once fronted a rock band! Looking back on that, I laugh because as soon as I got my first guitar, suddenly out came my dad’s record collection. They were always so busy working long, hard hours that the discussion of playing instruments never came up until I showed interest. Well that and because maybe at a young age I failed at piano lessons, but we’ll just look passed that. haha

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Of all time? That’s a really hard question to answer because I have influences from so many different styles and try to blend them into what you now know as the Ian Abel Band. Rather than just naming five bands, I’d rather mention different moments that shaped the way I write.

  • I would be the complete immersion into Rock ‘N Roll as a rowdy teenager.
  • As a senior, with the help of a wonderful music teacher (Mr. Yarborough), I got really into jazz which carried over into the first part of my collegiate career.
  • Going to college in a more centrally located part of Kentucky than where I grew up, I met some amazing musicians from more rural areas who properly introduced me to Blue Grass.
  • That lead me into exploring Nashville where I met Mike Cullison (co-writer of “Shoes”) and that’s where I really started to understand the importance of song structure, telling a story and the importance of a killer hook.
  • Would be meeting and playing with my good friend and remarkably talented drummer Kenny Schwartz. He’s really challenged me to step up my game and the results are evident.

For the sake of fun, top five favorite bands are as follows: Pink Floyd, Chris Stapleton (Steeldrivers), Jason Isbell, My Morning Jacket and the guitar mastery of John Petrucci. Honorable mention would be 2007-2009 Derek Trucks Band.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I’d love to do a song with Chris Stapleton. I’ve been a huge fan of his when he was writing with the Steeldrivers and to me, he’s going to go down as one of the, if not the, best Country artist of all time.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

The Ian Abel Band is a scrappy outfit of talented young musicians from Los Angeles, California. The sound is deeply rooted in Rock ‘N Roll, highly influenced by all the legends of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Our manager, Rob McDermott (Mad Mac Ent.), said that I personally sound like a mix of Chris Stapleton and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. I said “I like the sound of that.” Only negative thing I’ve seen yet was some guy’s comment correcting the way I pronounce words. Personally, I love a good heel so I greatly enjoyed that comment and I guess he’s screwed because I’m born in Tennessee and raised in Kentucky; this accent ain’t going nowhere anytime soon.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

You meet some of the most incredibly interesting and creative people. Also, being able to get together with a group of like-minded individuals and create art is an indescribable feeling.  Oh and the chicks are great.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Los Angeles is a very spread out city and hard to get around in a timely manner. Usually when we are all together, we are at rehearsal, demoing new songs or grabbing beers and playing pool at the local bar.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Couldn’t tell you. That really doesn’t happen with us.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I have no idea what else I would do if it wasn’t playing music.  Probably just find creative ways to travel the world.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Probably not having our song “Shoes” on Spotify when the promo dropped. By the time we found out the date of its release, it was too late. So we uploaded it to YouTube to direct traffic our way and that video gained over 30,000 views right as the song became available on Spotify. However, we gained a lot of subscribers on that platform so I’d say we managed to make it work in our favor.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’ve got a few. I’d love to have been there when Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side of the Moon and the guitar solo for “Comfortably Numb.” Definitely when Robert Plant sang the end of “Stairway.” Would’ve loved to been in the control room when Roger Daltrey did that famous yell during “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” And clearly, who wouldn’t have wanted to be there for the Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road recordings! All that being said, I am beyond thrilled to say that I was there when Kenny Schwartz (drums) recorded 11 songs in one day at United Recording’s Studio B for Ian Abel Band’s debut album. I think one day that is going to be a legend that gets passed around the rock forums.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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