The band, The Unincorporated, intrigued me as they kept popping up on my Instagram feed so I decided to check them out. They are exactly the type of artist that I would be rotating on my playlists. They play that alternative rock punk style of music who appear to have a great time every night when they go out and perform. I asked and they agreed to answer some questions..
Q: What made you choose the band’s name?
A: The name is based on being an outsider or apart from a larger group. The word “unincorporated” is largely used in reference to communities or territories that are unregulated by a local government but therefore lack the benefits. I liked the implications of “otherness” in exchange for autonomy. It’s a theme that comes up often in our songs. Alienation as a result of individualism, or a desire to overcome feelings of alienation. I think music, broadly speaking, is an attempt to be comprehended by people you normally feel apart from. So labeling the band as being “apart from” was a good way to sort of set our intentions of communication or creating something larger than ourselves.
Q: The band formed in 2015… how did you all get together?
A: I (Jake) started the band with a friend in 2015. We started playing small D.I.Y. shows. We’ve had many different lineups over the years, and in act, the friend I originally started the band with left this past March. The longest member aside from myself is Jason, who plays drums. He’s been with the band for about two and a half years now. I knew Jason through a couple of bands I’d seen him play in. I essentially just kept bugging him until he agreed to join. His drumming and arranging, as well as his connections, are what has taken the band to a new level… We recently added Jarrett (lead guitar) and Alex (bass). They played in a cover band together and responded to one of our ads looking for members. We kind of lucked out finding two talented people who had played together already and wanted to join us. I’m very fortunate in that Jason has been playing music a long time and was always able to find fill in musicians when we’ve needed them. That allowed us to stay active as people came and went. We now have a solid lineup and I’m really excited about what’s coming next.
Q: So you are from Cedar Rapids, IA…I was reading that Iowa City & Cedar Rapids has a big D.I.Y. scene. Tell me more about the D.I.Y. shows that you’ve participated in & what is your favorite place to perform in IA?
A: Yeah, I actually live in Iowa City currently but I’m from Cedar Rapids and Jason lives there. When the band first started, those D.I.Y. shows are the first places we actually got in front of people. Jason actually first saw The Unincorporated play at a basement show. There’s definitely a lot of places where anybody has the opportunity to get on stage and showcase their talents, which is so important. As far as our favorite venue, that’s a hard call. A lot of time it’s dependent on how many stairs we have to carry the gear up or down. I think in the last year or so Iowa City Yacht Club is where we’ve had the most fun.
Q: Who do you consider to be your biggest musical influences?
A: Well, I think like all bands, if you ask us individually, you’ll get four pretty distinct answers. As far as myself, Green Day, Frank Turner, The Fratells and Jason Isbell. Musically somewhere between pop/punk and alt-country. I’m generally pretty lyric based with artists I like. I know Jason’s into a lot of progressive metal, Dream Theater, Devin Townsend but he’s a lot more eclectic than I am. Listening to his IPod on shuffle is crazy, although we both really like Clutch. Alex and Jarrett are both more inclined towards classic rock and 80’s stuff.
Q: Your EP, “Too Much Caffeine” was released almost a year ago..talk about the process of what went into making it..
A: Too Much Caffeine (video courtesy of YouTube) was sort of the culmination of the first four years of the band. We’d put out a handful of stuff on our own but nothing really official. When Jason joined, we decided to sort of cut ties with the past but before doing so salvage what we thought was our best stuff. We reworked those 5 songs and funny enough there seemed to be a theme to them. We worked with Nick and Brent of Wolfpack Productions Cedar Rapids. We’d known those guys a while and they had approached us a few times about working with them. Having them produce and the addition of Jason on drums is what made that EP what it is, their impact is immeasurable.
Q: You are playing a lot of clubs right now.. what’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on tour?
A: Funny enough, I think the craziest thing we’ve actually ever seen was actually at a show in Iowa City. There was an early show before ours so after we loaded in we’d figure we’d just chill and hang out. I won’t say the name but this band? Act? I don’t know what you’d call it. But before we knew it, one person was more or less naked on stage spitting up blood and using a mannequin arm as a cowbell while the other person played bass to some industrial backing tracks. Now for the record, I’m sure there is a time and place where this goes over very well but like at 6pm in an empty bar in front of a half dozen or so dudes wearing jeans and t-shirts who just wanna kill time before a rock show, it was strange to say the least.
Q: When can we expect to see new music from the band? And what are your plans for 2020?
A: I can’t give you a time frame quite yet for new music but I have twenty new songs written and we’re currently laying a handful of unreleased songs live. For 2020, we’ll be getting out to a bunch of new cities in the Midwest. We fund all ur recording time by playing full nights at bars so some dates are all original sets, some are four hour shows where we play a little bit of everything. We just want to get in front of as many people as possible.
The Unincorporated start their 2020 tour on Saturday January 18th at Brent River Brewing Co in Rock Island, IL.
You can follow The Unincorporated on Instagram: @the_unincorprated Twitter: @Unincorporated_ Facebook: The Unincorporated and listen on Spotify. Their official website The Unincorporated Official webpage
Im sure we will be seeing more of them in 2020. But until next time… Your Music Stylist. – Linda Dias