Volume Control

15 August 2012 | 7:45 am | Brendan Telford

"It’s natural that when you put something out that you think that you will get shitcanned."

Since their inception over two years ago, Melbourne trio Iowa have worked tirelessly at getting a foothold in the overpopulated Melbourne music scene, relying on their innate sense of hook and melody, and their adherence to the J Mascis school of rock, both of which informs their insistence of playing incredibly loud. They've built a steady following off their own bat, put out a few well-received seven-inches, and it's all culminated in their debut longplayer, Never Saw It Coming.

“We recorded (the seven-inches) before we'd even played a show,” bassist Jordan Barczak explains. “We'd been rehearsing for six months, and our drummer was going overseas and we had some good stuff together so we thought we should record something. We played two shows and they went really well, so we were left with seven or so songs that we were really proud of. It wasn't really an EP, it wasn't enough for an album, and we had no profile, so we had eight months to develop further. The album stems from that initial session.”

With so much time spent in refining their sound and developing the album, the end result is naturally a labour of love that is consistent across the board. The interest it's garnered has quickly spread interstate, with their film clip for Complete Control on high rotation also.

“It's natural that when you put something out that you think that you will get shitcanned,” Barczak states drily. “The response has been great though, with the singles on Sydney and Brisbane radio, and triple j picked us in their mag which was unexpected. Then the video getting picked up by Channel V was wholly unexpected. It's a funny thing how it all works out. We didn't aim for any of this to happen, but it certainly helps.”

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The name Iowa has presented some logistical nightmares for the band, with some left-field connotations linking them to things that they could never have envisioned.

“We probably picked the worst time to come out as Iowa,” Barczak laughs. “It's the tenth anniversary for Slipknot's Iowa album which has some people coming to our page thinking we are some sort of tribute band, and lots of people looking for Mitt Romney because he's from Iowa. Probably the biggest misconception though is there is a Russian pop diva called Iowa too, and she's hijacked our Last.fm page, so you have all of these confused Russian comments and metalheads saying that we can't fucking use that name because it's sacrilege. But that in turn has led to some love from a Russian stoner metal blog and a shoegaze blog from Brazil who we just did an interview for, which has been interesting. Still, you have to make sure you make the Australian connection to Iowa when punching it in to Google to avoid some embarrassing results, I think.”

All misconceptions aside, the Iowa sound speaks for itself, the trio blazing a trail with their energetic and thunderous live performances. “When we started this band there were no preconceptions other than to play stuff that we always liked and had grown up listening to, and playing it really loud,” Barczak clarifies. “We wear our influences on our sleeve, we would listen to things like Dinosaur Jr when 15, 16, and that's how we learnt how to play. We've all been in bands before, and in the past we've veered away from that because the group you're with, you trying to find a certain sound or crack some market, but none of that appeals to us. We just love to play together in a room with everything turned way up.”