by Nels Jensen
Idaho Green is one of the best things to come out of Montana. I mean sure, we’ve had Jenette Rankin and Hazel Hunkins-Hallinan, Huckleberry Chocolates and the biggest and most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found, but can any of this really compare to Idaho Green? To tell you the truth, Idaho is band that has brought me, personally, through a gamut of emotions over the past few years. I was distressed at the outset of the band because of the strangeness and roughness of the first few shows (it was so weird, and unapproachable for an ear that needed some sort of congruence). I was totally surprised when, after only a short time, they had catchy, sing-along “bangers” that made everyone shout at/with them. I was euphoric when the hits kept coming with new songwriting styles, new influences and new sounds. I was disgusted when Caleb refused to wash the French-maid outfit. And I was, initially, heartbroken, when they moved to NYC to pursue their lives on a group of islands in the Hudson Bay. I realized this was pretty selfish though, I mean if there’s one band that could show the weirdness/radness/tenacity/integrity that Montana bands often have, and make non-Montanans enjoy it that band is Idaho Green. I miss seeing these dudes around, but I am also totally elated that they are spreading the sonic joy they bring to so many unsuspecting people on the east coast. Have a gander at this interview featuring Montana’s best export, and make SURE you see their set at Dreyfest.
Remember the car/music game we played on the Idaho/Megagiant tour? We’ll start there. All of the band members are sort of needed for these first few questions...
A song that reminds you of Montana:
Austin: Big City by Merle Haggard
Jordan: Already Gone by The Eagles
Caleb: We Built This City by Starship
Ashley: History Lesson Part 2 by The Minutemen
A song that reminds you of New York:
Austin: Hard to Explain by The Strokes
Jordan: A Little God in My Hands by Swans
Caleb: Cure for Pain by Morphine
Ashley: Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill
A song that reminds you of Dreyfest:
Austin: Vending Machine by Noise Noise Noise
Jordan: Gripe Dreams by FUULS
Caleb: Dayton Ohio Nineteen-something and Five (live) by Guided By Voices
Ashley: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness
England…you’ve been there…and played some music there...How did that manifest?
Yeah! So, essentially, last year I got a sweet techy/arty job that gives me medical benefits and PTO and all that stuff cause they’re idiots. So once I got that job I decided “I’ve always wanted to go to England and see a Crystal Palace match” and since Palace were on the brink of relegation this past season, I figured this may be my best chance to see them in a premier league match. So I bought a plane ticket and a ticket to Palace-v-Liverpool. But I also have this thing where I hate to take time off work and not use it to tour, so I essentially talked everybody else one by one to come with me and make a tour out of it.
As far as booking the dates went, I asked our friend Chris (from Meat Wave, who rip) who had toured out there before if he could point me in the right direction. He redirected me to Jim, who plays in this band Cassels (who also rip), who toured with Meat Wave in the UK, and Jim redirected me to this band called Fancy Dress Party (who also rip), who were sort of happening to be trying to tour that same time as well. So me and Robbie from Fancy Dress Party got together and booked it mega DIY. Although Robbie did pretty much all of the actual booking. We had a google sheet that we would use and check on every morning, it was really cute. But yeah! Then we rented a van/driver, who happened to be JC from the band Martha (who rip), which was a super weird coincidence. Then it was pretty straightforward. JC (aka uncle Jimmy) sort of became tour manager after a while (his signature line of that tour, in a very thick Durham accent, trying to wake us all up every morning, was “allllrrright, babies...”) which was great, because we didn’t know what the hell we were doing. So it was unreal! Got to hang out with an amazingly cool band in FDP and JC from Martha for a week and a half!
Also, since we didn’t have a sponsor, nor did we want to even try to apply for an artist visa because (a) they are expensive and (b) we are not really artists, we had to enter the country illegally. And separately. It was really nerve racking, but I also felt pretty cool trying to coordinate everybody’s entrance strategy, giving them phone numbers and addresses and telling them what to tell immigration. But it all worked out, nobody had any issues.
Oh also Palace ended up not getting relegated that season, but Liverpool won that game 2-1. Saw Sadio Mane and Mo Salah score goals though!
What’s the main difference between playing in the states, and playing the U.K.?
The bands are a lot better in England, for sure. Human Pet and SPQR blew us away in particular, check them out.
There's a place called Wetherspoons in the UK. It's really hard to explain. Imagine a cross between Denny's and Applebee's, but instead of them being in these boring prefab buildings, they are in old banks, churches, post offices, etc. Apparently in England it's really hard to demolish buildings on the "Listed Building Registry", so towns just make due with what they have, which is amazingly cool. And they have draft beer. And free wifi. It's fucking paradise. We went to at least one Spoons a day on tour. If we couldn't find somebody, we would just go to the closest Spoons, and more often than not, the missing party was there working on a pint of Bud Light (Bud Light just got introduced to the UK recently and they are crazy about it. Poor bastards). When we played Sheffield, we realized on the drive to Manchester the next day that we had gone to three different Wetherspoons that day. It's easy to do!
Also, obviously, having cities and towns in England be so close to each other is really weird, but fucking awesome. Playing Missoula and not getting paid because we were considered local gave us some perspective on that.
Would you say that you still “wanna be anarchy” after the trip?
I’m pretty proud to say that I’ve always thought the Sex Pistols sucked.
How about your “future dream”? Is it a “shopping scheme”?
Yes, shopping for better records than the Sex Pistols.
What’s next for the Caps lock boys? Also, what happened to the Caps lock boys?
The cAPS lOCK bOYS still live, within all of ourselves. We are all cAPS lOCK bOYS. It’s just that it’s really hard to fit that on a flyer or t-shirt and a lot of our older fans didn’t know what the fuck we were talking about.
Our newest 7", Rancher Bones came out streaming and as a download a few months ago, and we actually just got the test pressings today! So hopefully we can have a few copies for Dreyfest, but we'll see. But yeah! We're recording a new batch of songs in Chicago with Erik Rasmussen on the way to Dreyfest, and I guess playing Dreyfest, doing a few local/regional shows in support of Rancher Bones, and that's about it for now. Going back to England in the Spring for a week and a half or so, and hopefully doing a bigger tour next summer, maybe a proper Midwest/Northeast tour. We'll see!
Finally, if you had to convince someone to come to yourshow, but you could only use one piece of media, what would it be? (Media is limited to 3 minutes… so showing your audience the masterpiece known as SPEED is not permitted).