J-14 is scouting out the hottest bands around... and this week's pick is Icon For Hire! Here are five things you need to know about Icon For Hire whose debut album Scripted drops tomorrow!
Hailing from Decatur, IL, lead vocalist Ariel has wanted to be in a band for her entire life. "Growing up, I wrote songs on a daily basis and recorded them on a cheap cassette recorder," Ariel tells J-14. "My dad was cool enough to build a stage for me in my bedroom and I would rock out on that all the time!" It wasn't until she met guitarist Shawn Jump that she was finally able to put her plan in action. When he introduced her to drummer Adam Kronshagen, the rest is history.
Icon For Hire's sound can most easily be classified as hard rock with catchy Top 40 elements AND dessert! "I like to compare it to chocolate cake-the base is rich, dark, and heavy, but the frosting with the sprinkles on top is everybody's favorite part," Ariel says. "We sound like chocolate cake!"
This band's focus is primarily on the music and not on their image and fashion. "The band name is all about how a true Icon should be about his or her character, beliefs, and ideals, not about the newest fashion trend," Adam tells J-14. "It's a name that simply tells the world that the current system which culture uses to put celebrities on a pedestal is a flawed one and not something that our band believes in."
Their album title Scripted is full of irony, but this band is anything but! You won't catch these guys letting anyone tell them what to do. "In the music industry, you have to be very careful with what you say and we're kind of making fun of a system where you aren't encouraged to be real, you're told to always be calculated and just say the right thing," Adam tells us. "But just sticking to the script isn't going to change anything. The album talks a lot about how if you have problems in your life it is up to you to take responsibility and change them, not anyone else's."
Very action-driven, the band's first single "Make A Move" is all about stepping up to the plate, being an individual, and being the change that you want to see in the world. "The song brings up the fact that even though everybody knows the world is full of problems, nobody wants to be the first person to do something about it. It's so much easier to 'play dumb' and pretend like you don't know that children are dying from preventable diseases than actually have to make a sacrifice in your own life and give some of your time, money, or creativity to help the problem," Ariel tells J-14. "Of course, life takes balance, and this song focuses more on the one extreme. Sometimes you have to think of it that way to wake yourself up a little."
Check out their music video for "Make A Move" below and keep an eye out for Icon For Hire as they tour around the U.S. this summer and fall!
What do you think of Icon For Hire? Is Ariel the next Hayley Williams?
Photo: Courtesy of Caleb Kuhl/Tooth & Nail Records