A Chat with Iduna (03.06.20)

Building on the sounds of Biffy Clyro, Kings of Leon and The Smashing Pumpkins, Iduna is an alt-rock foursome singing songs about modern morality and the state of being an empathetic person in a world of injustice. Hailing from Canada (Toronto to be exact), vocalists and guitarists Jason Craig (JC) and Trison Boyes (TB), bassist Tim Saulnier and drummer Gabriel Lavoie offer a unique and dynamic sound. We spoke with Iduna (I) about their new single ‘Creeping In’, discovering new music and future plans.

OSR: A cliche questions, but how did Iduna come about?

I: We were pretty much a Craigslist baby.  Jason and Trison had just come out of bands that had broken up (The Energy Magnetic, Bad and Ugly) and found each other on Craigslist around the beginning of 2013.  Tim had moved to Toronto around the same time and was looking for a new project and our original drummer Craig also found us through there.  It was a pretty painless formation actually as that lineup stuck together until Craig moved away from Toronto last year.

OSR: More cliche questions: What about the band name?

I: We were jokingly calling ourselves Jimmy Knee and the Knee Eaters before then, but that was not to last long.  Finding a good band name is always like pulling teeth because everything either sounds contrived or just not good.  Luckily, Craig was on a Norse mythology kick and pitched Iduna and it stuck from then on. It made sense and was a nice simple, direct name.  Unfortunately, it also falls into the ‘no one knows how to say our name’ category, but we’re working on that.

OSR: You cite Smashing Pumpkins as an influence. Do you have a favourite Smashing Pumpkins song?

TB: *laughs* I’ll let Jason take this one.  Mine is definitely ‘Geek USA’ though.

JC: ‘Snail’, ‘Mayonaise’ and ‘Hummer’. I cheated and chose three, sorry! Their composition and emotional gravity had a transformative impact on me growing up; on my songwriting too. I’ve always felt incredibly close to these three in particular. They beautifully walk the line between being gentle and ferocious with an intense sincerity that I just fell in love with. I remember feeling weird, awkward and alone, like I didn’t really belong. These songs were soothing to me and somehow made me feel like I actually wasn’t so alien and alone after all.

OSR: What about the single ‘Creeping In’? What can you tell us about it?

TB: I originally penned it a long time ago while I was in university and it’s taken until now to find the right group to put it out with.  It’s been a long time coming. When I wrote it I was still coming to terms with dealing with feelings of attraction, love and lust.  Everyone has different ways of expressing things and I was still figuring it out to find healthy ways of expressing it. This song was my way of writing out that it’s OK to feel these things.

OSR: Does the single have any significant meaning to any of you?

TB: It’s definitely interesting now that I’m older to look back at how I was thinking and feeling back then.  All the other things that I was experiencing come rushing back too.  It’s like opening a door into a snapshot of your life.

OSR: What do you want people to take from the single?

I: The feelings you feel are OK and healthy.  Everyone learns to express themselves differently and that’s OK too.

OSR: I see you are from Canada. Do you think a person’s base influences their music?

I: Definitely. Growing up we have all the music of our family and friends influencing us and we’re just surrounded by our own bubble, even if we’re not aware of it. Plus, we have bands like The Tragically Hop, Blue Rodeo, I Mother Earth and Limblifter that most people outside of Canada don’t really know. We also have the added benefit of having French as our other official language, so we get influence from French bands like Malajube that break language barriers.

OSR: Describe your sound in a sentence.

I: Music for relection and asking ourselves what it is to be and who we should be to each other.

OSR: What is the best way to discover new music?

I: Honestly, it’s hard to know these days. Sometimes we’ll find a band through online forums or discover something in our feeds from Bandcamp or Spotify or just friends recommending things. There doesn’t seem to be a singular way and you just need to be open to noting down things you hear randomly. Usually, the music that we gravitate most to are the things we find when we’re not expecting to find something rather than hunting for new music.

OSR: If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be and why?

TB: Alain Johannes. He’s worked with so many awesome musicians and seems like a really chill dude with great ideas. I’m not sure I could deal with working with someone like Dave Grohl as there’s such a huge fan/idol dynamic that I’d be too nervous to be really open.

JC: Jimmy Chamberlain, my all time favourite drummer. Also, I wish I had the chance to write and smoke a joint with Tom Petty (R.I.P). He just seemed like a really nice, down-to-earth cool dude.

OSR: If it were possible, would you live on the moon?

TB: Pretty sure I already do.

JC: Now and then during these quarantines, I’ve let myself believe my home is actually a spaceship and I’m on a special mission. Hurtling through space at mind-bending velocities! Now that we’ve adapted to living in confined spaces for long periods of time, I’d say we’re kinda more prepared for the trip. No, I wouldn’t live on the moon. It looks cold and lonely.

OSR: What scene from a non-horror movie scared you as a child?

TB: Does the X-Files count as non-horror? There was an episode in the third season with cats and a South American artifact where they find some remains in a tree. That one really was the one that got my fear reflux going when I was alone at night. I was forever convinced something was lurking in the trees about to get me.

JC: Not a movie but ‘Hush’ – the Buffy, The Vampire Slayer episode. Mysterious creatures descend upon Sunnydale in search of human hearts to steal. The thing that made it incredibly creepy was the town lost their ability to speak (or scream) and so the episode was eerily quiet. Imagine skeletons in suits floating just above the ground (legs perfectly straight just their arms occasionally moving) with evil-mischievous grins relentlessly baring their metallic teeth. Freaky.

OSR: Any message for our readers?

I: Stay safe. Don’t let the tree-cats get you.

Thanks to Iduna for chatting with us! You can find more about Iduna on their Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

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