What’s your story as a band?

Iron Range hails from Nashville, TN, but of course is made up of a cocktail of midwesterners, east coasters, and an Oregonian to boot.  The band started as an initial  solo project for lead singer and multi-instrumentalist, Ben Garrett, but once the band was assembled and played it’s first show at The Basement’s “New Faces Night,” in May of 2017, Mike Grimes, who was MC’ing the evening, proudly proclaimed the act an obvious example of a “band,” and ultimately, the group agreed and became, Iron Range. From there on out, the band has self-produced and embraced the indie rock / Americana road that lies before them. In October of 2020, the band released their self-produced album, Future Fortunes. Riding on the creative fervor and free-time that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020/2021 has allowed the band to quickly work up a follow-up album, with a new single (released 9-17-21), “Shadows In The Night”, accompanied by a music video.

What do you want your music to communicate?

Something approximating the truth, the bended truth, and that feeling you get on an extended road trip when the coffee, music, and view are working perfectly in a haze of melancholy harmony.

What are some sources of inspiration for your storytelling?

It’s all one big stew of inspiration. Life, of course being the most prominent touchpoint of inspiration. Other than that, we love movies (Tarantino, Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson…Ken Burns), Literature (J.D. Salinger, Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Bukowski), and musically, we’re all over the map with Bob Dylan, Talk Talk, Steely Dan, St. Vincent, and the usual suspects 😉

Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?

The War On Drugs is a big influence amongst the band, as they’re seemingly doing exactly what they want and painstakingly making the exact records that they want to make. Kacey Johansing, The Killers, Big Red Machine, My Morning Jacket fall into that category  too. Being in Nashville, it’s pretty tough feel like that’s even a *good* way of thinking about music, as the industry thats in this town is far more concerned with metrics, money, and stardom than nurturing artists and their art. The critique luckily doesn’t leave us disillusioned or destitute, because there is proof that there listeners who want great art and they can be seen by bands like War On Drugs’ success. There is hope, as far as I’m concerned.

What’s the record or artist that made you realize you wanted to be an act?

Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” rings true as an album that I first heard that got the idea of being a musician floating around in my head. 

Tell us about your latest release and how it came about

Our newest release is a single called,  Shadows In The Night. This song came out of a co-write with myself (Ben Garrett) and guitarist, Wyatt Marsh. We had just driven 1000 miles to buy a vintage Soundcraft 200B Mixing console and were in a haze of coffee and great music, namely Tom Petty rarities. A few days later, we got together to work with the console and figured we had might as well write something. Out came, Shadows In The Night, which feels like a great driving song and finds itself somewhere between Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Genesis.

What inspires your sound?

We’re pretty excited about 70’s-90’s music right now. Gender bending period specific sounds by blending 70’s and 80’s is currently what’s inspiring us. Mixing a chorus doused Yamaha CP-70 piano with a dry small drum tone and a 90’s Sheryl Crow acoustic. That’s where we’re headed.

What’s your favorite tune of yours?

Currently, Shadows In The Night. From the full-length LP, I’d have to say Paint Me A Fool. PMAF was a co-write with everyone in the band and centers around a weird day sitting on a tour bus facing the gulf of Mexico in Corpus Christi, TX.

Where are some things you really want to accomplish as an artist?

Our goal is to tour heavily and make great records that hold up. We’re such a live band and its always apparent when we walk off stage that our home base is playing music in front of people. That being said, the studio would be a close second for our home base, as we spend nearly every day working on something new for the Iron Range catalogue. We’d be thankful to tour and make records the rest of our lives and have enough income to keep food on the table!

Favorite lyric you ever wrote?

“The calendar reminds me where I’m going and my calloused hands remind me that there’s no knowing…” – Everywhere & Nowhere

Was there ever a moment when you felt like giving up?

Truthfully, the pendulum swings between confidence and the feeling of imposter syndrome. Music is our thing and we’ll continue doing it no matter what. It’s our burden and our blessing all wrapped in to one. If I get in to thinking about “success” and what  I don’t currently have, it definitely leads me to feeling like maybe this whole thing is just a waste of energy, but then I realize that its my favorite thing in the world. Nashville will surely leave you feeling either high or pretty damn dry. The highly competitive nature that comes with living in Nashville keeps us sharp and most importantly, sharply dressed.

Where do you think of the Nashville music scene?

The Nashville music scene has so much potential. The caliber of artists that rise to the top are simply second to none. All of that to say, I’ve spent time in other music scenes, namely, Minneapolis, MN, and I think Nashville could certainly learn a thing or two from scenes that aren’t so focused on getting a record deal, management, and “hitting the big time”. Obviously, the goal is to succeed, but living in a town that is so industry focused for sure leads to a scene that pushes smaller indie acts who are pushing boundaries to the fringe. The fringe is where the good stuff happens. What outfit isn’t made better with fringe!? 🙂