We have all been waiting for itâ€¦the band that makes your heart stop and think â€˜what the hell is this?â€™ But in a good way! The band that makes you realize that the universe has so much more in store for music, we just havenâ€™t discovered it yet. MUSE readers, you are in luck, that band is now more alive than ever and their name is Iris.
I would like you to meet Michelle Malley â€¨on vocals/guitar, Alex Morenoâ€¨ on lead guitar, Michael Maldonadoâ€¨ on bass guitar, and Glenn Chu on drums. They are the Nirvana to your Florence and The Machine. Your Pixies meets Smashing Pumpkins. The 90â€™s are back with an entire new sound and Iris is the next big thing. Their hypnotizing sound leaves the audience falling in love and lifting your spirits. The band recently played at The Glasshouse in Pomona and I got to catch up with them to hear all about their recent album, Prey, and how the epic band came into formation.
The Glasshouseâ€™s crowd had all eyes fixated on Iris. Michelleâ€™s voice echoes through the waves of people in the audience. Shouts for an encore ricochets from guest to guest. The energy from the room ignites an awakening.
Guitarist Alex: I can tell when people are really engaged, when they are just watching. You might look up and they seem very serious and they might not look like they are into it, but they are watching your fingers move across the strings and they are watching Michelle sing and they are just very locked in on her. They are not talking to their friends, they are not on their phones, they are not looking around, and they are just looking at what you are doing, which I think is a positive thing. So just seeing their faces and just watching everything, makes me know that they are into it.
The Glasshouse venue was a huge accomplishment for the band and a brought forth a vision for their future. Since Iris usually plays at smaller venues that only accommodate around 100 people, Iris got a taste of what a full house of 600 plus people feels like. And after hearing from them, I can tell you the feeling is beautiful.
Drummer Glenn: People seemed really welcoming especially at a show with mostly metalish bands. It was pretty cool.
It is hard to categorize Iris because their sound is so unique. Their new album Prey features an array of captivating musical lyrics that will bring you back to past remembrances. Iris explains how they draw their inspiration from their memories and the same memories that might be shared with their fans.
Guitarist Alex: We write our songs with a teenage mentality in our head. The way we felt when we were young and the way everything made us feel like shit. We are writing for everyone that feels like that. I mean, our songs are very emotional, the lyrics are. So basically everyone who feels that, we are writing for them. We are not ever writing lyrics for us, we are writing for them. And for anyone to relate to us and for anyone to hear a lyric or a song that can make them feel better about themselves because of it, thatâ€™s why we play music and that why we write songs. For someone else to feel better in that situation.
Bass Guitarist Michael: I came from a very classic rock, bluesie, even metal background. Those are all of my influences. And when I joined Iris, it kinda brought something else out of me and made me play bass very differently. It made me like the sound that we created. It is very 90â€™s influenced, but I think we have created something that is entirely our own.
Iris came together with Michelle and Alexâ€™s mutual friendship. They knew they both played music, but never had played together. One day, they decided to meet for a jam sesh and a light bulb was formed.
Guitarist Alex: When me and Michelle first met up, we met up at a park with 2 acoustic guitars, never played together ever. We knew each other but we had never played music together and we just hit it off. And then after we went to Del Taco and got chicken soft tacos, we would drive around all night talking until 5 A.M. and that continued to happen for days.
Then Michael came along.
Bass Guitarist Michael: We played a show together. I was playing at the same place with another band I was in. And then we met through friends of friends. They invited me to come over and audition as a bass player for Iris, and Iâ€™ve been the bass player ever since. And I love saying that because I am very proud.
And then Glenn.
Drummer Glenn: I have been drumming for about 16 years now. A little over a year ago, I was playing with another band that played with Iris and thatâ€™s when I first heard of them. They broke up and it was through mutual friends bands that introduced me to Iris.
The formation of this extraordinary, up and coming, band is something to record in the books. Gazing into Irisâ€™ future, I want to thank Del Taco and a long list of friends who brought them all together.
Singer Michelle: This year is the year that we are going to shine. I feel really happy. The four of us are solid. I am nervous about our next album, but excited! I love our recent hit song, Wolves. We just wrote a new song and we are excited to play it. I really like the direction we are going in. I like a heavy sound and thatâ€™s just how Wolves is. This new song is really heavy too. I think itâ€™s a little heavier than wolves actually.
Go check them out yourself and listen to Irisâ€™ album, Prey, available on iTunes or on the bandâ€™s website weareiris.bandcamp.com. Personally, I cannot wait for their next new album and upcoming shows.