Saturday, July 11, 2009

Joanna Gikas of IO Echo, Exclusive Interview

On Episode XVII, I previewed four songs from the music artist, IO Echo. Yes, they are a band, but they are hard to label. They are what would you could maybe label as Indie goth, rock, or even experimental rock. When you listen to their music, you’ll understand what I mean by “hard to label”. Never-the-less, IO Echo is a new talent that is on their way to making a big name for themselves with their new self-titled EP that released in May 2009.

On with the interview:
My opening statement with Joanna:

"It wasn’t until recently, I found out who you guys were. I first heard your music on a Sprint commercial at the opening of Star Trek, X-Men Origins, and then again at the opening of Imagine That. I, myself, was instantly hooked as soon as I saw the preview. Since then, I’ve seen that commercial everywhere! I went crazy and wanted to know who you were. I had been looking and looking and finally I typed the right words on Youtube and the commercial came up and there you were. And, I was like 'Please be unsigned' (because I only preview bands that are unsigned or independently labeled"

Q: How did it make you feel when you first saw your band on a big screen like that?
A: Shy

Q: Did you ever think you would make it to that type of stage? Meaning a movie screen? That’s a pretty big audience.
A: Seeing the commercial before a movie came as a surprise. We didn't know it was going to be aired on the big screen.

Q: IO Echo. That is an interesting name. Who thought of that?
A: Leopold and I thought of it

Q: What does the name of your band mean?
A: My name in Greek is ioanna. Some people call me io for short. The word 'echo' sounded compatible to us.

Q: How did you and Leopold form, IO Echo?
A: We met in the the womb. We started doing sonic clicking sounds to each other like dolphins. It snowballed from there.

(A moment of pure laughter followed)

Q: Who is your MAIN inspiration? You can be honest if it IS yourself. Haha!
A: A lot of musicians from back home in Washington DC. But right now it's Leopold and his weird pedals.

Q: Who else outside of music is your inspiration?
A: Kenneth Anger. Ryan McGinley. Everyone from Adult Swim. Tim Burton.

Q: As far as lyrics, I know you (Joanna) wrote them, but did you really write them in a dark room?
A: Yes

Q: I’ve heard most of your music, and you have a compelling and unique sound that is very addictive. Do you see this EP becoming really successful? Like, new artist of the year type of success?
A: Thank you. I hope that the people it is supposed to reach get to hear it. Meaning, people who understand it.

Q: You are unsigned, right? Are you looking for a major label record deal or do you prefer to be independent to do your own thing?
A: We have a DIY spirit but the labels are starting to come after us. I want to do what's best for the band, whatever that is.

Q: Do you listen to the radio at all? If so, does it annoy you with the kind of music that’s always played?
A: I do listen to the radio... I used to listen to 103.1 a lot before it went off the air. Henry Rollins, Steve Jones, Mark Shovel... there were some quality Djs on there.

Q: Beyond August 2009, do you see a big line up of future tour dates? If so, where are you looking to tour at?
A: We are planning an extremely exciting tour in November. Details to come. In the meantime we have a couple dates with La Roux.

Q: Your new full length self-titled EP is available now. Can people buy it anywhere else or just your website?
A: Our website,, carries the limited edition ep and i-tunes and amazon carry two of our singles.

Gosh, thank you so much Joanna. I was so nice talking to you. Some of your answers were really funny. I wish you much success with you and your band.

If you want to learn more about IO Echo, please visit them on Myspace and Facebook and their website.

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