We had the opportunity to as iLLPHONiCS some questions about the band, their upcoming release, and more. Their album, Gone With The Trends, will be out April 1st and you can grab a digital copy here. Check out the interview below along with a stream of “What D’ Ya Like.”
When and where did the band form?
The story of iLLPHONiCS is long and intricate but this is a very brief synopsis. Four out of the five of us grew up in University City, MO a suburb bordering the city of Saint Louis, MO. We knew each other quite some time before iLLPHONiCS.
Simon (bass) and Chaz (drums) played in Jazz bands during high school and were friends since they were little. Keith (keys) and Larry (vocals) are best friends, have known each other since 6th grade, and have been creating music since their sophomore year of high school. Likewise, Larry and Chaz are related as they share 1st cousins via Chaz’s mom’s side and Larry’s dad side. Larry and Kevin (guitar) became friends while attending Webster University for Audio Engineering. It was while at Webster, that Larry introduced Kevin to the other guys and the members came together to work on a live Hip-Hop project that morphed into what you see as iLLPHONiCS today.
Being in St. Louis, what is the hip-hop scene like there?
Saint Louis is a very unique Hip Hop city. Due to the fact that we are located right in the middle of everything, emcees around the area are influenced by so many diverse styles. Being on the Mason Dixon Line, the South has an influence on production, while the East Coast has a huge influence on wordplay, lyricism, and cadence with many local emcees. The mix of the both creates some of the best emcee/songwriters one could imagine.
Saint Louis also has a strong battle rap scene which is very competitive, and there are some acts who are on the verge of getting to the next level. Within the next few years, Saint Louis could be the next great mecca for emcees.
Where did you record the upcoming release?
We recorded at Smith Lee Studios in Saint Louis, MO. Our engineer, Justin L. Fisher, worked with us on our last self-titled studio album, and we felt he would be the best fit to help us creatively and technically capture our unique vision for “Gone With The Trends”.
How has working with The Record Machine been?
Amazing. Our label rep Alex has been more than awesome. His music industry acumen and vision has transformed us into a band ready for the next level in our career. The label has been very supportive, yet allowing us the autonomy to do what we feel is best for the future of our band and brand. It’s been less of a label deal and more of a partnership. It’s been great and we hope that our album delivers for not only us, but for the label as well.
Can we expect a tour to follow the release?
Yes! We are currently locking up dates as we speak and actively looking for more. We are confirmed for Houston, Austin (during SXSW), Springfield, MO, Kansas City, MO, Indianapolis and a bunch of shows in Saint Louis. We are locking down Columbia, MO, Memphis, Chicago, and more. We love playing out live, so if you like what you hear and what us in your town don’t hesitate to hit us at [email protected].
Where can our readers find you online?
We also have all of our studio and live albums on Bandcamp, Pandora, Spotify, Google Play, iTunes and all other digital outlets!
If you dig the music, follow and like us! We love engaging and interacting with any and all fans of music so come and hang out at a show or drop us a note!