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    The IZM hands fans the reigns to its first 'real' album

    The IZM has long been one of Myrtle Beach’s most original and occasionally most “out there” rock bands.

    But despite a unique hard rock sound, a good local fanbase and sporadic runs of successful shows, the band — it’s core together for the past decade — has never quite found the time, money or opportunity to record a full album.

    Until now.

    With a win at Butter’s Pub Rock Fight in October, the band plans to use the free studio time it earned to put together its first full-length release later this year.

    Hear it here 

    Check out a first listen of a pair of new The IZM songs before they debut at Saturday's show:

    "My Choice" 


    "In The End"


    In preparation for this trip to the studio the group — which consists of Jaesen Moore (vocals), Merrill Weekley (guitar), Matt Sellers (bass), Jason Wooley (guitar) and Nadia Manigo (drums) — has taken a typically unconventional approach to choosing the material it will record.

    This Saturday night, The IZM will take the stage at The Sound Hole, 1004 Chester St., for a show where the band will play all of the nearly 30 original songs it’s crafted over the years with intentions of letting its fans choose which tracks will be included on the album.

    During the event, attendees will be given a ballot and asked to choose songs they’d like to hear recorded. In addition the material from the show will also be featured on the band’s website over the next week where fans will have an additional chance to vote for their favorite songs online.

    We caught up with 3/5ths of the five-piece act after their performance at the Confliction CD Release party last week and talked to them about where the band’s at musically, why the stars have aligned to help them record a CD now and what kind of cookies The IZM is most comparable to. Here’s what they had to say:
    Myrtle Beach Music: The IZM performs at Revolutions at Broadway at the Beach.
    Let’s start with this. You guys are all in your 30s now with kids. How do you deal with being older and in a rock band?

    Moore: Well, you know Ian Fleming wasn’t but 45 until he started writing James Bond. One of my favorite quotes is that ‘You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.’

    But music is timeless, you know, and that’s what we allow to flow through us. The vehicles have been maintained man. We’ve got some classics in this group but we’re all low mileage.

    We don’t need all the lights and ground effects — staying with my automobile analogy. Those with eyes to recognize the hotness will.

    Last time we spoke you guys were just getting back together and regrouping as a band, now it seems like you’re picking up some steam playing shows again and having won the Butter’s Pub Rock Fight, what’s that like?

    Jaesen: That Rock Fight. That was an elevation point.

    Merrill: It got things rolling for us, for sure.

    Jaesen: It was sort of a graduation ceremony from Chapter 2 to Chapter 3 of The IZM.

    Musically, do you feel like you’re in a better spot as a group than you have been in the past?

    Merrill: I feel like this is the best spot we’ve ever been in.

    Jaesen: Yeah, this is the best spot the earth has ever been in our galaxy and it’s just an honor to be upon her at this time. There’s a purpose to the fact that we, in the history of human evolution, get to live right now during times just like these.

    We’re at the end of a Mayan 32,000 year cycle and we have the soundtrack for that. It’s fitting, it’s destiny and all we gotta do is put our roots in and hold on because the Earth’s spinning fast.

    But basically, we try not to completely suck. It’s not that we want to be the best or just get on tour and get a record deal to say that we have a deal.

    If we can’t populate Myrtle Beach with the love, then there’s no point in doing it. There’s so much opportunity here and we just want to do our thing.

    How did you decide now was the right time to try and make a record?

    Jaesen: Well, we won some studio time [at Butter’s Rock Fight] to record at Ocean10 Studios. We won a three-song demo and we’re hoping to parlay into a seven or eight song LP.

    We can’t afford much, we don’t have trust funds, we don’t own our own businesses, we all have kids and that Earned Income Credit only goes so far, but we’ve made it so that the band is self-sufficient. None of the money comes out of our own pockets and we’re not greedy about it like that.

    The music is going to travel and do what it has always done and just permeate the people who witness it and it will be them who make this band something more and help continue the velocity that we’re on now.

    So what you put down now will become your first official album, is that true?

    Jaesen: Well, we did put out a little EP called “Orbital Motion” about three years ago.

    Merrill: We also have a bunch of demos on our Reverbnation, but I was on bass and Jake was drumming and we were a four-piece then. So this is a completely different band than what we have recorded.

    Jaesen: But no I wouldn’t say we have an official CD, not with barcodes. But really, what we want is to get something on the radio and that’s why we’re going to do what it takes to get a really, really good product.

    Our “Orbital Motion” recordings we did ourselves in our practice space at Garden City Storage, but we want to do something for real. Because part of what we won is some radio time and we just want to put it in the right order, to be patient about it and see what happens.

    What about this idea of letting your fans decide what you record. How did that come about and do you really trust your fans to make the right decisions for you band?

    Matt: Well, it’s always about the fans for us and we want to make sure we give them what they want.

    Jaesen: Yeah, I mean, why wouldn’t we?

    Matt: Basically, what’s going to happen on Saturday night is that people are going to come in and we’re going to give them a ballot. Everyone’s going to get to vote on the top three songs they would like to see on the album and the top vote getters will be the ones that end up on the album.

    Jaesen: We’ll see how it all falls out. You know ‘Of the people, By the People, For the people,’ is how we like to think of it.

    We didn’t give birth to this music, we were just the blessed ones to be put together for this reason. They were a band with music put down long before they found me, but there are formulas there that we couldn’t stop.

    People ask who writes what in the band, but really there’s no rhyme or reason to it. Someone will start a riff and the force will just flow around us until we hammer it out.

    I know you’ve been working on some new material, so what all will you be playing?

    Matt: We have a lot of new songs we’ll be doing that we haven’t played out ever. We have about 30 songs.

    Merrill: Twenty four originals, six covers. It’s probably about 11 “new” songs, though some of them are recycled from way back when, they’re new to this version of The IZM. But there are at least five or six that are straight up new and no one’s ever heard.

    You guys are planning on playing every song you’ve got on Saturday night. Would you say that this will be THE show to define what The IZM is up to this point?

    Jaesen: Well, I don’t think I remember ever being at a show where one band played everything they had.

    I think we’ve got three 10-song sets that’s are going to knock people’s socks off. And the covers we do are just songs that we love and have always been into. Nothing too hard.

    You know, we’ll never propose that we’re the most talented musicians in the world, but there’s just something about it like when you put together milk, flour, sugar, butter, and a chocolate chips. Get them on their own and they might not bee too much, but when you put them together in the right combination there’s only one thing that could happen...and that’s cookies.

    So your show is like a good batch of cookies? Is that how you’d characterize it?

    Jaesen: Yeah, I mean, it’s just an experience you know. Now that Hard Rock Park is closed, this is the best thrill you’re going to get. Twists, spins, ups, downs...the whole gamut.

    Matt: Absolutely, and also Shellie [Rowell, owner of The Sound Hole] has really been behind us and we really wanted to give something back to them because they’re doing what I think is going to be the next big music venue in Myrtle Beach.

    Anything else you want people to know about what you’re doing Saturday night?

    Jaesen: It’s gonna rock!

    Merrill: Just be there, and see for yourself.

    Matt: Oh yes. Also, people need to know that online ballots will be available on for a week after the show to come and vote for songs on the album as well. So come do that.

    Read our past feature on The IZM here, visit them on Reverbnation or get full details on the show here.

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