Thursday 3 October 2013

***ITTO exclusive interview***

This post's artist is from the September 2013 Mix. This is track #13.
You can download the September 2013 Mix right here.

GenresPunk / Rock / Post-Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsSuffix, Enuma Elise and The Paramedics.
Country: Chicago, USA
Years Active: 2011-present
Song: "Gift Horse"
Album: "Itto"
Year: 2012
For fans of: Raein, Caravels, Animal Faces, Lautrec, D'Amore, Algernon Cadwallader,
                    Foxmoulder, Cloud Mouth, Beau Navire and Voyage In Coma, aka
                    PROPER Screamo.

I first heard of and saw ITTO play in Toronto at an Animal Faces show, reviewed here. I heard they were "screamy hardcore" from Chicago, and that was a pretty goddamn apt description. Let's start with the drums. Wow. Nnamdi is one of the best drummers I've heard in a while. His fills saturate any space left by the other members. The bass is driving as hell, and this is the glue that binds the insane drumming to the very technical and off-timed guitars. The guitars are probably the most interesting thing about this band. It's like listening to 2 spastic geniuses with 3-second attention spans spontaneously bust out a well-orchestrated, 30-second build that then explodes into more chaos and a reversion to said 3-second attention spans. The vocals vary between passionate talking and throat-shredding screams, with excellent lyrical content.

The band's songs are a whirlwind of individual passages coming together to form a constantly shifting sound of reckless abandon and impatiently controlled chaos. The more subdued moments, of which there are few, generally lead into great build-ups that give the songs a loose yet epic feel. At times, the band's first EP seems a little convoluted and imbalanced, but after seeing them play their  new songs live, I am anticipating ITTO's next full length more than most upcoming albums.

I was able to speak with Jeremy, one of the two guitarists in ITTO. The interview is below.



Hey David, We're in the van currently on our way to Santa Cruz, and it's really hot, bumpy and hard to type. I'm trying to answer the best I can and thanks for your support.
Considering promoting new bands is what my blog is all about, what unknown/obscure band(s) would you like people to know about?
This list can become really big pretty easily, but here are some we've been pretty stoked on lately. tetola93,  Lop Abuse on Somebody, Knife, Soap Scum, Paper Mice, Ed Hochuli, John Cota,  Yowie, Half Milk, Blue Friend, Burrows and Laika.

It seems like ITTO has been a band for a relatively short time, but your name seems to pop up everywhere – especially attached to amazing new records (your EP/Orchid tribute/4-way split) and tours with some pretty rad bands. Any thoughts?
Most us have been supporting the diy community for a very long time, and have been in touring bands before. It kinda gets easier as you grow older but we do work very hard.

Can you reveal anything interesting about the other band members?
James is in the Deftones.

How did you guys meet? How did you get involved in the band together?
We met at shows, and 3 of us lived together for a few months.

Can you describe any of your personal (or band) conflicts?
As far as personal conflicts, we have some from time-to-time, but I strongly believe they're a good thing. It makes it feel more like a band. If anyone’s feelings get hurt or someone is offended it is only born from the fact we are so invested. It only makes us closer and it's awesome that we all understand that.

Please describe what led to the use of the name ‘ITTO’.
ITTO is the protagonist of a manga called "Lone Wolf and Cub" he's a samurai wandering with his child, and there are a lot of political themes such as anti-corruption that we agree with. (***note: this is also an amazing band with members of La Mantra De Fhiqria, called LONE WOLF AND CUB)

What would you like to say about your upcoming 4-way split?
It will be worth the wait.

What would you like to say about your contribution to the Orchid tribute?
We were very glad to be a part of it. We wouldn't be doing what we do without Orchid, and having that many awesome bands pay tribute with us is just a huge plus.

Do you feel like your new/next material can be likened to something in regards to its significance – such as a thought, idea, feeling or specific purpose? Is this communicated lyrically, instrumentally or thematically?

Aha, by all means, this is a good question. The songs (guitar parts) I write are an experience, or an imagined scenario. Then other members add parts or change ideas, my idea has been not been communicated at this point, then I talk with our vocalist about the idea and lyrics are formed. For example: a new song we have is about the time I fell down a mountain. That feeling of running uncontrollably fast and only getting more out of control. We write about energetic experiences we hope can be transferred to a crowd at a show.

Who were your primary influences when you started playing music and who are they now?
I learned guitar because of early Dillinger Escape Plan, The Number Twelve. The other band members’ influences range from the Deftones, Wu Tang Clan, gospel music, Fall of Troy -  but all of our perceptions of music changed when we got into diy, where influences can be shared first hand.

What kind of emotions and thoughts occur when people define your band, on purpose or by accident?
I'm always glad to hear any at all, we're a pretty complex band to get, so if anyone takes the time to try to understand it, we appreciate it a lot.

If you had to slap a genre label on ITTO so potential new listeners could get a good idea of your sound without hearing you, what would you label yourselves as?

We wouldn't, sportz with a "Z".

I’ve noticed that you’ve been doing a lot of stuff with Capacities, they have been featured on this blog as well, so is there anything that you’d like to share about them?

We just started our 4-day tour with them, they rule and are sweethearts, but if I get any dirt I'll let you know.

What is your favourite song to play live?

The newest one is the funnest. We like to keep things fresh.

What things have happened in 2013 thus far that you would like the readers to know about?

We started recording our full length, we're playing Fest again this year and Yahoo is killing tumblr.

What are your future recording and touring plans?

Europe in May, recording all this year and going to sleep in my own bed in another week and a half.

I thought I read that Nnamdi got sponsored?

Yes. If anyone deserves it, it's him, Anyone who knows him would agree.

If you could get in a time machine and go back to see any band (NOT show specific) who would you want to see?

Daitro, hands down.

What pisses you off the most at shows that you attend? Or, to put a more positive spin on that question, what do you think could be done to improve playing shows? (attitudes/people/promoters/bands/etc.)

I think nuking the internet would help.

What music that you used to love do you look back on and shake your head at?

Hahaha, we all have some of these. Mine would be Coheed and Cambria, I think. So fucking glad I skipped on the tattoo - or wait, no. Chiodos for sure. Ew.

Besides music, what do you spend your time doing? What are your hobbies?

Honestly, I just work and help out other bands when I'm home. I'm about to start recording bands soon. I do yoga and ride my bike a lot to take the edge off.

Is there anything of political nature that you would like to share?

It's all fucked.

What is your:

most cherished physical record?

top 10: records? Including favourite release of all time.
in no order:

DAITRO - Collected


TOE - The Book About My Idle Pilot on a Vague Anxiety

ANIMAL FACES - Analytical Dreaming


AMPERE - Like Shadows

ALGERNON CADWALLADER - Some Kind of Cadwallader

choice for best cover art/packaging?


Regarding live shows:
the best show you've ever been to?

The last LAUTREC show.



2012 - Itto 10"EP (PURCHASE HERE)

2013 - Orchid Tribute Compilation cd/12"LP (PURCHASE HERE on cd and 12")
2013 - Capacities / Innards / Calculator 4-way Split 12"LP (coming soon)


ITTO Music

Stream the 'Itto' 2012 EP here:

Watch a live video of ITTO playing a new song and "Gift Horse" here:

Listen to "Gift Horse" streaming on youtube here:

ITTO additional links


  1. Band is totally rad. If you could shake their singer, James down for any of his old band's stuff, that would be amazing. The dude sang in this band called Enuma Elis, which eventually splintered off into bands like Itto (formerly Itto Ogami), and Orion Pax, who put out a split with one of my old bands. EE was kind of at that junction where screamo/post-harcore bands began dabbling into the longer, EITS-type post-rock builds like Et Tu Brute or Men As Trees did at the time. You might dig it.