Ideamen, from Chicago’s south side, provides a piano and keys driven sound infused with lush vocal harmonies and a rough eccentric edge. As rich as the recordings are, Ideamen is best seen live to appreciate the energy and passion of their performance. Ideamen formed in 2006, released their first EP ‘Progress’ in 2007, signed to Rotten Records in 2008, and released their first album ‘May You Live In Interesting Times’ in 2009. After a long wait their second album with Rotten, ‘Schemata’, will be released in January 2014.
Ideamen has had amazing success with their albums, selling copies throughout the US and around the world with sales in Canada, the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia & Finland. Though often performing on the road, Ideamen hasn’t neglected to lay their foundation in Chicago. The band performs often at Double Door, Beat Kitchen, Elbo Room and Reggie’s Rock Club. Ideamen is DIY; printing their own shirts, acting as their own publicists, recording / mixing their own music and handling their own van repair.
An Extended History:
Ideamen formed in 2006 from the ashes of the bands Duct Tape Mustache and Soulvasq. Both shared similar influences (Mr. Bungle, System Of A Down, Ben Folds, Queen) and occasionally shared a stage together. Tim Swanson, Mark Vasquez, Dave Solar, Dan Figurell and Phil Goodrich emerged with a band more mature and accessible than their previous incarnations. Taking elements of 70’s piano pop infused with modern rock, Ideamen created their own unique sound complete with with dual-lead vocalists, a strong keyboard presence, and their trademark, four-part vocal harmonies.
In 2007 Ideamen independently released their first EP, ‘Progress’, which sold quickly throughout the US and around the world with sales in Canada, the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia & Finland. After the release of ‘Progress’, Ideamen began touring and tapping into the subculture of the ‘Experimental’ music scene, performing as an opening act for national touring groups such as Baltimore’s Dog Fashion Disco (Rotten Records), Chicago’s Tub Ring (The End Records), Seattle’s Orange Tulip Conspiracy (Mimicry Records) Detroit’s Downtown Brown (DC / Jam Records) & many others.
Rotten Records was attracted to the success of ‘Progress’ and signed Ideamen in 2008. ‘May You Live In Interesting Times’ was recorded throughout the next year and was released in October 2009. Since that release, Ideamen has gone on several national tours spanning from Vegas to Maine, with Ohio, Nebraska, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Massachusets, Rhode Island, New York, the Virginias and the Carolinas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin in between, and did a stint to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto in Canada.
After Releasing ‘Interesting Times’ and playing out, Ideamen managed to develop a fantastic fan base who keep Ideamen going and support them everywhere they go. The fans offer more than just money for merch, frequently offering places to crash for the night or other hospitalities that make Ideamen’s lives on the road so much sweeter and less stressful. Thank you.
Ideamen enjoyed being on the road so much they put off recording a new album to follow it up. They also had a handful of personal issues slow their progress. Dave had a bout with Ketoacidosis in the fall of 2011 (he’s doing fine now). Phil Goodrich had to take some time out due to ear problems, and Ideamen picked up Mark Eaton to fill in for a while. Phil has since returned to the stage. Dan Figurell had moved to Bloomington, and also couldn’t play live with Ideamen. Fortunately Ideamen had already recruited Phil Miller (who they knew from Lobster Newburg), and he played live and on ‘Schemata’.
The second album ‘Schemata’ was written and recorded over the course of several years from 2010 to 2013. The drums were recorded in Bloomington with Dan, Dan recorded his guitar tracks in Bloomington, and the rest of the tracks were recorded at Marks house in Hammond. The release had been delayed due to mixing and production issues, and was finally set for January 21st 2014.
Tim Swanson Keyboards, Vocals
Dave Solar – Vocals
Mark Vasquez – Bass
Phil Miller – Guitar, Vocals
Greg Millikan – Guitar, Vocals
Phil Goodrich – Drums