The State Of Music: Part 30: Iowa - Poison Control Center

I always had a feeling I would struggle with Iowa, a state I know nothing about either geographically or musically. Apart from Slipknot, which isn't really the vibe I am going for here.

Thankfully a regular reader and Twitter follower Steve Albers came to my rescue and suggested I check out Ames based band Poison Control Center. As with all the bands featured on The State Of Music, their album "Stranger Ballet" was an instant hit with my ears and lucky for me they agreed to get on board and join in the madness.

Again, you can find out more about the band with our interview below and also listen to their latest album while you do it. That's a win on both counts.

CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. I suppose the first question is - who are Poison Control Center and where in the world would we find you?

Well for all of 2011 you have found us in our van traveling around the United States on tour. We played 264 shows and put out 2 records in a 13 month time! But right now you will find us either in school, or work or hopefully in front of some recording device making a demo of a new song!

CMM:For the benefit of people like me who have never been to Iowa, how would you best describe your state?

Iowa is amazing and beautiful! It is the extreme of the 4 seasons! Really hot in the summer, really cold in the winter! Fall smells like burning leaves and spring brings rain showers that inspire to grow! We are pretty flat in the middle but hilly on the sides, we are lush and green and we keep a high state self-esteem!

CMM How long has the group been together and how did it all start?

Well we have been together for 11 years. The band started because I was working on a Rock Opera and just kept asking my friends to play on it and then all of a sudden we got asked to play a show! 11 years later and over 700 shows later, we are actually putting out that Rock Opera on Maximum AmeAm escords in January! It's called, A Nice Old Fashioned Romance With Love Lyrics and Everything.

CMM:How best would you describe your music?

I love the way our drummer Dave calls us, "Rowdy Indie Rock," I'm going to add the words, "Loud," when we play live and sometimes, "Un RoUNy," in the studio.

CMM: What is the music scene like in Iowa right now? What the genre of choice out there at the moment?

The music scene is Iowa right now is the best in the United States! We have bands in all genres just killing it on stage right now! I think the thing that sets Iowa bands apart from other places is the stage presence! Let's just say I never get board at a show, when the band makes me fee like I'm a part of the show as a spectator! And that's what Iowa bands do! Are scene is small but we make up for it with heart!

CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their music. Do you feel as a group you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?

Oh yes we are for sure, I think your surroundings are the biggest influences. Whether it's the town your from, the person your with, or the bands you are watching! As long as you have amazing powers of observation your influences are limitless.

CMM: What other influences does the band have, musical or otherwise?

We love everything from Abba to Zappa!

CMM: Could you perhaps give a run down of the music you have released so far?

Well we have tons of releases but our full length records are Collage of Impressions, Sad Sour Future, and Stranger Ballet all out on Afternoon Records!

CMM: Are you able to get out an play live much?. Where are your favourifavorite to play both in and out of state?

Our favorite venue is the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines Moniesre, it's kinda our turf and the shows there get pretty crazy! As far as other places to play we love them all, we have had amazing nights in tiny towns in Texas all the way to some of the coolest venues in NYC. If it's a place with a place to play we can make it home for 45 minutes if you know what I mean!

CMM: What is next in the pipeline for you?

We just got asked to do a little tour in January and we will be releasing that un-releaUNd Rock Opera in January of 2012 as well! Then it's back to the studio to work on full length record number 4!

CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you on-line and where can they get hold of your stuff?

Well shoot us a line at or hit us up on Facebook, or our Bandcamp. We love to hear from people, it keeps us alive!

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