Ice Cream falls somewhere between punk and psychedelia, DWNTWN and the suburbs, children's lullabies and real rock. This young quartet plays curious, kooky music that pairs moaning, Jim Morrison-like incantations with eerie-but-poppy compositions.
The band has been a fixture of the local, undergrad-aged indie rock scene for three years, and now headlines a variety of shows at venues like Churchill's Pub, Bar, and warehouse spaces in some of the city's darkest corners. On June 30, Ice Cream will be releasing their first vinyl release, a ten-inch split with perennial South Florida workhorses Animal Tropical, entitled Just Between Us Girls.
Crossfade shot the band some questions to get the details on its place in Miami music as well as their relationship with big bros Animal Tropical.
Who, where, what, when, and why is Ice Cream?
Alexander Lashley (Bass): Ice Cream is a band comprised of 5 charismatic, handsome men.
Joel Gutman (Drums): I woke up one day, and the band was fully formed with a full set list.
Justin Anthony Rivers (Vocals): We formed in the summer of 2009. The name came from the fact that I was really hungry and without money. I had a really long distance to walk, and all I could think about was how much I wanted ice cream. It's ridiculous that I could so thoroughly crave something so nutritionally useless. It made apparent that the evils of the world that cause people to consume on mass levels, more often than not, come in the form of sweets. I thought it would be a good band name. I mostly tell people I got the name from praying to Jesus. It's not as long winded. The name is also a nod to Nick Cave's early band The Birthday Party.
Tomas Kennedy (Guitar): The band was formed in July 2009 when Jesus Christ informed Justin Anthony Rivers that Ice Cream was an acceptable band name.
How do you describe your music to inquiring relatives? If your uncle asked what your band sounded like, what would you say?
Justin: I tell them it's a satire on life, and that they have to hear it. I never show it to them though.
Roy Neil Hunter (synthesizer): Some dude in Philly said we're the Satanic Strokes and some other people have said we remind them of The Doors. We're bringing the doom pop for sure.
Joel: Doom pop.
Tomas: I tell my relatives that Ice Cream is a rock and roll band. My Uncle approves.
How did you link up with Animal Tropical? Had you guys seen either Pygmy or Down Home Southernaires?
Roy: Through MySpace (R.I.P.), I contacted Animal Tropical to see if we could hop on a show they were having in Manhattan at Pianos. Good show, lots of laughs, and it's all history from there. I never saw Pygmy or Lasso The Moon [bassist Jarret Hahn's pre-Pygmy band], but I did see The Down Home Southernaires in the back of Churchill's at a Monday night open mic. It was 1:30 a.m. and they took so long to set up, and then played so many songs. I hated it at the moment because I was bitter that my time to play would be closing in on 3 a.m., but later I checked them out on MySpace (R.I.P.) and I dug it.
Tomas: That night, we met a Vietnam vet named Bonecrusher who kept saying he was a fascist. I was supposed to play a battle of the bands with The Down Home Southernaires, like, almost three years ago with my old band, but we didn't show up. They won.
How do you think Ice Cream and Animal Tropical are similar? How do you think they're different?
Joel: We obviously have completely different ways of playing, but I feel like both bands have a similar sound being from Miami. Fuck Broward.
Roy: Just Between Us Girls definitely shows all the similarities and differences between the two bands.
Justin: Ice Cream likes Fords. Animal Tropical likes Chevys. We all like pickup trucks.
Do you have plans to tour?
Joel: We're booking an East Coast tour up to Boston and back again.
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Roy: Come to our tour kickoff and split release show. We can all hold hands.
Animal Tropical and Ice Cream's Just Between Us Girls Release Party with Slashpine, People, Shiboleth, and New Theory, plus Jolt Radio DJing between sets. Thursday, June 30. at Villa 221, 221 NE 17th St., Miami. The party starts at 9 p.m. and there's no cover.