Iration’s aptly titled Hawaiian Punch tour is a testament to how far the reggae-influenced alternative band has come in a little over a decade.
The tour, which stops Friday, Feb. 12, at the Rotary Amphitheater at Woodward Park, is a one-two punch of island-born reggae fusion that also includes the San Diego (by way of Hawaii) trio Pepper and sees the bands sharing a spot as co-headliners.
Contrast that with the pair’s 2008 tour, where Iration played the opening slot.
Pepper gained popularity in the late 1990s, infusing Police-inspired reggae and raw-edged pop-punk that went over well with the Warped Tour crowd. It was one of the few reggae-influenced bands playing at the time and the first band to really make it off of the island, says Micah Pueschel, who sings and plays guitar for the band.
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That made Pepper a huge inspiration for the members of Iration, who grew up in Hawaii.
“We were so lucky that Pepper took us out,” Pueschel says.
“We probably didn’t deserve it.”
That has changed.
Iration has gained its own popularity. The band’s 2013 album “Automatic” was No. 1 on both the Billboard and iTunes Reggae Albums charts, No. 7 on the iTunes Overall Albums chart, No. 17 on the Billboard Independent Albums and No. 75 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. When the band played in town last March, the show sold out a week in advance.
It’s a testament to the work we’ve put into the band.
Micah Pueschel, on Iration’s co-headlining tour with Pepper
“We’re making music that demonstrates a level of growth,” Pueschel says.
“We’re able to progress and move forward.”
That’s true for the entirety of the genre, he says, especially the West Coast style of the genre pioneered by bands like Pepper.
When Iration started, there were four or fewer bands playing this style of music.
He can name them all.
“It was 311, Slightly Stoopid, Sublime,” he says.
Now, he couldn’t keep up with all the bands in the scene, even if he tried.
The best of those bands, he says, will try to take the roots of the genre to someplace new. Pepper draws from the punk and metal worlds and brings those influences to the music. Iration borrows more from traditional classic rock, playing more on the synth and piano sounds and keeping much of the roots reggae vibe, Pueschel says. He hopes others will continue the explorations.
“It’s like, here’s your canvas. You can paint whatever colors you want inside of that,” he says.
Hawaiian Punch tour
- 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12
- Woodward Park Amphitheater
- Tickets: $25
- 559-485-5356, www.ticketweb.com