We recently had a chance to sit down with the guys from IRK to discuss the ins and outs of their group. You can hear currently IRK on IndieVolt radio!
In the late nineties, there was a Battle of the Bands held in Toledo, OH where Matt and I were playing as part of a group called “The Conans Three”. The band was a three piece funk outfit where we cosplayed as three Conans. I was Conan O’Brien, Matt was Conan the Barbarian, and a sickly young boy named Pepê was Conan I of Rennes, the Duke of Brittany. There we battled against a zouk/nu-metal fusion band called “Really Very Boiling Hot Love” which featured none other than Irk’s bass player, Ed. We were so impressed with each other’s technical ability and pure hearts that we decided to get together and form the band that became Irk.
Our biggest and only inspirations are Christina Aguilera’s third fragrance (named “Inspire”), the steam-propelled car designed by Glynne Bowsher and developed by the British Steam Car Challenge team (named “Inspiration”), the PBX telephone switchboard made by Lake Communications of Ireland (named “BT Inspiration”), the AP Diving rebreather range (named “Inspiration”), the 1949 Czechoslovakian animated short film directed by Karel Zeman (named “Inspiration”), a Hong Kong-based Thoroughbred racehorse (named “Inspiration”), and the open access digital library for the field of high energy physics (named “INSPIRE-HEP”).
I think there was an episode of The Simpsons where Bart gets a peptic ulcer and thinks he is going to die. As his last living wish on Earth, he goes on a spree of raptor persecution around the Scottish uplands. Upon hearing the news that he doesn’t really have a peptic ulcer and that it was all a trick by the lowly Moe Szyslak, Bart is heartbroken to realize what he has done. In the final scene, Bart, drunk on Drambuie, holds the dying body of a hen harrier in his arms as it takes its final breath. Bart whispers “Plenty of hope, for God, no end of hope, only not for us.” He then walks into the Moray Firth, never to return. Anyway, our biggest influence is ZZ Top.
Whenever we need a new song for any reason (i.e. for a cattle auction or a Bat Mitzvah), Ed treks deep into the North York Moors. Prior to our band, there had not been any record of living pine marten for 35 years. However, our intrepid Ed was able to cross the Mire of Sighs, descend the Devil’s Scarp, and reach the Cavern of Ah Puch. Here Ed makes unspeakable sacrifices to almighty pine marten God, who offers in return a new Irk song.
We are strictly a short-term goal only band. This is the case so much so that Ed legally changed his surname from “Snell” to “Take you deferred gratification and shove it”. Matt also has a deep house solo project called “When provided a choice between a small, short delay reward, and a large, long delay reward, there is an impulsive preference for the former. Additionally, as the delay time for the small/short and large/long reward increases, there is a shift in preference toward the larger, delayed reward. This evidence only supports hyperbolic discounting, not exponential.”
We have six albums out. In order of least-to-most likely to sound like it’s being played backwards when it’s actually not, the albums are called “Quantum Bolus”, “Every Character in the film Good Burger is a Good Burglar”, “Life is a Big Life”, “Quantum Good Burger”, “God is a Good Burger”, and our latest and most successful release, which is called “You don’t have permission to access http://www.kgw.com/article/
In all of the many long years that we’ve been creating songs, ballads, ditties, tunes, shanties and lullabies, the song we’re most proud of is probably “Going Away to College” by Blink 182. It’s the musical equivalent of a baseball cap worn backward; effortlessly cool, indisputably practical, and a stark signifier of gushing fertility.
When we’re in the studio recording our album, we’d booked out a whole month to lay down this one part where Ed does rekuhkara, a style of singing originating from the indigenous Ainu people of Japan. Matt and I assumed Ed was capable, but it turned out he had no idea what he was doing and he’d just planned to go on “WikiHow” to learn how to do it on the day. We spent months trying to get it right but eventually we just had to record Ed saying the words “Oh baby, here it comes, here comes the rekuhkara, oh yes indeed, it’s going to be nice, get ready for the style of singing originating from indigenous Ainu people of Japan, there it is, did you hear it? It was there.” Our secret shame is that there is no rekuhkara. It’s all a lie.
Put it all in the bin because it’s trash.
We were just on the verge of releasing a surprise companion album to our last release, “Recipes from the Bible”. It was going to be called “Brepices brom baa Bliblol” and the songs were all going to be exactly the same except 19% more good and nice. Unfortunately, just before we could record it, Matt was knocked unconscious by a Lutheran Benedictine monk and when he came around, he forgot all of the songs. Very inconvenient.
We are currently in negotiations for our very own show on JUCE TV, the youth-oriented Christian television network. We’re going to do a sitcom about the band that culminates with an episode where we use our music to save the local high school from getting closed down, and there’s a tender scene where Ed shares a very deep kiss with Jesus Christ for a very, very long time.