The former Icarus Line frontman talks openly and candidly about his audio/visual masterpiece created amidst lockdown and a breakup
Los Angeles native artist Joe Cardamone first came across our radar as the frontman for The Icarus Line who, along with Cave-In, Candiria, Dillinger Escape Plan and Isis, ushered in a golden age for post-hardcore and metal while everyone had their eyes on The Strokes and all that other jive.
In the weeks leading up to this interview, I started listening to those Icarus Line albums again (namely Wildlife and Slave Vows) to capture that energy this fantastic band gave off. Not just that, but it was their ability to grow as musicians and songwriters beyond the brutality of their roots.
And while they called it quits following the death of guitarist Alvin DeGuzman in 2017 (as documented in Michael Grodner’s independent film The Icarus Line Must Die which is now streaming on Amazon and Hulu), Cardamone pressed on as a solo artist. 2018’s Holy War, signified a shift towards the singer’s love for abstract beat culture that yielded some of the most urgent music of that year.
For Quarentina, however, Joe channeled his past collaborative partnerships with such modern rock giants as Ian Astbury, Warren Ellis and Mark Lanegan to create this dark pop masterpiece. Born out of a breakup amidst the pandemic lockdown, Quarentina is the bluest Joe has ever sounded on a record. It almost feels like a 21st century version of The Boatman’s Call.
The film, meanwhile, is a love letter to new wave cinema. Rooted in the story of his breakup, Joe weaves together a fever dream in black and white where actual reality and imagined reality become one.
VIDEO: Quarentina (2021)
It is also one of the most mesmerizing depictions of a relationship dissolving over the course of the quarantine. Produced under his own American Primitive brand, the web series was filmed by Jacob Mendel and Travis Keller (he of Buddyhead fame) and can be seen below.
We are honored and grateful for the time Mr. C had given Rock & Roll Globe on a Friday night sometime over the summer, where we talked about a whole bunch of cool stuff in addition to Quarentina, which is very deservedly the main focus of this 90-minute-plus conversation with one of the key figures in true school millennium punk.
VIDEO: Rock & Roll Globe x Joe Cardamone