Locals Only Extra: Q&A with Iodine 69

In the midst of all the "Best Of" goodness you're flipping through in this week's paper, you should have come across the best "porno space funk" band in Orange County, good ol' Iodine 69. As regulars at La Cave in Costa Mesa, this six-piece set of local musicians have mastered the art of laying in the cut with simmering rhythm arrangements and percussion along with some vintage Latin disco flair. If it sounds like fun, it definitely is. This week, we talked briefly with Iodine's Rhodes piano player and founding member Ken Marrata, who is an integral part of the band's hip-shaking sound and who, for all intents and purposes, is the acting conductor of the porno funk express. 

OC Weekly: You guys have been active as a band for about two years, are there any shows you guys have played, either locally or otherwise, that stick out the most?

Ken Marratta: All the shows we've played in the last couple months have been special because we went through a lot of line up changes, losing the guitar player, which was kind of a good thing in a way because it was cluttering up a lot of the patterns and chord progressions I was playing. So it definitely took a different turn and was kind of muddying everything up. I miss guitar and maybe we'll have guitar again, but right now we are guitar less. We're basically key board driven and the attitude and effort of everyone has just tripled, it's like an earthquake.

OCW: How did Iodine 69 come together as a band?

KM: We were all mutual friends not playing in any projects at the time. So we all came together again and I kinda had the idea for the name. "Iodine" means cool, calm, mellow, being in the cut, not really being flashy. 

OCW: And what about the "69"?

KM: That's the year I was born.


Are you guys currently working on recording these days?

KM: Yeah, we've got a couple [studios] we've been looking at. Everything has hit us all at once. Because playing music is all about a good time, and it is, but when people start offering you stuff, you gotta start to take things a little more seriously, which has happened in the last couple of months. We've been like "alright, people like us and there's a buzz in the air. We're being accepted." So we have some places we're looking to record and hopefully some road trips planned, but we need product to take with us.

OCW: So you guys feel like you've found a niche at La Cave?

KM: I believe we have. People are telling people, telling their friends one week and then their showing up again next week. Little by little...ya know, things take time.

OCW: Are there any bands you've played with that fit well with your sound?

KM: We really enjoy other bands. One of our band mottos is if we aren't practicing or playing a gig and another one of our friends bands is playing, we have to go. We'd love to play with other bands, but it just doesn't happen as of the moment. We played Detroit Bar a couple weeks ago with Bodhi Tribe. And that was cool, because they we're more like reggae. We gotta start playing with more bands like us, jam bands. Though we sort of come at it from a different approach. Its very Rhodes-driven, very rhythm and cut. We'd also like a vocalist, a background vocalist, we've met a couple. Because we love house music, we love modern disco, we love old disco. We like to see people dance and smile, when we see people dance, our energy just goes through the roof.

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