Free Moral Agents' Ikey Owens Has Control Issues

Isaiah “Ikey” Owens–more known as the (Grammy winning) keyboardist for Mars Volta and occasional cohort of Flying Lotus, Danger Mouse, Crystal Antlers, Shuggie Otis, Sublime, Mastodon, EL-P, and Saul Williams–is a busy, busy man. But for now, he's concentrating on perennial OC faves, Free Moral Agents, which is set to release their new album, Control This in October on Chocolate Industries

It's a chill set that's shoegazey, trip-hop and psychedelic all at once, and will bring you back to the days when you actually liked Massive Attack and Morcheeba. Free Moral Agents headlines this summer's final Posse on Broadway show; we caught up with Owens to talk about his forthcoming album.

Owens, who just did production work for the Crystal Antlers EP, is also working on Dave Sitek's (TV on the Radio) side venture Maximum Balloon. 

OC Weekly (Lilledeshan Bose): Why is your album named Control This? Is that a Joy Division shoutout?
Ikey Owens: “Control This” is a term I stole from the movie Rockers. When horsemouth is looking to borrow money so he can buy a motorcycle, Richard “Dirty Harry” Hall slaps a wad of cash in his hands and tells him to “control this.”

How did you write the songs in the album? Did any of the other bands you collaborate in influence the creative process?
These songs were the result of a lot of summertime jams and just going in the studio and laying ideas down until we felt good about what we were hearing back. We had five or six songs already written. We intended to just record those, but once we got in the compound the ideas just started coming. 
Pretty much everything and everyone I work with has an influence on me. I've been lucky enough to work with some amazing people so I always try to leave myself open to their influence. When I was making Control This I was spending a lot of time with DJ Nobody and Miguel Happolt. I really enjoyed bouncing my ideas off of them.

Speaking of influences, who were your main influences for this set? What were you listening to at the time you wrote it?

We recorded Control This almost four years ago so it's kind of hard to remember what i was listening to back then. 

Free Moral Agents will be at Posse on Broadway this Sat., at the 2nd St. Promenade (between Broadway/Sycamore) from 7 to 10 p.m. It's free, and all ages.

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