Isaiah "Ikey" Owens

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Ikey Owens
Ikey Owens.JPG
Ikey Owens in 2008
Background information
Birth name Isaiah Randolph Owens
Born (1975-12-01) December 1, 1975 (age 38)
Origin Long Beach, California, United States
Genres Progressive rock, experimental rock, jazz, neo-psychedelia, hip-hop, dub, electronica, reggae, ska
Occupations Musician, keyboardist, producer
Instruments Keyboard
Associated acts The Mars Volta
De Facto
Free Moral Agents
Look Daggers
Shuggie Otis
The Aquabats
Barrington Levy
The Wailing Souls
Saul Williams
Bob Forrest
Slightly Stoopid
Jack White
Notable instruments
Wurlitzer 200A,
Korg CX-3,
Fender Rhodes MKII,
Roland Synthesizers,
Korg TR Synthesizers,
Hammond B3,
Moog Lil Phatty,
Steinway upright piano

Isaiah Randolph "Ikey" Owens (born December 1, 1975) is an American keyboardist known for his work with The Mars Volta, Jack White and an array of bands from the Long Beach music scene.


Ickey grew up a Practicing Jehovah's Witness but has since renounced his faith. He notably performed as a member of Long Beach Dub Allstars, but in 1998 it was an encounter with Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López of At the Drive-In at a concert in Irvine which proved fateful.[1] In 1999 Owens lost his job at a financial management firm in Huntington Beach that "helped handle billion-dollar accounts for Disney and the Catholic Church",[1] but he eventually received an invitation to join the dub reggae band De Facto and found himself touring Europe with Omar, Cedric, and Jeremy Ward. Not long after that he was once again invited to join their new project, The Mars Volta. Since then Owens was notable for being the longest tenured member of the Mars Volta outside of Bixler-Zavala and Rodriguez-Lopez, having continually recorded and performed with the band since their 2001 inception, although this came to an end in 2011 when he was not asked by Roriguez-Lopez to accompany The Mars Volta on their summer tour. The reasons for this decision are currently unknown, although on July 2 Mars Volta bassist Juan Alderete claimed that Owens was currently "producing bands these days."[2] Juan later noted, "He had some conflicts in his scheduling, and then it all just naturally evolved into what it is today. Ikey is awesome. I miss dinners with him."[3]

Owens has also been very active outside of the Mars Volta. Since 2002, Owens has been writing and recording solo material under the moniker Free Moral Agents, releasing a vinyl-only EP on Pete Records, as well as the recent GSL split 12" with Subtitle. They released their full-length "Everybody's Favorite Weapon" in 2004. He has also played with Pocket Lent, Teen Heroes and has done session and work and live shows with El-P, Dave Sitek from TV On The Radio, Shuggie Otis, The Aquabats, Blowfly, Barrington Levy, Mastodon, Gravy Train!!!, Born Jamericans, Wailing Souls, Radioinactive, Heavens, Prefuse 73, Bob Forrest, and poet/spoken word artist Saul Williams. Owens has also joined up with 2Mex to form the hip hop duo the Look Daggers. In 2007, Ikey produced First You Live by Orange County progressive-folk band Dusty Rhodes & the River Band. Owens has also been seen playing with the Long Beach experimental band Crystal Antlers. Free Moral Agents released their second full length album Control This in the fall of 2010 (9/28), the first album with the band's newly expanded line-up.

Owens plays keyboards in Jack White's backup band called The Buzzards, an all male band, which is one of two backup bands White performs with when performing solo, the other being The Peacocks, an all female band. As of the Summer of 2012 Owens is on world tour in support of White's album Blunderbuss.


With Free Moral Agents[edit]

With Look Daggers[edit]

With De Facto[edit]

With The Mars Volta[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

As producer[edit]


External links[edit]