Icon for Hire

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For the band's self-titled album, see Icon for Hire (album).
Icon for Hire
Icon for Hire 2016.jpg
Background information
Origin Decatur, Illinois, United States
Genres Alternative rock, pop punk, electronic rock, alternative metal
Years active 2007–present
Labels Tooth & Nail
Website www.iconforhire.net
Members
Past members
  • Joshua Davis
  • Josh Kincheloe
  • Adam Kronshagen

Icon for Hire is an American rock band from Decatur, Illinois. Formed in 2007, the band's current lineup consists of singer Ariel and guitarist Shawn Jump. They released two EPs independently before signing to Tooth & Nail Records, through which they released their two Billboard-charting albums Scripted in 2011 and Icon for Hire on October 15, 2013. Their third album, You Can't Kill Us, was independently released on November 25, 2016.

History[edit]

Origins: 2007–2009[edit]

The band was formed in Decatur, Illinois by vocalist Ariel Bloomer and guitarist Shawn Jump. When the two met in 2007, Ariel, upon discovering that Jump played guitar, initiated a musical collaboration between the two of them. When the need for a drummer arose, Jump recruited Adam Kronshagen, an old friend he had held jam sessions with as a member of the local party scene (Jump was six months clean at the time).[1][2] Bassist Joshua Davis joined and the band was officially formed in November of that year, choosing their name as a satirical comment on the state of the music industry.[3]

The band played their first show in a local club before an audience of family and friends, who gave them a positive reception. Ariel has been quoted as saying of the performance, "Our passion for music was there; whatever we lacked in sound we made up for with enthusiasm." Over the next two years, the band toured throughout the Midwest and released two EPs, the self-titled Icon for Hire EP in 2008 and The Grey EP in 2009.[4] During that same year, Davis left the band.

Tooth & Nail, Scripted and self-titled album: 2009-2015[edit]

Main article: Scripted
Guitarist Shawn Jump performing in 2011

In late 2009, the band was contacted by Tooth & Nail Records through Myspace. The label then sent representatives to one of the band's shows, and eventually signed them in July 2010.[4] "We are thrilled to be joining such an established and well-respected group at Tooth & Nail," shared the band upon their signing. "It's a label that has a history of consistently putting out good music and really working side by side with their artists. Because we've been doing this thing on our own for over two years, it feels great to partner with Tooth & Nail. We can't wait to record our debut full-length and see where this road takes us." They spent the last quarter of 2010 in the studio with producers Rob Hawkins and Aaron Sprinkle recording their first full-length album, Scripted, which was released by the label on August 23, 2011. The album made it on the US Billboard charts at No. 7 for Hard Rock Albums, No. 5 for Christian Albums, No. 16 for Alternative Albums, No. 22 for Rock Albums, and No. 95 on the Billboard 200. It also sold more than 4,300 units in the first week of release and broke the record for first week sales on a Tooth & Nail debut album.[5] The band also achieved success with the album's lead single "Make a Move", which peaked at No. 13 on R&R/Billboard's Christian Rock chart and had an accompanying music video exclusively released online by Guitar World magazine's website. Also in 2011, the band acquired bassist Josh Kincheloe.

In December 2011, Ariel stated that, while the band had been focusing on extensive touring rather than writing new music, she had "a feeling that we'll start piecing together some demos shortly."[6] In a later interview with TVU Music channel, she revealed that the band was in the early stages of writing songs for a second album.[7] In an interview with KHRT-FM, the band expressed their desire for the album to be "heavier....more aggressive", with more bubblegum pop production and possible hip hop elements.[8] On August 15, 2013, Icon for Hire premiered their new single "Cynics and Critics" via lyric video and announced their second album, the self-titled Icon for Hire.[9] The album was released on October 15, 2013, whereupon it reached No. 66 on the Billboard 200 and received largely positive reviews.

Departure from Tooth & Nail and You Can't Kill Us: 2015–present[edit]

On June 6, 2015, Icon for Hire announced that they broke their contract with Tooth & Nail records to go independent, citing creative, ideological, and technical differences with the label. They simultaneously announced that they would soon be releasing new music[10] and released a new song, "Now You Know".[11][12] "Bam Bam Pop" was also recorded.[13][better source needed]

On November 20, 2015, the band announced that Adam Kronshagen was leaving the band in order to focus on his family more, and that the band would continue.[14]

On March 15, 2016, the band announced a Kickstarter campaign for their third album, You Can't Kill Us.[15] The album would be released throughout the year, with three new songs released to campaign backers every three months. The band raised $127,200, exceeding their initial goal of $2,016.[16]"Supposed To Be" was released as the lead single from the album amongst its first group of releases, and received a music video on July 22, 2016 which was directed by Jamie Holt and included fans who donated to their Kickstarter campaign.[17][better source needed] Lead singer, Ariel, announced the album's release date of November 25th.[18] 'You Can't Kill Us' was released on November 25th, 2016 and peaked at #180 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.[19][20]

Touring[edit]

Icon for Hire supported Red on their "Kill the Machine" tour in October 2011.[21] They also participated in that year's Christmas Rock Night festival in Ennepetal, near Düsseldorf, Germany, along with Red and Skillet.[22] The band toured with Jamie's Elsewhere and These Hearts in early 2012,[23] and toured with Emery's "Emery and Friends Tour" with I Am Empire and Sent By Ravens in March 2012.[24] They have announced a May 2012 tour with P.O.D, Red, and Love and Death.[25]

Icon for Hire toured on LiveNation's "Ones to Watch" tour in 2013 along the side of Redlight King.[26] Later that year, the band kicked off the "Evening With Icon for Hire" tour. The shows featured music, fashion, a pre-concert acoustic set, and an intimate Q&A with the group.[27]

Icon For Hire appeared on all dates of Van's Warped Tour 2014[28] and the 2015 tour.[29]

In October – November 2016 they were on You Can't Kill Us tour with Stitched Up Heart.[30]

Musical style and influences[edit]

The band's sound combines pop punk and alternative metal elements with strings and electronics.[31] Jamie Maxwell of Cross Rhythms describes them as a punk band, but notes that "the electronic influence evident in some of their tracks is a definite nod to the likes of Linkin Park and others in the nu metal mould."[32] In describing the band's sound, lead singer Ariel has said that the band is "first and foremost just a rock band. That's where our roots are and where our hearts are. But a few years ago we started really getting into synths and programming. We love the combination of brutal, in-your-face riffs, with the fun candy of pop production sprinkled all over it."[2]

Influences cited by the band have included hard rock bands like Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, Pantera, Mötley Crüe, and Rage Against the Machine, as well as pop- and hip hop-oriented artists such as Skrillex, The Black Eyed Peas, Dessa, and Lady Gaga.[3][6]

Comparisons to other rock bands[edit]

The band's sound has often been compared to that of other female-fronted rock bands, particularly Paramore.[4][32][33][34] Nathaniel Schexnayder of Jesus Freak Hideout went so far as to label the band's debut album Scripted as generic, saying that the band "borrows their elements from other female fronted acts like Flyleaf, Fireflight, and Paramore at an alarming degree."[35] Ariel has taken issue with these comparisons, citing the band's "unique combination of programming/pop elements, mixed with a commercial rock sound" as a distinguishing element, in addition to the band's live performances: "We've never had someone come see us live and compare us to other bands." She has also noted such comparisons as unfairly discriminatory: "It frustrates me how in so many other industries you are acknowledged for your skill and education, but in music somehow if you're a chick you better be bringing something extraordinarily mind-blowing to the table in order to have a shot. It's a bit sexist I think."[4] Their song, "Now You Know", addresses the subject at length.[citation needed]

Religious affiliation[edit]

Icon for Hire have had complicated relations with the Christian music market as they are not a categorized as a Christian band. Ariel stated that they do not play music for Christians but to "save the world"[36] and that they try to distance themselves from identifying as part of the Christian music industry to avoid pushing non-Christians away from hearing that message.[37][38] Despite this, several writers have identified Icon for Hire as part of the Christian music scene,[31][32][39] and some critics have noted references to the members' Christian faith in their lyrics. David Jeffries pointed out that "Christian ideals are the driving force" in the lyrics on Scripted, though he acknowledged that "you could look at this as a secular rebellion against the mopey 'scene' bands and still thrill at Icon for Hire's fresh attitude and sense of purpose."[33] Schexnayder, while admitting that "the group doesn't wear their faith on their sleeve in their messages", noted a general encouraging message on the album and singled out the song "The Grey" as containing "spiritual references".[35] Kim Jones of About.com said that the categorization was inaccurate "if you're looking to use the term to put them into a nice and safe box, limited to only a Christian audience."[40]

Band members[edit]

Current

  • Ariel Bloomer – lead vocals (2007–present)
  • Shawn Jump – guitars, keyboards (2007–present)[41]

Former

  • Joshua Davis – bass guitar, unclean vocals (2007–2009)
  • Adam Kronshagen – drums (2007–2015, 2016)

Touring musicians

  • Josh Kincheloe – bass guitar, backing vocals (2011–2016)
  • Shane Wise – drums (2016)
  • Ryan Seaman – drums, backing vocals (2017-present)

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US
[42]
US
Rock

[43]
US
Christ

[citation needed]
US
Indie

[44]
Scripted 95 22 5
  • US: 4,300[45]
    (first week)
Icon for Hire
  • Release: October 15, 2013
  • Label: Tooth & Nail
  • Formats: CD, digital download
66 20 4 11
You Can't Kill Us
  • Release: November 25, 2016[18]
  • Label: Independent
  • Formats: CD, digital download
180

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
Icon For Hire EP
  • Release: 2008
  • Label: independent
  • Formats: CD
The Grey EP
  • Release: 2009
  • Label: independent
  • Formats: CD
Now You Know EP
  • Release: July 27, 2015[46]
  • Label: independent
  • Formats: CD (Limited Edition)

Singles[edit]

Year Title Album
2011 "Make a Move" Scripted
"Get Well"
"The Grey"
"Off with Her Head"
"Fight"
"Iodine"
"Pieces"
2013 "Cynics & Critics" Icon for Hire
"Sugar & Spice"
2014 "Counting on Hearts"
"Sorry About Your Parents"
2015 "Now You Know" Now You Know EP[46]
"Bam Bam Pop"
2016 "Supposed to Be"[47] You Can't Kill Us
2017 "You Can't Kill Us"

Promotional singles[edit]

Year Title Album
2016 "Here We Are"[48] You Can't Kill Us
"You Were Wrong"[49]
"Get Well II"[50]
"Happy Hurts"[51]
"Pulse"[52]
"Demons"[53]
"The Magic"[54]
"Under The Knife"[55]

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Director
2011 "Make a Move"[56] Van Alan Blumreich
"Get Well"[57]
2012 "Off with Her Head"[58] Daniel Quinones
2016 "Now You Know"[59] Jamie Holt
"Supposed To Be"[17]

Compilation contributions

Year Compilation Label Song
2011 Tooth & Nail Records Summer Sampler 2011 Tooth & Nail Records "Make a Move"
Now Hear This! 7.0 Sparrow Records
A Very Tooth & Nail Christmas Sampler Tooth & Nail Records

Non-album songs[60]

  • "Conversation with a Rockstar"
  • "Sno"
  • "Perfect Storm"
  • "One Million Ways" [61]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brooks, Jessica (August 26, 2011). "Interview: Icon For Hire's Ariel On New Album, Her Conversion Story, and More". BREATHEcast. The Christian Post. Retrieved March 9, 2012. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Christian female rocker makes a move". The Christian Post. August 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Icon For Hire". Interlínc (interview). Interview with Fasig, Jacob. Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Cummings, Tony (January 2012). "Icon For Hire: The rockers bemused by the Paramore and Evanescence comparisons". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ Kim Jones (September 2011). "Icon for Hire Touring With RED and Brian "Head" Welch". About.com. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Shatterproof Celebrity: Ariel of Icon For Hire". Shatterproof Glass Dolls (Interview). Interview with Taneica Phillips. December 28, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ Icon for Hire (February 3, 2012). "Icon for Hire on TVU's Most Wanted (Pt. 2)". TVU Music channel (Video interview). Interview with Jared. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ Icon for Hire (December 14, 2011). "Icon For Hire: The ATO Interview Pt. 2". The Alternative Takeover (Interview). KHRT-FM. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ Bird, Michele (August 16, 2013). "Icon For Hire release new song, "Cynics & Critics"". Alternative Press. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ Icon For Hire Signs to New Label (not who you think....). YouTube. June 6, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  11. ^ "ICON FOR HIRE : Now You Know - Free Music Download". NoiseTrade. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ ICON FOR HIRE - NOW YOU KNOW (OFFICIAL AUDIO). YouTube. June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Bam Bam Pop". 2015-09-17. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  14. ^ iconforhire (November 19, 2015). "Icon for Hire Update". Retrieved August 13, 2016 – via YouTube. 
  15. ^ "Icon For Hire - #YouCantKillUs". www.facebook.com. Retrieved March 15, 2016. 
  16. ^ "ICON FOR HIRE: YOU CAN'T KILL US". Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Icon For Hire (2016-07-22), Icon For Hire - Supposed To Be (Official Music Video), retrieved 2016-10-06 
  18. ^ a b "Ariel on Twitter". Retrieved October 9, 2016. 
  19. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200
  20. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/276483/icon-hire/chart?f=305
  21. ^ "Red – Kill The Machine Tour October 7–26, 2011". Fusemix.com. October 26, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  22. ^ "CRN 2011" (news report). Cross Rhythms. November 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  23. ^ Alex DiVincenzo (January 4, 2012). "These Hearts Video Teaser & Tour Dates" (news). Absolute Punk. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ Jason Tate (February 14, 2012). "Emery and Friends Tour announced!" (news). Absolute Punk. Retrieved February 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Icon For Hire Out With POD, Red & Love And Death Ft. Brian Head Welch!" (news). March 20, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Ones To Watch Presents: Redlight King & Icon For Hire". August 20, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Icon For Hire Announce 'An Evening With Icon For Hire' Set To Launch Nationwide Sept. 19th 2013". ContactMusic.com. 
  28. ^ Kraus, Brian. "Fit For A King, DJ Scout (Issues), Icon For Hire, Mod Sun and more announced for Warped Tour 2014". Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  29. ^ Nail, Tooth &. "Icon For Hire To Play Vans Warped Tour '15". Tooth & Nail Records. Retrieved 2016-11-27. 
  30. ^ "Icon for Hire announce the "You Can't Kill Us" Tour | Ampedsound.Net". Retrieved 2016-11-27. 
  31. ^ a b "pizzamachine" (Contributor). "Scripted". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c Jamie Maxwell (November 2011). "Scripted". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Scripted". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  34. ^ Jones, Kim. "Scripted". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  35. ^ a b Schexnayder, Nathaniel (August 2011). "Scripted". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  36. ^ Rueff, Ashley; Sullivan, Hugh (videographer) (July 2009). "Icon for Hire". Herald & Review (video interview). Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  37. ^ Icon For Hire: Self-Titled Sophomore Album Review. "Album Review - Icon For Hire". Jesusrock.net. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  38. ^ Pete W. "Icon For Hire - Icon For Hire". The Metal Resource (review). Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  39. ^ Matthews, Kent (September 1, 2011). "Music: Icon For Hire strives to be worth looking up to". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 17, 2012. Christian contemporary band Icon for Hire has a new CD out, Scripted. (photo caption) 
  40. ^ Jones, Kim. "Icon For Hire". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  41. ^ Tooth & Nail. "Tooth & Nail - Artist - Icon For Hire". Tooth & Nail Records. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Icon for Hire". Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Icon for Hire". Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Icon for Hire". Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  45. ^ Kim Jones. "Icon For Hire". About. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  46. ^ a b "Icon For Hire - Now You Know EP". Discogs. Retrieved 2016-11-27. 
  47. ^ "Supposed to Be - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  48. ^ "Here We Are - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  49. ^ "You Were Wrong - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  50. ^ "Get Well II - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  51. ^ "Happy Hurts - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  52. ^ "Pulse - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  53. ^ "Demons - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  54. ^ "The Magic - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  55. ^ "Under the Knife - Single by Icon for Hire on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  56. ^ IconForHireVEVO (2011-09-02), Icon For Hire - Make A Move, retrieved 2016-10-06 
  57. ^ IconForHireVEVO (2011-11-04), Icon For Hire - Get Well, retrieved 2016-10-06 
  58. ^ IconForHireVEVO (2012-12-07), Icon For Hire - Off With Her Head, retrieved 2016-10-06 
  59. ^ Icon For Hire (2016-02-12), Icon For Hire-Now You Know (Official Music Video), retrieved 2016-10-06 
  60. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Ariel from Icon For Hire!" (interview). The Indie Christian Music Scene. October 17, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  61. ^ The REL Show (2016-07-29), Unreleased Song: One Million Ways (Scripted Reject!), retrieved 2016-10-06