Jeff Martin - vocals, bass, four-string guitar
John Berry - guitar, drums, bass, noise
The name Idaho conjures up images of sprawling fields, endless sky, beautiful sunsets and, well, potatoes. Spuds aside, all of these images are fitting analogies for this Los Angeles band’s music. Jeff Martin’s impassively passionate tenor floats over John Berry’s slo-mo power chords and sculptured feedback as the band moves gracefully from etherized dreaminess to high tension and grandeur.
It’s said that opposites attract; in this instant, the axiom holds true as Idaho is the product of a 12 year friendship. Jeff Martin was born with a silver tuning fork in his mouth. Raised in the mean-but-well-kept-streets of West Los Angeles, he was isolated from his peers by his keen musical ability and an embarrassing stutter. He attended a high school for gifted artists in the warehouse district of Santa Monica, where he was befriended by an assortment of like-minded freaks. A fellow musician introduced Jeff to John Berry. John was from the bad part of town and had come to his interest in music quite differently. By age thirteen he had already been a roadie for the seminal L.A. punk band The Deadbeats. He’s learned life’s lessons the hard way; lessons only the L.A. County jail can teach.
Playing in a band with mutual friends, they initially didn’t get along. The band broke up a year later but John and Jeff had formed a lasting friendship that would survive several more band incarnations.
Jeff, a classically trained pianist, attended college as a composition major but dropped out after a nosebleed all over his test paper brought no response from his classmates. He spent time in New York learning the nuts and bolts of studio engineering but could not continue as he realized he was being primed for Radio Shack. John passed up college in favor of a crash course in home alchemy, using his body as a laboratory. Both learned similar lessons about society’s disenfranchisement of the creative individual, and their creative impulses were sharpened by the obstacles life presented. Both have had their hearts broken, their ideals smashed, only to put new pain and anger into their songs.
Like everything Idaho record, these songs were done in their own Piercing Sound Studios. A chance experiment yielded “You Are There” (a track which landed on The Palms E.P.) and they realized it was time a wider audience could appreciate their efforts. The band they formed is Idaho. “Doing this saved both of us. It gave life meaning again, everything else is just bullshit,” says Jeff. ‘It’s just music to please ourselves, and I think that’s why it works.”
114 West 26th Street llth Floor
New York, NY 10001 Phone: (212)989-2929/Fax: (212)989-9791
Their debut album will be released in September. Contact: Ken Weinstein