illinois is a band from pennsylvania (or is it the other way around?) chris archibald (aka arch) writes songs. andrew lee probably has 7,000 guitar pedals. martin hoeger plays bass with his thumbs. john-paul kuypers (aka j.p. aka jip, aka jippy) has pictures of arch pasted on all of his drum heads that he enjoys smashing over and over. arch plays the banjo and sings mostly about wiffle ball and the diarrhea feeling he gets before playing a show (strike 1). andrew is the best yo-yo'er i’ve ever met. martin spends more than 87 hours a week in a bar. john-paul drives a big ass truck and instead of listening to the radio, he makes motor noises with his mouth as he drives around town. they all still own the big wheels they had as children. they only speak in inside jokes.......(what the f---k?) i met the band after a show one night and arch offered me $20 to write a bio but then made me buy a round of shots with the money. i spent a week with these guys, gigging, recording, drinking....laughing...learning....playing roller hockey in random parking lots until jip checked me and busted my clavicle. hey jip. steeeerike! the outcome of this adventure was an understanding of how much a place can affect personality and how in turn, personality ultimately drives great music. and the setting for illinois is bucks county pennsylvania; a seemingly timeless place where the little league kids still ride their bikes in the street and the first girl you kissed is now your wife. these guys have personalities that match their music. it’s fun, rowdy, humiliating and at the same time the greatest friend you could possibly have. and like a great friend, illinois’ music has the
ability to take you out, show you a good time and then drive you home safely in some unconventional yet reliable vehicle. bands seem to forget that it’s fun. this is not the case with illinois... fun literally explodes from their van when they arrive at a gig (or gas station, or restaurant, or pharmacy, or…). their songs remind me of the great times in my life and have the capacity to get me through the bad ones. i got a cd zip-loaded full of 114 demos off of arch and found a shitload of music that didn’t match what i’d been told about this band…there is enough quality material in illinois’ repertoire to take them through several careers. arch, andrew, martin, and jip have taken a handful of the aforementioned songs and recorded them with eli janney for an ep called ‘what the hell do I know?’ due out this spring on Ace Fu. after realizing that these guys are as awesome as their music, knowing that this record will reach other people gives me the diarrhea feeling too….not because i'm nervous but because i’m so damn happy (juuusst a bit outside). Hip Hip …… illinois is much more than a banjo—there’s so much diversity. it's undeniably a party when they take the stage but there’s an unexpected maturity infused into Illinois' constitution that reveals itself on these new recordings. i wanna wrap this thing up…and i don’t want this to seem like the monologue at the end of a doogie howser episode…but...this band is great!! and they’re even better people. i think i learned something from them...though. i don’t know what.....but i feel better....about something…..guys, thanks for teaching me how to have a good time! p.s. arch, thanks for the handjob! steerike 3.
i’m out. Interact with illinois: http:www.myspace.com/illinois