Joe Cardamone was the driving force and face of The Icarus Line, one of Los Angeles's most reviled and revered bands of the last 20 years and also one of its most self-destructive. The spirit of bands like The Stooges and The Bad Seeds was evident in both their music and the way in which they navigated the delicate politics of the music industry.
For instance, Cardamone once spray-painted "Sellouts Suckn Dicks" on The Strokes' tour bus right around the time that The Strokes became universally loved—which meant The Icarus Line became universally hated. The LA band's spirited approach to a career in music made for great visceral entertainment for those who loved them, but it did not win them many friends in high places.
Over the last year, the band split silently as a result of Joe's long-time collaborator and best friend Alvin DeGuzman being diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer. This all happened just before a disastrous tour with Scott Weiland (RIP). With the specter of death and seemingly negative changes all around him, Joe continued making music with his friend Annie Hardy from Giant Drag, who was going through a lot of personal turmoil herself, losing a child and the father of that baby in less than a year.
Hard experiences and loss have informed Cardamone's new project, a one-man band called Holy War. It sounds like The Icarus Line, but it's made on computers rather than guitars and drums. Ariel Pink once told him that it reminded him of Beyoncé. See for yourself:
There is also a Holy War film you can watch here, and, if you live in the UK, Cardamone is performing at Vice's pub in London, The Old Blue Last, tomorrow, March 16. Check out the flier below.
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