“The goal was to write something that felt like a classic rock record,” he continues. “You're trying to find this balance and combination that is de-aggressifying things that are hardcore, and then making the non-hardcore things more aggressive. You're making it all meet in the middle, but not in a way of compromise, but as a vision. There's never a formula. Some days, shit, I'm listening to a lot of Third Eye Blind and then some days I'm listening to Crossed Out.”
It hasn’t taken long for Militarie Gun to reach this point. Coming out of the pandemic with a self-assembled seven-inch of thrilling noise that squared Guided By Voices with The Jesus Lizard, Ian has spent the past couple of years refining things, putting out a brace of EPs as stepping stones towards Life Under The Gun’s more refined sound. “It's funny, because this is what we thought we were doing all along,” he says. “But I wasn't there yet.”
When people start questioning whether or not you’re a punk band, it can mean a few things. You might have lost something, an edge or an attitude, maybe, but equally you might have gained something, like a keener sense of melody. Equally, it could mean nothing at all, like asking a wall if it’s having a nice day.
Ian doesn’t care if you think Militarie Gun are a punk band or not, but he’d be very happy if you thought their songs were too sharp to be anything other than pop. “I'm nerding out about Bee Gees records right now,” he says.
“I want it to be a little confusing to people who are closed-minded,” he adds. “First and foremost, it's about writing the thing that seems most interesting to me, but if the byproduct is it upsetting the small-minded, that's fine by me.”