The band was born when drummer Tyler Bayne and spoken word artist Niq Askren merged their two-piece hip hop assemblage with a guitar duo comprised of Joe Cohen and Jonah Crouch. “I brought our little hip-hop project into their dueling acoustic guitar stuff and it started taking shape from there,” Bayne says as he details the band’s earliest manifestation. “We’d play really low volume acoustic stuff, and Niq would rap and do spoken word pieces over it. Eventually, we decided to start a full band and we brought in a friend of mine from high school, Danny Finch.” Finch, ICW’s eldest member at 24 years, brings the group’s only real source of previous band experience with past bouts in pop-punk bands Fat and The Midget Ticklers. Around that same time, Joshua Neese joined the band to handle singing responsibilities supplemental to Askren’s calm raps. Although guitarist Joe Cohen recorded the EP with Indian City Weather, he eventually quit to pursue other interests and was replaced by the band’s longtime friend Dillon Mitchell.
When Indian City Weather was ready to hit the studio earlier this spring, they reached out to Tyler Watkins, bassist for Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, who operates Queensize Studios in downtown Indianapolis. ICW’s time there (four days of tracking and two days of mixing, spread out over the course of two months) was a memorable experience for the six studio novices; the closing song on the EP, “State Avenue”, is even named for the street where the studio is located.
Bayne considers the band privileged to have worked with such a distinguished musician as Watkins. “He produced, mixed, and mastered our EP, so his hands are all over it,” Bayne explains. “He’s continued to be kind of our designated Yoda, giving us advice regarding almost everything we’re doing right now.” Watkins cites the skill level of the young music makers as a major deciding factor in working with them. “A group of talented musicians and an introverted poet approached me with open minds,” he says. “Also, I’m a sucker for polite weirdos.”