I Am Giant and their Army

Friday 1 August 2014

I Am Giant and their Army
You can tell a lot about a band by the kind of fans they have. There’s Beliebers, Directioners, The Beyhive… and for rock group I Am Giant, their fans call themselves the I Am Giant Army. Though the Army probably wouldn’t appreciate being compared to the fandoms of bubblegum pop stars, the level of commitment to this Kiwi-by-way-of-London band is the same kind of passionate fervor that is usually associated with teen girls.

Eventfinda caught up with Ed Martin (vocals), Paul Matthews (bass) and Shelton Woolright (drums) ahead of their show tomorrow night at the Powerstation (a triumphant last stop on their Science and Survival album release tour) to talk about their music and how having such a supportive audience allows them to keep making music.

I Am Giant works closely with Chris Morgan, the Captain of the I Am Giant Army, to communicate with their fanbase. The band will give him some merchandise or the offer of backstage passes or watching a soundcheck and Morgan will turn it into a mission for Army members to complete, who can rise up the ranks of the Army based on their completed missions. 

For the Science and Survival tour, IAG have been giving fans the opportunity to join the band for pre-show beers. Sometimes it’s an open invite, and other times IAG choose the most dedicated fans in each town. While it might seem like the band are giving up a lot of their personal time, for each of the members of IAG, it’s a no-brainer, and is something they love to do.

“Without them you can’t do what we do and there’s a lot of competition in this industry,” Woolright explains. “We’re very grateful that people take time out of their days to say hi and buy a CD or a t-shirt and come and support us, so it’s the least we can do.”

The appreciation I Am Giant have for the Army and their extended fanbase is evident when they excitedly speak about their experiences interacting with fans, having gotten to know some of their most dedicated followers on a first name basis. They are the ones who enter every competition, turn up to all in store signings, and follow the band city to city on tour.

“There is a guy who is a part of the Army called Callan,” says Matthews. “We got sent a photo a couple of weeks ago and it was him at JB Hi Fi in Tauranga, on his knee with his mate and he had a stack of about 20 CDs and he had all the posters. He had bought out Tauranga. That is fucking awesome.”

Even singer Martin is a little surprised by the attention they get: “I’ve had a guy come up to me in Tauranga and he’s said, ‘This is the 11th time I’ve seen you guys.’ Eleven times! That’s a commitment. Committed for a cause”

Perhaps the band shouldn’t be so surprised that their music has inspired such passion. After all, it is their engaging lyrics and how friendly and approachable they are (which, having now met them in person, we can vouch for!) that has inspired an army of people to commit to their cause, and to spread the I Am Giant gospel.