Jake Ilika is a guitarist and vocalist for the band The Heavy Set. The group released their latest album, Everyone’s Got A Mountain, in November 2015. He also forms half of the Ilika/Ward Duo with Joel Ward. Their album, Many Faces, was released in June 2016.
Most listened to song in the last week?
I’ve been listening to a new song by Andrew Bird called “Capsized.” He’s somewhat under the radar, but he’s been on my map for a while.
What do you drink during a show?
I like a good IPA or a lowball of whiskey. If we are playing a local brewery, I will drink a local Minnesota craft beer.
Favorite local band or artist?
Mike Munson is an amazing musician – and a good friend of mine. I listen to him without bias.
Most memorable Rochester gig experience?
Our (Ilika/Ward) album release show at Forager had a hometown feel to it. It wasn’t over-the-gills packed, but we had a nice, receptive crowd. It was like a mini-festival. It felt like home to me.
If you could run sound for one artist no longer among the living, who would it be? Why?
If I could work with any musician, it would have to be Jimi Hendrix. I would want to shape the sound of his show. Plus, I would just want to watch him play.
Top three artists at the moment?
Ray LaMontagne. He’s got a new album out that I like.
Blitzen Trapper. The sound is modern, but it also sounds like 70s rock and roll.
Andrew Bird. He sings the song I’ve been listening to all week.
One book you think everyone should read?
When I first read On the Road by Jack Kerouac, I wanted to travel all over the world. I’ve re-read it a couple of times.
Favorite local hangout?
The 331 Club in north Minneapolis is my favorite. It’s a mix of awesome dive bar, darkly lit, and artsy. They’ve got music every night of the week, and it is always free. It’s eclectic with a little bit of everything. I really dig that place.
Strangest thing you’ve ever seen an audience member do?
This random guy in a bar I was playing one night offered me $100 so that he could sing a song. He sang a Bad Company song all the way through while I played it on guitar.
Show ritual or superstitions?
I always make sure I have my lucky hat.