Inkblot Astronaut is comprised of PNW-based multi-instrumentalists that rep a sound derived from the 90s and early 2000s.
The group molds together exceptionally, producing an indie-rock hybrid feel that sends every listener into a wave of pure nostalgia.
Most recently, the group has been nominated for the Indie Music Awards and has begun live shows in the local scene, finding fans and teaming up with peer bands in the area.
The heart and soul of the lineup rests in the hands of Zak Armstrong and Michael Fowler. The two grew up playing together in high school and later released Inkblot Astronaut (EP) in 2018. To further optimize their music, Zak and Mike enlisted the help of Ryan Hertia and Eric Gendron to perform the album live and start crafting new sounds for the future.
The band takes pride in the quality of their craft but does not shy away from spontaneity!
“We all have a job to do, but don’t act surprised when we play musical chairs mid-performance.”
Here are the roles of each member: Zak Armstrong—lead vocals, guitar and bass. Michael Fowler—lead guitar, vocals. Ryan Hertia—bass, guitar. Eric Gendron —drums, vocals.
Chilled sat with Inkblot Astronaut to learn a thing or two about the lifestyles of the band when off the stage.
Tell us about the projects you are working on.
We are constantly exploring new song ideas and sounds—trying to make the most of these distant times by emailing tracks to each other. After a year+ of playing our first EP live in the wild and trying out new material on poor souls in the audience, we have decided to take to the studio!
With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your downtime?
Z: Kids! I have two daughters and one of them always needs Dad for something—Practice hair styles on, be a jungle gym, paint nails, wrestle. They keep me young and busy.
R: Golf, sing in the shower, and practice guitar so I can eventually be better than Mike and Zak.
E: I can usually be spotted on long runs out on forest trails or climbing mountains with my dog.
M: I tend to play some MegaMan or focus on music at home.
When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
Z: Gallon house Silverton Or. Great food, cool place, and the wife and I can bring the kids. In the summer, their patio is awesome in the evenings.
R: Mostly local breweries and the bars we play shows at, but sometimes I like to slip into some place fancy like Le Pigeon in Portland and pretend I belong.
E: I enjoy almost all types of food and do not really have any typical favorite spots. It depends on the day.
M: I almost forgot about dining-out since ol’ Covey struck. I have an unhealthy chipotle habit and a soft spot for those hibachi grill / Benihana-style joints.
Any favorite bars?
Z: The Gallon House, in Silverton, OR. It is bigger than the name suggests.
R: Prost is always great to get slammed on German beer, but Angelface takes the cake for custom cocktails.
E: Wherever I go, I always find myself scoping out the quirky dive bars. I love anywhere with a unique atmosphere and it’s a bonus if some unknown local band is playing.
M: Take me back to Clodfelter’s in Corvallis, OR – where this all started. Wherever we are playing is my favorite bar at that time.
What drinks do you order when out?
Z: Whiskey sour.
R: Lots of IPA’s, but some decent scotch (neat, duh.) or an Old Fashioned will make a night go from good to great.
E: I usually order beer and I tend to gravitate towards the hazy IPAs. On the occasion that I do order a cocktail, I’ll usually grab anything containing whiskey or gin.
M: Blue dream is a favorite, or Jack Herer. I also can take gin on occasion.
Do you prepare drinks at home?
Z: Yes! Horribly.
R: Occasionally, on occasion, yes. Mostly on holidays, like our very famous spiked eggnog for Xmas.
E: On occasion, but usually I just grab a beer when I’m home.
M: I start with ice, glass, and a lime. After that its anyone’s game.
Tell us about your home bar. What is it stocked with?
Z: Whatever alcohol we get for free from friends or my wife’s work.
R: I have a huge beer fridge stocked with everything from Coors Light to some rare Ale Apothecary and De Garde stuff. Recently I’ve also stocked up on Elijah Craig small batch and Bulleit Rye for the whiskey moods.
E: My home bar could easily be confused for a refrigerator and it’s usually stocked with local craft beer.
M: Isopropyl and chronic. I keep some beer around for posterity and will give it a try if it doesn’t have all the hops.
Have you ever been a bartender?
R: No but I served pizza for a few years in college.
E: I never have, but I’ve always thought it could be a fun side gig.
M: I saw Roadhouse way, way too young.
If you could share a drink with anyone, who would it be?
Z: Ben Harper. He seems like to chill guy to relax and nerd out on music gear with.
R: That’s tough, maybe Louis CK.
E: There is an extensive list of people I would love to answer with, but I think I would want to grab a drink with Dave Grohl.
M: Jimmy Chamberlin is my favorite musician—most of the time, but I don’t think he’d be much of a talker over drinks. How about D’Arcy Wretzky?