Ideation performs during a recent show at The Hood.

Ideation has been around the desert for a while, as frontman/guitarist John Marek has gotten in and out of other projects.

However, it’s finally Ideation’s time: The band made it to the final round of the contest to play at the Tachevah Block Party, and has been enjoying steady gigs since the winter.

Ideation has a sound that’s close to ’60s garage rock, and the Marek talks to the audience much like Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones does. Marek is quite animated as he struts while playing guitar riffs in between vocals; in fact, other musicians have expressed appreciation for Marek’s stage presence and vocal style.

“Ideation has been around for, like, seven years, but with different lineups,” Marek said during a recent phone interview. “It’s kind of been my baby, and I’ve made all these songs, and other people hop along and help write the songs—or, I should say, reinvent the songs. Basically, it started out with me and this dude who was a bass-player, and he taught me how to play guitar. We got in this crazy car accident, and we started writing songs.”

As for the name: “The name came from this lady that guy knew who was schizophrenic and had a lot of problems, and she would tell him all these crazy stories about how she thought the CIA was after her. One day, he checked out her prescription-medication bottle, it had all these different side effects, and one of them was ‘suicidal ideation.’ ‘Suicidal ideation’ sounded like a punk band or something, or a metal band. So we just stuck with Ideation.”

Marek was a member of War Drum for a period of time, during which Ideation got put on the back burner. He discussed his dismissal from War Drum last year.

“I was playing with them because I didn’t have a band at the time. Jack (Kohler) asked me to be in the band,” Marek said. “It was their baby, and I kinda wanted my own baby. We just went our separate ways. There weren’t any hard feelings or anything like that; I still love those dudes, but I just wanted to do my own thing.”

After War Drum, Marek played as a solo act and did some recording.

“That was a brief period of a lot of recordings that I will probably never release,” he said. “Sometimes, I would just play with my acoustic guitar, and sometimes I would have a bass drum, but that was rarely, or sometimes I would just have a tambourine I would stomp on.”

Marek has sold some Ideation songs to a publishing company.

“I got this publishing deal,” Marek explained. “This guy named Ikey Owens, who was Jack White’s keyboardist, and who unfortunately passed away not too long ago, hit me up, and we started playing shows together in Long Beach. He got this publishing deal for me, and we started recording with that, and we basically spent three or four months recording this eight-song whatever-you-want-to-call-it; I don’t really consider it an album. We recorded that, and he handed it over to a publishing company called Heavy Duty.

“What they’re doing is they’re shopping my music to TV commercials, TV shows and movies. As far as the shows the stuff has been in, there’s one on AMC, and a couple on MTV. A recent one was on NBC on a show called Chicago Fire, which I was pretty stoked about. I think one or two out of the eight songs are ones Ideation will still play live, but the others are really old folk songs we don’t play any more.”

Marek said new recordings from Ideation are in the works.

“We’re actually playing very few shows in the next coming months, because we’re recording our EP right now,” he said. It’s going to be a five-song EP, and we’re planning on making a music video to go along with one of the songs. We’re probably going to have a release party at The Hood. … We’re going to have some down time playing shows through the summer, and when the season comes back, we’ll go full force and play a lot of shows. We’ll have our shit together.”

Ideation will perform with The Rebel Boise at 9 p.m., Saturday, June 20, at Bart Lounge, 67555 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Cathedral City. Admission is free. For more information on the show, visit For more information on Ideation, visit

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...