Laugh and dance your a** off at Ian Lockwood’s pop fantasy this Sunday

Second City alum Ian Lockwood will appear at FuMPFest this Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (in person and streaming) for an enticing sneak preview of his upcoming second album Not Like Other Girls. The lucky audience will also experience selections from the sparkling comedic bop, high octane joy of his first acclaimed album Nasty which the comedy maestro released in May 2020. A music video from Nasty, “(I Don’t Think This Is) The Club” is nominated for a festival award.

Ian is known for upping the happiness, energy, and originality quotient in any room with his catchy tunes and hilarious, unexpected lyrics. His songs are often in the voice of characters with grand plans that are relatable, horrifying and guaranteed to end in disaster (and laughter for the listener).

Ian now lives in New York where he co-hosts Hot Teens at the Brooklyn Comedy Collective and is a recurring guest on the podcast Earwolf Presents. He has also done extraordinary things in the name of friendship and comedy. Please read on.


Teme: Which came first, the music or the comedy?

Ian: Technically, the music when I started guitar lessons in the fifth grade. But for a while there, it was primarily comedy. I felt like I had to choose. I loved music, but I was doing it as a hobby. Then I committed to comedy for a good few years before incorporating the music.

Teme: What attracted you to comedy?

Ian: I was in school plays and musicals growing up. I started to get absorbed with the idea that I could get people to laugh and bring joy to their lives. But also on the other side, I grew up a gay closeted kid and not really understanding that. A big part of that for me, and I think a lot of other kids who grow up closeted, is to control how people see you and to make sure you’re seen exactly the way you want to be seen and nothing more. So for a long time, it was also about if I’m the funny one, then I’m in control of how people respond to me. Over time, luckily, I found a way to incorporate my true, authentic, full self into comedy. From then on, it’s been a blast, it’s been a tonic and it’s been lovely.

Teme: Please tell us about your previous time in Chicago.

Ian: I was in college for a semester “abroad” at Second City.  I met my main collaborator there, Sophie Zucker. Those four months in Chicago were formative. It was great to train at the Second City Training Center. Even better was the intro to DIY comedy. You hear “Second City” and “DIY” and you go, “How are those two related?” But they encouraged us to learn the DIY scene.

Even though we were doing comedy school all day every day, we were young comedians and really thirsty for it. Every night we would go out and try to do a micro show. Second City was unparalleled, but even more valuable was that it pushed us into finding our own opportunities, whether it was in a little theater or a basement or a backyard or a rundown garage. They were some of the best shows I’ve done.


Teme: You wrote and produced a whole excellent, hilarious album over quarantine!

Ian: I made the album [Not Like Other Girls] completely in pandemic with my collaborator, Dave Bowers. I write the lyrics and then we write the music together and then we bring them to our friend Kyle Joseph who is an incredible producer and has a great studio.

We rented him and his studio out for the week and we put it all together. The first EP [Nasty] I did, I’d practiced and built up all these songs in my Brooklyn comedy scene community. But with this album, I just had to write these songs and record them without that feedback channel which was terrifying. But at the same time, it told me I had to trust my own taste and ability and it came out great. I’m really in love with it. In a couple of cases, I sent some things to a friend or collaborator and said, “Do you like this?” And they said, “It’s not hitting for me”. And I said, “No, you know what, actually, I love this. I know it will be good”. And ultimately, one of those turned out to be one of the best songs on this album and I’m really happy with it.

Teme: On Sunday will you be doing “(I Don’t Think This Is) The Club”? That’s one of my favorites!

Ian: Yes. I’ll be performing it with a couple of dance moves!

Teme: Is it based on a true experience?

Ian: There were nights after comedy shows both in Chicago and Brooklyn where everyone goes, “Okay, where are we going?” And then somebody, usually the loudest person in the room says, “There’s this amazing place! It’s ten blocks that way!” And you walk there and it’s absolutely nowhere to be found.


Teme: I noticed how you connect immediately and joyfully with your audience. The audience feels included right away. What is the secret to connecting with your audience like that?

Ian:  It came out of a bit of a process. I am a huge smiler, sometimes because I’m loving the joy of being on stage and sometimes it’s honestly out of being a little bit nervous. When I started in comedy, it was more on the nervous side and it actually prevented people from connecting with me. Like, why is he so happy on stage when he hasn’t said anything yet? But I was feeling that joy underneath.

Over time, I found a way to share with the audience how much fun I’m having when I get to perform for them. This might sound cheesy, but I am really grateful whenever someone is watching me perform and giving me an opportunity to do what I really, really love. So I think I mirror that feeling back, that we’re all there to have a good time. I try to show the audience with my face and my words that I’m really happy to be there and I’m really appreciative.


Teme:  What are three tips for keeping the creative fires going in catastrophic times?

Ian: My first tip is “stay bored”. There are plenty of things you can do temporarily to avoid being bored, whether that’s video games, drugs and alcohol, or harmless nice hobbies like cooking, cleaning, and procrastinating.  But I find that I am not going to take on a big project unless I put all those things aside and think, “What do I really want to be doing in the big picture?”

Other tips … get good sleep! That’s the only way you can do anything. And check in with friends, especially during these catastrophic times. At any given time, some of us were up, some of us were down. Some of us were having a horrible time. Some of us are having an amazing time. Reaching out to people and checking in with them, seeing what they’re doing is really helpful. It lets you know that, okay, I had a down week, but my friend had a down week in the weeks past and they’re doing great, so I need to stick with it.

Teme: Do you have a specific environment that’s most conducive to creating such great and original material?

Ian:  I can’t spend too much time on it or I’ll get too absorbed, but I love to create “the fantasy” as I call it. I try to work in glamorous surroundings. I don’t mean expensive and I don’t mean fancy. I mean, when I am writing and working on these projects, I imagine myself in a gorgeous little light-filled room, surrounded by flowing fabrics and the perfect cup of tea; a beautiful chair. Not everyone has access to everything, but if you can find a situation, a place where you feel like you’re both doing the thing and living the thing and enjoying the process, that helps a lot.


Teme: You sing in the perspective of some very compelling characters. How do you come up with those voices and what draws you to them?

Ian Lockwood by Jessika Stocker

Ian:  My darkest impulses, which I am almost a little scared to say. Sometimes I think it’s just me, but everyone has these impulses to do horrible things, to do the most selfish possible thing or to get revenge on somebody. Most of us don’t follow through on those impulses, but I like to write from the perspective of what if I did? Or for a person who would do this evil thing, what else is there about them? I have a song [like that] on the upcoming album, “Not Like Other Girls.”


Teme: I read that you once dumped a can of cold soup over your head at a show. I was intrigued! What kind of soup was it? And will there be any surprises on Sunday?

Ian: The soup was at a messy show in Brooklyn actually called The Messy Show. We opened the can fresh, so it was cold. The soup was sort of a chunky chicken noodle which was kind of harmless. At least it wasn’t clam chowder. It fully coated my head and my friend Sophie’s head and it was disgusting. Then we took a shower together – we had to because we were in a tiny apartment with one bathroom. Somebody had to use the restroom desperately at the same time, so we all just went ahead.

Teme: The next time I open a can of chicken soup I’m going to be tempted to dump it over my head now that you’ve put the idea in my mind.

Ian: I might go for warmed soup if I were you!

Teme: What is the most memorable interaction so far that you’ve ever had with your audience?

Ian: I …oh god. I don’t know … Okay. Fine. I’ll say it. It was that Messy Show on a different week.  I did a bit with a friend. He asked me to help with a sketch. Part of the sketch was that he was supposed to pee into a bowl. He told me later that he had made the mistake of going to the bathroom just before he went up. In fact, that morning, he had asked me to do it and I said absolutely not!

So he turns around in the middle of this bit to do it, like looking down at himself, and then he looks up at me with these terrified eyes. We’re very good friends, so I know what he’s thinking; “I can’t do this. Can you please?” So I did unfortunately end up doing it. Luckily, that type of thing at this punk-rock wild show wasn’t too horrific. This was on par with some of the stuff the audience had seen at this show, but there was no way they thought it was going to go this far. The screams and squeals of absolute horror and delight were incredible. I got a lot of pats on the back after the show and, uh, yeah, it was a legendary moment for me.

Teme: You are a great friend. That’s really putting friends and comedy above all else.

Ian: I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it when he asked me. I was like, no, I’d never do that. And then the moment came and the show had to go on.

Teme: That is one of the greatest friendship stories I’ve ever heard.

Ian: He was even a groomsman in my wedding.  That actually somehow feels a little less intimate.


Teme: What is your favorite thing about Chicago?

Ian: I could be hack and say “deep dish,” which honestly is really incredible. But I think it is the fact that people who do comedy here are invested for the love of the craft. They have absolutely pure intentions. It’s a joy to talk to people and to watch them perform. They want to do comedy and they want to do great comedy.

Teme: What do you absolutely have to bring with you when you travel?

Ian:  I have a headset microphone with a reverb pedal that I’ve created to be able to plug immediately into any wired mic. It’s very fun to set up and then all of a sudden, I’m a pop star.

I always have to bring a steamer because I have to be looking fresh. And I always bring like ten tank tops, even if I’m going somewhere for three days because I have too many favorite tank tops and well, they’re small and easy to pack.


Teme: What can audiences expect at your concert on Sunday?

Ian: There is a lot of comedy music out there by incredible artists. I find that a lot of it will prioritize either the music or the comedy. My goal is that I don’t want audiences to feel they have to choose. I want them to feel like they can put my music on in a quiet room and have a blast laughing at the lyrics, or they can put it on at a loud party where no one could hear the lyrics and dance to it and have a blast. At the show on Sunday, I really hope I can satisfy both wants for people. I hope they have a blast both dancing their butts off and laughing their asses off.

They’re going to see a preview of the entire new album and some older songs. I’m really excited to share them. The whole hour is going to be a pop fantasy and have a lot of laughs, too.

As for surprises on Sunday, I’m going to debut a new video. I don’t want to say too much, but I will say that it has some grotesque and horrific elements, so if that’s the kind of thing that someone reading this post might like, then they should definitely check it out!

I am having a blast living my pop star fantasy. I don’t look like your typical pop star. I probably look like your typical comedian, but I’m having a blast doing both. I feel the most fully realized and self-actualized I ever have. And I’m really grateful that people give me the opportunity to get up there and play superstar and be my best Katy Perry up there for them, and I hope they love it.


Ian Lockwood’s solo show and concert is at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 22 at FuMPFest (Funny Music Project Festival). Attend in person at the Westin Chicago North Shore, 601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, IL or online at

Ian will also appear at Crushes at aliveOne, 2683 N. Halsted, Chicago at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 22.

More about Ian at

Follow Ian on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube

Ian’s second album Not Like Other Girls will be officially released on October 22 at Brooklyn’s Union Hall.  Be sure to catch the special releases of leading singles and videos ‘Not Like Other Girls’ (September 10) and ‘No Homo’ (October 1).

Ian’s first album Nasty can be found wherever you like to stream your music, including Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon.

Leave a Reply