Chris Corner, along with his electronic project IAMX, is very active in recent years. He releases an album per year and doesn’t forget to play powerful and impressive concerts.
Over the past six months IAMX has released two albums — experimental Unfall and more classic for the band Alive In New Light. This shows that Chris, despite his great experience in music, is still trying and looking for something new and unexpected. That’s why IAMX is still one of the most interesting and profound projects in modern electronic music.
Rockcult: Chris, I hope that you and your band feel alright after the accident in Ukraine. [On March 24 a car crashed into the band’s bus]
Chris Corner: Oh, yeah yeah. It was very small, but the time was really stressful. The accident didn’t hurt anybody, and that was very good. But I’ve been in the accident in the past before. Our bas was gone off the road. That’s no good (laugh). I don’t like that.
Rockcult: Let’s talk about your new album Alive In New Light. What do you feel about how the fans meet it? Are you glad with it?
Chris: You know, whenever I make an album, there’s a real… there’s a pleasure that I have them. They have a really deep understanding of the message. I’m very lucky. And with this [album] they can see that it’s a symbol of more positive, hopeful time in my life. And a very, very happy for me. And it’s a beautiful thing. So I thank them very much.
Rockcult: How did you decide to work with Kate Von D? Do you think it was good time for creating new music with her for you?
Chris: She posted a video online of herself in slow motion to an IAMX song. I think it was I Come With Knives. She like that song and she like the message behind that. It was a good combination, I really liked it. It was very artful and beautiful work. So I contacted with her. Thought it could be a good and interesting collaboration. Not just esthetically but from the perspective of… Our vocals are very different: she has a very low vocal, I have a quite high vocal sometimes.
And I thought it could be interesting gender banding situation. And she was into that. I wrote Stalker and she thought it could be very good as a duet. So we did it as a duet, and then we decided to do some more.
The process was very smooth. She’s a normal girl and we got on very well. We both don’t like bullshit, so we just got to the point. That’s great.
Rockcult: Your new tour is going very well. But I have a couple questions about the songs that you perform. Why don’t you play any songs from Unfall? And what do you think about Mile Deep Hollow: do you want to play it in the future?
Chris: You know, I thought about Unfall. I thought: “Maybe we should do some instrumentals, it could be interesting.” I don’t know why I didn’t do that… Maybe we didn’t have enough time to prepare it. Some of the band was somewhere else in the world. We couldn’t really get together and practice. It was really practical thing from the Unfall.
But Mile Deep Hollow… I want to save it for the next one. So we’re gonna do it.
Rockcult: As a huge fan of Scott Walker, especially of his avant-garde period of the last 25 years, I was really glad to know that you were inspired by his album Tilt creating Unfall. What do you think about Scott as an artist, and about his very different creative periods?
Chris: Oh he’s nuts! I love him, I think he’s amazing. He can be a pain in the ass too, you know, he can be cranky… and that’s great. If you look at Scott 1, 2, 3 and 4 – there’s a lightness and melodic depths and it’s very symphonic, very orchestral and very beautiful. And then obviously he started to either hate the world or hate themselves or whatever it was. And he went darker, more aggressive, hard.
What I like about Tilt is the fact that it has moments, like Farmer In The City, where’s the old Scott Walker combined with this darkness, and that’s very powerful. So I’m a big fan… I would love him to do some more melodic stuff ‘cause I’m a melodist. But he can do what he fucking want. (laugh)
Rockcult: Yeah. He’s 75 years old, and he’s still amazing.
Chris: Yes, he is. He doesn’t compromise, I love that.
Фото - Phil Knott →
Rockcult: What do you think and feel about your experience with Unfall now, half a year later after it’s release? Did you like the process of creating it, and do you want to continue release completely experimental and instrumental albums?
Chris: Yes, I do. When I first started making music I was experimenting a lot more ‘cause learning how to produce sound, to figure out electronic music. I go up and down with it; sometimes I just wanna write songs, just melodies, traditional rock songs. And sometimes I really want to experiment with electronics.
And with Unfall I immersed myself in modular synthesis. And I’ve got pretty technical and I really loved it because you’re still making music but it’s less emotional. So IAMX is very emotional a lot of the times, so this was a real breath of fresh air, and I want to do much more of that to balance that.
Rockcult: Do you want to continue ti release this like IAMX or do you want to create Unfall project?
Chris: I wanted to create Unfall, and I discussed it with the record label and the management. And, you know, they basically said just put it out as IAMX. And I thought: “Weell, ok. Why not?” It is still me in the end, it’s the same guy. And you know I thought maybe it could be a selection of Unfall, like Unfall 1, 2, 3, 4, but still under IAMX. In the end it is a slightly different project.
Rockcult: It’s really interesting, because between Metanoia/Everything Is Burning and Alive In New Light we have Unfall. And it’s great to listen it as IAMX.
Chris: Thank you, I appreciate it. I really enjoyed doing it.
Rockcult: You have a long-time friendship with Gary Numan, the legend of electronic. And you made some creative projects together – you made videos for him, he made remixes for you. Did you think to do something more together, you know, like joint project or joint tour?
Chris: He asked me a couple months ago if we should to creative band. So again a problem is the only time. I mean, it’s amazing for me to work with my idol as a child, you know it’s mind blowing. But now he’s touring and he’s just have a number one record in UK [Savage], and it’s amazing. And he’s writing “When we get some time, maybe we should work together”. But it’s just a nature of planning. I would love to work, of course. And there’s other couple people living in Los Angeles that might be getting involved, maybe Danny Lohner from Nine Inch Nails and cEvin Key from Skinny Puppy.
Rockcult: So that’s very good news, and I’m looking forward to hear the project.
Chris: It could be interesting, yeah.
Фото - IAMX Instagram →
Rockcult: After the last albums like Unfall, Metanoia and Alive In New Light, that you created differently, did it become easier for you to completely create an album, from start to finish, or it’s still hard?
Chris: Hmmm. Good question. It’s still hard. You know, I think that the hardest part that I’ve come to realize is the message. So with something like Unfall it was easier. I have to be honest it was easier, because it’s just pure music. I mean, I didn’t have to stand behind a message, and I didn’t have to feel as much. When I write songs, lyrics, I immerse myself in the feeling. I don’t see any point of doing another way, so it’s a 100%. And I can be a little bit unstable, mentally unstable for the mind doing this all the time.
There’s three stages to record. First is the excitement: “Oh my God, I want to make a record!” Second is the “Oh my God, it’s shit! I have nothing.” That’s the middle period. And the third is “Ahh, ok. It’s ok. Let’s finish this.” And the worst part is the middle, and when I’m in the middle I just hate it. It’s never easy, it’s always the same process. And you know, as an artist, as a creative person I have a self-doubt, you know, questions like “Is it good enough?” – it’s always there. You just have to learn to deal with it.
Rockcult: What can you advise young musicians who want to completely express themselves, you know, in the way like you. What should they do to stay pure, you know, from start to finish, and not do give up?
Chris: I hate to give advices, because it’s very individual, but…I think that the one thing that people have to remember — not to care too much what’s happening in the world. You know, “Look at that band doing it.” So what? You are not that band, you are the only you in the world, so the uniqueness of you is the only thing that’s gonna separate you from anybody else. So the expression of your individualism is your power. If you can stand by that then you will be pure. It will be pure music, or art or whatever else that you’re making.
And there’s the only few practical things that I can say to do. Work very very hard, and love the work. You must adore what you’re doing and you have to be quite good in what you’re doing. So learn your instruments, learn to produce yourself, learn about everything, not just one instrument. That’s important. And then keep doing it. Keep doing it and just not stop. Don’t care so much about money, because if you care about money with music, you are not gonna get what you want. Care about the work first, and the rest will come.
Rockcult: Thanks for the detailed answer. Can your fans expect the IAMX video album in the near future?
Chris: We almost dealt with this record… It’s more complicated than you think. I think for IAMX live experience to just put the cameras… it’s not gonna work. I want except that, I think it would have to be well planned, interesting experiment.
I want to do that, I do want to do that… Money, time, planning. I think it’s necessary to do at some point because it’s a big part of the project. But on the other hand, it should just be pure and you should only see it in the shows. I don’t really know. I think it could be powerful thing to do it at some point, I would like that.