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A brief chat with IAMX


Former Sneaker Pimps man Chris Corner is back with a new project, IAMX, and a new album, following some dark battles with depression. He plays the Marquis Theatre this month, so we chatted.F

Yellow Scene: How did this project come together, and what was your motivation?

Chis Corner: IAMX was born out of the back of being frustrated in a band. I was collaborating with three other people in the Sneaker Pimps before I started IAMX, and that was great but at some point I felt that I couldn’t totally express myself and I felt that the only was I could really do that was to start a solo project. I was a bit of a techy geek, production-obsessed studio person at the time but I was also interested in singing and conveying a more personal message. I tried to combine this studio thing with the extroverted stage performer. That’s kind of what IAMX is – it became this project like that. The influences were really simple, studio-based, electronic at first. It expanded over time. Hard at times, but also melancholiac. It’s a real melting pot of all sorts of things. It’s difficult to define, but it’s definitely a singular vision. It’s a hardcore solo project.

YS: You mentioned the melancholic feel – how much have your battles with depression informed the work?

CC: It’s probably been a huge part of the work. Part of having the project, although I didn’t really realize it at the time because I didn’t really know what I was dealing with for the last 10-15 years, I knew that IAMX was a sort of cathartic, therapeutic project in a way. It gave me a lot of freedom to say things and express myself in ways that I hadn’t had before. I think part of dealing with depression and any kind of mental struggles – part of the problem is not having a way to express yourself. I was very lucky that I had that. Obviously, artists in general are very sensitive people, that’s why we do what we do, so in a way it’s a very natural way of dealign with depression. A lot of art is about that. Actually being quite specific about it, it only really manifested into a paralyzing problem about two or three years ago. That’s when I stopped making music for a while, stopped touring, and basically just became a cabbage. I had to go home and get help. When I was at my worst, I knew instinctively that I had to get some professional help and get back on track before I could actually make music again. Once I had done that, put myself together, because at one point I really thought that music was my enemy and part of the problem, in fact that wasn’t true and I rebuilt my relationship with music again and now I feel like it nourishes me more than ever. This specific album is about that change, about that transition and rebirth, or transformation.

YS: Do you like playing Colorado?

CC: We’ve played Denver a couple of time, at the Bluebird. That’s a cool place. I don’t know much about it. I have a couple of friends in Colorado, and it’s very, very beautiful. I’ve been through and it’s always looked amazing. But it’s the usual thing – touring is going to a place for a day, in and out. It;s frustrating on that level – you don’t get the chance to see things.

YS: What can we expect from the set?

CC: You’re going to get a lot of energy. It’s the energetic side of the project which comes out live. It’s a bit more electronic than the last incarnation of the live band – we took out guitars. The new album is a bit more purist in its electronic approach. More keyboards, electronics and quirky sound, but still with a high level of filthy energy. We do a lot of moving around, jumping about, and it’s a pretty intense show physically. We really enjoy that. The combination of that music is intense, dark, sweaty, and it’s a visual show as well. It’s quite sexy.

YS: When the tour’s over, what’s next?

CC: Probably more touring. I haven’t been touring for a long time so I’m playing a bit of catch-up. When I got really sick, we cancelled a major tour and I promised we’d go back. Also, just getting into the flow of promoting the album. It’s probably going to be about a year-and-a-half of promotion. There are a couple of collaborations I’m thinking about doing here in Los Angeles with a few friends. That hasn’t manifested itself yet. It sounds like it’s going to like an electronic, indie super-group kind of thing.

IAMX plays with Mr. Kitty at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 17 at the Marquis Theatre; 2009 W. Larimer St., Denver; 303-487-0111; $20-$22.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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