Intellectual industrial music, its a new fresh idea and a great sound. Christopher Gurney is the main man behind Iioioioii who hails from a land of NASCAR, moonshine and red necks. Grave Concerns Ezine got chance to catch up with Chris and here is how it went.
Phill - Thank you so much for giving Grave Concerns Ezine this interview, can you tell our readers a little but about yourself?
Chris - My name is Christopher Gurney. I live in the US in North Carolina a very conservative and religious area. I wouldn't call myself a musician but more of a fan of music. So much so that I decided to take the plunge and start making it for myself. Through the process I've grown to love music even more. It's not just the music itself but working with synths and sound. I'm completely self taught and I think that was half the fun in learning all this. I got to really sit down and analyze how things sound and why.
Phill - Not so long ago you released Reflect, how has it been received so far?
Chris - Mixed reviews would probably be the best description. It's not a perfect album by any means. I really enjoyed making it and pushing forward to make a full album on my own. Musically and vocally it was safe for me. A lot of people really enjoyed it and others... not so much. I guess it all stems to personal preferences. I did get really good and honest reviews from Santa Sangre Magazine and Brutal Resonance.
Phill - You have a new album in the pipeline, without giving too much away what is it that sets it apart from Reflect?
Chris - The new album is called Sun and it's being published by Juggernaut Music Group. Nick Quarm has been a huge help and the entire crew is really supportive. As for the new album it's a large departure from Reflect vocally. I've stepped away from the growled lyrics and I use a lot more clean singing. It's getting closer and closer to the music I hear in my head.
Phill - What was the one experience in life that gave you the inspiration to make music and get it out there to the masses?
Chris - Well I've had music around me all my life. My father is a guitarist and my mother is also musically inclined. Though I think the real inspirational push I had was when I met Ogre and he was really supportive about me buckling down and putting my music out there.
Phill - There are a lot of multi-talented people out there, who would you say is multi-talented with music but also something else and what are their talents?
Chris - I think one of the most multi-talented people out there is Mike Patton. That man's talent with all aspects of music is simply astounding. Vocally he's amazing and an inspiration, his compositions are original and fresh, and his versatility to work in such a large range of styles is something every person in music should strive for. I guess what it boils down to is the man doesn't stop. Nothing is good enough and he keeps going out there to learn more. To top it all off he also frequently works in film which I love almost as much as music.
Phill - You DJ as well as create music, care to tell our readers a little bit more about that?
Chris - I used to DJ years ago at a goth/industrial night. *laughs* It was an interesting experience that was more for the social aspect than anything technical like what some people are capable of. It was a small biker bar and it was a group of 5 DJs playing for 10-20 people once a month. It was really laid back and more of a gathering of friends rather than an event. Hell there were times we'd pop in a mix cd and all of us lined up at the bar for an hour. I think the place let us keep doing it because all of the DJs would spend enough at the bar to keep the place open.
Phill - Your musical taste is eclectic, but can you pinpoint an era or genre that really stands out for the quality of the music that it has produced?
Chris - I think each era and genre has it high and low points. With Industrial I have a deep love for the 80s and 90s. The Wax Trax era was amazing but I think that had to with the comradery of the group and the talent of a lot of the members. During the late 90s and 2000s the genre became cut throat. Labels and promotional groups created monopolies and tried to push out all the competition. Fortunately, I think we're getting close to getting back to the cooperative time period again and I think we'll see a lot of good music coming out again. With where technology is at now and the quality of music people are capable of producing with limited finances I think we'll see even better music come out than what Wax Trax produced.
Phill - How do you choose what you call the music that you create, ie song and album titles?
Chris - The very end. I have certain tones and moods in mind when I write and record the music but I don't have a clear title until the lyrics are written. The album isn't named until I've recorded everything and I can sit down and see the overall theme that comes into picture.
Phill - Technology is integrating more and more into our lives as a whole, what one gadget can you not live without?
Chris - That's a difficult call... probably my Gameboy Color with Tetris in it. I've played it for decades and it just doesn't get old.
Phill - You like the old films, particularly the German impressionist films. What is it about that genre of film that holds mysticism with you?
Chris - I think there's been a departure or change of what acting is. If you watch a Wiene or Murnau film you see acting in a theatrical manner, you see a set designed and built by hand, and story telling to reflect a single concept or theme. Modern films have their own great qualities but the acting is more of a pantomime of realism and discarding theatrics. It's sad but seems to be a dying art.
Phill - What’s your favourite film?
Chris - It's a toss up between The Seventh Seal and The Great Dictator.
Phill - You are a video gamer, are you as excited as most gamers regarding Grand Theft Auto 5?
Chris - It's killing me, I've been so busy that I know I don't have time to give it the attention it deserves. So every time I see a copy in a store I get bummed out that I can't snap it up and lock myself in my apartment for a week.
Phill - You come from a family with a military back ground, how did this affect you as a child?
Chris - Not a lot of connections with friends. Every three years you pack up and start fresh so it removes any concept of a hometown. It's a unique perspective honestly you tend to have an outside perspective. I mean where I live there's a lot of people with misconceptions about their surroundings and being in one location for so long it tends to prevent them from having an unbiased perspective. That's actually a big concept behind my next album sun.
Phill - What is the worst thing about living next to a public pool?
Chris - The screaming kids all day every day. I had to time my vocal recordings so that my mic wouldn't pick up the squeels. Though I'm sure if I go back and really listen to the vocal stems there's going to be some kids on there. I wonder if I need to credit them in the album.
Phill - Thank you so much for giving Grave Concerns this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Chris - I just want to say thank you for taking the time to chat with me and I hope we'll have another opportunity in the near future.
Take a listen: " Golden Age"
Check out Iioioioii on-line
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