Iioioioii – Interview
Iioioioii Interview Wicked Spins Radio
Intelligent electronic industrial music, what is it? What is Iioioioii? Iioioioii is intelligent, Iioioioii is electronic, Iioioioii is industrial and Iioioioii is decent music. Christopher Gurney is a DJ as well as the main man behind Iioioioii. Wicked Spins Radio got chance to catch up with Chris and here is how it went.
WSR – Than you so much for giving Wicked Spins Radio this interview Chris, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Chris – Well I’m a music lover who just decided to take the leap and try it for myself. It kind of grew from there in a very time consuming manner *laughs*. Last year I would spend a few hours a week working on music and now it’s pretty much what I do if I’m not working my day job or sleeping and usually it’s cutting into my sleep. I’m just like a lot of people out there; I have my passions and things I enjoy. I go through hardships and learn difficult lessons and it all ends up in my music. I guess what I’m saying is that there is no character that you’re seeing here. I have a deep respect for musicians out there that use theatrics as a form of expression for their music but you won’t see that from me.
WSR – You recently signed to Juggernaut in the UK, what do you hope you will get from Juggernaut and why did you choose them?
Chris – I had talked to Nick Quarm on and off for a few months and not too long ago he and I had a serious chat about signing to Juggernaut Music Group. I was really impressed with how passionate and enthusiastic he was about everything. Once I signed up with the label I was overwhelmed with the amount of support I got from Nick and the rest of the crew. It’s been a pleasure working with everyone.
WSR – I have to ask you about your name, what is the inspiration behind your name?
Chris – Purely luck, I was originally recording under the name IIO until I found out another producer was keeping that name on lockdown. I released an EP before I found out with the letters IIO IOI OII stacked on top of each other and I later on decided to change the name to that. There’s no deep meaning in the name I just liked the way the letters looked. That and it’s now a palindrome *laughs*. To keep things pronounceable I just call the project I.O.
WSR – When did you give life to Iioioioii and what has been the highlight of your career so far?
Chris – The project really got started in the beginning of 2012 when I decided to start writing and recording my first EP. As for a highlight, honestly the past month has been exciting and super busy with my new album Sun coming out very soon. I’m excited because it’s going to be so much closer to what’s in my head musically. It’s also a little scary with how much of myself will be out in the open. Working with Juggernaut has kept me super busy but it’s been a lot of fun.
WSR – When you were a child what did you want to do as a job?
Chris – I wanted to be an illustrator. I drew pictures all the time as a kid. I still have a soft spot for animated films to this day. If I watch Iron Giant to this day I still get a wee bit emotional.
WSR – What are your musical influences?
Chris – Skinny Puppy, Depeche Mode, I could name drop for hours honestly. I listen to such a variety of music and try to take and utilize a lot of what appeals to me in my own music.
WSR – What is the main reason you decided to go ahead and release your music, can you tell our readers about the Ogre incident?
Chris – Well I got free tickets to a horror convention and Ogre was doing signings. I figured I’d say hi and thanks for all the enjoyment/influence I got from his works. God damn I was nervous though I felt like I was going to become a mouth breather and gush all over him. So I told myself, “Buy a tshirt to support him coming out, shake his hand, say thanks, and then walk away to maintain some semblance of dignity.” Next thing I knew Ogre pulled me to the side and we started chatting about politics and music. I mentioned that I was working on some material and he was super supportive and encouraged me to go through with it.
WSR – You do everything musically yourself, what are the advantages and disadvantages of making music this way and have you ever thought of forming a full band?
Chris – Oh god this is one of the most bittersweet things I’ve gone through. I’ve been in bands and ninety percent of the time you’re in a piss poor ventilated area trying to practice. From my experience fifty percent of practice time is spent breaking up arguments and fights. You have egos clashing, conflicting schedules, and just plain old drama. I don’t miss that at all. Working by myself allows me to work at a faster pace and the only person responsible for what comes out is the one in this chair here. If I don’t like something I don’t need to stroke any egos I can just delete it and move on. The downside is a big one. I don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of so if I’m stuck it might take a while to figure out a solution. I don’t have anyone to get excited with while writing and recording so there are times where you just have to keep yourself motivated and that’s not always easy.
WSR – During your childhood you moved about a little living in Germany and many places in the USA, has this had any effect on you musically?
Chris – Very much so. At the time there wasn’t really a lot of information widely available on music and bands so that word of mouth was one of the main ways to discover something new. By being in a different country it allowed you to find out about bands that you wouldn’t have had the chance to know about if you lived in the US and vice versa. I got to hear music that never made it across the pond or took 10 years to even generate a small amount of buzz in the States and it definitely shaped my taste in music.
WSR – You like old black and white movies, what is it that attracts you to the older movies and have you seen a modern film that you feel will stand the test of time like some of the older movies have?
Chris – Honesty and passion were so evident in those films. It was so difficult in those times, no post processing, film that was almost a liability, every costume and set piece was handmade, and actors and actresses that were from theatre with no real idea on how to approach the situation of acting for a camera. You had characters instead of roles written for certain actors. I guess what I’m saying is that it was an artistic vision instead of a marketable product. As for modern films there are some amazing works out there that I love. I mean the film Ratcatcher was amazing, it was intensely honest and emotional… and I cried like a little girl at the end. It got me right in the feel as they say. I also loved the movie Drive, it was odd, it was like an independent action movie. You never felt comfortable with the characters but you couldn’t put your finger on it almost like a subtle David Lynch film.
WSR – You studied design and advertising, is this what you do as your day job now or do you do something completely different?
Chris – Not so much anymore but it does come in handy with my music. Years of photoshop experience and working with film has definitely aided my creative endeavours with this project. I just work a desk job these days, it’s not glamorous but it allows me financially to pursue my real interests.
WSR – Have you ever had any prejudice towards you for the way you choose to dress or the music that you listen to?
Chris – We all make judgments on appearance good or bad. My appearances have been the catalyst for fights with less open minded people and it’s also attracted likeminded people that I’ve made good friendships with. Over the years I’ve learned to take the good with the bad. You can’t argue with ignorance but you don’t have to be docile. When it comes to musical taste I get picked on by my friends more than anyone. The eyes roll when I try to play a James Chance album in the car or try to convince friends how awesome The Emotron is. Seriously if you guys out there haven’t heard Emotron go and check him out.
WSR – What is your one main inspiration in life as a whole, the one thing that keeps you breathing?
Chris – I have two things. My main inspiration is my fear of failure in general. Not doing what I enjoy doing, living each day tv show to tv show is failure. Complacency is failure. I always look for a way to better myself or learn something new. The second is my wife Niki who is my teammate in almost everything I do and provides immense encouragement and patience.
WSR – Thank you so much for giving Wicked Spins Radio this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Chris – First, I’d like to thank you for taking the time with me today and I had a great time chatting with you. Second, I’m looking forward to releasing my new album Sun on Juggernaut Music Group. I’m hoping everyone will enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed making it.