"I’m surprised there are so many open minded persons all over the world"
Emerged from the depths of the French underground scene and assisted by the favourable winds of inspiration, Igorrr are taking the world by storm with their bizarre and extraordinary music. The multifaceted musical genius of Gautier Serre, revealed to us the secrets and the difficulties that led to the creation of the masterpiece called "Savage Sinusoid". Are you prepared enough for Igorrr?
"I’m even surprised there are so many open minded persons all over the world"
First of all congrats! The album is absolutely amazing. This is probably the most refreshing album I have heard for quite a while. I’ve also recently reviewed the album and so far it is my only contestant for the Album of the Year. What’s feedback from the rest of the world till now?
Glad to hear that man, thank you very much.
The feedback has been absolutely awesome until now, and sometimes pretty funny as of course, we face some haters which complain about the non-usual aspect of the music, so you can sometimes read on the internet discussions between people who got the music and the ones who didn’t.
Mostly, I’ve been reading incredible comments about the album, I’m even surprised there are so many open minded persons all over the world, it makes my thoughts more positive about the future of music in general.
So, even though the big question for the whole album is a huge why and how, I’ll just ask what exactly is “Savage Sinusoid”?
"What" is almost worst than "why" and "how" :)
Igorrr started when I became a teenager looking for a band or an artist to listen to destroying all the limits of music, a band far away from all the horribly boring mainstream music from TV and radios back then. I didn’t find any band like that, so basically, I juste wrote the music I wanted to listen to: this is what inspired me. I love metal, baroque music, electronic or traditional Balkan music and I wanted to have all the music I love in one place, without segregation. I guess the result is very specific but I didn’t write the music in the purpose to please anybody, it was more something personal, making my own « ideal music », like a big party with metalhead, gypsies, electronic music nerds, baroque heads and Indian traditional musicians, playing all together. Also, at that time I was playing in some bands, and I never felt completely free as there was always somebody in the band complaining about some ideas, not usual enough for them, Igorrr was also the place I could express without restriction, and be myself musically.
"We all are metalheads in the project but Igorrr is not a metal act"
Your latest effort despite its remarkable merits, it is also a rather difficult album to digest as well as to suggest to a friend. Would you agree? How would you describe with few words the sound of Igorrr?
Well, for me, Igorrr is a logical and natural music, I don’t really see why or where it’s hard listening, despite many people telling me this.
After that, Igorrr is always hard to introduce or to present as it’s a project with many elements and many different influences, from baroque to death metal to electronic music to Balkan music. We all are metalheads in the project but Igorrr is not a metal act and it has no clear or known style which would make it easy to label. Igorrr is a project where I try to reach my musical ideal, it doesn’t correspond to any specific style of music but more to my personal musical tastes. I like Chopin or Bach as much as Cannibal Corpse or Meshuggah, as much as Aphex Twin or Taraf de Haidouks, that makes the whole thing a special, and non mainstream music.
I’ve read that it took you whole 4 years to finish the album. What took you so long?
Indeed, “Savage Sinusoid” took me a bit more than 4 years to archive.
The process was extremely long, specially during the mixing, behind the mix table, but this was only one of the aspect. The whole thing starts with the composition of the tracks, after I wrote the base of a tracks, which has to be polished for some time, then comes the recordings. The thing with this music and specially this album, is that, as we are not a metal band or any classical formation, the recordings are pretty tricky, there are many instruments to record, like Harpsichord, Drums, Electric guitars, Sitar, Classical Guitars, Accordion, Percussions, Saxophone, Piano, lots of voices, strings etc… For example, there is an Harpsichord on the track “ieuD”, “Opus Brain”, “Va te Foutre” and “Apopathodiaphulatophobie”, to record it, we had to rent a truck to bring the instrument from CZ Republic to the deep country side of France where is the studio, then we had to wait some time for the instrument to get the temperature of the recording room for the intrsumentist, Katerina Chrobokova to be able to tune it.
Speaking about tuning, the recording with the Sitar were quite tricky as well because of the way a Sitar is tuned, that was not corresponding at all with the track at first, despite the fact that the Sitar part on Opus Brain is very short, we had to retune it completely, and to make things more complicated, the names of the notes on this Indian instruments are not the same as the notes I knew. For the whole album, It was a research of detail and quality for every instrument. Then come the mixing and the mastering of the recordings which took ages to reach my musical ideal.
"If one day, the project Igorrr starts to be too big, then I’ll release a shitty album to release the pressure"
Savage Sinusoid brought Igorrr to another level of international recognition. Is this any kind of pressure for the next step?
I’m actually pretty focus on the music itself, I’m not very thinking about all that kind of «recognition» or «pressure», I’m just doing the music I love, but if one day, the project Igorrr starts to be too big, then I’ll release a shitty album to release the pressure. The project is not meant to be popular, it is meant to research and to experience some new form of music coming from a personal taste.
Since you’ve opened up quite a bit more towards the metal world, do you think that you’ll expand your journey deeper into the metal genre and less on all the other stuff that comprise the Igorrr phenomenon?
I’ve no idea yet, as I love metal, very probably, there will be some metal on the next tracks, but I have no idea yet of how it’s gonna be, I’m still a bit in the shock of the “Savage Sinusoid” recordings, I cannot tell you how things will take shape for the next music. I’ll just follow my feelings and see where it leads.
I can understand the whole breakcore categorisation and all the baroque influences, the black metal, but what led you to experiment with the whole Balkan folk perspective?
I love Balkan music, there are lots of awesome bands in this style, and this music works so well with blast beat and distorted guitars, it’s so powerful. Check the track “Houmous” you can feel that this was so cool to make it, despite the very difficult technical aspect of the music to play, we had lot of fun making it.
I understand that this is the first sample-free attempt. Do you intend to stick to the original material approach?
I don’t know yet, but I really enjoyed making an album which gave me the possibility to control everything from the beginning to the end. On the first albums and demos of Igorrr, I used old samples of baroque music to destroy and re-build, but this time, having the possibility to create the baroque material by myself gave me so many more possibilities: for exemple with a track like “Va te foutre”, I would not be able to use sample as there is simply no sample of harpsichord player playing like that, specially that I wanted to have the sound needed for this album to mix with the other styles, meaning to record the harpsichord with very modern and rich microphones to fit with the death metal parts and the very sharp electronic parts.
My favourite song is “Houmous”. I just love the unique way you fuse all this elements to something so melodic and brutal and so different from everything else around. Do you have any favourites?
My favorites are often changing, also depending of my mood, but “Houmous” has been a favorite for long time as well as “ieuD” and “Opus Brain”.
Right now, for “Savage Sinusoid”, I would say my favorite are “Problème d’émotion”, “Spaghetti Forever”, “Opus Brain” and yes, still “Houmous” indeed.
How is it working with a drummer like Sylvain? For me, as a listener, he did a remarkable job and I absolutely love the huge sound of the drums you created and how beautifully the blast beats blend in with the EDM and folk influences.
It’s crazy how the way he plays fits the Igorrr’s music, one of the secret of the huge sound is that he hits the drum VERY strong.
During the “Savage Sinusoid” recording process, he broke so many drum sticks and so many snareheads. This happens to many drummers, but the crazy thing is that he also breaks sometimes the downhead of the snare drum, only because of the power of the wave of air that result of his playing.
Despite the huge sound of the drum, he is also a very funny guy, see the Making of Savage Sinusoid on YouTube :)
Are you going to create a steady core band now or are you going to change the members according to your needs, wishes and whims?
I’ll ask any guest musician that I need for the next recordings, but for sure Laure, Laurent and Sylvain are going to be a part of the next tracks as we are very close and by the years we are pretty much well in tune together.
With Savage Sinusoid and these guys, Igorrr has taken the shape of a band, more than a solo act.
Teloch and Travis Ryan were few rather interesting additions that really raised the bar of curiosity even further for me. Can you tell us if you have any inclination or any particular wishes for new collaborators for your next Igorrr album?
I have some wishes indeed, I talked to some people already, some good things might be shaping up ! It’s too early to speak about it who, as I really have no idea yet if we gonna do a new album for real one day.
While being presumptuous with new material, what is the next step for Igorrr after the end of the tour?
First thing to do is to stay alive during the tour :) We’ll be on the road for nearly two months and have no idea how it’s gonna be.
Then, some more tours are on the way, we’ll probably announce the details in a couple of weeks or months, but after it, it depends of how “Savage Sinusoid” is gonna be received by listeners on a longer period of time.
What are your expectations from your forthcoming full band live performance in Athens? Have you been to Greece before?
I have never been anywhere in Greece before and I have to tell you we all are very excited to play there. More than the music, I love mediterranean food, I’m cooking pretty much stuff from there and Greece is a major and significant place for everything about mediterranean food: I want to visit this country for this purpose for many years already.
Do you feel that your live performances, given the demanding source material, do justice to “Savage Sinusoid”?
Absolutely, with Laure, Laurent and Sylvain, there is definitely a strong harmony going on, on stage and behind the stage. It’s not a music technically easy to play but until now we are very satisfied and proud of the energy that goes from our shows.
Is there anything else that you wish to add?
Well, I think it’s already a pretty long interview, let’s stop before the readers get bored!