One of the most mysterious and simultaneously eccentric music projects, IAMX presented his newest album Alive In New Light on 2 February. As per usual, its creation demonstrates the wide range of Chris Corner, the former Sneaker Pimps vocalist, as well as a desire to find answers to various existential questions. What’s On catches up with the London harlequin.
The name ‘I am X’ refers to Becoming X, the title of the Sneaker Pimps’ debut album. You have said in the past that when IAMX was founded, you no longer felt that you were becoming X, but rather that you became X. Also, the meaning of X was meant to be ever changing like a variable in a mathematical equation. How would you describe X in today’s understanding?
This project has always been an in-depth psychological exploration. We are all multidimensional beings. We fluctuate, we change, we grow, we fail, we succeed. X is timeless, human, a connection to the fabric of the infinite, the cosmos.
The first album Kiss + Swallow was recorded at your home studio The Den in London. Tell us about it.
I was broke at the time and had to improvise a basic soundproof studio. I took all the bed covers I could find and padded it out. It ended up being a very intimate inspiring place. When I see pictures of it now it looks like a psych ward white room.
You lived in Europe a lot, and now you live in the US. Where is an artist better placed to work and develop and why?
Artists just want the freedom to flow and create without the distractions of normal life. I have found that being out in the desert is the best place for me at this point in my life.
You bought a building that used to be a hydrotechnical plant and called it Turmwerk (working tower or oeuvre tower in German). Most of the clips and songs of IAMX were made there. What’s going on with it now?
It’s now become a commune. People live, work, meditate, intermingle, and have sex there, or whatever modern day hippies do. I’m glad that it’s still a place of freedom and freethinking since I resurrected it from the ashes of an East German dictatorial DDR regime.
Do you plan to release more documentary films about the album, for example, like You Can Be Happy?
Yes, we are considering a full-length documentary/live performance this year.
How does your day usually start?
Oatmeal, coffee, creation.
It’s been said you had insomnia, because of which in 2013 the autumn tour Screams was canceled. Do you currently deal with this?
It’s a core part of my being and will always be with me, But slowly I’ve learnt the tools to keep it at bay. I see it as an addiction to wakefulness, as a positive drive to live life as completely and fully in the short time we have. As soon as you stop seeing yourself as victim of the world, it’s liberating.
You once said IAMX is a monster, a beast, an animal. How does it look today?
A crying coyote running wild through the volcanic rocks of the Mojave Desert.
25 March at 19.00
Bel’Etage (Shota Rustaveli 16a)