Music Week Chat with Iris

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Music Week Chat with Iris: July 19th, 2007

[Xfire] Phatteox: Hello! We are very pleased to welcome everyone to the iris Online Live Chat! Please welcome our special guests from iris, Reagan and Andrew, who will now introduce themselves and start taking your questions!

[Xfire]Frederic: Hi All! Welcome to the Iris Chat!

andrew [iris]: hola everyone

andrew [iris]: i'm andrew sega, i do the programming and production

andrew [iris]: reagan here is the singer/songwriter extraordinaire

rjonesaustintx: hello everyone

 

Question: <CNN>DGMurdockIII: When did you guy first form?

Answer: andrew [iris]: reagan you want to take this one?

andrew [iris]: one sec, getting windows configured

rjonesaustintx: sure

rjonesaustintx: we first formed as the current lineup in 2002. We had released an album called Disconnect in 1999, which was more like a collection of our demo material up to that point. Then Matt Morris, who I was in the band with, introcuded me to Andrew as a way to bow out and have someone else take the reigns.

andrew [iris]: yeah so i guess i've been involved since 2002... it's been just me and reagan since then

 

Question: [SF]Geostrike{Mrl}: How come you decided coming to xfire ro chat with us?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i'm actually kind of a gamer... i've worked in the videogame industry for quite a while, have done a bunch of games for Microsoft / Midway / EA

 

Question: BFM_Ediseye: What country do you all come from?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i like to say we're texans (although reagan's the only born-and-raised one... i grew up in new york

rjonesaustintx: Straight from the lone star state

 

Question: CnC> ŝεεφüε: Do you have any specific influences or agendas when writing/composing songs or do they sprout from random ideas?

Answer: andrew [iris]: reagan any thoughts?

rjonesaustintx: usually not a lot of preconceived ideas. All that comes into play during the actual writing stage. Writing inspires, builds upon itself in real time.

andrew [iris]: sometimes i do use randomness in the production techniques

andrew [iris]: i have some plugins which literally glitch themselves randomly and then i'll sample little bits and pieces and glue them together

rjonesaustintx: sometimes I think, that would be a good thing to write about, I should write it down. then i forget,

rjonesaustintx: trying to improve that

 

Question: Sue Loves Iris!: My fourth question (for either): What’s your biggest musical influence? Why?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i think for me i would obviously have to mention depeche more "violator" one of the most perfect albums imaginable

andrew [iris]: also for me: XTC, genesis, orbital, underworld, public enemy (and old hiphop), aphex twin, old chemical brothers, anything with lots of interesting melody and texture

rjonesaustintx: Violator is definitely the mark of excellence, because it is electronic, organic, mainstream, yet not, danceable, yet not a dance record, dark in a mysterious way, and exceptional with the songwriting, production, and engineering, So that is always like a beacon I guess.

rjonesaustintx: I was also influenced by Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket quite a bit

rjonesaustintx: I think he is the greatest American songwriter

 

Question: bodhisattvavow: Are you guys gamers? If so, which games?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i played the evil insidious beast that is World of Warcraft to level 60 and then promptly quit :D

andrew [iris]: also i used to play counterstrike and etc

andrew [iris]: currently i am salivating over fallout 3

 

 

Question: [Xfire]Frederic: What musical instruments do you use? Do you have instruments dating back from the origins of electro music in the 70~80's?

Answer: andrew [iris]: not really... i'm getting rid of most of my hardware, since everything's going digital these days

 

Question: internetracecar: I hear a lot of influences from your earlier music, like in the alpha conspiracy and even some of your really early work as necros. Have you tried to move away from that with iris at all?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i wouldn't say that really... they are different sides of the same coin

andrew [iris]: AC is more experimental, more techno

andrew [iris]: shameless side project plug: http://www.myspace.com/thealphaconspiracy

andrew [iris]: i also use remixes a lot as a way to try different ideas

 

Question: bodhisattvavow: WIll the new album be in the same vein as Wrath, or something different altogether?

Answer: andrew [iris]: it's hard to say.... there's never really a "master plan" when doing these things

andrew [iris]: we have 2-3 songs in demo form for it and they are interesting, maybe a bit darker but also more melodic

 

Question: Peanut7316: If someone told you that you'd still be doing this twenty years from now, what would you say to them?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i would tell them that they were insane!

andrew [iris]: but really i think music is a disease, i can't stop making it

 

andrew [iris]: reagan had to go AFK for a few mins, he'll be back

 

Question: CNN>DGMurdockIII: What do you guy think of the new game Rock Band that coming out?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i'm sure it'll be good although the prices for the peripherals scare me :>

 

Question: FM_Ediseye: Do you guys rely on sponsers to get your name out there into the open or do you just rely on word of mouth?

Answer: andrew [iris]: word of mouth! we are very dependent on our fans.... they are the engine for what we do

 

Question: [Xfire]Frederic: I know you have very strong ties to the gaming industry. Can you please tell us a bit more about your involvement with gaming? :-)

Answer: andrew [iris]: yes

andrew [iris]: i did the soundtrack for the old Crusader games that Origin did back in the 90's

andrew [iris]: i also worked for microsoft for a number of years actually doing things like design and AI programming

andrew [iris]: one game was called "Freelancer" where i did both programming and also music... i did all the audio that you hear in the bars during the game (it's basically kind of a 3D remake of elite / privateer)

 

Question: [Xfire] Artaxs: What software do you like to use for programming music and for sequencing?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i use freeware, no joke

andrew [iris]: something called Buzz (http://www.buzzmachines.com)

andrew [iris]: i've done the last two iris records on it entirely (along with a bunch of VST's and things)

 

Question: BFM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: Are you guys upset there's no keyboard/synth in 'Rock Band'?

Answer: andrew [iris]: YES!!! Wtf

 

rjonesaustintx: sorry guys

andrew [iris]: trying to get to everyone's questions, there a lot scrolling by

rjonesaustintx: had to step away for a sec

 

Question: [SF]Geostrike{Mrl}: What message do you express in your songs? Are there different messages or mainly one that is important?

Answer: rjonesaustintx: okay

rjonesaustintx: Our songs tend to deal a lot with matters of the soul

rjonesaustintx: which is a braod statement

rjonesaustintx: But there's a lot of Paradise Lost in there

rjonesaustintx: you could say

 

Question: SF]Geostrike{Mrl}: If you had to choose, Andrew, between your gaming career an music career what would you choose?

Answer: andrew [iris]: it's a difficult question to answer.... i love music, but i also love games (and making them). at the moment i'm trying to do both

 

Question: SOS-Jolt: What would be your favorite video game of all time?

Answer: andrew [iris]: planescape: torment. if you haven't played it, you have not experienced the best-written RPG or all time

 

Question: BFM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: What has been the most extensive tour you guys have done?

Answer: andrew [iris]: we typically do shorter tours... i think our longest one in europe was only 14-15 dates

 

Question: BFM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: Xbox 360 - PS3 - Wii??

Answer: andrew [iris]: i have the MS employee 360 edition (with the launch team faceplate), but i would really like a wii :>

 

Question: [Xfire]Frederic: Do you see any difference between your North American and European audiences?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i think europeans are generally more accepting of electronic music.... it's more "mainstream" there, but americans are less reserved and tend to enjoy themselves more at shows

rjonesaustintx: historically that has been the case, but these taboos are breaking away in America

rjonesaustintx: no one has yet to take full advantage of it, imo

rjonesaustintx: someone will

rjonesaustintx: just a matter of time

 

Question: FM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: Do you prefer to be kept in the 'Underground' or would you appreciate it if your record label took you guys 'Mainstream'?

Answer: andrew [iris]: RJ?

rjonesaustintx: yep

rjonesaustintx: oh..ok hold on

rjonesaustintx: I think, after all this work, you want to be as successful as you can. I will say that neither of us are motivated by thinking in terms of the money, and especially not the fame, but to reach more people and have the opportuntity to expand what we do, to that end, mainstream.

rjonesaustintx: We're a hard band for labels to make a decision on.

rjonesaustintx: We dont use enough guitars for a lot of them, but with the success of a lot of indie rock bands, maybe that will help us to finally sway someone, the right person, to come talk to us.

rjonesaustintx: You can't beat it.

 

Question: FM_Ediseye: Do you guys consider MySpace to be a good website to reach other people for Iris?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i think myspace used to be good, but it's become saturated with spammers and people who just try to increase their friend count. i personally am proud that we have never used friend bots and etc. all of our 8K friends actually clicked on us and sent requests. that's more meaningful than someone like tila tequila with 10000000 "friends"

 

Question: bodhisattvavow: Are there plans for an IRIS U.S. tour? :)

Answer: andrew [iris]: we are working on it

andrew [iris]: touring is a tricky business sometimes, takes a lot of organization

rjonesaustintx: We are figuring it out though.

 

Question: BFM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: Do you guys have a band that you guys tour with most often??

Answer: rjonesaustintx: Maybe 2008

andrew [iris]: we've played with de/vision 22 times

andrew [iris]: (no joke)

andrew [iris]: http://www.myspace.com/devisionmusic

rjonesaustintx: Great band, we have really had a lot of our recent success as a result of being part of all that. They tour like a large band in the states, so it has been an amazing experience for the small town boys.

 

Question: skip: Do you have an everyday inspiration, just something to make you want to write another song?

Answer: rjonesaustintx: That changes.

rjonesaustintx: It find it hard to explain it, Something drives you to want to create.

rjonesaustintx: You have some result you want to achieve, and you sort of know when writing if it;s going in that direction, to a place where it will really hit home for someone.

rjonesaustintx: I'm addicted to that I guess.

 

Question: [iris]: BFM_Ediseye: On average, how many hours a week do you try and create new musical tunes?

Answer: andrew [iris]: for me it's more like "how many hours do you spend doing repeated versions of the same song" :)

rjonesaustintx: Andrew works countless hours on details, and this is a difficult style of music anyway.

 

Question: SOS-Jolt: What was your very first musical instrument?

Answer: andrew [iris]: hrm good question

andrew [iris]: i think it was a little toy piano

andrew [iris]: my dad bought an upright when i was around 10

rjonesaustintx: Ensonique SD-1

 

Question: [SF]Geostrike{Mrl}: What would be your mainly advice for people who wants to be a band in the future?

Answer: andrew [iris]: it takes a lot of hard work these days

andrew [iris]: longevity is the secret these days

andrew [iris]: refine and hone your craft, learn your instrument, learn a bit about music theory and sound design

 

Question: [Xfire]Frederic: I think Iris is one of the most innovative and original synthpop bands around (i.e., not trying to be Depeche Mode or Ultravox over again). What other bands do think consider as still pushing the envelop for synthpop or industrial music?

Answer: andrew [iris]: well thank you frederic :)

rjonesaustintx: Yes

andrew [iris]: hrm

rjonesaustintx: other bands

rjonesaustintx: I think certainly I AM X is at the front of that

andrew [iris]: let me browse my itunes :>

andrew [iris]: yeah chris corner is a genius

rjonesaustintx: Rupesh Cartel is good, but their best song is called "Clay" and it's not even on their myspace page.

andrew [iris]: i don't listen to much "industrial" per se, but i'd recommend anything that frank spinath touches (seabound, edge of dawn, ghost and writer)

rjonesaustintx: excellent - yes, all of that

 

Question: <CNN>DGMurdockIII: what do you think about the bands that did this kind of stuff in lat 70's and 80's?

Answer: rjonesaustintx: changed everything

andrew [iris]: i think it was probably an exciting period of time to have been on the forefront of electronic instruments

andrew [iris]: kraftwerk and co especially

rjonesaustintx: I was really into Cetu Javu, Seven Red Seven, Cause & Effect, Book of Love, Anything Box, information Society, etc.

rjonesaustintx: those were all star quality

rjonesaustintx: but they were on the radio

rjonesaustintx: when they came to town it was a big deal

 

Question: FM_Ediseye: When you first started to write music, did you ever doubt yourself in your abilites or did you think you always had it?

Answer: andrew [iris]: RJ take that one?

rjonesaustintx: hold a sec

rjonesaustintx: doubt myself...uhmm no I was naive enough to have no doubts

rjonesaustintx: it was all passion

rjonesaustintx: when you have passion, you never doubt. you just think, ok, if i fail, i'll just try it a different way

rjonesaustintx: that's a great feeling

rjonesaustintx: in any regard

 

Question: BFM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: How has your music evolved over time as technology has evolved over time?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i think technology is a great thing.... the amount of virtual instruments and effects that are available today totally destroys anything you could have done with hardware 10 years ago. i don't think it affects the songwriting since reagan usually does the demos without a lot of production

andrew [iris]: but it think the "sound" is certainly the result of technology

 

andrew [iris]: i haven't had to type this fast in years lol

 

Question: SOS-Jolt: What rigs are you using to type your answers right now?

Answer: andrew [iris]: a boring dell XP box (all the music is done via PC's, i don't own a mac)

rjonesaustintx: HP laptop?

 

Question: Sue Loves Iris!: Do you consider yourselves to be goth?

Answer: andrew [iris]: lol

andrew [iris]: no

rjonesaustintx: Not at all.

andrew [iris]: however

rjonesaustintx: Are we?

andrew [iris]: i think "goth"ness has a certain emotional quality to it

andrew [iris]: which is also present in our music

rjonesaustintx: certainly

andrew [iris]: a sort of melancholy and introspection

andrew [iris]: we don't "dress up" or anything

rjonesaustintx: moods for the lonely

rjonesaustintx: or the searchers

rjonesaustintx: or whatever

rjonesaustintx: you know

rjonesaustintx: we dont write music for large parties

 

Question: BFM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: Do you guys think signing about political issues in your music is correct?

Answer: andrew [iris]: we avoid politics / religion / etc... there are lots of bands that do it (well) but we prefer to write about different topics

rjonesaustintx: i wouldnt say we avoid them. there is a lot of religion in there, but I think it's done in a way that says, read if you want, or dont.

 

Question: ionzub: Who does most of the song writing in your band? Would you say they are mostly based on experiences or something else?

Answer: andrew [iris]: RJ take that one?

andrew [iris]: (reagan writes 100% of the songs)

rjonesaustintx: Based on some internal vortex.

rjonesaustintx: spinning 'round

rjonesaustintx: i wish i knew

 

Question: BFM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: So...What did that heavy metal band tell you guys after you beat them at the battle of the bands back in high school??

Answer: andrew [iris]: hahahaha

andrew [iris]: i played bass clarinet in high school

andrew [iris]: i was in no position to battle anyone lol

rjonesaustintx: well i lived heavy metal pop, so we were buds

rjonesaustintx: he knew not to mess with me anyway

 

Question: AnThRaX: Have you ever had frightening run-ins with deranged fans or paparazi ?

Answer: andrew [iris]: no but i have learned people in russia are intense

rjonesaustintx: all the time

rjonesaustintx: lol

andrew [iris]: reagan gets all the ladies though

andrew [iris]: hehehehe

rjonesaustintx: c'mon!

andrew [iris]: lol

rjonesaustintx: well alright

rjonesaustintx: no no no no

rjonesaustintx: we like to have a really good time, but we do it with class i think

rjonesaustintx: hopefully

 

Question: BFM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: Do you guys play any sports to get away from everything at times?

Answer: andrew [iris]: reagan rides dirtbikes (or used to)(

rjonesaustintx: motocross/supercross

rjonesaustintx: those are the only games i play btw

rjonesaustintx: does anyone know if more games will be released soon in this genre

rjonesaustintx: I can kill in MX Unleashed

 

Question: Peanut7316: Most long lasting musicians have tested the waters in new genres over time to stay fresh. What else do you see Iris branching out into, even just for fun?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i dunno... i think we would probably do other things as side projects. iris has a very defined vibe to it and i wouldn't want to ruin thatunno

rjonesaustintx: this is our contant internal battle

andrew [iris]: unfortunately nobody's drawn us a map :D

 

Question: [Xfire]Frederic: What is your take on digital distribution? Have you ever considered going entirely digital, without any retail distribution?

Answer: andrew [iris]: yes

andrew [iris]: however people still like CD's

andrew [iris]: our itunes sales keep going up and up though

andrew [iris]: personally i think 128k AAC for $0.99 is a bad deal.... i'd rather sell you higher quality stuff, DRM free

andrew [iris]: 24bit uncompressed if you want it

andrew [iris]: so i think we will start experimenting with formats

 

Question: BFM_Ediseye: Do you ever let close friends criticise your music so you can improce on it before final relase?

Answer: rjonesaustintx: Andrew is the horsepower behind these decisions

andrew [iris]: yes but it is done carefully

rjonesaustintx: sure

andrew [iris]: the last thing we want is a leak

rjonesaustintx: I generally like to know how someone outside the synth scene responds to it, and take their criticism quite seriously.

 

Question: [SF]Geostrike{Mrl}: Do you agree with the piracy that is now on the web? I mean there are all guys who won't buy albums but download the ilegally...

Answer: andrew [iris]: GOOD question

andrew [iris]: piracy really hurts indie artists

andrew [iris]: especially places like allofmp3.com which are run by russian gangsters

andrew [iris]: and we get no money even though they charge you for the tracks

rjonesaustintx: We have met Russian gangsters

andrew [iris]: they are no joke lol

andrew [iris]: we have our own label here in the US

andrew [iris]: so when you buy an iris record, most of the money goes directly to the band

andrew [iris]: and supports future releases

rjonesaustintx: of course

 

Question: FM_Knight †┌╦╤─ iPwn™: Do you guys wish you had started the band earily in your life?

Answer: rjonesaustintx: I think the age thing is another taboo that is falling away

rjonesaustintx: it used to matter more

rjonesaustintx: and we are still in prime condition

rjonesaustintx: :)

 

andrew [iris]: doh dropped

andrew [iris]: back

 

Question: skip: I understand you like some music from the 70's and 80's but how about todays music? What do you think of it and what of today's music would you like to hear more of?

Answer: rjonesaustintx: our best is ahead, i'm sure of that

andrew [iris]: editors, keane, royksopp, future clouds and radar, etc

andrew [iris]: idlewild

rjonesaustintx: I'd like to hear another Coldplay album that really changes course, more elecronic

rjonesaustintx: definitely Idlewild

rjonesaustintx: they are one of the very best

 

Question: ugga12: With all the pirates growing, wasn't it a big gamble to bet on the indie industry? I mean... those distributers of full albums that are going around and all.

Answer: andrew [iris]: i like to think we're betting "smart"... our overhead is low and so far things are looking good

 

Question: <CNN>DGMurdockIII: Whould you sell drm free downlods on your website?

Answer: andrew [iris]: yes but i'd prefer to use a third party service because of the administration issues

 

Question: SF]Geostrike{Mrl}: Do you find your music similar to Coldplay's?

Answer: andrew [iris]: also the new editors record is good no matter how much the mags are dissing it

rjonesaustintx: I think because we are not a dance band, but use electronics for the emotional end, yes

rjonesaustintx: similar to Coldplay more than we are to a lot of bands who write electronic pop. it isn't what you use, it's how you use it as they say

rjonesaustintx: what is the end goal

 

Question: lionzub: Hey I'm sorry for asking this again, but I really want to know, and I know others do too heh, where is the absolute best place to buy your music?

Answer: andrew [iris]: http://www.cdbaby.com ... they are indie-friendly, and we get the most amount of $$ per sale. also they ship internationally

 

Question: BFM_Ediseye: Did you guys ever think of making a biography on DVD or Blu-ray?

Answer: andrew [iris]: good opportunity to pimp the upcoming HYDRA EP

 

andrew [iris]: crazy lag

andrew [iris]: sorry about that

[Xfire] Phatteox: Yeah same here.

andrew [iris]: the questions were so good that the server was not worthy

andrew [iris]: "XFIRE PWNED" lol

[Xfire] Phatteox: I think you broke the internet

andrew [iris]: RJ might have to run but i'll stay for a few more mins

 

Question: BFM_Ediseye: Have you guys ever met anyone such as Dimebag or Cliff Burton before their death?

Answer: andrew [iris]: no, maybe that's a good thing... we don't want to be a bad luck charm :>

 

Question: Carand: What are your plans for the future?

Answer: andrew [iris]: i don't really know

andrew [iris]: at the moment we will definitely keep making music

andrew [iris]: we are working on another full-length release, but we don't have a timeline attached

andrew [iris]: i feel it's best not to rush thing

andrew [iris]: err things

andrew [iris]: and probably do more shows

andrew [iris]: especially here in america which we sometimes neglect

 

[Xfire] Phatteox: That concludes the chat with iris! Thank you very much to our special guests and thanks everyone for participiating.

andrew [iris]: thanks everyone!

[Xfire] Phatteox: Now on to the prizes! If you are one of the winners PM me for instructions on how to claim your prize! There will be 10 winners who will each receive an iris CD!

[Xfire] Phatteox: WINNERS, PLEASE PM ME WITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE:

[SF]Geostrike{Mrl}

bodhisattvavow

lionzub

Sue Loves Iris!

internetracecar

BFM_Ediseye

Peanut7316

AnThRaX

<CNN>DGMurdockIII

=Uber=AdamX

 

andrew [iris]: http://www.irismusic.com

andrew [iris]: http://www.myspace.com/iris2

andrew [iris]: http://www.diffusionrecords.com

andrew [iris]: http://www.infacted-recordings.de

[Xfire]Frederic: I would like to thank Iris for participating in the Xfire Music Week! Don t forget to check their music. Iris generously donated some of their tracks and a video that you can access on the Music Week website at: http://www.xfire.com/cms/xf_music_week_iris/

[Xfire]Frederic: Thanks to the Xfire users for stopping by today! Thanks for participating in Music Week!

rjonesaustintx: thanks to everyone for hanging out. i have to run but we appreciate the support.

rjonesaustintx: very much!