What was your impression of the audience during your set at Kinetik?
Astounding. The crowd at Kinetik is always nothing short of awesome. The energy in that room is nothing like I’ve experienced at any other show. I took some video from the stage and all I can see from the front to the very back is people having a great time. Even when there is a band playing that you don’t care for, there are plenty of other things to do. After the performance, folks often come up and chat you up. The whole festival has a really positive vibe. Everyone there, from fans to artists, knows that they’re part of something special and it shows.
What inspired iVardensphere to incorporate tribal drums and a belly-dancing cameo into the performance?
The tribal drums have always been a part of the iVardensphere sound. I love the earthy, yet powerful, nature of tribal drums in electronic music. It brings something completely non-synthetic to a style of music that is mostly generated with computers and electronic instruments. On the last tour with Combichrist in November of 2010, I took a pair of Japanese Taiko drummers, called Booming Tree Taiko, on the road with me. It was a fantastic experience. Listen to the cd, Bloodwater and you’ll hear tribal sounds throughout. The belly dancing cameo was entirely the idea of a friend of mine; Lily. She really likes tribal rhythms and proposed dancing to one of the tracks. Done and done!
As a Canadian band, perhaps you can describe a bit about the value of Kinetik as a part of the regional electronic/industrial music scene. How big of a deal is this event for artists and patrons?
I don’t see Kinetik as something regional. In all honesty, Kinetik is the largest industrial festival in North America, and there is not a person, performers included, that are not happy to be there to experience it. There are larger festivals in Europe of course, but that is a different game altogether. It was only a matter of time before a festival on this scale happened in North America and I do have a certain amount of pride that it’s in Canada. Montreal is a great place for it. It’s probably my favorite city in Canada to visit, and it’s filled with great people. Kinetik is also a shining example that the industrial scene is not dead; not by a long shot. I’m proudly going to support Kinetik each and every year. It’s too special not to.
Where would you like to see iVardensphere in five years?
Five years? I don’t know where iVardensphere will be in two years! Haha. Seriously, the growth I’ve seen happen to this project was not expected… Not by a long shot. I’ve not been able to predict what has happened so far and I’m sure that the next five years will bring many more surprises. If I had to guess, I see some European tours happening, another headlining tour, movie soundscape work…I’m not going to hold back.
Is there another performer or band who you have not shared a stage with, that you would like to?
Juno Reactor and This Morn’ Omina.
What would you like to see change in the electronic/industrial music scene in the next ten years?
If I had to choose one thing, I’d say the acceptance of the people within the scene to the fact that the scene itself is changing. Change is good. Change does not deface all of the great bands and songs that came before, but it does open the door for new sounds that one would have never imagined. In the end, a person is going to like what they like, and that is great. Always cherish the songs that helped form you, but throwing negativity and hostility towards something new gets us nowhere.
If you were given the option to be given one million Canadian dollars in cash, but you could never again record music or perform it live, would it be a difficult choice?
Most of the artists out there will tell you that there is no major money in music anymore and the sad truth is that they’re right. These same artists, myself included, will also tell you that music is more of a passion than anything else. It would hurt more to not do music than to just keep doing it. I take great pride in finishing every song and with each performance. Taking a million dollars would be a very interesting way to buy misery for my spiritual self. With that million dollars I would buy myself depression, boredom, a complete lack of direction. I’m surviving fine without a million dollars landing on my lap, but to take away my passion would be to cripple me. So, no.
How would you feel about playing at the next Kinetik?
Sign me up!
– interview by Joshua Kreger (May 2011)