I was nervous. As I sat there waiting at the rather late time for an interview: I was nervous. Igorrr are one of the truly unique bands out there and after seeing them live, they only live up to their reputation. They were truly an artistic performance. Igorrr actually refers to the name of Gautier Serre but commonly also refers to his solo music that traces back to 2004. In recent years Igorrr as a musical outlet now includes the regular contributions from drummer, Sylvain Bouvier, and the vocal artists Laure Le Prunenec and Laurent Lunoir. Both vocalists are also of the experimental doom/gothic band Öxxö Xööx (2006-), of which Gautier Serre has also been credited with programming and studio engineering. Laure Le Prunenec and Gautier Serre are also the members of the Atmospheric Metal band Corpo-Mente (2012-), whilst Gautier Serre and Laurent Lunoir were also a part of the band WHOURKR (2005-2013 whilst Laurent Lunoir left the band in 2007) the Experimental Death Metal/Cybergrind band. Sufficed to say all members are very active and have had a long working relationship together in various different ways and remain to be very much uniquely themselves.
Under the banner of Igorrr, he has released demos before 2006’s Poisson Soluble (Soluble Fish) and 2008’s Moisissure (Mold) under ‘Autoproduced’ though they were later rereleased in 2010 and 2011. We saw the EP BaroqueCore in 2010 which starts to reveal some of their more interesting influences, amongst Aphex Twin and Cannibal Corpse, there’s the likes of Bach, Scarlatti and Chopin. If there can be a genre for Igorrr perhaps ‘Avant Garde Baroque Metal’ is most appropriate – although it feels reductionist. Since then Igorrr have released the albums Nostril (2010), Hallelujah (2012) and Savage Sinusoid (2017) along with the split album Bong-Ra Vs. Igorrr (2013) and the EP Maigre (Lean, 2014). Whilst Igorrr has also appeared on albums by The Algorithm (Brute Force) and Morbid Angel (Illud Divinum Insanus – Remixes), he has also had Teloch of Mayhem and Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation make guest appearances on various songs. With a history like this it would seem Igorrr are one of the most unique but powerful upcomers in the Extreme Metal underground. (I wanted to offer a brief bio for the band as they are, as of July 2017 truly underground and researching them hasn’t been easy.)
So sitting there at TechFest awaiting a band this unique I was nervous. They give their all in to both their music and live shows to truly regard it as artistic and to leave music videos the dumbfounded expression of ‘…that’s visual art’. I was excited to meet them but didn’t know what to expect at all. Suddenly they came in and I felt dwarfed, shaking their hands and seeing them literally as they were on stage now before me smiling felt surreal - and I never use that term lightly. Trying to regain composure we oddly enough sat outside as the encroaching sunset begins to colour the skies and to just find a bit of piece away from the chaos of the festival so we can focus.
Pulling myself together I thank them all for their time and ask them how they felt their performance went. Gautier Serre responded: “We were surprised because we didn’t expect so much good feedback. The festival has rules. The music of the other bands are quite precise whilst we are… pretty out of it [he smirks].” The rules he mentions refers to the genre that gives the namesake TechMetal. I go on to ask when they arrived, if they had chance to see many of the bands. “Arriving yesterday, we’re good and didn’t expect open minded people in the festival to our music. We wanted to see The Algorithm but we arrived just when they finished playing and I’ll see Textures tonight for me.” Gautier Serre comments. Some of the band members mentioned Oni as a band to see as well.
Intrigued by their musical style I had to ask: “Your music is so unique, there’s people mentioning amongst some of the weirdest bands out there in a very positive way. How’d you come up with the musical concept?” Gautier Serre offers: “I’m not sure if there is a concept. We’re just doing what we want to do. We haven’t tried to make any conceptual music or make it experimental. We just like the music we make.” I go on to ask if there’s a particular method to how they write. “I guess like everyone else, you just write it because you have to. When you have riffs in your mind like any bands. I don’t know about the weirdest band in the world status, for us we’re normal.” Gautier Serre went on.
Bringing this to the festival at hand in response to the performance they had on stage which was amazing. They had a true presence on stage that verged on performance art. I wondered if there was a deliberate approach. “Savage.” Sylvian Bouvier offers and laughs but Gautier Serre expanded with “Not sure there is a particular way, we have fun approaching what we are.” I had to agree that is really the most important thing.
They had only recently released Savage Sinusoid so asked about their thoughts on the albums reception. Gautier Serre spoke: “Again we didn’t expect such a great response, we’ve had so many great reviews like 10s and 9s out of 10 it was really good! We didn’t really expect such a good response and have open minded people to our music from this pretty strict scene. …Up to now the feedback has been awesome… It’s been reaching such a high point with our music.“
I then asked them to look to their music as a whole asking if there were personal favourites and if there were any reasons. Gautier Serre was first in: “I guess for now the high point from the last album for me was ‘Houmous’, ‘Opus Brain’ and ‘Problem D’emotion’ I think for now …and Spaghetti Forever [he chuckles]. I think those are the tracks that I like the most for the moment.” The drummer, Sylvian Bouvier responded with ‘Tendon’ and they laugh. Gautier Serre and Laure Le Prunenec comment: “track for a drummer!”.
Asking about influences I went on to talk about organising their own festival line up. Gautier Serre mentions “Well our friends for one [and chuckles]. Meshuggah and if it were possible to bring back some baroque composers like Scarlatti and then it would be like Cannibal Corpse of course. Then guys like Aphex Twin.” From here we talk a bit more for his personal influences and he goes on: “Well for me, my influences I would say Chopin, Cannibal Corpse, Bach, Meshuggah…” and Laure Le Prunenec interjects with: “Scarlatti!” “Scarlatti indeed.” He goes on. “The first one was Alessandro Scarlatti and he has a song that I like all of the music within that composition and there’s Romanian Balkan music Taraf De Haidouks.”
From here we go to a much sillier note and I ask what they’d have for their last meal and they laugh. For Gautier Serre it was Houmous with a laugh and Laurent Lunoir gestures big with a Watermelon. Laure Le Prunenec gives it more thought and says Mango fruit but says it’s difficult to say.
With that my time was up, I thanked them and gladly shook their hands for the time and couldn’t help but offer that the festival was glad and excited to have them.