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Almost A Dirty Dozen with ANDREW SEGA from IRIS – August 2019

| 17 August 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Influential synthrock band IRIS proudly announces their long-awaited return with their new release, Six.  IRIS’ album Six releases on Aug 23rd, 2019. On their 6th full-length album, the North American duo consisting of Reagan Jones (vocals), and Andrew Sega (keyboards, production) prove once more that they are able to slowly evolve, yet still rely on their natural strengths – without repeating themselves or boring their audiences. This starts with the amazing vocals of Reagan Jones, that always impress with their natural, yet almost ethereal, ability to convey all the emotion embedded within IRIS’ music. His talents works on both worlds, on record and live – a satellite broadcasting a delicate message from far away.” We get Andrew to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We’ve been working on Six for the better part of the last 5 years now, and there are a lot of subtle things on there, as usual for Iris records. A lot of times people don’t listen to albums in-order, and we spent some time working on the flow – a lot of the tracks are designed to flow into each other. There’s also a few call-outs to some of our previous records, and we even re-used a few field recordings and samples to give it some old school flavor at points.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve been a musician since I was 12 years old. I started by playing the piano and organ, and then quickly got into computer music and never looked back. I used to play records from my mother’s vinyl collection and dance around the room, and later I realized a lot of those records really stuck with me over the years, and I unconsciously use some of those tricks in our tracks.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Definitely Depeche Mode, but also a lot of “classic” 70’s and 80’s rock such as Genesis, Peter Gabriel, and XTC. There was a lot of very interesting music being made right around that time when synthesizers were becoming popular and more and more present in music, it was really a world where everything was suddenly on the table.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Alan Wilder, Peter Gabriel, Andy Partridge (XTC), Karl Hyde (Underworld), and maybe even Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I kinda like the term “synth-rock”, that seems to be the most accurate. We’re in that grey area between rock and electronics, and kind of go back and forth between those two genres (which increasingly blend together). I do not like being called “pop”, or anything that includes the world – we’re trying to be a bit more serious and moody than that.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Living in a world where technology is advanced enough that you can pretty much make any sound you can think of. It’s one of the best times to produce music ever (though, it’s very crowded these days, since everyone else has the same idea).

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We both get the drinks in. I cook and play the guitar, and Reagan sings, at least for an hour, until it devolves into bad karaoke tunes.

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Watching Chris Corner from IAMX, he’s such a complete and utter bad-ass, he’s like the pure distillation of being an ultimate showman.

9. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I wouldn’t mind being an author, sitting on some farm in Ireland sipping Guinness and writing my great master work. Maybe like George RR Martin, only taking less time and not letting them screw up my TV show ending…

10. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

On our third album, Wrath, I somehow decided that we shouldn’t crank up the bass very loud, and pretty much nuked everything under 60 hertz. Oops. Going to try to remaster that one later this year.

11. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

The Depeche Mode Violator sessions, for sure. They had people sitting around working on just the hi-hats for days! Would have been incredible to watch that process and just absorb the mood and production techniques – it still holds up sounding incredible, 30 years later.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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