Photo Credit: Gretchen Lanham
Multidimensional Musician, IAMX, is celebrating emergence by taking listeners through a cinematic trip into his broadened awareness throughout his latest album release, ‘Alive In New Light’. As a living, breathing embodiment and example of an individual who unabashedly embraces their human fallibilities, IAMX has harvested a sense of calm through strife which has led him deeper into his light. I caught up with Chris Corner aka IAMX to discuss the release of ‘Alive In New Light’, collaborating with Kat Von D, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the release of ‘Alive In New Light’. I personally perceive that from a listener’s perspective, we are able to ingest this powerful musical hallucinogen that takes us through a trip of your human experience. I perceive that the album is a deep dive into your darkness. Tell us about what you have healed through creating this album.
It’s definitely a transformative album. My last album, ‘Metanoia’, was really describing the journey of depression. Back then, I had a few years in which I was in a hole and that album dragged me out of that hole. ‘Alive In New Light’ is really about describing the arrival of being more at peace with myself and the discovery of how to live with the all-pervading issue of depression. It’s about how to live a good life while dealing with those issues. Currently, I feel like I am in a place where I have the tools to live well and to be well. I am in a place to have compassion for humanity. I am in a place in which I am able to put those things into action and still be creative while looking at the darkness as a tool rather than being entirely immersed in it. This album is an uplifting and hopeful emotional experience.
For instance, within the title track, “Alive In New Light”, there is such a feeling of rapture right from the start. I perceive as though you have created the feeling of surrender and the feeling of taking a deep breath that has sprouted through healing. Through such personal and intimate artistic expression, have you been able to step deeper into understanding of yourself and your current chapter of life?
Yeah. The key word that you used there was surrender, which is one of the most difficult things for anybody to do; accepting how things really are, who you are and what the world really is. It’s a minefield.
We never really let go of that inner, arrogant child that wants the world to be the way that you want the world to be. You’re setting yourself up for disaster if you can’t surrender to the way things are, and that track is really about arriving at that place. It’s about that place that you reach in which a light switches on in your mind and anything is possible if you just release the pride and surrender to the way that things really are.
Yes, along with the release of the preconceived notions and expectations that we subconsciously create. It seems as though you and Kat Von D’s energy blended seamlessly throughout the release. Tell us about your experience working with her.
I am quite introverted. It is actually quite difficult for me to collaborate with people. It’s a combination of being quite self-conscious but also being proud and a bit arrogant as well. I find it awkward, yet with Kat, there are huge similarities within our personalities. Kat is also quite introverted. We bonded over that along with the romance of bittersweet melancholy. We both really love those references within music and art. I think that Kat is also within a place in which she is full of drive and life. She has dealt with her own demons so it was actually a very light and joyful experience working with her. Although the music is quite in-depth and heavy, the way that we approached it was very light. There was a lot of fun and quite playful energy. It was a real pleasure to work with her.
Photo Credit: Gretchen Lanham
I perceive that a lot of the strength within your personality stems from respecting your introversion. You’ve sculpted a life out of your inner world. Do you have any wellness practices that you have incorporated within your daily life?
You know, I’ve never really sat down and constructed a manifesto. I always thought that I should do that and put more structure into my life and over time, I have learned to just accept that that is simply not who I really am. I grew up in my own room and mind. I have never really wanted to dabble outward. As you mentioned, having an introspective approach has been quite helpful for me. I think that every album has been a self-exploration. My albums have been an analytical exploration of what has been going on with me at that time. It’s all a very specific psychological journey and it’s still going. It will go on until I am dead. I have learned to be self-analytical and introversion has helped with that. I am not a particularly social person. If I am with people, I want to know them. I want to understand them. I want to connect with them. But when I am not with other people, I am quite happy alone.
I understand that entirely. Let’s talk tattoos. You have the ‘X’ on your chest. Does that stem from the Sneaker Pimps album, ‘‘Becoming X’, or does that piece carry personal meaning to you?
I have always struggled with the idea of having tattoos. I always wanted to be completely immersed in them and I often go through phases in which I want a tattoo artist to cover my entire body. But, I’ve never really found something timeless enough to connect to and that is an issue for me with tattoos. Perhaps for those that do choose to get tattooed, having an attitude that is more transient is a great approach. Perhaps the tattoos describe a journey that the individual has been through.
For me, having the ‘X’ was stamping the brand on me. I know that I am always going to be doing this thing and ‘X’ is a variable, it changes with me. ‘X’ is an abstract symbol – it can be whatever you want it to be. There is a timeless quality to it and that is even why I used it as my name. ‘X’ is not unequivocal in its meaning and that is very suiting to my personality.
Photo Credit: Gretchen Lanham
We all experience so many different chapters throughout life and the manner in which you have chosen to approach getting tattooed is wise. At times, we get pieces tattooed prior to coming to the realization that these pieces are tattooed on our bodies for the rest of our lives.
Yeah. It’s a bit like taking a photo. I never really look at photos from years ago. I don’t wallow in nostalgia and I don’t know if it’s the same thing for tattoos, yet I’d imagine that it could be the feeling that comes about when an individual looks at a tattoo that is reminiscent of a part of their past. I don’t want to be constantly reminded of the past, I’m interested in moving forward and that’s probably why I am not heavily tattooed. Who knows, perhaps when I am really old I will get my body entirely covered.
Perhaps that day may come. Tell us about your upcoming tour, you’re doing a balance between the states and overseas, correct?
Yeah. We are starting the tour off in Europe and making our way back to the states. We’re going to South America and a few other places as well. I love and hate touring, it’s full of anxiety at times, yet it’s also full of human connection that you can never get anywhere else. The idea of being with so many people in one room and absorbing and transferring energy amongst each other is so powerful. I think that that feeling is more powerful than the anxiety of acting doing it. Ultimately, I do love doing it and I love performing. We’re going anywhere that people want to see us. I mean, simply knowing that there are humans out there that actually like me is a nice feeling.
Kat is going to be coming along for a few shows in major cities. We’re about to announce that which is quite exciting.
Photo Credit: Gretchen Lanham
Incredible. Broad question, what is your idea of a life of happiness?
Well, I think that the way that the world perceives happiness is not correct. It needs to be seen as a skill and something that you put into action every single day. As with anything else, you work on happiness. The idea that happiness is this thing that is going to come to you if you do these things that we’ve been told to do to reach happiness is not correct. Everybody has a different set of tools to learn the skill and put the skill into action, and to do so you have to deconstruct both your own mind and your personality. You probably have to experience some therapy and some crisis. You also probably have to have an experience with psychology to become enlightened of your own personality and spirit.
Indeed. I perceive that happiness is fleeting and ultimately, ever-shifting. As we experience more throughout life both within our inner worlds and the world around us, our versions of happiness continue to change as well.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s impermanent, and understanding that the world is impermanent is the key to do that. Change is what it is all about. I think that if you can accept change and know when to put change into action, you will be happier. Being self-aware is a major part of it along with the realization that you are not your stress or any feelings of negativity, etc.
Right. I perceive that acknowledging when it is time to create time to be selfish is so important. Ultimately, the selfish time turns out to be selfless because you create the time to collect yourself rather than portray an element within yourself that isn’t necessarily who you truly are at your core.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
I am constantly surprised by my fans. I think that my fans are really special. I have noticed that there’s this freedom and flexibility within them; my fans just go with me. My fans are on the same journey as me. I love that about this project. I love the fact that I can experiment as much as I want to and there is so much positivity. I rarely read negative things and if it was negative it would just be…
Yeah, exactly. It’s constructive. I love that. There is this thing, my tribe; they are carrying me throughout my life and it is an incredible feeling.
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