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January 1, 2011

IRIS Corporation

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Written by: Jules
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It is with my huge pleasure that IRIS Corporation is the first Featured Independent Band for 2011.

I became aware of this fantabulous band when they sent me a friend request on YouTube. I was immediately impressed by their sound. It is a very wonderful fusion of a few of my favourite genres. Located in France, they describe themselves as:

An aura made of Brit Rock and Oriental – poetic and commited lyrics – this is the union of three musicians from IRIS Corporation. Each from a different background, their stance on ecology, humanism and spirituality is the result of their rejection of communitarianism. A consciousness-raising the band wants to share at every level of social, economical and spiritual pyramids to allow infinite hope.

“World Rock” uniting oriental sensuality and Rock power, ever respecting the balance and the cultural sharing essential for our earthly future.

Normally when I feature a band or a musician, I put their bio first, then tracks and links. As they were nice enough to give me a lot of information (2 reviews and 1 interview), I’ll include that information after I embed their tracks (5 tracks from their album A New Saint Session)and give their links. If you are viewing this in an RSS reader, you’ll need to visit the site in order to listen to the tracks.

I hope you enjoy.

IRIS Corporation – A New Saint Session

IRIS Corporation – Highest Love

IRIS Corporation – The Greedman

IRIS Corporation – Brain-Wave

IRIS Corporation – HeartH

Find them online:

Official: http://www.iriscorporation.biz/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/IRISCorporation
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/IRIS-Corporation/107515791788
Deezer: http://www.deezer.com/fr/music/iris-corporation
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/iriscorporation
Twitter: http://twitter.com/IRISCorporation

Review – Longueur d’Ondes – 05/2009

About “A New Saint Session” :
To best reflect a position at the crossroads of humanist and non-communitarian stances, the music of this Albigeois trio results in a cultural, geographical and temporal mixing that makes it unique.

If its foundations – branded by influences from the 70’s – are firmly rock and electric, its inspiration draws melodies from the orient with more exotic warmth and sensuality.

Amplified and acoustic sounds are merged together, fragile vocals, close to Jeff Buckley, flirt with passionate anger and guitars hug oriental curves.

This first album unfolds in changing tones and atmospheres, often shady like reflected rage, then again richly coloured and held by rolling rhythms.

This conscious and concerned “World Rock” knows how to convey sounds on certain ideas about the world and its people.

Review – L’Oreille à l’Envers – 07/2009
About “A New Saint Session” :
New and delightful sensations, filling one’s ears with sustainable, pleasurable emotions, that’s what this Albigeois trio offers with this album.

First, the pleasure of looking at this magnificent object, a digipack with booklet, dyed with mysticism. Then the magic of sound, generously couloured with 70’s flavoured rock and oriental fragrances.

Melodies enriched with fertile and expressive guitars and rhythms with revealed power where the salient voice of John Iris asserts itself. Thirteen emotional tracks with rare intensity, impressive flights and implosive lulls; tasty moments to enjoy greedily.

Musiczine – John – Interview – 07/2009
The New Sensation…
It happens when one falls desperately in love with a woman. Whatever company you keep at the time, you can only think of her and only want to be with her. IRIS Corporation’s new album “A New Saint Session” has the same effect on me. Normally, after playing an album I put it away and play the next one. It is different with “A New Saint Session”. I remove the disc reluctantly and for good reason. I want to listen to it on every occasion possible, and I am drawn indefatigably to it, despite having to review other albums. I need to watch myself, because my 4 year old son, with no
interest in rock music, has begun to hum “I am the Greedman” and my wife looks at me kindly and says “You really like this, don’t you?”

Yes, I love IRIS Corporation and I sincerely think this band deserves particular attention. Moreover, I am rarely enthusiastic about interviews, but in this case I was tempted by the challenge. And John Iris, the leader of this exceptional combo, kindly agreed to answer my questions…….
Michel Serry

Q. To begin with, introduce IRIS Corporation to us….

A. IRIS Corporation is a trio native to Albi in the South of France. It’s composed of Thibaut Gluchowski, Will De La Perez and John Iris. Our music is clearly rock orientated but Rock tinged with World Music. In fact, the expression “World Rock” seems best to define it’s spirit.

Q. On listening to “A New Saint Session” with its mix of electric and acoustic, oriental influences and high pitched vocals, we think immediately of Led Zeppelin, however, none of your songs resemble tracks from Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Is Led Zeppelin really one of your influences?

A. Our artistic progression really results from an urge, at first sight, to bring two very different cultures closer. Led Zeppelin showed the way with some of their songs, and they remain a major reference for numerous bands, including us. But our influences are western as well as oriental. This interbreeding together with personal experiences give a particular colour to our music.

Q. What other musicians inspired you ? What music did you grow up with ?

A. We can name Rabih Abou Khalil, Radiohead, Munir Bashir, Jeff Buckley, Chemirani, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd, Natacha Atlas, Rage Against The Machine and many others… Globally, the rock of the 70s and 90s and improvised music from the entire world.

Q. Where does this oriental side, which shows in some of your songs like “Highest Love” and “HeartH”, come from?

A. The oriental tones became the base of our compositions little by little. They convey a very deep and sensual ambiance. I have always been fascinated with such associations in songs like “I dont know” by Noa or “Friends” by Led Zeppelin. We therefore delved into this area to integrate World Music elements into traditional rock.

Q. If, as we have already mentioned, your music evokes Led Zeppelin, your sound is very current and totally different from the bands of the 70s. Do you feel closer to more recent groups, such as The Answer or Witchcraft, who try to find the vintage sound of the 70s ?

A. The work of “The Answer” and “Witchcraft” is remarkable in many ways. But actually, we care little about the fashion for vintage. On the other hand we appreciate groups like “The Mars Volta” and “Queens Of The Stone Age” who are able to respect their elders whilst creating new colour at the same time.

Q. Could you explain the title of the album “A New Saint Session”?

A. The title is a play on words… “A New Saint Session” – A new sensation. It synthesises the themes we tackle in our lyrics. The “new” aspect being necessary for the evolution of our societies, the awareness of what is “holy” but not in a religious sense, and acknowledges life in the same way as our ecosystem. It also integrates the notion of the beginning of a way of thinking, finally respecting Man and the environment.

Q. Your lyrics are very critical towards current society and the devastation caused by the science of man over nature. Do you believe that it is a duty for artists to open up people’s eyes to certain world problems ?

A. If art allows us to confirm and advance the idea that our societies should be based on a model of sharing and living in harmony, then we should not hesitate ! As for science, it can be the best and the worst thing. Einstein regretted that his discoveries resulted in the atomic bomb. Everything is a question of conciousness. Humanity has to guard its ethics and not play with fire, without halting its own evolution.

Q. Some of you lyrics such as “Highest Love” and “Sun Dog” seem to openly criticize religion. Do you believe that religion is just another way to abuse the trustworthiness of people?

A. History exposes drifts as a result of religion, from the time when we thought the earth was flat to our present day fundamentalism. Religion often dictates answers to metaphysical questions by passing them as actual knowledge. Each person has a personality, a “soul”, and a different route linked to its traditions, culture and abilities. Religion often seize on areas left void by knowledge. Too often some of them have spread the fear of tomorrow in order to gain power. However, this is only my humble opinion and does not detract from the power of the individual and their faith.

Q. The artwork of your album is absolutely magnificent. Can you tell us about Nicolas Sénégas, the artist who designed it. How did you come to work with him ? Did you give him precise instructions or did he work solo?

A . We are really proud of the design by Nicolas Sénégas. We met each other ten years ago and were seduced by his world. He encircled the lyrics and music of the album and produced a magnificent iconography ! From the heart representing love and sharing to modern and ancient mystic symbols. He is a graphic designer and an outstanding photograper who works on cliches in a unique way. His myspace site is http://www.myspace.com/infotographie. Please have a look… It’s pure pleasure.

Q. Your album was mastered by Michel Geiss who worked with Jean-Michel Jarre, Michel Jonasz, Michel Sardou, Catherine Lara, Trust, Lio, Marc Lavoine, Patrick Bruel et Laurent Voulzy. Does his contribution explain the exeptional sound quality of “A New Saint Session” ? How did you come to work with him?

A. Michel Geiss was an important contact for us. A mutual friend arranged a meeting and his work on the mastering showed flawless efficiency and a respect for the original sound. We spent a lot of time mixing the album, polishing up every detail and obtaining a powerful and yet at the same time, ethereal sound. Too radical a mastering would have crushed the sound space. Michel found the perfect compromise. He is a great professional who develops the artistic value of every project he works on just that little bit more. What is often a strictly mathematical and technical step becomes an additional embellishment in his hands.

Q. IRIS Corporation seems to be your baby because your surname is Iris. Are you the band’s main composer or do you allow Thibaut and Will to participate in the creative process?

A. We have a very open way of working. We use additional musicians for percussions and vocals. Any outside contribution brings with it additional wealth. It’s the same for the internal functioning of the band. Each of us is free to develop his part as he wishes. Even if I am the mainstay of the group, songs are generally composed together.

Q. Do you consider IRIS Corporation a French group? What do you think of the evolution of French hard rock and Metal these last years? Are you finding that French bands are gaining a musical credibility they didn’t have before?

A. Of course, IRIS Corporation is a french band. And as one sees the success of bands like Gorija and Watcha in the US there is no reason to fear this situation anymore. Of course we are a little bit sceptical with regard to the attitude of the french media and record companies and their willingness or capacity to promote or sign bands that hold real international potential. The old inferiority complex towards the Anglo-Saxons still only exists in their minds. Numerous french bands obviously have potential and top the bill on the other side of the Atlantic with a little support.

Q. Nevertheless, being originally American, don’t you think that it would be easier to make a name for IRIS Corporation in the US rather than Europe ?

A. My nationality is French even though I feel much more like a citizen of the world. But we are more widely broadcast in the US than in France and it would only take the smallest thing for us to reach a wider public with our friends over the Atlantic. Fortunately, we have the Web and this allows us to be more and more visible all over the world.

A. Is IRIS Corporation’s album internationally distributed? How can we get hold of it in Belgium?

Q. The label we works with, Muzikom, is associative. It does outstanding work but has not got the same financial power as an international label. Nevertheless, the album is distributed internationally. It is also possible to buy or download it on our website… http://www.iriscorporation.biz/


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About the Author

I never know what to say in this about me sections/bios. I am a mother, geek, gamer, tech enthusiast, radio personality, actor, artist, dancer, crafter, writer, music fanatic, science fiction nut, lover of the great outdoors, and so much more.

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