I’m trying to figure out a few words on how to describe Gautier Serre’s spiritual child, but it’s difficult even to begin with. This project is so complicated as it’s own music. In their last effort ‘Savage Sinusoid’ are featured 20 guest musicians and the instruments and genres included that create this unique Igorrr’s music alloy are so many that only a mad genious could capture it! On November 2nd for the very first time in Greece we can get a taste of this monadic project. But let’s leave it up to the mastemind behind Igorrr, Gautier Serre to tell us what to expect from them.
Hello Gautier, I welcome you to Metal Invader! Earlier this year you released your 5th full album, named Savage Sinusoid and it goes pretty savage on the sinuses indeed. What was the vision brought to life with this release?
I’m not sure if there is any precise vision behind Savage Sinusoid, we just had fun doing the music we wanted to do.
Igorrr is a project where I try to reach my musical ideal, I like Chopin and Bach as much as Cannibal Corpse and Meshuggah, Aphex Twin as much as Taraf de Haidouks, I find it very interesting to bring all the styles I like all together, without any restriction, if there is a vision or any aim behind the album, it’s to make the music as free of rules as possible, I don’t feel conformable with the rules of the mainstream music these days, our music makes much more sense to me.
You are the perfect example of a band that renders music genres completely irrelevant. So how would you describe your music in non-musical terms?
I often compare music with food because mixing different elements to highlight them is a bit similar in music as well as in cooking. I would say Igorrr is like a Mezze with plenty of possibilities and tastes.
What inspires you – both in terms of musicians and life events – to compose the incredibly complex music for Igorrr?
There is nothing specially which inspire me much more than the rest, the whole life is very inspiring actually: human relationships, chickens, traveling, mediterranean food, rivers, olive trees, everything which makes you feel alive is endless source of inspiration.
Igorrr started as a solo project but has evolved since then to become a collective moreso than a band. Has this changed the composition process and in what ways?
The way of composing hasn’t changed at all, but today I’m lucky enough to be able to play with incredible musicians, which makes the compositions sound more alive. In the past, I hadn’t the chance to bring the musical ideas as real as they are today. The only thing which changed is the process of recording, much more challenging today as on Savage Sinusoid, it was only about human playing the acoustic instruments, no samples.
Does your music occur as an idea that you then try to give life to or is it the result of extreme experimentation or all of the above?
I usually have a precise idea in mind, but it’s more like colors and mood, more than a precise structure. Creating a track is like a research of : how to build the elements of the puzzle, I have the global image in mind but I need the pieces to build it.
I work with different instrumentalists, each specialist in a precise style, each one has a specific way of playing which bring the color I need.
Do you actually have a hencoop in your house? Do the chickens there receive music education?
Not at my home but at the studio, there use to be 4 chickens living there, Patrick was one of them. Today they all died as they were already pretty old, they lived actually much more than a usual chicken live. Of course they all had a very strict musical education from very early age.
Did you have any guest musicians play on Savage Sinusoid? How difficult is to reach to the right persons?
There are about 20 guest musicians on this album, first of all, there are the base of the band, Laure Le Prunenec, Laurent Lunoir and Sylvain Bouvier all from France, with who I play live and work the most on the albums, but also 17 other.
It’s pretty hard indeed to find the right person because first of all, I have a pretty precise idea of what I need for the track, and only a very few amount of musicians play the way it needs, however, after many years doing music, you cross the road of amazing people and sometimes you can find the instrumentalist you need.
On Savage Sinusoid, here are some guest musicians:
Travis Ryan, from US, better known as the Cattle Decapitation singer and Teloch, from Norway, better known as the Mayhem guitarist. There are also the Norwegian bassist Erlend Caspersen that you can see on the « Cheval » video, the CZ Republic player Katerina « Katta » Chrobokova, playing the harpsichord, French Nils Cheville playing the classical guitar, French Pierre Mussi playing the accordion, French Yann Le Glaze playing the saxophone, French Antony Miranda playing drum percussions and sitar, French Benjamin Violet playing the strings, French Nicolas Seguin and Benjamin Bardiaux doing the piano on « Au Revoir », Scottish Stuart Dickson playing the percussions on « Houmous » with French Pedro Lacasa and Yasmina Barra making the voices, some additional accordion from US Adam Stacey and French Aymeric Thomas doing the 8 bits with a little featuring of Patrick (my chicken), French as well.
It took you 4 years to finish Savage Sinusoid, what were the biggest during the recording of this album?
The process of the Savage Sinusoid recordings was extremely long, specially during the mixing, behind the mix table, but this was only one of the aspect. The whole thing starts with the composition of the tracks, after I wrote the base of a tracks, which has to be polished for some time, then comes the recordings. The thing with this music and specially this album, is that, as we are not a metal band or any classical formation, the recordings are pretty tricky, there are many different instruments to record, like Harpsichord, Drums, Electric guitars, Sitar, Classical Guitars, Accordion, Percussions, Saxophone, Piano, lots of voices, strings etc… For example, there is an Harpsichord on the track ieuD, Opus Brain, Va te Foutre and Apopathodiaphulatophobie, to record it, we had to rent a truck to bring the instrument from CZ Republic to the deep country side of France where is the studio, then we had to wait some time for the instrument to get the temperature of the recording room for the intrsumentalist, Katerina Chrobokova to be able to tune it. Speaking about tuning, the recordings with the Sitar were quite tricky as well because of the way a Sitar is tuned, that was not corresponding at all with the track at first, despite the fact that the Sitar part on Opus Brain is very short, we had to retune it completely, and to make things more complicated, the names of the notes on this Indian instruments are not the same as the notes I knew. For the whole album, It was a research of detail and quality for every instrument. Then come the mixing and the mastering of the recordings which took ages to reach my musical ideal.
The main difference between Savage Sinusoid and Hallelujah or Maigre is that more than digging the metal side of our music, I choose to work without samples.
You have stated that the album is completely sample free which is rather difficult to achieve now days. Did this make the process more difficult?
Yes, a lot, you need to know a lot about each style to create good music whatever the genre, Baroque, Balkan, Death/Black Metal, Electro, Musette, etc… That was also a part of the Savage Sinusoid process, learning a lot about all those musical universes to be able to mix them in the best way possible.
It feels like trying to juggle a million different balls at once. The more you get into any kind of music, the more you realize how little you know.
Doing this kind of mix with all those different styles and genres is an undoubted trial. My idea has always been to incorporate every genre I love while trying to preserve the richness of each individual type. Kind of like having a huge party with your black metal friends, the classical intellectual guys, the nerds, the gypsies, the operatic singers and anyone else who shows up.
Imagine that you love metal. You feel it, you dig it, you play it. The further you go the more you notice how rich this genre can be. The deeper into detail you go, you find how strong each note, nuance or frequency is; how much of an impact each detail holds.
Savage Sinusoid was more than 4 years of that feeling.
For those that are not familiar with your sound but want to come and see you perform, what should they expect?
I think they can expect one hour of loud baroque, death metal and electronic music in their face.
Since you are touring, how is tour life? Pros and Cons.
Life in touring is very intense, there is no much sleep, there is lots and lots of travel, new places every night, new faces, it’s a pretty sportive way of living as there is no much stops.
As an example, I’m answering this interview in the tour bus now with almost no battery on my computer and no way to plug it, so I have to make it fast, and the guys talking around me which makes the focus more difficult ahaha
Plus the music playing in the background, Secret Chief 3, which I love but catch my attention somewhere else a bit more.
What future holds for Igorrr?
I don’t know yet, for now we’ll try to stay alive until the end of the tour at the end of next month. I know there are some more touring in 2018, US in February and Europe/Scandinavia and maybe Russia in April/May, but I don’t have much details now. The future of Igorrr also depends of how Savage Sinusoid will be received in a longer period of time. I believe this is an album that needs some time to be deeply appreciated, so I hope it will stay around for a bit still!
The closing is yours hopefully with message to your fans. Thank you very much for this interview.
We really can’t wait to play in Greece, that gonna be our first time there ! I wish we’ll have the time to try the traditional greek food 😀