Horror as a genre can span several different forms of media. While it is most popular in books and film, music is no stranger to horror themes and dark imagery. However most metal and hard rock bands that feature horror are very extreme, and tend to alienate their audiences. I mean, not everyone can dig Cannibal Corpse. The bands that have dark themes, but have an accessible sound are few and far between.
We are here with IAMSOUND, a band that is not only heavy as hell, but also very melodic. IAMSOUND hails from the spooky city, Savannah Georgia. IAMSOUND recently reformed after a 7 year hiatus, with two of the original members (Christopher Horton, Troy Gillespie), and a new lineup on guitar (Stephen Grosse), drums (Matt Jumonville), and vocals (Tim Ryder).
IAMSOUND certainly has some dark lyrical themes. In the songs we have a conversation with a demon, a tale of a psychotic stalker, and in “Man in High Castle” we have blind fury and rage. The dark and driving music certainly fits the pictures that the lyrics paint, with down-tuned 7 string guitars, hard hitting drums, and thundering bass. But amidst the chaos, there are some legitimate songwriting chops, and its easy to see that while these guys like their scary themes and heavy guitars, they also like a good hook.
But what makes these guys tick? Lets find out!
-What are some of your musical influences? What got you started?
CHRIS: Ive always liked heavy stuff. I grew up with 90’s alternative, but I always had an interest in metal as well. I like a bit of everything, though. From jack Johnson to Slipknot! As far as guitar goes, Metallica and Nirvana really inspired me to play. When it comes to switching over to 7 string guitars, Fear Factory, Meshuggah, and Korn had a huge influence on me. I’ve always wanted to get that low growl that Dino gets in Fear Factory and that just cant happen without the extra string.
STEPHEN: Like Chris I really cut my teeth on the early 90’s grunge scene. From there it was Metallica and such. Other than metal and hard rock I would have to say classical music, especially the Baroque period.
MATT: When I first started playing music I was doing a lot of older stuff my parents listened to, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Doors all that jazz. As time went on my tastes widened out a bit. I’m from that same era so pretty much all the same bands Chris mentioned has been an influence for me.
-Are you avid horror fans? Whats your favorite horror film?
CHRIS: My wife and I watch horror almost exclusively! “Martyrs” is by far my favorite horror film. But I also love the classic Universal Monsters, The 70’s Hammer films, Asian Horror…..I will stop there, this list could get long. But when it comes to horror, the mentality of ” the more extreme, the better” doesn’t work for me. I need it to have some artistic quality as well.
STEPHEN: I’m a huge horror fan. I do tend to shy away from torture porn movies though. I am an avid zombie buff also I like supernatural horror and religious horror.
MATT: Couldn’t say I’m a huge fan, but if I had to pick one movie that’s gonna scare the shit out of little kids it would be Stephen King’s “It”. Still scares me…I also like cheesy 80’s “horror”
-Is writing a collaborative effort? If so, what is the process?
CHRIS: Well, it all starts with a riff…then…
STEPHEN: In the beginning the songwriting was handled by Chris and myself. As we have grown as a band however everyone is starting to contribute in their own way. Almost to the point now that Im not sure who has written what. *laughs*
MATT: it becomes a group effort. Chris and Stephen are definitely the driving force in song writing but we all but in our two cents to make it what it is.
-You are listed as “progressive” on your EPK, tell me about that style of songwriting.
CHRIS: I feel like the standard “Verse/Chorus/Verse style of writing feels limiting, but on top of that, I tend to write in “sections” more than standard songwriting. It will all fit together in the end. We are always trying to “one up” the last song that we wrote. Making it more complex..or heavier, or more melodic. We really don’t want to get pigeonholed into a certain sound, like so many bands seems to fall prey to. We want to stay interesting and relevant.
STEPHEN: I tend to look at music like a Jig saw puzzle. Ill have these different riffs and ideas that lie in pieces on the table. I tend to stare at them until I find a corner piece and then after that it really gets going.
MATT: For me it’s breaking from standard formulas, using weird time signatures and odd pauses, and just trying to be as creative as possible without crossing the line into un-listenable. There are a lot of progressive bands that are amazing musicians but at the end of the day it’s too hard to follow, as a music listener. I want to be weird, but catchy at the same time.
-Do you enjoy being a DIY band, instead of having a label/studio/manager etc?
CHRIS:Its certainly more work, but being signed to a label these days seems like kicking yourself in the ass. You lose money that way, and you have people telling you how to sound, how to write…Being your own boss is cool!
STEPHEN: I like the idea of doing it yourself. It forces you to learn how the system works and how to operate within its parameters.
MATT: Either way it goes as long as I’m playing music I love. I’ve been DIYing for a while now and a little monetary support from a label/studio/manager, to me, seems like it would take a lot of burden of my shoulders, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.
-What does the future hold for IAMSOUND?
CHRIS: We are going to be playing a lot of shows in the Savannah area, very soon. Check our reverbnation and our facebook page for dates and details! We really want to get out there, and let everyone hear the music that has us so excited to be playing.
STEPHEN: Hopefully making steady progress and not looking back.
MATT: and soon after we’re taking on the world! I see big things for IAMSOUND and it won’t take long for others to see what we all already know. This is the best band you’ve never heard of… Yet .
You can find pictures of the band and free song downloads at www.reverbnation.com/iamsound.