Sunday, 16 March 2008
ONCE upon a time, Chris Corner was a founding member of hit 90s trip-hop band The Sneaker Pimps. Although, technically, the group are still together, Corner has found time to concentrate on his solo work. He spoke to The List, about his new project and upcoming UK tour under the name IAMX and how he is now happier alone than he ever was with the band.
"The majority of people who come and see me live now have never even heard of The Sneeker Pimps," he explains. "IAMX’s music is quite different. For a start, it's completely ‘me’ – I’m the core of the project and so as a result it’s a lot more personal. I never got that with The Sneaker Pimps. Going solo has made me more pure."
For those who have heard IAMX' music, this statement could seem contradictory. Corner's music is fast-paced and furious, pumping with raw energy and oozing with sex. "Pure" is definitely not the first adjective that springs to mind, and it comes as no surprise that Corner sees erotica as a powerful influence on his creative output.
"My songs always lead back to what I have experienced as a person and a lot of the problems and experiments that I have had have all been to do with sex," he says. "It all comes from a specific period in my life, but I suppose it boils down to my ambiguity about sex and the questions of our existence.”
As a self-described narcissistic extrovert on stage, Corner is famous for his almost schizophrenic approach to performing. These extreme extensions to his quiet and reserved off-stage persona are crafted quite deliberately.
"When I constructed IAMX I started to build up personalities and experiment with imagery – especially with how I dress up," he says.
"I don’t see myself as being a different person when I get into ‘role’. It totally depends on my mood and how people are treating me, as to how I will act towards them," he explains. "I’m a total Jekyll and Hyde, one minute shy and polite, the next aggressive, altruistic and manipulative. I guess it just makes things more exciting."
It is this chameleon-like ability to change on a whim that makes IAMX’s live shows so appealing. "I try my best to make every gig I play a fucking great experience," he says. "No matter where you are, this is my life and the crowd feed off that, and I off them. My favourite places to play are the dirty, more intimate venues, that’s why I’m looking forward to playing in Glasgow at the end of the month – King Tuts appeals to me as a person – it has more character."
As the interview draws to a close, Corner becomes philosophical. "I’m really proud of all my work and that has taken me a long time to admit,” he muses. “I don’t know where I will be in ten years time, but as long as I am still doing something I love, that is all that matters."
IAMX will be playing at King Tuts on 31st March. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/iamx