As previously reported, Rue Morgue put in a good shift at last weekend’s Kinetik Festival in Montreal, peeling months from our lifespans drinking Jager bombs and embarrassing ourselves on the dance floor to all manner of electronic and industrial music from around the globe. Funny then, that we should discover one of the most intriguing new acts at the festival to hail from RM Editor-in-Chief Dave Alexander’s hometown of Edmonton. We cornered iVardensphere’s lead knob twiddler Scott Fox backstage and threatened him with crude hand gestures and coarse language until he finally caved in to that querious little thing we’ve christened The Sinister Seven!
Photo credit: D.H. Wright
1) Where does the band’s tribal influence come from? I was surprised to see a djembe drum worked into your set.
It’s pretty much from bands like [Belgian ritual trancers] This Morn’ Omina and [Dutch ambient industrial project] Empusae. I like that sort of earthy, tribal industrial feel that they have. They’ve obviously been a very big influence on me. I’ll carry that with me forever. Also bands like Juno Reactor. It adds an earth to the music that’s lacking in the scene. I’ve watched a lot of bands in the electronic genre especially, where some guy’s sitting at a laptop, takes a look at the knobs, bops his head a little, stares back at the laptop. Forty-five minutes of a guy staring at a laptop? You’ve gotta have more to it than that! There’s energy you have to give to the crowd if you want to get energy back. You gotta jam it, man. That’s why we use so much live gear onstage. The face makeup, the djembe drums I use, the modular gear I bring out with the blinking lights and moving knobs…it makes it more of a production, which is more real to me.
(iVardensphere’s Chris Lacroix and Scott Fox pose with RM fan Dave Wright after
a recent in-store performance at Winnipeg’s Planet of Sound. Photo credit: Brittany Nordman)
2) Is your makeup motif always an inverted cross?
It’s not meant as an inverted cross. There’s no religious connotation to it actually. I just thought the white coming out of my mouth looked cool. We started doing that back when we opened for VNV Nation and we wanted to amp up the stage show. We’re trying it out for now and I don’t know if it’ll last forever. We’re talking about the idea of making some interesting masks.
3) There’s some real dynamics between songs in that, some are really aggressive, some are more atmospheric and others really push the tribal element. What do you think is the common thread to join all these different pieces together?
Have you ever heard of “the red line” in art? You can take five completely different pieces of art, by five different artists, put one little red line through each one and now they’re all a collection. I think it’s my style and how I write things that provides the red line. Eventually, people are gonna know not to expect the same picture. But in the feel behind the song, they’ll see the red line.
4) Have you considered incorporating a singer?
I’ve longed toiled over that one. I’ve actually auditioned a couple singers now. We’re working on it. I don’t know, maybe. [sighs] See, with me strictly being music, I’m really free to explore whichever way I want to go and express [myself] that way. When you have a singer, there’s two things that happen, one good and one not so good, in my opinion. One good thing is that you really connect with your audience. BAM! The audience has something to grab onto, it’s vocals, they can understand, they can sing along, build up a connection to a song over time. All the vocal bands will get bigger than the non-vocal bands. That’s pretty much a staple. On the downside, those vocals, more than any part of the music, really define you as a band. Knowing that I’m not doing the vocals and having my entire musical creation defined by another person, they really really have to be doing specifically what I want to be included in the piece. I think that’s why I haven’t done it yet. … In the end, I don’t think it would ever be a full-time, every song vocalist but I’d like to have featured vocals on a couple tracks where they fit. Just like there’s no hand drums in all the songs, there’s hand drums where it fits. We’d use [vocals] as an instrument, where it fits.
5) Are there any similar horror elements that inform iVardensphere?
Yeah, totally. Look at my last album cover. It’s got a cheese grater with little bits of flesh all over the front of it. Partly that comes from the whole notion of the Sick night. It’s my night, I harvest it, I feed off of it and in turn, it influences my music. I like the aggression of that night and I like the aggression in my music. Our next CD is going to take a much darker turn both musically and aesthetically. It’s the natural evolution. I’ve written half the album so far and there’s songs in there that I’m like “Holy shit, where did this come from?” We just finished a really badass track called “Bleeding from the Eyes” that’s going to be on it.
6) I understand you’re also a DJ in Edmonton where you’ve hosted a particularly interesting series of events called SiCK: Bloodbath?
[Laughs] We make a whole bunch of fake blood – I think last year we had twenty litres – and we throw it at everybody. We have this big climax moment to the night where the blood’s flying all over the place. The whole club is shrouded in plastic when we do it, it’s quite the spectacle. It gets everywhere!
Photo credit: Kefkism Design
7) How does it feel to be sharing the stage with a lot of the same bands you played as a DJ and have been a fan of?
I love it. It’s awesome! A number of these guys I’ve known for years now and have promoted their shows though. Being involved in the whole DJ culture really gets you in touch with that side of things so it’s not as bizarre an experience as I imagine it might be to a guy just crawling out of his basement and now he’s like “Woo hoo!” [laughs]
For more on iVardensphere, click here.