“I’ve been sick, broke and reclusive. Now I am healing.” So says IAMX mastermind Chris Corner about the last year of his life after being diagnosed with a debilitating and career-threatening case of chronic insomnia. While most artists would throw in the towel and call it a day, Corner is instead learning how to adapt this new lifestyle in order to once again create music for his fans and, most importantly, for himself. On Saturday, May 31, 2014, Corner will be returning to the spotlight, albeit a quieter and more intimate one. He’ll be performing tracks from his pivotal debut album KISS + SWALLOW and broadcasting it live online via StageIt.
“All IAMX songs were written on a guitar or a piano,” he explains. “I thought it might be nice to play those songs how they were written, so I have decided to attempt a small online acoustic performance.” To be broadcast from his newfound home of Los Angeles, CA, Corner will revisit the lushness of his 2004 debut and strip it down to its barest nature. “I’ll be using an acoustic guitar, a loop pedal and some fx, hopefully to create a more interesting sound than just a standard unplugged show.”
The performance will be streamed live via StageIt at https://www.stageit.com/IAMX and access will be available through virtual ticketing. “People can buy tickets and even tip during the performance,” he explains. “Highest tippers get desirable IAMX gifts. I like the sound of that. At the end I will be available for questions and interaction.”
Steadily building substantial momentum with five critically-hailed and internationally renowned albums and tours that were nearly all sold out, IAMX was a nonstop creative force that kept Corner and his band continually busy. All this came to a halt when his health deteriorated almost instantaneously, slowing down the machine to a complete stop. It was during this time that he was diagnosed with chronic insomnia, depression and anxiety. “I put a hold on the IAMX machine for almost one year and made some major changes to my life,” he says. “During this time, I had no will to be creative and all touring was canceled.” A massive worldwide tour was scrapped and Corner retreated to almost complete radio silence as he learned to cope with his modified lifestyle. “During my ‘time out’, one of the only musical things I did was play acoustic guitar,” he explains. “It reminded me of why I started making music as a kid… the hypnotic simplicity.”
Among one of the major life changes Corner underwent to help cope with his new existence was a move from Berlin to Los Angeles. “I’m at a point in my life where I can’t stomach anymore dark, oppressive Northern European winters,” he winces. “The winter would always be the time when I would have to work on new material, so the seasonal black mood combined with the emotional writing rollercoaster just became too much. In LA, I can count on climate consistency… on beautiful sunsets, geographical pleasure, amazing food, and Californian smiles. It gives me a chance to get back on the ‘stable’ track before I throw myself into another IAMX record.”
Founded in 2004, IAMX has released four albums that cross genres from electro to dance to experimental burlesque to stripped-down pulsating ballads without losing its very-human soul. The media has taken notice, calling IAMX’s music “gorgeous… deliriously gloomy… and endearingly vulnerable” (Alternative Press), “hidden treasures for the ear that are so pristine, so lush and so near-perfect, that you want to share it with the world (9 out of 10)” (Blurt! Magazine), and “enthralling, highly theatrical mix of biting Brit Pop and electronica” (NYLON).With the deafening silence of the last year, his media profile went silent as well with many wondering what IAMX was cooking up when, in fact, he was just learning how to survive and relearn how to live.
“I am experimenting with the acoustic approach while I’m in LA. It’s become a stimulating exercise in purity,” Corner says, looking to the future. “If the [acoustic] shows develop well, I would love to release something… perhaps an EP of new acoustic songs or an album with old and new performed this way. Last year was a disturbing time, I’m glad to have that nonsense behind me and be moving forward. I’m not sure if I’m fully ready to be fully X again, but I have missed him.”