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Iamnoone, music rooted to the soul | Interview

"Everything is shrouded in the atmosphere of a dream, of a trip to the deep self, of a search for the inner light."
iamnoone .

(Excerpt from their personal BC page)

A relatively new Darkwave, Italian band I've been following is iamnoone. Even from its name you can realise that a low profile is their way of being in the scene . Still where there's talent it can't go unnoticed. People show great interest in their work and it totally makes sense to me. I'm one of those people too.

Band was originally formed in 2019 , after Philippe Marlat had asked Seth Dagodeus for some bass playing for a party.However,they instantly started creating music and as a result iamnoone started releasing their work.All that under their extremely supportive label Cold Transmission. Unfortunately their plans back then for a promotional tour were cancelled due to the arrival of the pandemic.

"Together Alone" , 3rd full length album for iamnoone,released on January 6th is a work that started during the days of isolation we all had to go through. The constant lockdowns were the reason the album got its name.

Band's note: "This title came naturally as it mirrored our situation during the lockdown: we were together because we could always reach out through the internet to share ideas and work on our music yet we were alone in our houses, dealing with the darkness this period laid upon us."

It comes as no surprise the album was sold out within the first few days and reached the 2nd place in the post-punk chart of Bandcamp.

*** photos by Regina Zverkova

ES: Philippe and Seth you are so welcomed at ElektroSpank, thank you for giving us the chance to share thoughts and infos about your work.

Phil: Thank you for the possibility to talk about our world!

Seth: Yeah, thank you for having us!

ES: iamnoone were formed in 2019. It was then that this beautiful journey began for the two of you. What about before that though? I have no idea if you were members in another project, creating for yourselves or even if you were professionally involved in the music industry. I'd like to know what was there before your duo.

Phil: I make and play live music since I was 16 and I’ve been part of a few projects. The most important, and the last before iamnoone, was Marlat, with whom I played for around 10 years... I met Seth during that period because Marlat was in the roster of the label he was working for and we had also the chance to play together in a sort of mix of my band and his band two or three times. So when I released DVPLEX and organized a release party I thought he was the right person to join me. In my mind iamnoone had to be just the album and the release party but when we met we immediately wrote our first song together and the journey began.

Seth: Well, I was kind of born in music. I played piano and wrote songs since well before knowing anything about the theory. I’m on a stage playing bass since I was 15. I played in different projects, from jazz to rock, but my soul lays in dark wave and post punk. The previous project was called Nokeys and we had some interesting experiences, together, like producing an album in Stockholm and playing gigs around Europe. With the label we founded we signed Phil’s band and since then, we’ve been keeping an eye on each other, maybe because we felt we were meant to work together, sooner or later...

ES:The Pandemic has been a tough moment for the world. Still it encouraged the arts. Lots of creative attempts jumped out during this time. Since most of your album was written then, I'd like to ask how did creating music help you get through with this ?

Phil: During these suspended times we spent a lot of time talking on Skype about our songs and this helped me to not think about what was happening, but at the end it wasn’t enough because, as a lot of people, I had to face mental side effects from the isolation.

Seth: My life path led me to become a sort of zen monk. so the pandemic was hard, of course, but it didn’t strike me as harshly as it did Phil. and I’m happy I could provide a kind of support in our frequent calls. Yes of course music helped us through it all, but also in normal times we’re clenching to it, because our life, our mental health depends on being able to express our feelings through our music.

ES: Your lyrics are overflowing with emotions which I find extremely beautiful. Are they based on an endless vivid imagination or on emotional struggles you've dealt with in the past seeking their way to be released through expression?

Phil: We have a weird way to write our lyrics.. Sometimes I think about a concept, a phrase a sensation and I sing a few lines on the music or, I try to explain to Seth a concept.. For example I had in mind this title "Martyr of love" and I sent a drawing to Seth and he wrote the lyrics. Sometimes we write the lyrics on our own.. In my way of creating they are written always after the music.. By the way the lyrics are very important to us and in my opinion they can live separately from the music without losing their power..

Seth: I was almost blind until the age of 14. Music was (and is still) my only way to completely express my feelings, because words like "colour" or "light" did not have much meaning, to me. Lyrics are a new challenge, since I only started writing them with Phil. And it was beautiful to be able to talk about topics I did never before find a way to talk about (lyrics of songs like Synesthesia or Luce are very close to my heart).

ES: Your sound is a total match to your profile meaning there's nothing flamboyant about it. It's harmonious, darkly romantic with segments of nostalgia and well balanced; quite soothing to listen to. Do you believe that songwriting inevitably expresses the creator's authentic self? Could that be a factor leading to success?

Phil: I think you have to be honest when you write and record your music, you must be yourself. People who listen to you, will understand if you are lying . we are totally the ones you can imagine listening to our songs. We’re two freaking romantics.

Seth: In a way, I think that a stage would be a perfect place to hide: in plain sight, but our way of writing music is too much rooted in our souls to allow us to hide our real selves on stage. It is not inevitable, I think, it just depends on how deep is the connection between a musician and their music.

ES: Since I'm not a creator I can't perceive the way you feel about your tracks. Is there a parenting feeling, meaning you love them all equally or are you more drawn to specific ones ? If you have favourites in "Together Alone", which are they?

Phil: I love all the songs we’ve recorded and a I feel a lot more for the ones we still have to compose, because the creative phase is the one I prefer.- after we release a record I don’t usually listen to it. I still have some favorite songs to play live, and in this case we have not played any of them so.. I don’t know. Maybe I like "happiness" for the atmosphere and the memories of youth, "Martyr of Love" because was the first we composed and "Kind of Pain" because was the last. By the way I am sure we will argue for the set lists of the upcoming live because we have a huge repertoire and it’s always hard to chose which song to play.

Seth: There always is the parenting feel, but with so many "children" it is inevitable, for me, to develop preferences. There are songs that so precisely photograph the emotional state I was in when we wrote them. Like "Kind of Pain" reminds me of the last (very hard) period in which my dad was still alive, or "The Edge of the World" tells about the way I love...

ES: Nowadays exploring new music is extremely easy. We all have access to a vast amount of sources which are mostly for free. What I'm wondering is if this huge non charged exposure is against the artists' financial benefit or is it helping them in different ways? How important is it for the artists to actually sell their music?

Phil: In my opinion the only thing we can do is to accept and adapt ourselves to reality and to use those media in the best ways that allow us to have more visibility. Or go against the stream for example releasing limited edition with hand printed artworks to give a plus to your fans. This also make a selection in the audience and I am sure that people who buy cd’s, cassettes and vinyls are really inside what you or other artist are doing and appreciate a lot more your efforts on creating solid pieces of art than people who distractedly listen to a song on spotify during their daily workout at the gym. To sell music to me it’s important beyond the profit because it means that people are so interested in our work to invest some money and we all know that it is hard to earn money.

Seth: I have had the privilege of working "behind the scenes" for a long time. I worked in labels and other professional projects, so I’ve seen how that world works. I agree with Phil: technology constantly brings us new ways to listen to music (it used to be vinyls, then cassettes, then CDs, then Mp3s, now streaming.) and the only way to go forward is to adapt. I believe that this "exposure" to new music, in a way, helps those who didn’t have a voice until not too long ago. And in the end I believe it all boils down to the quality and the "honesty" of a product, to give it the chances to stay afloat in this ocean of music.

ES: "We believe only through being no one we can, at last reach peace."(iamnoone's Bandcamp page).For me such a statement would mean that the more one's ego weakens the more his inner peace strengthens. I hope you could give us your perspective on that.

Phil: We’re only human and it’s normal to feel good and bad emotions. But sometime it’s also a good exercise to try to put apart our egos and understand that the world will go on also without us. And this always give me a peaceful feeling. If we apply this concept in music it means the our final product, a song, an album or a video is more important than your contribution in it’s realization.

Seth: I think Phil said it all. At last any listener is free to associate a piece of our music with their own emotions, regardless for the emotions that prompted the writing of the song. At last we who wrote the songs are no one, compared to those who will find their own meanings in our songs.

ES: You're wonderful creators and your work reaches high standards of quality .This is utterly acknowledged by people which is the most important if you ask me. Makes me wonder In case you had the chance to write tracks for an artist or a band you deeply admire, who would that be ?

Phil: Thank you so much for your appreciation. We simply love what we’re doing. We love to make music and share it with the world. If I have to chose an artist or a band to collaborate with I say The Cure and Interpol in the mainstream area and Tropic of Cancer and French Police in the underground.

Seth: Oh wow. Thanks for the compliments! Yeah, as Phil said, our product is the result of the love we put in it. If I had to name an artist off the top of my head, I’d say I’d like very much to work with Ólafur Arnalds, both in his piano solo and in his Kiasmos declination.

ES: "Together Alone" was sold out within a few days from its release which comes as no surprise once you get to listen to it at least once. Still it's something major considering the variety of free of charge platforms providing us with music. How would you like to thank your fans for all the appreciation they've showed towards your band?

Phil: If we said that we were surprised by a sold out in 36 hours it would look like we didn’t believe in ourselves. By the way we do believe in ourselves but we’re always surprised by all the love and admiration we receive, both for the new album, and for the past releases and concerts. It's a great pleasure for us. So it’s hard to find a way to express our gratitude to all our friends who support us and it seems like what we can say would never be enough to thank them properly. We’re always grateful and every time we receive some of this positive energy we try to say thank you on the social media or when we meet people at the concerts. And we also try to write always great songs with the expectation to give emotions to them.

Seth: I have been releasing albums for a couple of decades, now, and it never before happened anything like this. This much love for our songs, reminds me last August in Cologne, when the first rows of our friends in front of the stage of this packed venue were singing by heart the lyrics to our songs, during the gig. It is a very similar feeling. I think the best way to thank them is to go on writing music for them and trying to book gigs close to their places, so we can get to say hello in person and share chats and drinks and music.

ES: Luckily , we're back to normal and live events are again part of our reality. Will your fans be lucky enough to enjoy and interact with you? If so ,are there specific dates and places that could be announced within our beautiful chat?

Phil: Yes we will surely play some concerts in Germany at the end of June and in Switzerland in the fall. We’re working on some other event, but it’s too early to be announced. We love to sweat on stage and share all of our energy with the crowd!

Seth: Yeah, we will definitely try to book a lot of gig, this year and we will update our pages with the dates and the places. It will be a pleasure to hug those who will make it to our gigs! Wait for it! Soon!!!









Cold Transmission




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About ElektroSpank - FMA - Online Music Magazine

ElektroSpank FMA is an online music magazine about the darkest side of our lives.

We write about Gothic, industrial, dark wave and all of their sub genres. ElektroSpank FMA is not only about music, but for the dark, Gothic lifestyle as well. We try to support the music and scenes we love. For those who have never heard about ElektroSpank before please visit our about page for more info and history.

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