“Unfortunately or fortunately mental illness has given me a lot to write about,” says the enigmatic but emotionally ripped open mastermind Chris Corner behind the internationally revered band IAMX about METANOIA, his new album (Metropolis Records; release date October 2, 2015).  “It’s the most specific record I’ve done. It became almost a mission for me to explore those issues.” Suffering through the at-the-time undiagnosed, debilitating disease of Chronic Insomnia that crippled him mentally, emotionally and creatively, it halted the band almost completely, preventing touring, songwriting, and forming and maintaining meaningful interpersonal relationships with his friends and fans. “When I was at my worst I constantly searched for people going through the same shit. It would help me not feel alone or insane. I want to give that to others with this record because depression is an epidemic and tragically under discussed.”

“Once he put a name on the enemy, and learned to cope with the struggle, he was able to create again… and thus began the birth of this album and, more importantly, the rebirth of IAMX. “Before I started on the album, I wrote a blog about my experiences,” he says about his re-entry into the land of the living. “I thought it was risky at the time because mental challenges are rarely and honestly talked about and I didn’t want to put people off or alienate them. But the response was incredibly heartwarming. It showed me just how many of my fans go through similar struggles. Hence I felt it my duty to write an album about it.”

Defined as a “spiritual conversion” or “a transformative change of heart”, Metanoia is the perfect description of this new chapter of IAMX. As a means of controlling and learning to live with Depression and Chronic Insomnia, Corner sought change and the first step was to move from the dark oppressive streets of his native Berlin to the sunnier, temperate climes of Los Angeles. “Being in LA gives me a wider, more adult perspective on my life and my work. I feel more grown-up here,” he says.  The physical move of geography afforded a unique and new perspective that shows in the change of approach and subject matter. “I’ve stripped down some layers,” he explains. “Being more purist and electronic with the sound on the new record was a way to go back to essence of IAMX – one man, one room, one computer.  That’s how it began and there was a beauty and ease to that way of working. Actually after being sick, it became the only way I could get back into making music. Keeping it simple and stress free. No complicated recordings or collaborations. Essentially who I am when I make a record is the socially anxious melancholic angry guy producing odd, self-indulgent emotional electro music in his bedroom.”

METANOIA album artwork
Click for hi-res

From the dark clang and emotionally propulsive “No Maker Made Me” to the epic swirl of “The Background Noise” to the moody and textural closing track “Wildest Wind”Metanoia continues Corner’s exploration of self and all the dark corners of his mind.  The expansive and atmospheric “Look Outside” takes a different tact from his songs of yore. Instead of striving with the insatiable hunger of desire, it’s a song of contentment. “It sums up a feeling of completion,” he explains. “It’s a very cathartic song. When I was writing the album, I became obsessed with the desert. I drove out to Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms every weekend. Finally, I bought a small cheap cabin in the middle of nowhere. That’s where I finished the album. The song is about the calm and amazing satisfaction of being in isolated nature. How clear love and life become when we are not bombarded by the distractions of modern living.”

The midnight dance floor stylings of the new single “Oh Cruel Darkness Embrace Me” offers a propulsive stomp to Corner’s emotional vocal delivery. Paired with remixes by SlikNik/CE and Aesthetic Perfection, it’s an intriguing followup to the lead off single of “Happiness” (watch the “Happiness” video here).  The 3-track remix single will be released on September 25th.

Gearing up for their international tour that kicks off right after the album’s release on October 6th in Costa Mesa, CA, Corner and IAMX will once again return where they feel most comfortable: amongst their fans. Considering this mental illness almost signaled the end of IAMX, this will be a very welcomed homecoming.  “I didn’t make music during his time,” he concludes. “I thought music was my enemy, another trigger for depression. I now know that the opposite is true and that I was confused and panicking about everything. I rebuilt my relationship with my work slowly. Being in LA with new friends and beautiful weather helped me immensely.  I’ve tried in my past to make music just as a job or dabbled with banal meaningless pop, but it always leaves me feeling dirty. The only way I can make IAMX records is for it to be deeply personal and transformative but this album is special. I feel something fundamental has changed.”

See the official press release here:

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