The reason I do Vanity Project is not to achieve some altruistic ideal, although if we can help with our reviews, we'd certainly like to. The real reason is simply that I want access to exciting, inventive new music I might not otherwise have come across. The EP sampler I was sent by Iodo last year was by far and away the best self-released thing I recieved here at the VP villa in 2005, if not since we started this rag in 2002. Here's what I said about it in issue 14.
"Prodding synths and prog-psych harmonics hit the spot on ‘A Lesson In Camouflage’, while agitated beats take their stab on ‘Language Is Cumbersome’ perking up the wearied monk drawl before ankle-biting, ramshackle guitars make the big picture fuzzy. ‘Stainless Steel Mouse’ runs on the fuel of a deadpan rap running away from itself into a tinny tumble and glitchy scrot. To finish, the title track’s ansaphone hypnotics. This is an EP which takes nothing but gives everything."
The most astonishing thing being that they are all so young, but their sound is mature, and not in a stagnant way, no, an electrifying, fascinating way.
>Please introduce yourself and your iodo associates, what qualities do you each bring to the band, musically and otherwise?
Dave aka Dappy: guitarist, songwriter, producer, programmer and cultural iconoclast, though not necessarily in that order.
George: cornet, backing vocals,
Kip: I’m Kip, the lead vocaliser and frontman. I lived all my nineteen years of life in Lincoln until going to university in Middlesbrough in September to do a HND instead of a degree because I failed my a-levels. Musically I bring nothing to the band, being utterly talentless in that respect (with the exception of having excellent music taste), so it was either be a drummer or a singer, and I couldn’t afford a drum kit. But I’m quite good at remembering lyrics. Got a head full of ‘em. I’m not a very good frontman either to be honest, but I look quite pretty under stage lights sometimes. To a certain type of person, anyway. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Oh, I do most of the design side, like the website and posters and cd artwork. And I bring my girlfriend, who makes nice iodo t-shirts.
Phil: I am Phil and am Dappy’s brother, primarily I play the bass guitar for the band.
>How did Iodo come together?
Dave: A shared love of Radiohead, computers and overblown ambitions on my part to create a huge Polyphonic Spree-type collective. We’re currently about eighteen members short.
George: Dave coming up with the initial idea…
Kip: Dappy and I were in a previous band when we were far too young to be making music of any quality. We didn’t really do much, I remember putting together an album for a Dutch man who lived in our village for a year. I sang, and initially I played guitar but that stopped fairly quickly as it was discovered there was no way I was ever going to be able to play it. Eventually I was kicked out of the band for not being able to sing. Then in the beginning of 2003 Dappy approached me inviting me to be the singer in a new band. We then got together everyone we knew who played an instrument and who we weren’t afraid of. So there was Dappy, me, a violin player (who shortly afterwards had his violin repossessed and so left the band), George the cornet player and Dappy’s brother Philip on the bass guitar.
>For someone exploring iodo for the first time, what one fact about you should they know before they start?
Dave: It’s pronounced eye-oh-doh after the chemical prefix for iodine.
>Which album should they start with, and why?
Dave: The new EP will be a good starting point as it’s a bit more musically focused than This Is Now. Our first album Try To Be is from when I was listening to too much Belle and Sebastian.
Kip: This is Now, because you get the most value (in terms of duration) for your money. Though we’re selling the new EP for a quid when it comes out, so that’ll be better value. And it’s on cute little three-inch cds. Also we’ve only really worked out our ‘sound’ since our last release, so everything previous is incoherent and some of it is not ‘iodo’, or at least not iodo as we want it to be.
>What inspires you, musically and lyrically?
Dave: Musically, indie, drill’n’bass, electronic music, jazz, contemporary classical music and post-rock. Lyrically, early Manic Street Preachers, Silver Jews, Ben Folds Five and Jack Kerouac. I want the lyrics to be able to stand up to dissection by an A level English class.
Kip: Since I don’t take part in the song-writing process (or rather, am kept at bay with broken glass bottles) I couldn’t really say. Stephen Malkmus is my hero though. He can’t sing either. I love you Malkmus.
> If the musical world was ideal, it would…
Dave: Be arranged according to talent and innovation rather than fashion with more attention paid to contemporary classical music and jazz.
Kip: I’d like to say only those with real talent should be able to record and perform, but that would put me out of the picture. If the music world was ideal, it would be blue.
Phil: Give space to bands and artists that didn’t have the need to conform so much. To break away from restrictions of genre and make a musical statement of individuality.
>Why should people buy your records?
Dave: If you like the idea of electronica with indie-style songs then chances are you’ll like us.
Kip: So I can afford nicotine patches so I can give up smoking. If you buy our records, you’ll be saving my life. Won’t that feel nice? Good deed for the day - buy an iodo cd.
Phil: To experience the sounds we have put together and open up their listening to new things.
>Suggest a publicity stunt to increase the Iodo profile in the UK.
Phil: Nothing too drastic
Dave: Heroin addiction or we could set up our own tabloid sting.
>What do you consider your best achievements in music?
Dave: Producing music that people other than ourselves like.
Kip: Apparently we made someone cry at one of our gigs.
Phil: To have received feedback from people that have really appreciated our work and enjoyed listening.
>What more would you like to achieve with your music?
Dave: Complete integration of electronica, indie and jazz with a bit of everything else thrown in.
Kip: I'd quite like to make some more people cry.
Phil: That iodo records can find their way to a place in as many people’s collections as possible.
>On an Iodo curated festival bill, who would play?
Dave: And so, the Name-Dropathon begins: Stephen Malkmus, Squarepusher, Radiohead, Soweto Kinch, Matmos, The Locust, Bjork, Aphex Twin, iLiKETRAiNS, The Mars Volta and Deerhoof.
Kip: Sigur Rós, Stephen Malkmus, Squarepusher, Pink Floyd, iLiKETRAiNS, The Polyphonic Spree and Type O Negative. And Finch. Probably the Scissor Sisters too. Lots of jazz too, Dappy’s got the spirit of jazz inside of him.
>If you weren't in a band, what would you do with your evenings?
Dave: Dream about being in one.
Kip: Well, I think I’d spend a lot more time sober, and I probably wouldn’t cry myself to sleep anymore. Possibly I’d do karaoke in drag.
>What are your future plans for gigs and recordings?
Kip: More of both. My biggest goal is to get through a gig without pressing the wrong button on the laptop. I have this great idea about performing inside a Japanese style house on stage, with just our silhouettes on the paper walls. We walk on stage dressed in kimono, take our shoes off at the door to the house, step inside and begin to play… oh it’d be wonderful, like a dream, a masterpiece, the audience would be amazed and delighted, they’d go “oh Kip you’re so Japanese”, the Japanese would go “One of us! One of us! One of us!” and Takeshi Kitano would come up at the end and would declare me an Honourary Citizen of Japan and present me with a passport. I think Takeshi Kitano should be the emperor of Japan. With regards to records, we’ve just finished recording a new EP entitled ‘Walk on Role’ which will be released at Easter, and we have planned another EP after that. Progress is slower than usual with us spread across the country.
Dave: We will be selling our new EP, Walk-On Role from around April which should hopefully coincide with a mini-tour we’re in the middle of organising.
>what can you tell us about the Lincoln music scene
Dave: Small and mostly metal and punk dominated. It’s held together by the very good www.lincolnbands.co.uk website and occasionally you do come across something really good eg. Eustacia Vye, Funktek, The Blue Book Project, One Word Poem or The Whelk Attachment.
Kip: Bands like to fight each other. The soundmen like to fight bands. That’s what you get when you have a city full of punk/metal bands. There’s a really good open mic night on at the Jolly Brewer every Wednesday though.
The only band from Lincolnshire that have got anywhere are the 22-20’s, who I’d never heard of until they were on TV. People say if you want to ‘make it big’ you should get out of Lincoln at all costs.
>What, with regards the UK music scene, upsets you?
Dave: Really good bands being overlooked in favour of overhyped ones.
Kip: I can’t find any good open mic nights in Middlesbrough. Nor anyone to play with me.
>What, with regards the UK music scene, delights you?
Dave: Great cutting-edge bands doing great music regardless of public opinion.
>What are you passionate about in life, apart from music?
Dave: Learning stuff and reading good books.
George: Movies, and sci-fi/fantasy.
Kip: Not much. I like tea. I’m also morally self-righteous
Phil: Politics, Sport and Philosophy
>What is/was your favourite children¹s book?
Dave: Anything in the Thomas The Tank Engine series of books, my first word was ‘Tom’ after my favourite engine.
George: Probably something like The BFG by Roald Dahl. I distinctly remember my amusement at the word ‘snozzcumber’.
Kip: Watership Down, because it was grim and gory and someone says “piss off” in it. I didn’t much enjoy children’s books/tv when I was young, it was all too patronising. I like to be realistic/pessimistic.
Phil: Childeren’s Book… Sabriel-Garth Nicks
>Any other words of wisdom?
Dave: Never confuse a ‘ladies man’ with a ‘lady-man’.
Phil: Never let your own words of wisdom be unheard.