It's not often that a band infiltrates the essence of your being, where you live and breathe their music and their words. But for many, the Berlin-based IAMX has created a diehard cult who wait for their every move with bated breath. With their third album, IAMX has created another masterpiece in the Kingdom of Welcome Addiction (release date: May 19, 2009 on Metropolis Records) in which the glam noir stylings of IAMX get an organic and much more intimate makeover.
"I always imagined IAMX as a broad project," explains the uber-creative and intensely intelligent band leader Chris Corner. "I feel completely free to experiment in every aspect - with humour, with sincerity, with sex, with anger, with fragility. I am a very private person but I felt, with a more organic approach, I could begin to explore and expose another angle. IAMX does have two sides: the rabid animal and the bleeding heart. I am trying to show a warmer, more concerned side with this album."
Kingdom of Welcome Addiction is a foray into the sensitive side of IAMX. While earlier IAMX material was swathed in rhythmic dance beats and hard electropop, his vulnerability remained shielded from this form of armor and rarely emerged except for glimpses from his recent live television performances in late 2008 on Fearless, Vlaze, ManiaTV, etc. The naked and raw emotions are embracingly welcomed on this album and coddled with care, from the vulnerable shuffle of "Tear Garden" to the regal march of "Kingdom of Welcome Addiction" to the late-night primal dancefloor rhythms of "Nature of Inviting".
His exposure of his tender underbelly however couldn't be more apparent (and beautifully presented) than in the ethereal ballad "I Am Terrified," that's filled to the brim with emotion, passion and pain. The slinky "My Secret Friend," featuring a duet with the Grammy-nominated Imogen Heap, further pushes the boundaries for IAMX's music, as this is the very first duet Chris has ever done.
"I would never subject anyone to the full attack of my hypersensitivity but ,yes, I felt it was time to bring out sincerity," he says of the songs. "I have long been avoiding simple statements personally and creatively. Life is simple. Everybody is vulnerable and I feel comfortable with that now. In fact, it has added risk and depth for me, standing by such exposing and, on the face of it, banal words."
Originally breaking through the mainstream as one of the founding members of Sneaker Pimps, Chris Corner has been building his empire from within the broken walls of Berlin in the past few years. Frustrated from the industry forays of his former band, he built IAMX in his own vision without any input from outside sources. What he's created is a timeless catalog of dark and primal dance/rock music that is perfectly at home in a dark and swanky club as it is in a huge and expansive music hall, which has been put to the test with his multiple sold-out tours through the U.S. in the last two years.
Ever the philosophical and incredible thinker, Chris explains the origin of the album's title, Kingdom of Welcome Addiction as thus:"IAMX is my subversive little kingdom. I feel a bit like a mutant Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator. It is here, and in the environment it has created, that I feel at home. Almighty, dynamic, omnipotent. I imagine everyone has such a place , a dream , or a persona . The drug of all drugs. The power of reason, passion, change and independence. Addiction in the positive."
Tour dates are as follow:
TT the Bear's Place
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
El Rey Theatre
Los Angeles, CA