One of my favourite aspects of writing for Moshville Times is that we have access to and are exposed to a lot of different bands, genres and styles on a daily basis. I genuinely can’t think of a band that has had such an immediate attraction as Core Of iO in a long time. There are two concepts about their recorded output that makes you pay attention. The first is that this is technical metal at its best. It has a complication that is almost mathematical, most definitely confounding. The second aspect of their work is that despite this, this is a band that is instantly accessible. They are at the center of an implosive universe but somehow they still come out as masters of their art, creating beauty out of chaos. When I hear a band like Core Of iO it feels like it should not work, it’s too much of a mind-blast but these guys’ talent lies in bringing this into what are genuinely great metal songs, crossing many genres boundaries.
The band themselves have been around since 2014 and have released a string of massive sounding EP’s with a new one, Part II: Europa, due this December. We caught up with Gareth Sidwell to learn a little bit more about Core Of iO, what makes them tick, and how they use the world around them to create their own escape from reality…
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Lincolnshire, Essex and Dorset.
How did you meet?
Three of us met initially as students in Brighton, although we didn’t start the band until years after. Richard we met through another University, we were blown away by his dissertation performance and asked him if he wanted to join the band.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Since September 2013.
Before you get sick of being asked where does the band name come from?
The band name comes from the Voyager spacecraft’s mission, where on encountering Jupiter it found the most geologically active known body in our solar system, a small moon named Io. It’s core is in a constant magnetic flux because of its elliptical orbit, and has volcanos rupturing through the surface for up to 300 miles!
What are your influences?
Progressive rock, punk, jazz fusion, tech-metal, grunge.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I think the varied musical backgrounds we all come from. It all just brews together in a melting pot of ideas that do not stick to any real formula. Bob’s got a way with vocals that tie these ideas together and we’ve been constantly adapting our writing methods as we go to refine our sound.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Bob has a way of capturing a particular moment or scenario and running with it, all I guess are stories about personal experience and also of others close to us. A couple on this new EP are particularly deep and touching. “Lenuta” for example is “about that weird kid who used to stalk me when I was younger. Fifteen years later he brutally murdered Lenuta, a mother of two. He strangled her, stabbed her in the neck, wrote ‘Jack’ over her body and took photos as a trophy. What a piece of s**t. I hope in nineteen years when he’s released, her grown-up children will be waiting for him and let his first seconds of freedom be his last. This may be dark in places, but it’s my true feelings on the matter.”
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Energetic and relentless, if you’re not sweating through your eyeballs you haven’t given enough! We have played well over 200 shows now. What was important from the start was to get out of town and play as many shows as possible, it makes you better at what you do.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We had a full-on stage invasion at one of our shows a couple of years back, you’re trying to keep your concentration and at the same time not take anyone’s eye out with your headstock. That was nuts! Seen a young lad break his nose in the pit as well once, gushing out with blood, still head banging through the rest of the song though – what a trooper!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc?
Richard has just got himself a beautiful Serenity Custom drum kit which we have all been drooling over! Bob uses a Fender Telecaster, Luke a Gibson SG and a PRS,.I use an Ibanez 6 string bass with a Darkglass b7k Ultra.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have a new EP due out on 1st December this year called Part II: Europa. We have just released a music video for one of the tracks called “Hit The River Hard”, it’s on Youtube, go check it out! We have another video/single release in the next month or two so keep an eye out!
What are your plans for the rest of 2017/ 2018?
We are going to be headlining the RikStock stage at Mammothfest, Brighton on October 8th which is a big one for us, and then between October 20th and November 5th we are going to be doing a nine-date tour across the UK. Other than that, we will be stockpiling ideas for our next release!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
It would be incredible to support a band like the Deftones or the Foo Fighters; childhood heroes. Opening the show I would say Sumer, one of my favourite bands that we have shared the stage with and incredible every time they play.
From previous Band of the Day Huxtable: What is your favourite TV show theme?
We were actually talking about this the other day! The Hurricanes, you remember the old “soccer” cartoon that was on ITV right? Proper cheesy 80s Van Halen style rock.
And from Kemerov: Do you think that a music band should have a clear social and/or political stance with their lyrics and general attitude or should music and politics never mix?
Interesting, some bands I love have a clear social/political stance, but generally have that agenda for some sort of change, and their fan base will reflect that. If you are an activist and you find music is your platform to get your message out there, go for it, some of the greatest rock and hip-hop has been created out of it. On the other hand, it is not something we do. Music can also be a form of escapism from the harsh realities that face the world, and sometimes people do not want political opinions shoved in their face all the time.
And from Hey Charlie – What is your dream venue to play?
Wembley (You gotta aim big!).
Part II: Europa is out on December 1st