Thursday, January 3, 2013

[FEATURED]: Interview with Iko - Talks about the band, The Twilight Saga and fans!

Hey there, my dear readers! 

I'm so stoked about this blog post that I'm creating. Guess what? I'm super lucky because I got to interview ... IKO! I know, I know a now familiar name, especially to the Twilight Saga FANDOM. Come on. Heart of Stone. Who wouldn't know and love that song included in the Breaking Dawn Part 2 soundtrack? 

This photo was attached on the email that was sent to me! :)  

After the official release of the track listing for the soundtrack, I immediately followed all the artists' twitter accounts. Hey. I would not want to miss a chance to get noticed by them. A fangirl's gonna do, what a fangirl's gotta do! 

Anyways, wondering how I scored this interview? THE POWER OF TWITTER! Just this December, I think during the first or second day of Christmas vacation, I tweeted @ikomusic if I could do an interview with them. Testing my luck there. As you can see, it ended up positively. Because when I checked my twitter account in the morning I saw a tweet coming from that account and yeah. Thus, causing me to fangirl really hard. *jumping up and down* *yelling around the house* and all those kinds of stuff. 

Well, enough with that. Let's just start with the interview already. 
Here it goes. 

Get to know more about Iko 

Q: To get started with, can you at least tell us more about your band?
A: We are Iko from Devon, UK. Founded on myself and Neil Reed as writing partners. We write songs about heartbreak and have recently been on the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 soundtrack.

Q: How did you get started?
A: Neil and I met when teenagers who have been in other bands, but Iko was started by us after our first band dissolved. We were working long hours doing temporary jobs and this inspired our first album 'I Am Zero'. We wrote an album over about 4/5 months and recorded it in 10 days.

Q: How did you come up with the name, Iko?
A: We wanted something simply and sad to fit the mood of our first album so Iko, which is Japanese for 'orphan' or 'one outside/an outsider' felt appropriate.

Q: Who do you consider as your musical inspiration/s?
A: The first band I ever loved were The Smashing Pumpkins. But we have a variety of influences. Neil grew up classically trained so things like Rachmaninoff have influenced his piano playing, and for me it was Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, The Cure that made me want to write songs and make records.

Q: What makes you different from all the other musicians?
A: Well maybe the mixture of classical and popular is reasonably unusual. But people say my voice sounds unique, and a little like a woman so I suppose it's that.

Q: Name at least one musician you'd like to work with in the future.
A: I'd love to sing with Bjork. I think she's amazing.

The Twilight Saga and the song Heart of Stone 

Q: Were you already a fan or have already read the book even before being linked to it?
A: Yes we already loved the saga before we were even involved. We'd both seen them all. Just made it extra exciting to then have our song chosen. I read the book before writing the words because I wanted the lyrics to be strongly influenced by Stephenie's words.

Q: How did you become attached to the franchise?
A: We found out they were taking submissions for the sound track and decided to submit a few songs, just hoping that someone would like it. Turns out they did.

Q: Was it a long and tiring process?
A: Well it took us around 3 weeks to write and record it but there was a tight deadline for submissions so we had to be fast. The wait to then find out if we'd made it on seemed like forever. Almost as long as we had to keep it a secret when we knew they'd chosen it.

Q: How did you fully craft the song itself?
A: Neil wrote a piano part and emailed it to me, I spent some time working on a melody and then I went to his house, and we recorded it in an afternoon. Possibly a whole day in total to write it? It took Sean (producer) a while to perfect it because we wanted to add things, but the more we added the worse it sounded, so we stripped it right back to piano and voice again and it seemed to work.

Q: Did it take you a long time to perfect everything that is needed in the song?
A: Well from a sound point of view yes. Sean spent a long time making sure the vocal sounded the best it could. There's lots of subtlety in what he did with it, it sounds simple, like, just a voice and a piano but there's more to it than that.

Q: What did you feel when you heard your song playing over a particular scene in the movie?
A: It was amazing. One of the strangest experiences of my life. We looked at each other, surrounded by thousands of people in the dark at the premier and kinda said- is this really happening? It was brilliant.

Future plans, Message to fans and Tips for aspiring musicians [TWIHARDS MENTIONED!]

Q: What could we expect from you in the future? Any future song releases or such?
A: Yes we have a new album out early next year (2013), which we are currently finishing. We will release another EP to co-incide with it. We've also had our last single 'dazed and confused' (used in Grey's Anatomy) remixed by a DJ called 'R3volve' which hopefully people will hear in clubs around the world soon.

Q: Anything you want to say to your fans and soon-to-be-fans?
A: The support from the Twihards has been amazing. We've really been welcomed into the family so we feel very grateful that people care. We've spent a long time trying to get people to listen to us and take notice so we are appreciating all the interest all the more for it.

Q: And lastly, what tips can you give for aspiring musicians?
Never give up. Write with your heart and don't let anyone tell you you're not good enough to succeed at music. It's a special thing to be able to turn your feelings into music.

It's an amazing fact for them to take time and answer all the questions that I've given them. That's why, I'm really honored and thankful to be able to interview and have this band be featured on my blog. I'm truly thankful for this opportunity and experience. 

For music lovers out there, be sure to check this band out!

Iko web details:

Hoping all of you will like this blog post! Comments are much appreciated! 

- Amanda xxx

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