IAMX talks Metanoia and How to be a Fiercely Independent Artist

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Photography by Samantha Sweeney

The stage was dark and the room fidgeted with anticipation as fans gossiped fervently and planned their fantastical strategies for the time came when they saw their idol for the first time or, maybe, again. Like many who have come into this now-hallowed room at Underground Arts before him, an air of mystery and vulnerability surrounds IAMX, a.k.a. Chris Corner. IAMX is the title of a man and a band, and once his live band mates keyboardist Sammi Doll and multi-instrumentalist/partner-in-crime Janine Gezang filed on stage, the love and respect the audience gave to them was absolutely mesmerizing. Corner waltzed on stage after them, his face hidden in the shadow of a hood and face glitter. With a grin in his voice, he took the microphone and greeted the adoring, screaming crowd before launching into almost two hours of non-stop, carnal performance and beautiful music.

If you have not already heard of Chris Corner (formerly of Sneaker Pimps) or his stage alias IAMX, consider this your best and most formal introduction. The multi-instrumentalist, crooner, and overall wonderful human being has been on my radar since I was in high school, when I fell in love with his dark, layered electronica sounds, intelligent, biting lyrics, and fierce independence as an artist. His most recent release, Metanoia, is more toned-down than his previous five albums, but no less strong. Inspired by his own neuroses and mental state, Corner has channeled his big sound more inward and returned to his roots in a way, to “one man,…one computer.” I talked with Corner ahead of Tuesday night’s thrilling show about everything from his latest release, his growth as an artist, and what makes the man behind the moniker tick.

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IAMX performs at Underground Arts, Philadelphia

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