Through a unique combination of hardcore & crossbreed beats, a unique appearance, live electric guitar and video mapping, Iridium is making their mark on the hardcore scene. With such a unique proposition, it’s time we show the world the 2-headed beast that is Iridium!
1. Tell us a little something about Iridium
We are Iridium! Lucas and Alex (24 & 27), 2 guys from France. Iridium was created at the end of 2016. We’re very much focused on our own music style, a mix between industrial and crossbreed. We met in Paris while we were studying there (Alex did Music Production at Abbey Road and Lucas Audio Engineering at SAE Institute). When we met, we both were beginners in the production of harsh electronic music. We have had a different pathway and musical inspiration, but we seem to agree on a lot of ideas. We evolved from DJing to performing live, and we added the electric guitar in our live show. The ultimate proof of what we both wanted. We managed to join The Third Movement and Heresy, which was a dream come true! It’s awesome that we’re able to grow at Heresy and TTM, with all these amazing artists to inspire us. Alex’s musical skills through the Music Conservatory is a huge advantage. Since then, Iridium has been nothing but moving forward and we don’t intend to stop any time soon! We have travelled all over Europe the last few years, to play our live shows and are ready to discover new stages in the future!
2. Iridium has a unique appearance. What’s is the story behind this?
Iridium is about masked guys coming from another planet. With different music and a show unlike anything else. The word Iridium comes from a metal often found in meteorites, and our masks come from the movie Predator. We want to immerse all our content in a futuristic setting, so that our music makes sense, as a total concept. Having our music and image synced is important to us, especially when your treading on new grounds.
3. How did you come up with combining live guitar with industrial beats?
The idea was to create an electronic music band. We both love Industrial hardcore and crossbreed, specifically the way you can combine it with other genres. And all the breakbeats/glitches you can add in the tracks organically. Adding the guitar was another challenge, but step by step we made it happen. Playing these tracks live with guitar was also a challenge, with complications that we had to resolve. But I think we pretty much nailed, it and seeing the crowd go mental is the best possible proof of that! The industrial beats come from Ableton, the guitar adds a lively visual touch to the show. We want to live and share these moments with the public, so that they feel involved and that we can address our music to them directly.
4. Neophyte used to do it back in the day. Was this an inspiration?
As Frenchies, the reference of hardcore combined with live guitars for us is Micropoint. We also found inspiration in various hardcore live acts with instruments, like Noize Suppressor with his Sonar, Malke, or The Annuaki.
5. Where do you draw inspiration from in general?
Our inspiration comes from the hardcore metal and Metalcore scene. Especially the English scene, with bands like Get The Shot, Desolated and Malevolence. But also some more experimental metal, which includes electronic elements like Mick Gordon, The Algorythm, Andromida. We’re also inspired a lot by bass Music (drum & bass, neurofunk, dubstep, deathstep, halfstep, cyberpunk, midtempo, hardwave, synthwave,…). The list would be too extensive, but to name a few artists : The Clamps, 1788-L, F.O.O.L, Extra Terra. And we’re also drawn to breakcode (Igorrrr, Ruby My Dear) or hard trap (Scarlxrd, Sinizter, Freddy).
6. Does a hardcore act need a unique look nowadays?
We do think so. There are more and more artists in the scene, it’s also more accessible than ever. If you want your own identity among all these artists, you have to bring something new and unique. It’s not the only path to get there, but it is the one we have chosen to take.
7. You use video mapping in your shows. How did you come up with the idea?
During the time we could no longer do events due to the C-word, Lucas worked in a Movie Theater. Seeing this huge screen every day (and also due to the lack of parties), the idea arose to do the mapping, to fit perfectly with our music.
This very cinema was also the best place to try out and practice a lot of elements. When a venue or festival has a huge screen on stage, we always include live mapping in our show. This way you’re immerse in the full experience.
8. Do you do the video mapping yourself?
Yes, we prepare our set then we record it and then we create the video mapping based on the music we’re playing and the transitions we’re making. We also add some lyrics for even more effect. The theme in our imagery is based on the future. And let me tell you, it’s hard work! We have to update it every time we add or modify our setlist. But we haven’t had the opportunity yet to do it at a big festival or party, since we prepared everything during the lockdown, we can’t wait for that opportunity to come!
9. Where is this concept gonna go: what’s the next level?
Maybe more musicians or guests with us on the stage, probably starting with a metal singer. The possibilities are endless honestly: an electronic drum kit, another guitar, more machines, smoke and fire machines. But we feel we need to perfect ourselves first, until we control our current setup perfectly, before adding more live elements. We feel we need to put in more work and we’ll see in the future what the next level will be. A Live collaboration is something we could experiment with in the future, that would take a lot of time to prepare and that’s not easy to set up That’s why for now, we’re playing alone, until we get ready to arrange a collaboration with another artist that can add to the live element. Performing live with Malke would be really awesome and maybe the most logical first collaboration to do. Otherwise, let’s see. There’s Lenny Dee, The Satan, Nagazaki, Ophidian. We weren’t thinking about this yet, but there will be great ideas when we get there.
10. Which acts do you look up to in hardcore, or in music in general?
In the Hardcore scene our Prototypes Records artists in whom we saw potential (Zerberuz, Berzärk, Vein, Double K, Frenesys, Bestial, Inqoherent, D-Srupt, 666). Also our brother in arms Nagazaki, and or course without forgetting the Heresy artists. Guys like Wavolizer, Djipe, The Satan or Igneon System made us love Industrial Hardcore in our early days. We also love the Industrial Hardcore/Crossbreed scene from Japan! We follow their artists and releases, we have been supporting them for years, they are amazingly creative! In music in general, it is more diverse. We would say The Clamps (including his project Burr Oak), Mick Gordon, The Caraoal Project, Teddy Killers, Extra Terra, Hudson Lee, GeoffPlaysGuitar, Polyphia, Inhuman, F.O.O.L, The Living Proof, SWARM and Ian Snow.
11. Tell us a little bit about the latest Heresy release.
The last EP is more technical and elaborate than the previous ones, we wanted to explore all the sides of Iridium. The first track is quite melodic, with a chorus and a bassline that follows the guitar, with softer vocals than usual but still full of that metal vibe. While the second track is focused on a very aggressive kick and a contrasting lead guitar. The main break was arranged so we can play it live: we can’t wait to see the crowd’s response! What we wanted to say with this release is that after a pandemic, it’s possible to bounce back. That’s why the track is called “We Are Alive”. And with Self Destruct, we just really want to mess up a bog festival crowd. Bring on the mosh pits!
12. Which elements make an Iridium track?
For an Iridium track, the classic construction is a kick made of an attack and a dubstep bassline, some amen breaks to cut into breakbeats, metal vocals, and a guitar theme. About the structure: it’s very often two phases of kicks, with a break and an intro that change the style, to create something hybrid.
13. You basically are a ‘crossbreed’ act. Do you think this what the scene needs to survive?
We honestly don’t think we are what the scene needs to survive. We just do what we like, and realise a vision we have with our music. Some people say that our scene is dying but we totally disagree. There are so many new talented artists, awesome parties, a huge public highly involved all around the world. The scene may have been dormant, but it is slowly coming back into the spotlight. And it’s great to see the people that made this scene are still evolving (Detest, I:Gor, eDUB, The Satan, Deathmachine, DJ Producer, Igneon System, Wavolizer, Djipe). If new people get into the genre, we think they need to check these artists (and a lot more not mentioned here!). They are the pillars of the style and their tracks are classics. But we also think that bringing something new can bring new people to our scene. This might be hard to take for the OG’s but that shouldn’t be a problem at all. We understand it might be difficult to welcome new styles.
14. Who would you like to work with, as a collab?
The list is too long! But to make it short, we need more than 24h per day to find the time to collaborate with our Prototypes Records artists. We also would like to do some tracks with Heresy and TTM artists!
And to be a total bore: a track with Angerfist would be the ultimate achievement. And maybe we’ll also try to work with some artists from other harsh music scenes, outside of Hardcore? Who knows.
15. What does the Heresy label mean to you? And TTM?
We came to the very first Heresy party in Belgium, “Welcome to the Alliance”. This was our first full Industrial party, and it was one of the best parties we’ve ever been. This was our trigger for the love of the genre. So yeah, Heresy has a huge place in our hearts, from the structure itself to the artists . We’ve followed the label closely since its creation. The Third Movement always had huge bangers and some more experimental stuff we never found anywhere else. For us, seeing a big label taking the risk to release something different was awesome! That’s why joining these labels was our goal as Iridium. You can’t imagine how happy we were when it happened for real!
16. Where’s the hardcore scene / music moving?
It’s moving in a great direction! We see more people getting interested every day. Not just Industrial, but also more mainstream styles are the forefront. And if people are really into it, they will dig their way into more niche styles, like industrial. There are also way more artists than before, which is good! It gives fresh air to the scene in general with more variety and more experimental productions. We hear more hybrid tracks every day, that’s something we are really happy to see. We have high hopes for a healthy scene, and we fully intend to contribute to it!
Check all Iridium tracks at TTM / Heresy: