INTERVIEW: Gautier Serre – Igorrr

There is a certain individual making huge waves in the progressive metal scene at the moment and his name is Gautier Serre, but you may be more acquainted with his alias IGORRR. An intense barrage of multi-faceted creativity leaving everyone’s jaws hanging in amazement as his no holds barred approach to metal is grabbing the spotlight. We caught up with the man behind the mania to get a little insight into the crazy world of IGORRR and his hotly anticipated release Savage Sinusoid.

For the benefit of our readers who may not be acquainted with your work how would you best describe IGORRR?

Gautier: IGORRR is always hard to describe as it’s a project with many elements and many different influences, from baroque to death metal to electronic music to Balkan music. We all are metalheads in the project but IGORRR is not a metal act and it has no clear or known style which would make it easy to label it. IGORRR is a project where I try to reach my musical ideal, it doesn’t correspond to a specific style of music but more to my personal musical tastes. I like CHOPIN or BACH as much as CANNIBAL CORPSE or MESHUGGAH, as much as APHEX TWIN or TARAF DE HAIDOUKS, that makes the whole thing a non mainstream music.

You are due to release your latest album Savage Sinusoid, are there any particular themes or concepts you wanted to get across on this effort?

Gautier: Yes, for this album, I wanted to work without any sample while keeping a complete variety of all the styles I love. I wanted to reach the ‘live feeling’ of this music. As there are many musical universes, I had to find the perfect instrumentalist per style and per instrument, in order to make it as good as I could, I didn’t want to play all the instruments myself as a guy spending all his life playing a specific instrument in a specific style would sound a way better than me playing just a bit of each.

The album has been four years in the making, what was the most time consuming aspect of the record?

Gautier: Recording all the different instruments, all with a specific material, to fits the ‘real’ sound of each style as much as possible, learning the things I didn’t know, musically or technically, and make everybody join together.
For example, I wanted to work with the harpsichord player Katerina Chrobokova on this album, she is living in the Czech Republic and my studio is in the deep country side in the centre of France, so basically we had to rent a truck to bring her harpsichord from Prague to my studio, and then to wait for the instrument to get the temperature of the room for her to be able to play perfectly in tune. Speaking about tuning, the sitar part on Opus Brain needed a special tuning as well as the rest of the track is not made at all in the Indian mood, so the instrument didn’t correspond at first, and to make it even harder, the name of the notes on this Indian instrument are not the same as the regular notes I knew. As small as the sitar part is, I wanted it to be perfect. Basically, it has been the same for all, a research to get the perfect recordings from every instrument and being able to join all those things together. Like a big party with everybody playing music together, the metalheads, the classical guys, the electronic nerds, the gypsies. Making the necessary for everybody to understand each other despite their very different musical background and playing together, according to each other.

You have stated that the album is completely sample free which is remarkable in this day and age, was this something you have always strived for? Did this make the process more difficult?

Gautier: It has made the process much more difficult indeed, specially with this kind of music. It’s something I wanted to do for years indeed, but I didn’t knew if I would be able to make it real one day. Savage Sinusoid is like the accomplishment of many years of learning, searching and experimenting.

Was it easy to acquire the correct collaborative musicians to ensure your vision for the record was achieved?

Gautier: This aspect of the music also took lots of time, I have a very specific vision of how my music should be, and finding the right person able to play the right way is not easy. However, by doing music all the time for years and years it happen that I cross the road of awesome musicians, and for Savage Sinusoid, I really think I found the right people to play this music, and the musicians definitely has done a stunning job.

Where do your influences stem from as there is a very diverse level of instrumentation used on Savage Sinusoid?

Gautier: Since I was a teenager, I’ve had a quite diverse influences, from CHOPIN, to CANNIBAL CORPSE, to SCARLATTI and BACH, to SEPULTURA, TARAF DE HAIDOUKS, YAMANDU COSTA, MESHUGGAH, MR BUNGLE, PORTISHEAD. There is amazing music in many different genres, and basically, with IGORRR, I’m enjoying make them meet together, finding the specific way to be able to mix them regardless the style.

What can a live audience expect if they go to see one of your shows? Considering the amount of collaborations how do you go about capturing this in a live environment?

Gautier: We are four on stage, there is Laure Le Prunenec as a baroque singer, Laurent Lunoir as a death metal singer, Sylvain Bouvier is playing the drums, and I’m with all the machines, launching all the pre-recorded instruments and adding all the effects. I’m not sure how it feels to be front of the speakers at one of our show, but for sure you can expect metal, electronic and baroque music really loud in your face.

You have a significant amount of touring scheduled for the remainder of 2017, is there any dates you are particularly excited for?

Gautier: We never know how a gig is gonna be, but I’m really looking forward some of the summer festival shows, like Dour, Hellfest or Brutal Assault. Mostly, I’m very exited about the very long touring in Autumn, we have never experienced such a big amount of gigs in a raw, this is something we’re really looking forward.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the future of IGORRR?

Gautier: My main hope is that, despite the fact that Savage Sinusoid might be apparently hard to access, I hope this album will be understood. But also, we’re really looking forward to push our music again in new fields.

Savage Sinusoid is set for release on June 16th via Metal Blade Records.

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