1. How did you came up with the name for your latest project IIVII?
I wanted a name that was short, symmetrical, and was pronounceable in a least one way…meaning not all consonants. I’ve been pronouncing as ivy, but have also read another pronunciation which is cool too, eve.
2. Do you have a standard procedure for creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main sound and the track is build up on it?
The last few records, including IIVII and A Storm of Light, I have been starting with noise mostly…parts of movie scores looped in reverse, screaming kids in massive reverb, NASA space probe sounds etc. That weird shit always sets a unique mood and usually inspires me to start adding new noise to the old noise, and then somewhere actual instrumentation will start to come into the mix.
3. The artwork is depicting a derelict space colony across Saturn. Do you think this will become a reality in near future?
Probably not as soon as I would like. Stephen Hawkings has predicted the end of humanity in the next 1000 years if we don't start to colonize other habitable planets. So if we don't destroy each other before we develop the necessary equipment, then yeah…it may happen at some point.
4. What do you think about extra terrestrial civilisations? Do they exist? Are they advanced?
The odds are in favor for extra-terrestrial life. Our sun is one very average star out of an estimated 200 - 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone. Our planet is one among 100 billion planets in the galaxy. The age of universe suggests that alien civilizations could be more or less advanced depending on the their environmental conditions.
5. “Colony” could easily be the soundtrack of a sci-fi movie or TV series. Is something like this in your future plans? To dress a movie with your music or even direct and compose the music for your own sci-fi movie?
Both would be awesome. I think creating a soundtrack would be a bit more realistic. Movies are insanely expensive. But yes, exploring all options! haha.
6. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?
I listen to everything except pop and modern country. It’s a pretty schizophrenic collection of music. metal, rock, experimental, drone, dub, blah blah blah. In the last 2 days I have listened to Ranking Joe, Pj Harvey, Nick Cave, Metallica, Creedence, Hair and Skin Trading Company, Joy Division, The Police, Bad Brains, The Cure, Nortt, and probably few more. Heavy influences for me are Joy Division, Black Flag, The Cure, Ministry, Brian Eno, Arvo Part.
7. Which is the one album you can't live without?
Like on a desert island? That's insanely tough…Pink Floyd - Meddle or Joy Divison - Closer, or Hair and Skin Trading Company - Over Valance.
8. What's the first record you've ever bought?
I bought random crap records in 2nd / 3rd 4th grades. In 7th grade my dad’s co-worker let me borrow (for a year) all of the Black Flag records. I think the same week I bought The Cure - Pornogaphy as well.
9. You’ve collaborated with big names either by designing their artwork or directing their videos and visuals or even by founding and taking part in bands. With whom would you like to collaborate in the future?
Young and upcoming bands are always fun to work with. Big names that come to mind are Pj Harvey, Nick Cave, Massive Attack, Die Antwoord.
10. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like Spotify?
They are both interesting. I think Spotify needs to work out a better payment system for artists. I use Spotify to find music all of the time, and for that I really like it, however I buy the music that I latch onto rather than continually streaming from Spotify. Bandcamp feels pretty straight forward, albeit it’s not curated whatsoever, and so there is no quality control.
11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have no idea really. Time goes so damn fast. I just keep working my ass off and hope I can continue to make a good living at all of this. I feel really lucky for how things have gone over the last 5 years.
12. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?
Yeah definitely. Even the iTunes single image still gives people insight into the music, where the artist is coming from, and a visual reference for the music. the massive explosion of vinyl over the last 5 years has also brought back some more importance to the artwork.
13. What is your favorite album cover?
Storm Thorgerson is probably my favorite album-cover creator. As a kid i was always drawn to Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.
14. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?
I think the format makes people relate to the music more. The artwork is bigger, you have to interact with the album itself, flip the sides etc. the fidelity rules. Unfortunately my set up right now is based on the computer. All of my records are still packed away from our last move. I’d like that to change sooner than it will.
15. What's the most vivid story or moment as a musician?
Hmmm, probably 2 different scenarios.
1. playing in Kiev last year and seeing the city changed by the riots. Then we left Kiev to play Minsk, Moscow and St Petersburg, and drove for 12 hours every night with no hotel, our driver was high on meth, blaring BOTH a russian CB radio and Russian pop music. I assumed we would die on one of those drives but somehow we made it out alive. the shows were all amazing.
2. playing ATP in London with Slayer, Melvins, and Yob.
IIVII is the new solo project fabricated by visual artist, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Josh Graham, which focuses on sonically engulfing and moody soundscapes, layered with a science-fiction edge.