Sofia is one half of Iori’s Eyes, a band out of Milan. Their sound is ethereal and visionary, swinging from electronic to acoustic, from playful children rhymes to the darkness of dreaming. They opened for bands such as Blonde Redhead, Brett Anderson, Noah and the Whale and Nouvelle Vague. Now Sofia is working together with her bandmates on their first LP which should be out next January follwing their debut EP, And Everything Fits In The Yellow Whale, let’s discover more about this promising girl and how she’s learning the ropes with Iori’s Eyes!
Could you please tell us more about your background? How did you get started with Iori’s Eyes?
I’ve been playing since I was ten and my musical education began with classical music and then moved on to the blues. I have had several bands, until the age of seventeen when me and Clod (the current singer of my band) who was attending the same class, we decided to put a band together. Before this moment I played guitar and my influences were different, mainly punk and grunge; Clod played bass in several bands and had different musical tastes. Once we met we exchanged roles, he began playing guitar and I started playing bass and that’s how we started to create our sound.
Is there any strong relation between your music and the place where you live?
If what you mean is if there is a relationship between my music and the culture of my country I think the answer is no. Ever since I was little I always listened to foreign music, a little because of the inheritance of my parents, a little because the Italian singers I liked were rare exceptions. It’s just now that I like Italian music, slowly I started listening to singers who mainly have their roots in the past of Italian music as Luigi Tenco and Battiato. But if we speak of the places as environment, I think they have always influenced my music. From the first demo recorded in my garage that had much of post-rock sound, the sound has adapted to the spaces in which it is conceived and recorded. At first we were three, Francesco was with us as our first drummer. Our music sounded like underground and intimate at the same time because of the environment. Playing in a garage that opened onto a courtyard outside was often like playing outdoors. But then the training has been reduced to two and our sound has had a major change. Clod and I found ourselves to compose in small rehearsal rooms, or basements or bedrooms and that’s how our sound became more intimate, dried and minimal. We then tested several solutions, however, we now have thought and composed most of the pieces at my home or clod’ s house. About this we are just returned from Amsterdam, where we set up a small home studio to record some songs of the new album. It seemed to be the best place because of the pieces that we are writing at the moment would absorb the intimate aspect of a house, but not in Italy, a place where light and air that you breathe is different from what we are used to.
Do you earn a living from Iori’s Eyes? If not, what’s your profession and current occupation?
Playing around I can earn enough to survive and when not on tour I do small odd jobs. Occasionally I’m also modeling and I take care of the graphic design work and website of Iori’s eyes, but they are all things that I do because I like them and not for gain.
Which is the movie you would love to do the soundtrack to? Why?
I must confess that I always dreamed to do the soundtrack for “My Own Private Idaho” by Gus Van Sant, which is one of my favorite movies. Also I would love to compose the soundtrack for “Tomboy” by Céline Sciamma that I recently saw and which entered soon into my heart.
What are you listening to these days?
Recently, talking about soundtrack, I love listening to many of the soundtracks composed by John Carpenter, in particular, “Assault on Precinct 13″. Other artists that I’m loving are Giorgio Moroder, both as a musician and producer, Jean Michael Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd of “A Saurceful of secrets”, Kraftwerk, Talking Heads, New Order, Joy Division, Madonna in “Erotica”, Depeche Mode, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, The Cure and many others. As for more recent artists: James Blake, Jamie xx, Arcade Fire, The National, The xx, Lykke Li, Caribou, Sebastian Tellier.
What is your relationship with live sets? What was your best and worst experience?
I like to perform the pieces live, me and my bandmates enjoy to arrange the pieces each time in a different way, sometimes slightly different, sometimes changing it completely. There are times that I prefer the acoustic version of our pieces, it depends, sometimes you feel the need to be surrounded by a wall of sound and other times to be in the silence and playing softly. I remember that our worst live was during the tour in Sicily. We played in a place that we were not told to be a restaurant, so we played our set between the first and the second courses in a crowded and noisy terrace where the attention was more focused on the dishes than on music. I could count the olives on the plate of the lady who was eating next to my elbow. Finished our set the owner complained that we had played too little, and threatened us not to pay us and looked like he wanted to go to blows because we refused to repeat all the show again. It was really weird. I think these things make you the bones. On the contrary, many were the gigs that have made me really happy. Large or small there are many evenings that gave me satisfaction, most of all the MIAMI Festival this year, the gig at Quadriportico di Vicolo Bolognetti in Bologna, openings to !!!, Brett Anderson, Wild Beasts, the Hot Chip DJ set, the date of this year at Rocket Club in Milan, the tour with JJ, openings to Blonde Redhead, and many others.
Do you like to collaborate with other people besides your bandmate? What would be your perfect kind of collaboration?
With regard to collaborations within the project Iori’s eyes several collaborations have already been experienced. The basis of our conception of the project is the idea that any positive flow that would give a new impetus to the project is something that we think is interesting and important. In addition to this there is to say that we like to come in contact with interesting personalities and often once become friends desire to work together is spontaneous. It’s been the case for our producer, Federico Dragogna, for all of our video directors who are also our great friends as well as collaborators, and also Cécile who masterfully remixed our song “Matter of Time”. Personally I would love to collaborate with a director with whom follow the producing of an entire movie from beginning to end, in which music and video are intertwined as if they were a single thing.
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured / interviewed here?
I was ready to answer Lykke Li, but I noticed that you’ve already interviewed. So I would be curious to read an interview with Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire.
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