Last year, Rocks Off was completely caught off guard by the sheer, unholy awesomness of The Irrepressibles. Director Roy Raz set their then-unreleased song "In This Shirt" to one of the most amazing and innovative music videos ever in a short film he called The Lady is Dead. The video, in addition to blowing your humble narrator out of his chair, made No. 2 on our best music videos of 2010 list.
Now they've become one of the two British acts we most want to see tour America, the other being Ellie Goulding. Well, Goulding is finally on her way over here next month, though the only Texas stage she'll grace is at SXSW. Hopefully The Irrepressibles won't be far behind.
In the meantime, they've released some live footage from a concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall that makes us even more eager to experience them live, something we just didn't think would be possible. Their stage shows simply defy any attempt to truly define them.
How do you capture in words the exultation the Flaming Lips conjure live, or the conflict or horror and heartbreak from something like David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti's Industrial Symphony No. 1? The Irrepressible's Mirror Mirror Spectacle is just as enigmatic and ecstasy-inducing as those works, and we are now on our knees begging for some visionary promoter to bring this show to Houston.
We got a chance to talk for a bit with Jamie McDermott, the main creative force behind The Irrepressibles, about the live show he'd put together.
Rocks Off: What goes into planning such an amazing spectacle?
Jamie McDermott: I have a vision of what I would like to create and then design the set, lighting, choreography to create one body/machine with all of these elements connecting. All the elements communicating the same message - of the emotion of the music. It's like allowing the music to manifest a visual world this happens in my head.
I have a wonderful team including LAVISH, who are my production house for my live works and artworks, an incredible agent and creative team who make them come to life. We collaborate with various fashion designers and people in makeup and hair. We also like to play with the moment, and so we have a constant collaboration with sound artist William Turner-Duffin manipulating the music we generate through improvisation onstage.
Pop meets the avant-garde and emotion meets art installation with our live shows. We have fans as young as 11 years old, and it is most important that it communicates to the child within people first and foremost.
RO: Do you feel you truly capture the lyrics and intentions with such a performance?
JM: I always work intuitively and automatically. I basically write all my music by recording what sounds and lyrics I say without thinking. All my music is created this way. All my visual work is also created in this way. It is like working out a puzzle of how the band can become one with the stage, lighting and set in every instance of performance.
RO: How hands-on are you in planning and the execution?
JM: Every step of the way, baby!
RO: What was the inspiration for the spectacle?
JM: I have visions that I follow through collaborating with people. For the Mirror Mirror Spectacle it was just how can we connect with the audience on a standard stage and become part of the venue itself. I devised a formation of mirrors that would reflect the audience onto the stage and with the performers.
Flattening various images to create paintings/works of art of every moment of the performance that would constantly change. Mirror Mirror the album is about reflection, the vanity of popular culture, how it threw up a mirror to our own lives. It is in constant reflection.
RO: When are you coming here, and what else can American audiences do to get more Irrepressibles?
JM: The Roy Raz video for "In This Shirt" that became an Internet phenomenon really helped bring us to American audiences even before the official release date - which should be this spring. Thanks, Roy!
Well, we hope to release Mirror Mirror in the states very soon. We are just looking for the right deal over there. We cannot wait. It will be a fantasy become real for me to come. They can tell everybody about us in the hope that this will create enough buzz that we can get an offer to performance that will pay for all ten of us to board a plane! Ha ha!