PW:2015 seems to have been a bit of a whirlwind for you. In the last year you’ve recorded and released an EP, are putting the finishing touches on an album, shot a series of music videos in Los Angeles, signed on to appear in a video game, and so much more. How do you balance all of your different projects?
IE:Hah, funny you say that... It seems like every year in recent memory has been a whirlwind, lol. There is never usually a dull moment with me!!! But ya, 2015, we packed a lot in. I honestly have no idea how I balance things. I def do get overwhelmed at times juggling it all. The fact that I’ve also had a lot of serious family drama to deal with on top of all the music biz stuff makes it that much harder to juggle and sometimes it does feel like there is too much on my plate, like there needs to be 3 of me to handle it all, but I always seem to manage it somehow, someway. I don’t have any particular secret though... just a lot less sleep than I’d prefer and a never say die attitude and somehow I just barrel through!!!
PW:Speaking of your EP Graffiti On My Heart, you have referred to the project as a quadrilogy. Can you explain how the concept came about?
IE:Well I've been itching to get a new full length album out for the longest time already, but I’ve had a bunch of bumps in the road with some of the "lovely" record label and management folks I had been working with so I wasn’t able to release more than a couple of standalone singles here and there for some time. I'm a songwriter at heart and I kept on writing and recording all these tunes and it was really a form of torture for me not to be able to share all of them with anyone. Now that most of the legal nonsense is behind me and I’m finally able to release a full length album, I didn’t want to just come out with another standalone single to promo it so I thought of this alternative concept of creating a mini movie around a handful of my songs and bringing them all to life on the screen. I put 4 tracks together that could live as their own little EP but also be part of the upcoming album and I wrote a treatment for this short film around them that I think turned out to be pretty cool....
PW:You’ve been in Los Angeles working on shooting music videos for each song on the EP. Is there a reason you decided to shoot everything at once?
IE:Ya, kind of touched on the reasons for that in my response to your last question but happy to elaborate on it. So basically since I was looking at the music videos as part of one big narrative for this short film idea, we decided to shoot them all at once, one after another so that it would be one big connected piece of work. It was actually a pretty ridiculous undertaking and I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into at first but now that we have wrapped production and got through it. somehow I’m breathing a lot easier and really stoked to see the final cuts soon!!!
PW:Will the project follow one story from start to finish across the four videos, or will it delve into different concepts throughout?
IE:Each of the videos looks totally different and has its own story so viewers will be able to watch them individually if they want to just view one video at a time, but the project was written and filmed as a continuing piece of work so there is an overall story that we are telling from part 1 through part 4 so all the videos will connect and flow into each other!
PW:What is the most important thing for you to have with you when you’re away from home?
IE:Well I never leave home without my pet monkey... Some people say he's stuffed, but I know the truth ;) I also could never be away from home without my cell phone; that is definitely tops on the important list!
PW:How does Misfit Mind compare with your EP this year? Is the Graffiti On My Heart quadrilogy a taste of things to come, or should we expect some growth between the releases?
IE:I’d like to think I’m always growing as a songwriter, but the songs on the album are all in the same wheelhouse I guess. But there’s definitely a solid cross-section of my signature sound featured in the quadrilogy; we are calling it electro punk pop and it’s basically pop music that combines and pulls some elements from the EDM and pop-punk world. "Horse Of A Different Color" is a pretty good example. It starts off with some really dope guitar riffs but goes straight in with that pounding EDM beat and a super catchy pop chorus. "Time Machine" has a more melancholy sound and that’s really personal song to me that I think a lot of people may relate too. The last 2 songs in the quadrilogy were actually included on the Misfit Minds EP that we put out earlier this year but that EP was not released in most markets so the majority of my fans haven’t had the chance to hear them yet so I'm really excited to see what people think of these 4 tracks!!!
PW:What is the most important message that you hope fans get from your music?
IE:I hope I can inspire people to think for themselves and be true to themselves, not care what other people say and never give up on their dreams. There’s also an important theme in the quadrilogly about having to keep on keeping on no matter what the world throws at you… that’s def an important message too!
PW:Do you have any plans to tour upon the project’s release?
IE:Yes, I definitely do and may have some big news on that front soon, but sorry, for now it’s a secret. We will have to wait and see how things play out and hope to be able to make some announcements about that soon.
PW:Flipping projects really quickly, you are also set to appear in a video game next year. What was it like getting animated to appear in a video game? Can you talk a bit about the process of coming to life on the screen?
IE:In one word... freaking intense! Oops, that was 2 words! I started a pretty hardcore training regime that lasted over the course of a couple years for that project. I had to do crazy work-outs and learn to do some live action stunts cause we were filming with motion capture technology so anything my character does on screen, I had to basically do in real life!!! I was harnessed 4 stories in the air and running through this maze like obstacle course. It was pretty ridiculous. I actually had a couple of close calls with serious injuries but I made it out alive and overall it was a really epic experience!
PW:What will your roll be in the game?
IE:I play the lead role and my character is stuck in a maze that players will have to navigate him out of!!! They nicknamed my character Xire, which is my last named spelled backwards!
PW:How did the project come about?
IE:One of my publicists had heard that these well-known game developers were looking for a pop artist to star in a music based game. They flew in a few candidates to take meetings with the team both in Las Vegas and Hong Kong. I flew out and met with them and auditioned for them, and then I was put through a workout boot camp on the spot to see if I was up to the rigorous physical demands of the role. This crazy trainer guy pushed me so hard and I was not prepared for it that day at all; I literally threw up in front of everyone after going through the obstacle course trial. I was thinking in my head “That’s it, I’m totally out, I blew it” but the next day I actually found out the role was mine!
PW:The game is being created by some of the developers behind Guitar Hero. Is this a game that you played a lot in your spare time?
IE:Ya those guys are awesome and crazy talented. I’ve played Guitar Hero a bit but not a ton, to be honest, but some of the team also worked on Dance Dance Revolution too. I had a really fun time trying out an advance level of that game in an arcade in Tokyo a couple years back… I nearly broke my ankle trying to keep up, lol!!!
PW:You started working as a professional in the industry at the 9 years old. Clearly you’ve loved music for most of your life, but when did you realize that it was what you wanted to do as a profession?
IE:I honestly can’t remember not wanting to be a pop star... It was always a part of me from as far back as my memory goes!
PW:What is the most important lesson you’ve learned since hitting the scene all those years ago?
IE:To always go with your gut!
PW:Who has been particularly influential in the development of your sound and image?
IE:There isn’t anybody in particular that’s really helped create my sound or image, it’s just developed naturally over time. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve worked with some really talented producers who have definitely help me grow and take my music to the next level but I’ve always led the charge myself as far as the musical direction. The same goes for my image. It’s not something that was ever created with any forethought, it’s just who I am and how I like to look!
PW:If you could collaborate with any artist on a project who would it be?
IE:Hmmm, well if we could bring back MJ that would def have been choice #1. But in the land of the living, I think it would probably be really fun to do a track with someone like Katy Perry or Miley Cyrus!
PW:In the last year alone you have travelled across the globe. What has been your favorite place to visit?
IE:Oh no, that’s not a fair question cause I have too many favs, but this summer I really enjoyed Split and the island of Hvar in Croatia. I’ve been there a bunch of times before but this was my first time appearing for the Ultra Music Festival and it was a really fun time and I just love Hvar, it’s like an old pirate town come to life!!!
PW:Is there anywhere that you would still like to see?
IE:Hmm, I’ve racked up a ton of frequent flier miles already but there are still a couple of places left for me to scratch off the wish list. I actually went to Fiji for a TV series I was working on but the production team changed the shooting schedule around on me as soon as we landed so I literally had to leave Fiji like 2 hours after i got there. That was a major tease so I will have to go back there one day to properly explore!
PW:What are your plans for the future? After Misfit Mind is released do you have any other goals to achieve?
IE:Hahaha, omg, are you kidding? Yes, definitely, I feel like I’m just getting started and have a lot of work left to do. I’m working on arena tour options for the spring so I can bring the new music around the world and I’ll be really excited to see how it goes building things up in America cause we haven’t really pushed things in my home country yet. I’ve got a lot of huge aspirations and things I still want to accomplish in a lot of different areas…so we’ll see how it goes! ;)
PW:Do you want to leave a parting message for your mutt army?
IE:The last part of my “Graffiti On My Heart” film is actually a big mutt army rally and its based around my upcoming single, “Tomahawk.” Part of the lyrics go “say what you want, wear what you want, be what you want to be” so I think that’s a good parting message to share with everyone!!! Huge thanks to Ian Erix for taking the time to answer all of our questions! We're looking forward to seeing the music videos from his Graffiti On My Heart quadrilogy and hearing the remainder of Misfit Mind later this year! Keep up to date with future Ian Erix and his future releases by following him on social media. He can be found at his website as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!