Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Iris

IrisSomething great always takes place when musicians from different backgrounds come together to create something new. Take Iris for example, a shoegaze band from Durham, ON comprised of members from hardcore bands such as AltonaSafe To Say, and Forgive. Iris formed in May of 2013 after bassist Danielle Clark and vocalist Scott Downes decided to record more than just the acoustic songs they created together. After writing their debut EP Blossom within a week they recorded with Matthew Tomasi who after recording became the drummer for Iris. By October, Iris added Brad Garcia of Safe To Say as the guitarist and the band was solidified as a shoegaze four piece. I recently got together with guitarist Scott after their show at the Lodge in Mississauga to discuss their roots, how the band created their hypnotizing EP, and where they are headed.

AMBY: Iris started as just you and Danielle, so how did Matt and Brad get involved?

Iris: Matt’s kind of been a part of Iris since day 1. He was the first to know about us (other than Danielle and I of course) and he recorded drums for Blossom. After he recorded drums for us Danielle and I were both thinking that we’d want someone like him in our band bur we weren’t quite ready to make Iris a full band. Around August or the beginning of September, Brad messaged me saying that he likes our music and everything and I suggested that Safe to Say and Iris should play shows together, and then he asked if he could jam with us sometime, so around October we got together at Matt’s place and jammed. It just seemed like a good fit to have both of them join, so we asked and it’s been awesome.

AMBY: The scene in Durham region has started to become a hotbed for great bands. How’s it been watching the scene grow that way?

Iris: Durham has a lot of amazing bands. I used to be in a punk band called Straight Truth, and not to toot our own horn, but we were really awesome. I’m glad to see they’re doing well after I left though. I think it’s pretty great to watch though. The Durham scene always had some great bands but lately things are picking up even more with Safe to Say, Altona, and Straight Truth (sorry I mentioned them again), and shout outs to my other band Forgive, we’re putting out a flexi soon. But yeah, my personal favourite would be Altona, they just get better and better every time I see them. I’m trying to think of more bands but like there’s so many my mind is kind of overwhelmed. All I can say that it’s been fun to watch it grow further!

AMBY: Every member of the band comes from different musical backgrounds, how does that come about when writing songs?

Iris: Yeah, Brad’s in Safe to Say (emo/punk/grunge), Matt’s in Altona and Burnt Out (Hardcore Punk), I’m in Forgive (Melodic Hardcore/Metalcore) I used to be in Straight Truth and Head Check, we were pretty much punk. I wouldn’t say it really comes about while writing, to be honest. I can’t speak on behalf of the band but I feel like this band is a creative outlet for us in someways, almost like an experiment.

AMBY: What’s one thing no one knows about Iris?

Iris: I don’t really know what people don’t know about us, unless no one knows that we all come from different cities in Ontario. That’s a little fun fact, I guess!

AMBY: Best song of 2013?

Iris: So many songs, probably Royals by Lorde or Drawstring by Pity Sex, that song is just so good.

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Thank you Iris, for giving us your answers!

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Reuben Jude Corriea | @ReubReubs

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