Tag: Kat Von D

KAT VON D Love Made Me Do It

TV, beauty and tattoo celebrity Kat Von D puts her alternative universe to music on her debut album ‘Love Made Me Do It’.

Having already made guest appearances with IAMX, Kat Von D had classical piano training in her youth while she has strengthened her abilities under the guidance of vocal coach Ken Tamplin. Although the record began life as a collaboration with Grammy nominated songwriter Linda Perry, it is primarily produced by Kat Von D with her band of multi-instrumentalist Gregg Foreman, keyboardist Sammi Jo Doll and drummer Dave Parley while Dan Haigh of GUNSHIP did the album’s final mixing.

Opening with a two piece suite, the ‘Vanish’ intro offers a sinister dramatic synthy theme not that removed from GUNSHIP with its big electronic keys. Meanwhile, the main act offers a brooding spacious piano and strings ballad co-written with Linda Perry; it all acts as a solemn setting for “a crown of thorns that shows no mercy” before a rumbling climax kicks in.

A strident IAMX demeanour dominates the darkness of ‘Enough’, which offers strong vocals and a hook from THE CURE’s ‘Lullaby’ and when a sparkling instrumental kicks in, the tension only increases during a gloriously mighty second half; the work of noted songwriter Chris Brenner, it faces the spectre of unhealthy relationships.

The energetic synth rock punch of ‘Exorcism’ written by Nick Long and Tommy English develops on that tension with its topics of love, loss and moving on; it is so accomplished that this could be a mainstream pop hit by P!NK were it not wholly dressed in black…

Featuring a duet with Peter Murphy, the magnificent ‘Protected’ is a synthwave ballad that sees Kat Von D’s contralto blending well with the striking BAUHAUS front man as his vocal treatments add an extra weary otherworldly presence to the wonderful collage of sequences behind them. ‘Fear You’ perhaps suffers being next to ‘Protected’ and all that came before it, but smokey vocals and a contrast of shade and light maintains interest with an impactful rhythmic barrage.

Working with Eurovision winning composer Stefan Örn, ‘I Am Nothing’ utilises a great contralto CHROMATICS meets countrified gothwave vibe. This glamourous but unsettling air, while very ‘Twin Peaks’, is also very Kat Von D. The lady herself describes it as music for the “Anti-Prom that never happened but all alternative teens have dreamed about since the 80s” and “A sad bop for goths’ broken hearts that will end up in their older sister’s pop playlist”, but the swirling solo is the perfect tie to the exquisite suit.

The throbbing discothèque gothique of ‘Lost At Sea’ is rather good and powers up for the chorus to add drama before a string quartet provide a solemn drifting close. The Middle Eastern flavoured ‘Interlude’ is much more than the title suggests, recalling the more recent sound design favoured by Gary Numan. Complete with devilish whispers, it acts as a perfect bridge to the final quarter of the album.

Another of the Linda Perry co-writes, ‘Pretending’ imagines an energetic driving Brat Pack movie montage song made by Allison Reynolds, the Ally Sheedy character in ‘The Breakfast Club’ and yes, she’s dancing in the Shermer High School library to her own creation too! Meanwhile, ‘Easier Sung Than Said’ provides more arpeggio laden synth rock that will provoke singalongs and fist pumps.

Closing the collection, ‘The Calling’ is a pulsing widescreen epic with wailing banshee backing vocals, aided by Danny Lohner of NINE INCH NAILS fame. It also recalls GUNSHIP, as do a number of tracks on ‘Love Made Me Do It’, before dropping to just our heroine and a lone drone for the conclusion.

An impressive debut album, ‘Love Made Me Do It’ successfully puts Kat Von D’s striking persona to music in a blend of synths, goth, rock and pop for a collection of songs that cover loss and vulnerability which many will be able to relate to.

‘Love Made Me Do It’ is released by Kartel Music Group on 27th August 2021 in red or gold vinyl LP, red cassette, CD digipack and digital formats





Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Sequoia Emmanuelle
26th August 2021

IAMX Alive In New Light

Since moving to sunny Los Angeles, Chris Corner is surely continuing his “public therapy”. The music, which substitutes any drug, works wonders for the ex-shy and retiring member of SNEAKER PIMPS, come THE ALTERNATIVE ARTIST of today.

Corner debuted solo in 2004 and has since gained a faithful following within the fans of unusual synthpopia. Eccentric or not, the multi-talented musician has provided hungry audiences with offerings of unparalleled electronic wizardry, which come to life backed up by vivid visuals, elaborate costumes, and hauntingly unusual live performances.

‘Metanoia’ with its ‘Addendum’ marked the transition process IAMX underwent, moving from cold and gloomy Berlin in the search of inspirational metamorphosis to create a non-fuss record. The results shook both sides of the Atlantic, gaining the elusive Corner many fresh believers.

Following the success of both offerings, IAMX ventured into a popular trend of instrumental offerings, with his superb ‘Unfall’. As if he had anything else to prove, the Englishman in LA, showed how an album practically stripped of vocals, can work wonders amidst similar opuses from the likes of GAZELLE TWIN, APOPTYGMA BERZERK or BLANCMANGE.

Currently the sound manipulator is basking ‘Alive In New Light’. Continuing on the journey of self-rediscovery, IAMX is compelled to make music as “this album is about connecting, and it’s a pain in the ass to do it through an album. Each time I do this, I feel exhausted but it’s an impulse I can’t stop. If you write your pain out, there’s a venting. Happiness is a skill. I’m happiest activating skills that keep you balanced.”

The long player, which Corner decided to record in California desert because “The desert is white noise. You can lose yourself in the details of producing, mixing; it’s just silence”, sees multiple collaborations with LA’s celebrated artist slash tattooist Kat Von D, who provides vocal support on ‘Stalker’ amongst four out of nine tracks. The subject of love, seductive motifs and sexual obsession prevail, sung by both the master himself and the ink lady clad in red SM gear. The self-confessed “eternal fool” is enslaved with lust, he “will be your shadow, will follow you, never let you go”.

‘Stardust’, even though kicks off gently, it flowers into a fast paced extravaganza of the celebration of love with its forceful rhythm. It’s a perfect awakening and a suitable opener to what Corner utilises to shed his demons.

The familiarity of the signature IAMX sound bursts through the album’s title track, which actually possesses musical elements resembling Martin Gore’s cover of ‘Stardust’ from ‘Counterfeit 2’.

‘Alive In New Light’ with its superb melodies, masterful vocals and the cleverest use of synths rises above most of Corner’s contemporaries. The drum and bass pointers, ambient bubble punctuations and ‘Stranger Things’-like arpeggios, alongside gripping jungle sequences create the atmosphere of hope, faith and belief. A belief that Corner’s “public therapy” has reached new levels entirely.

‘Break The Chain’, with its staccato rhythm, is a randomly urgent and immediate plea for freedom; it rushes through chasing the inevitable, it bewilders.

Corner is far from happy here; he feels he’s “sinking with America (…), aching in the strangest places”, he will “never break the chain”, all engulfed in superb sounds, masterfully put together to create an effect of a heart aching appeal.

‘Body Politics’ hypnotises in its electro dance manner, bursting with obvious sexuality, while ‘Exit’ mechanically calms the atmosphere with seductive machines labouring away, heavily pushing forward, working in overdrive while utilising made sounds and voice manipulations.

If ‘Bernadette’ has come back, she’s with ‘Big Man’, if in filigree tonality only. The obvious political connotations presented over Victorian circus music, are we all on the carousel of madness? “It’s a miracle that we made it here”, with the curious “privileged prick got to make us his bitches, we lap it up”. What better way of summing up the ridiculousness of the world of today.

‘Mile Deep Hollow’ is a perfect dark love song. Featured in an episode of ‘How To Get Away With Murder’, aired last November, the alternative romance created a stir within Corner’s fans, who described it as a lighter version of the tracks from ‘Metanoia’. The hauntingly beautiful melody, twinned with lyrics full of emotion and affection (“thank you, you need to know that you dragged me out of a mile deep hollow, and I love you, you brought me home…”) create an unforgettable masterpiece.

The simple piano entry into ‘The Power And The Glory’, which resembles a prayer bursting into stunning arpeggiated synth, brings back the familiar melancholia, closing the offering with a mixed emotion. Nothing is simple with Chris Corner, he’s still in with the search of his elusive “guiding light”.

‘Alive In New Light’, although still suitably dark, is speckled with hope, gratitude and glimpses of true happiness and, while IAMX continues to transform and evolve, his exploration of musical intricacies is ever growing and awe inspiring.

He’s already proven to be a masterfully capable producer, wonderfully versatile writer and quirky lyricist; now with the ever expanding visual aspects of his art and personal merchandise items, Chris Corner is truly “alive in new light”.

‘Alive In New Light’ is released by Caroline International in CD, vinyl and digital formats, available from https://www.musicglue.com/iamx/shop

IAMX 2018 European tour dates includes:

London Electric Ballroom (3rd March 2018), Paris La Machine (5th March), Munich Strom (15th March), Vienna WUK (16th March), Prague Meet Factory (17th March), Dresden Beatpol (19th March), Hamburg Mojo (20th March), Berlin Kesselhaus (21st March), Lviv Malevich (24th March), Kyiv Bel Etage Club (25th March), St Petersburg A2 (27th March), Moscow, RU – Izvestia Hall (29th March), Istanbul IF (31st March)





Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
Photos by Gretchen Lanham
2nd February 2018