Rising: IOTA

Crofters Rights, Bristol

5 June

Sometimes you can tell from the first listen that there's a spark behind a band – and it's this spark which is helping five-piece band IOTA to propel into Bristol's ever-changing musical landscape. Over the last 6 months, IOTA have grasped every opportunity to showcase their talent, from directing their own videos and photoshoots, to organising and promoting their own headline shows. 

As well as this, the band have gained a reputation for high energy performances, with a sound turbulent enough to get crowds fired up, yet they don't take themselves too seriously. Front woman Jodie Robinson voices a 'fuck it' attitude, "if we like what we’re doing and we're having fun then it’s like fuck it. Of course success is a thing but we love doing this."

We caught up with IOTA just before their headline show at Crofters Rights in Bristol. The five-piece band are squeezed onto a three-man sofa (not unusual for a band who later reveal they enjoy sharing a bed). Despite the pressure of performing their first sold-out show, they seem surprisingly chill about the night ahead. 

 

 

  • Hi guys. Can you briefly tell us about your background? How did you meet each other?
Jose: Well, it started off with me, Dan and Mule. We were just sort of jamming together, then we started to produce stuff together and after a really fucking long time managed to get Tom on drums and Jodie on vocals. We’ve been going for about 6 months as this collective now.
  • What do you guys do for inspiration?
Jodie: We all randomly contribute ideas and it just evolves from when we take them to practice.
Tom: Everyone listens to slightly different music as well so it just congregates into a kinda pot and then everyone puts their own flair on it.
  • Can you remember some of your earliest influences?
Tom: Fucking easy. Dave Grohl, Travis Barker, Taylor Hawkin...
Jodie: Fleetwood Mac, Zeplin, Sabbath, The Doors...
Jose: Guns ’n’ Roses, ACDC...
Mule: Literally Fleetwood Mac and Guns ’n’ Roses
  • You guys recently won Witney’s Battle of the Bands and got to play Wychwood Festival. How was that? 
Jodie: Oh my god, it was amazing!
Tom: Sick! It was like the biggest stage I’ve ever played
Jose: Yeah, same...
Jodie: That was Tom’s first festival ever, like he’s never even been to one.
Tom: Yeah, the first one I’ve ever been to and I was playing it so it was cool. I was just happy that we all had loads of room to move around on stage as well.
Jodie: My mum was there (laughs)
Tom: I think it was the best we’ve ever played?
Jodie: Definitely, it’s the best we’ve ever played together as a band.
  • What’s your creative thought process when you write music?
Jodie: For me personally, I’ll sit at home and pick up my guitar, like I’m not very good at guitar but whatever I play, I’ll write a song lyrically that’s a lot more meaningful. Then I’ll bring it to the band and these guys usually make it amazing. 
Jose: If I’ve got a chord or a riff then I’ll loop it, add bits and bobs to it then I’ll go on logic software and piece it together just to get an idea of a track as a whole.
Jodie: I feel like we’re all so varied style wise and it works really well for us.
  • Aside from making music, how else do you guys like to express yourself creatively?
Jodie: I can’t remember the last time we didn’t sleep in the same bed. I’ve got four boyfriends!
Tom: Jose is there feeding us strawberries
Jodie: It’s like we’re in a relationship without the sex. I’ll make them put on dresses and I’ve cooked ya food before haven’t I? 
Dan: I’ve cooked for you all before 
Jose: Dan’s a good cook
Tom: Oh yeah, Dan is a very good cook
Jose: But a lot of the time, we just kinda get fucked (laughs)
Jodie: No, we play and then get fucked after.
  • What’s your favourite mid-practice snack?
Tom: Those vegan pies!
Everyone: YEAHHH!
Tom: They’re fucking gorgeous
Jodie: They should sponsor us 
Jose: Na, ham and mustard crisps
  • Do you guys worry about success?
Tom: Not really
Jodie: I do a bit
Tom: Do you?
Jodie: Yeah, like with putting on this gig tonight, I do worry if it would be successful or not. 
Jose: You just don’t ever know how someone is going to percieve you and I think that’s kinda unnerving. You can be really into something and you can really believe in it but whether someone else is going to, you know. 
Jodie: I think a lot of the time we get noticed for being quite passionate about what we do and we’ve got a kind of ‘fuck it’ attitude anyway but I really believe that we will take criticism and make ourselves better and we’ll always want feedback. At the same time, if we like what we’re doing and we're having fun then it’s like fuck it. Of course success is a thing but we love doing this. 
  • What are your plans for the next couple of months?
Tom: We’ve got a couple of festivals haven’t we? Tadstock, Moles...
Jodie: Yeah, we’re playing at Mother’s Ruin on the 22nd
Tom: We’ve got a fair amount booked up
Jodie: Tonight as well, which has sold out!
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Mule: I tend to find just simplifying parts, like not trying to ‘show off’ but just simplifying massively and focussing on getting everything tight.
Dan: Musicality 
Tom: Yes Dan, musicality is definitely better than technicality 
Jose: You can shred it but sound like shit, like someone shredding isn’t going to necessarily move someone emotionally. At the end of the day, it’s kind of what music is about.
Tom: Play what the song needs and not what you want to do on it because you can have all the shit you want on it and it can sound like crap but then you can do the most simple thing and everyone will dig it.
Jodie: Mine is oregano oil. 
Everyone: (laughs)
Jodie: That’s honestly the best piece of advice I’ve had.
Dan: Turn your volume up on the guitar
Jose: But turn it down on the bass
  • You know that Loot love all things noughties and vintage so think carefully before responding to this one: If you could kiss, marry or kill Avril Lavigne, Gwen Steffani, Britney Spears who would you choose?
Tom: Easy as fuck. Kill Britney Spears, kiss Avril Lavigne and bang Gwen Steffani
Mule: Did they even say anything about banging? (laughs)
Tom: Is it marry? I’d definitely marry her too
Jose: Marry Gwen Steffani, bang Britney Spears...
Jodie: Wait, there’s no banging (laughs). It’s a kiss!
Jose: Well, if we’ve got as far as kissing, we may as well take it the whole fucking way (laughs).
Mule: Everyone knows Avril Lavigne’s married to Sum41. Marry Gwen Steffani, kiss Avril Lavigne, kill Britney Spears.
  • IOTA play Moles Mini Festival, Bath. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.fatsoma.com/molesbath/2of33tns/moles-mini-festival-2018
  • Words and Photography: Dionne Myrianthous

 

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