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Interview: Iko

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Great bands come and go. Most disappear into the ether of obscurity, only to ever be heard by a few die-hard fans. One of these bands have another shot, and are about to replace their ‘die-hards’ with thousands of screaming Twi-hards.

IkoIt would be safe to say that right now you haven’t heard of Iko. That is about to change. The Exeter-based purveyors of emotive, expansive indie have landed a spot on the final installment of cinema’s biggest grossing franchise and look set to tug the heart-strings of adolescents the world over.

It’s a reality that is just beginning to dawn on the band’s Kieran Scragg; “It is more exciting than it is worrying. I think what’s weird is that there is a particular moment in time coming... for that week or two weeks when it rakes in its box office millions and those pieces of music will be the most listened to pieces of music on the planet.

“From my point of view it is mind-blowing. If you see a million people all in one place you really can’t see the back of them. If you imagine that tenfold, it’s crazy.”

The Iko story is one of the under-dog coming good. The duo made waves in the early noughties indie underground as part of the excellent Buffseeds, and released their critically acclaimed debut as Iko back in 2006 – since then they have been slogging away.

The slog has now opened up the biggest opportunity any band could wish for. “It’s something we can say to the kids, the grandkids, you know, ‘Daddy did this’. This time around we just happen to have got the biggest film of the year.”

But this is not the first time Iko have been exposed on soundtracks, having had their tunes used on ill-fated sci-fi series Flashforward and medical-drama Grey’s Anatomy. This came about in the traditional manner – an agency placed them. This time the band took matters into their own hands.

“Usually people kind of approach you via an agent, a third-party to discuss using it. Contacts get exchanged and it goes from there. With Twilight, I’d asked them if there was anything coming up that they were taking submissions for because we’d had Flashforward and nothing else was really happening. We found out they were taking submissions for Breaking Dawn and decided to read the book and try and write something for it.”

“It’s not like they have approached us and said "will you write us a song for the movie." We did it proactively. Bigger artists will have been approached and told to write something specifically for the film. Apparently the director really liked it; I think that really sealed it for us.”

Scragg says that without this break the band would have called it a day: “We’d just been writing loads of stuff, over the years, keeping it ticking over. So when Twilight came around we had loads of stuff we had written that could be released. But it comes to a time when you say without this opportunity where do we go? How many records do we make that only a thousand people hear, or whatever. We got the point where we were starting to question whether we wanted to carry on.”

Twilight is the perfect platform to launch the music of Iko to a wider audience; it oozes the angst of the film. “We naturally lend ourselves to that, those themes: losing things, losing people and life being generally difficult is an ongoing theme,” says Scragg.

But this is the old Iko – the new Iko comes from a world where the members have embraced parenthood and more ‘positive influences’ which has added new optimistic bombast to their new EP, Dazed & Confused, which was released on 12th November.

 

“I think our latest record is much more glorious. Even though it is sad in places it has more optimism in it than we have ever had before.

“There’s only so much self-loathing you can wallow in for years,” concedes Scragg.

So a new release and a tune on the biggest film of the year – Iko could be one of the most listened too bands in the world by next week.

Iko are the biggest band you’ve never heard of.




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