Exclusive Iacchus interview for Mystic Sound Records party in Moscow

iacIacchus is a psychedelic/ambient project of Dan Forest formed in London, the UK, in 2007.
Masterly mixing a lot of different styles in his music, Dan has achieved a unique and individual sound. Taking influences from glitch, dubstep and bass music, and stepping into dub and world music vibes with live recordings – everybody will find something familiar in the music of Iacchus while still experiencing an incredible journey of discovery.
We are truly honored to meet him here in Moscow at our party and enjoy his incredible music. In order to know more about his project, we’ve asked Dan to answer some questions.

MSR: What do you know about the Russian psychedelic scene?

Dan: Not a great deal to be honest except that psychedelic ambient it is very popular in that part of the world, perhaps more so than my own country.

MSR: Do you have any expectations or presentiments regarding your upcoming show in Russia?

Dan: I’m very excited to be playing, I’ve never been to Russia and have always wanted to visit, the closest I have been was Ukraine and that was one of the best gigs of my life so I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t know what to expect except that it might be a tad chilly 🙂

MSR: Where do you find an inspiration for your music?

Dan: I find inspiration in all places; obviously, the psychedelic culture in general has influenced me to make psychedelic music. I find a lot of inspiration in the works of other producers. I make no secret of the fact that I am massively influenced by producers such as Ott and Tipper (you will find references to them and their songs in my track titles). I find working towards a style or mood I have heard in other people’s music teaches me a lot about music production and gives me new skills I can use when creating music that is more my own style. I try to blend elements I like in other music with a few things I like to consider my own.

I also get inspiration from the tools I find. Making field recordings, getting new samples, and making new noises on synthesizers will often shape the next song I make. Also I owe a lot of gratitude to my friends who I discuss music with all the time and we have lots of ideas together.


MSR: A few words about the name of your project?

Dan: Iacchus is one of the greek gods, I read about him when looking for a name, I liked the sound of the word and the god sounded fairly mysterious so it sounded appropriate. Given few people can spell or pronounce it I think I shot myself in the foot, I have to keep writing it down for people!

MSR: What do you do besides making excellent music?

Dan: I have a full time job unfortunately, writing software for websites, so don’t have as much time for writing music as I would like. I also am very much into folk music, I sing in two folk choirs, which also takes a lot of time. So with work, writing music, and singing, I barely have enough time to eat and sleep and see my friends. It’s a busy life and I have to be very organized and motivated, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.


MSR: Artworks for your albums are pretty attractive. They all seem to be created by Jen Turnbull. Is that correct? How do you cooperate?
MSR: Is that you to describe your would-be artwork to Jen or
is she the one to offer you her artwork ideas and you choose?

Dan: Yes, Jen Turnbull has done the artwork for my last 3 albums. For ‘Together as One’ and ‘There Is Only Infinity’ I asked if I could use one of her existing pieces, and she cropped it for me and did the text for the CDs etc. For Frogspawn I had the idea of the image, so I asked her to paint it for me, which she very kindly did over the course of the last year, I am very pleased with the result. She is amazing and never asks for any money so I am truly indebted to her.


MSR: Why frogspawn exactly? Just for lulz or having a very deep phylosophical meaning?

Dan: Frogspawn had several meanings to me. Firstly I’m a bit obsessed with frogs, it’s a creature I have always liked, my online nicknames have always involved frogs in one way or another. I decided to call this album frogspawn because it was going to be my creation, something I spawned, and I also had the idea for the artwork and liked the idea of giving birth to a whole new set of worlds, I think there can be a microcosm of universes inside music. Also when I started the album I was married and hoping to have children by the time I finished. Sadly that all fell apart and my life took a different direction, a story told in the last two tracks of the album, but I stuck with the name Frogspawn anyway.


MSR: What are your pre-party wishes for Russian psychill heads?

Dan: I can’t wait to meet you all and I hope you have fun. I’ll be lurking around listening to the other wonderful bands on the lineup so please do come and say hello 🙂


*special thanks to Tanya Z for help with this post