Sweetest Interview: Ibi Ego (Part I)

Ibi Ego is so chill:

Ibi Ego – Muerete @ All My Friends 2010

And after Sweetest Drip chilled suppa hard at their December gig we reached out to this fantastic 3 piece indie band from Baja, CA and kept bugging them for a lil’ Q&A sesh…

They kept it profreshional and indulged us with some sweetest insight into their band:

Roddy: How did you all meet?

David Bravo: Gabriel, Ruben (ex-member) and I met in high school, and a couple of years later we formed our first band (Globo) with another drummer friend of ours. This band only lasted a couple of years and after it disintegrated the three of us decided to form Ibi Ego.

We started looking for someone to play bass and that’s when Ruben’s younger sister introduced us to You whom at the time was a schoolmate of hers.  We finally met You when she came to our rehearsal space one day to try out for the band, we immediately hit it off and we’ve been playing together ever since. I believe that was almost 10 years ago.

Roddy: What is the story behind the name “Ibi Ego”?

Gabriel Duprat: It’s a lot less interesting than it might seem. Ruben, an ex-member of Ibi Ego, chose the band name. It’s part of some Latin phrase that was used as a kind of marriage vow in Roman times.

I’d rather not get into it a lot and bore you with the whole details of the phrase because as I understand there are various interpretations of the meaning behind it and to be honest we really ended up choosing that name based more on how it sounded than on what it meant.

We tend to like things to have a cryptic or unclear feel to them. We try to avoid over thinking that kind of stuff even if it means sometime taking a more random or absurd approach.

Thieves Like Us – Shyness (Ibi Ego Rmx LDR)

Roddy: Ibi Ego formed around 2003, since then, how has the band changed both as a band and musically?

David: We started out as a noisy guitar based band. It was Ruben on guitar/vocals, Gabriel on guitar/synths, You on bass/backing vocals and me on drums.

On this initial lineup the melodic aspects of the music revolved more around the guitars instead of the vocals and after Ruben left the band this changed completely and we began to focus more on songwriting and developing the vocal aspects of the songs a lot more, it sort of became less indie rock and more pop oriented.

Also since we were originally a four piece “rock band” and we wanted to avoid the whole power trio thing, we naturally shifted to a more electronic sound. This opened up a whole bunch of possibilities to new approaches on how we arranged our songs.

Ibi Ego – 1998

You Schaffner: 2003 was an eye opening experience for the four of us, we were starting a new fresh, innovating movement in a local scene that had been focusing on regional music since the 90’s so youth was a big part of our motivation even though at the time we didn’t give it much thought.

When the lineup changed we were forced to develop different skills,  both for songwriting and producing.  We started making electronic music. This also helped us mature a lot spiritually and musically. You can hear more elaborate songs, with more complex arrangements and lyrics.

Gabriel: Yes. It completely changed our work dynamics, I feel like in the first lineup of Ibi Ego nobody wanted to take responsibility for the songwriting, not even for the lyrics, we even sometimes wrote them in a weird kind of dadaist brainstorm, which might sound cool and artsy but i felt it rarely yielded good results.

I think we initially had more of a jam-band kind of approach to making music. And when Ruben left we had to adapt, and that meant that we had one less musician to jam with, so we were forced to sit down and work on the songs from an analytical perspective rather an experimental jam approach.

Ibi Ego

Ibi Ego jammin' @ AMF 2011

Roddy: Gabriel and David are part of Shantelle, You’s solo proj. Dani Shivers, is taking off – with the three of you involved in other projects aside from Ibi Ego, how does that affect Ibi Ego the band?

David: In my case I don’t think it has any effect on Ibi Ego, because when I work on Shantelle I just bring my skills as a drummer and I don’t write song for them. that’s something I reserve specifically for Ibi Ego.

You: We’ve always been involved in different projects since the beginnings of Ibi Ego, Gabriel has been an essential part of Shantelle even before Ibi Ego started off. And David has played simultaneously with other projects like Mae Machino, and now he’s part of Shantelle too.

I started Dani Shivers a while ago, I think it was 2009, so as I said “we’re used to being part of different projects” but we always try to conserve it’s own particular vision for Ibi Ego which is our priority.

Gabriel: I will say though, that it DOES affect the band, but only  in the sense that we have less time to focus on Ibi Ego. Having said that, I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I believe that Ibi Ego is what it is thanks to all of that experience we’ve developed working on other projects.

I know that I’ve learned a lot musically from playing with Shantelle, and Orlando, and I think that outside collaboration is something every musician should try to do.

Maybe if we dedicated all of our time and energy just to Ibi Ego we might have achieved more of the goals we’ve set upon ourselves. But I think that probably the end result would be a much more narrower vision.

Ibi Ego – Fresno

To accommodate for your ADD tendencies this Sweetest Interview is divided into 2 parts. This is the first half, the second half is coming up soon(!)

Thnx for reading, keep it wet, and be kind!

photos courtesy of Phoebe Wong Photography

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