Illusions of Grandeur “I.O.G.”, is a Theatrical Hard Rock/Fantasy Metal band based in York, PA. I.O.G. has been touring in both the United States as well as across the UK, Germany, France, and the Ukraine since 2015.
Illusions of Grandeur Interview 11-24-2023.01
* Introduce us to the band! What are your names and what do you do in the band?
Hello, yes on vocals we have Maggie “The Siren” Carlton and on Bass CM “Arcangel” Carroll, I.O.G. are currently looking for permanent members for guitar and drums, but we have some killer guest musicians filling in on tour dates and recording sessions for our new album “The Siren Rises Pt1: The Raven Witch”
*Where do you call home?
Illusions of Grandeur is based out of York, Pa
* How long have you been together as a band and how did you find each other?
Maggie and CM formed Illusions of Grandeur in 2015 after they had been touring in a rock band together for about year or two. The pair realized that an element of entertainment was missing from the show, theatrics. Maggie and CM sat down and planned out what they would want to hear and see at a live show and the styles of music that would best focus that vision. Illusions of Grandeur was born.
* Do you have a special songwriting recipe you follow?
Illusions of Grandeur’s influences come from many genres and our songwriting style is wide open. IOG tends to write what we feel is best for the band and try not to stick to any one genre, but more what feels right for our sound or the song, the song is king, without a great song you have nothing.
Illusions has a wide variety of influences like Korn, In This Moment, Metallica, Avatar and evanescence.
Each member draws off their individual influences as well which are varied from The Siren’s love of Classic rock like Janis Joplin and heart to CM’s love of The Smiths, Supertramp Soundgarden into Ted’s love of death metal and more. IOG feels this just adds to the sound and allows the band to explore a lot of themes in their music.
Illusions of Grandeur’s main music writer is Bassist CM Carroll with lyrics and melodies provided by The Siren. The entire band participates in the arranging and recording process and each member, as songs are produced, adds elements into it to create the overall song and sound. IOG is continuously writing, normally demoing 30-35 songs per album then finding the songs that carry the story and sound of the record.
Like Illusions of Grandeur’s 1st album “the Songs of The Siren”, “The Siren” album is a continuation of the overall Siren Saga. The new album “The Siren” tells the 2nd part of the story as The Siren and Band head into the underworld to face the challenges and defeat hades on their quest to return The Siren to Mount Olympus.
* How would members of your family describe your music to someone that hasn’t heard it?
The main response we hear a lot is “Theatrical Metal”, mainly due to our live show and The Siren acting out the songs while we perform.
* What do you have on your (Spotify) playlists you would be embarrassed for others to see?
None, Spotify are thieves, plain and simple robbing independent bands.
If you would like to check out Illusions of Grandeur, we recommend you check out the album on out Bandcamp site: Band camp: https://illusionsofgrandeur.bandcamp.com/
* Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I.O.G. tends to group up before performance and do the band prayer in whatever form we feel that evening. Sometimes it’s hands in and let’s go get it, sometimes hugs, sometimes a drink before we hit the stage!
We realize every night, every show is an honor to do, we respect that and the audience. Good question.
* Who have you met that has left you starstruck?
We have actually had the pleasure of meeting a lot of great musicians during our travels and some actors as well! I’d have to say meeting and hanging out with Mark Tremonti, guitarist from Alter Bridge would be a highlight, what a down-to-earth and great guy he and drummer Scott Phillips are, glad to call them friends to this day.
* What do you consider your greatest achievement as far as a band?
Touring and connecting with our fans and meeting new people worldwide, traveling is the best experience I feel you can have. During Illusions of Grandeur’s “The Songs of The Siren Tour 2019” the band played a few weeks in the Ukraine.
One of those shows was in a small town called Smila in the Cherkasy Raion, Cherkasy Oblast of Ukraine. What we thought was a festival we were playing on, turned out to be a small festival built around IOG headlining. It was crazy they turned the central park of the town into a festival ground with a large stage and it seemed like the whole town came out for the day. It was an amazing experience.
* What key elements do you believe make up a successful song?
Well, that is a tricky question, as there are so many elements to a song.
The main item we look for is “hook” whatever that may be for the individual song, be it a musical idea or lyrical.
Something that draw us as writers to feel inspired to continue to write and feel the listener would enjoy.
* When writing, how do you know when it is finally done?
After years of trying to figure this one out, we can say I actually never end. Songs while once recorded our the “final” product for listeners, we they tend to take on a life of tier own live and develop over the years and change, even just in small ways. A song to us is a living thing every changing and echoing.
* What song of yours are you most proud of?
I would have to say “Upon my Life” because of the mix of metal and rock also the tempo really shows off the bands playing.
IOG’s “Upon My Life” video was shot live at the tail end of The Rise of The Demons tour 2022 at The Vanguard in Hampton, VA. Upon My Life captures a section of the band’s live show. Additionally, the “Take Me Alive” video was shot at the same show.
IOG recently released a new single “Midnight” it is the next step for Illusions of Grandeur, the 1st single from the forthcoming album “The Siren Rises” which the band hopes to have in release by early 2024. “Midnight” again takes the band musically into unfamiliar territory.
You can hear our new single Midnight here: https://youtu.be/vLNdfUGkbQM?si=VjVAypv_QqrF-jOT
* Is it possible to be on the road and not eat junk food? How do you keep it leveled out?
We tend to stick to a pretty lean diet when we are on the road, but yes, years ago healthy options were few and far between and junk food tended to be readily available.
Lucky that has changed a lot of the years and we realize what we eat powers our shows, so it is a lot of protein and vegetables. In order to keep it “leveled out” the best answer is , listen to your body, it will tell you what you need.
* Are you able to write while on the road or do you need a calm familiar space like home?
Illusions spends a LOT of time on the road, so being able to write and develop song ideas while on tour is key. It does help to have a calm spot to sit and write in, which isn’t always the case. But when an idea for a song hit you, it’s best to get the idea down on to something, be it your iPhone or writing down lyrics or a basic melody.
Another great question by the way!
* What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen on stage or on tour?
Where to even start!
Illusions of Grandeur runs a pretty busy live show with a lot of light and staging, things tend to go “a little” wrong during performances, it’s all in how you react and keep moving forward. One that stands out would be our bassists CM’s wireless pack dying during a show and having to do a live swap for another pack. Unfortunately, the tech didn’t hook the pack onto his costume, and it was hanging between his legs for the remainder of the song, which was funny in all its own way.
* What can Bleach BANGS do to help you in any way?
Well, you’re doing it!
Interview us and helping spread the word of underground music! Thanks
* How can everyone keep up with everything you have going on? Where can they get albums/merch?
The simplest way to reach the band is on our website www.iogmusic.com all of our pages link to that site
I.O.G. have made appearances at various festivals including Sav Fest, Dewey Beach Music Festival and Witney Music Festival. I.O.G. has shared the stage with artists as varied as DOPE, Motograter, September Mourning, New Year’s Day, Puddle of Mudd, Stryper, República, Stitched up Heart and Otep.
I.O.G. ‘s Live show The Siren Saga is a story of the journeys, perils, and triumphs of the Siren and her warriors. The story mixes facts and fiction combining Greek and Norse Mythology, Sirens, Gods, Archangels.
Illusions of Grandeur’s fierce and energetic live show has gained them a legion of fans dubbed “The Siren Nation” who follow them worldwide, at live shows, and on social media.
2024 will see the release of Illusions of Grandeur’s “The Siren Rises pt1: Raven Witch” which will continue The Siren Saga from the previous two albums, taking The Siren further into battle with hades.
Illusions of Grandeur’s The Siren Tour continues through the remainder of 2023 into 2024.
IOG are currently while tour producing their 3rd album the next story in The Siren Saga “The Siren Rises” which the band looks to have out in 2024.
Come see The Siren Saga Live and check out our latest single and video “Midnight”: https://youtu.be/vLNdfUGkbQM
Illusions of Grandeur new single is on all streaming platforms and available on CD single at shows https://songwhip.com/illusionsofgrandeur/midnight
Illusions of Grandeur is available on all social media and streaming platforms:
Band camp: https://illusionsofgrandeur.bandcamp.com/