Australia’s IKON has achieved an international fanbase and critical acclaim during twenty years in the spotlight. Chris McCarter (vocals, guitar, programming) and Dino Molinaro (bass) began to write songs as high school students in 1988, inspired by their love of alternative music. In 1991, the original band name Death in the Dark was replaced by IKON. The band’s original singer Michael Carrodus joined them in creating the first two albums In the Shadow of the Angel (1994) and Flowers for the Gathering (1996), which drew IKON to the attention of goth music fans in Europe and America through their signing to Apollyon and Metropolis. Music journalist Mick Mercer has justifiably called them “pioneers in the Gothic genre”.
The band continued to evolve in musical style after the departure of Carrodus in 1997. This Quiet Earth (1998) heralded a development in McCarter’s musical composition, spawning the beloved club classics ‘Subversion’ and ‘Ghost in My Head’. While the inclusion of electronic elements on the album shook up some fans of the band’s earlier Joy Division-influenced sound, IKON’s blend of traditional rock with electronics proved original and distinguished them from bands of the era caught in a cycle of tiredly imitating the first wave of gothic bands.
On the Edge of Forever (2001) saw McCarter wanting to get back to playing live again and injecting the energy of a full band line-up into the songwriting. Drummer David Burns and guitarist Anthony Griffiths (both of whom joined the band in late-1998) were integral to the development of the album, which abandoned the electronic experimentation of This Quiet Earth and returned to IKON’s rock roots. Nevertheless, DAC charting singles such as ‘The Shallow Sea’ revealed further nuances to the band’s musical capacities, with its acoustic, dreamy melody.
The rejuvenated IKON set out on its first European tour in August 2001, the first of eight tours to come, which included a slot at Eurorock and a glimpse of how greatly their music had made an impact on the other side of the world. After this successful tour, the band was invited to play at M’era Luna in 2002, with billing alongside London After Midnight, Soft Cell and H.I.M, and then their first of three appearances at Wave Gotik Treffen in 2003.
After this extremely successful period of live international performances, IKON was once again back to original members McCarter and Molinaro, with Clifford Ennis (a collaborator with McCarter on Jerusalem Syndrome’s Book of Days (1997) joining the band for the first time. The band released the highly acclaimed Psychic Vampire EP (2004), which became the biggest-selling IKON single to date and marked a transition to a powerful, aggressive rock sound and is a testament to the growth in McCarter’s evolving songwriting, honed during years of touring the world.
The EP proved to be the perfect training run for the composition of one of IKON’s most striking albums, Destroying the World to Save It (2005), which produced chart successes on both the Native 25 (number 21 Best Album of 2005, debut at number 8, May 2005) and DAC (‘Rome’ number 10 on the singles chart). The album cemented IKON’s reputation as not only pioneers in the genre but as a potent and current force in a scene in which EBM/Industrial had become predominant.
Love, Hate and Sorrow, IKON’s sixth studio album was released in 2009 and spawned four singles, a DVD single and two video clips. Black Magazin named the first single ‘A Line on a Dark Day’ the second-best track of 2008 and it was also named a semi-finalist in the World Songwriting Competition. Reviews for the album were universally enthusiastic, with fans also warmly receiving the band’s most melodic release to date.
In 2010, IKON assembled its strongest live line-up ever, welcoming back Ennis and Burns to play two one-off Australian support slots with H.I.M and Christian Death. To celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary, this line-up is touring Europe again in 2011, with another appearance at Wave Gotik Treffen. The band has reissued the sought-after original albums In the Shadow of the Angel and Flowers for the Gathering in 4-disc sets (3 CD + DVD), with a LP of the debut album available on coloured vinyl. IKON’s new label Echozone is also making available 2-CD sets of each album, as well as distributing the limited edition 4-disc sets.
IKON continues with its current energetic and creative 4-piece line-up jamming and developing demos, and look forward to their highly anticipated 2020 European Tour promoting 'The Thirteenth Hour' - Singles from 2007 -2020. The tour will take them Rome, then Athens, followed by their 4th appearance at Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Germany.