Published Aug. 2, 2011
In the Green Room with I.G.O.R.
“It was always an acronym, we just had to come up with what it was” says Mauricio Blanca, keyboard player and vocalist for Sarasota dance band I.G.O.R. The acronym they settled on was Intelligent Good Old Robots, derived from the small machines we rely on for almost everything we do. The name is a fitting tribute to the trio’s music, which stands out from the barrage of guitar-centered alt-rock, straddling a balance somewhere between 80’s dance pop and various modern electronic genres, with Blanca’s Moog synthesizer leading the sound.
Blanca and IGOR drummer Victor De la Garza both grew up around the same people in Mexico City, but the two never actually had a conversation until they met up in New York in 2007 while De la Garza was attending NYC’s Drum Collective and Blanca was studying music business at Boston’s Berkelee College of Music. They actually found bassist David Cornicelli in a Craigslist ad after moving to Sarasota.
“I’m a Craigslist junkie” admits Cornicelli. “I found my band, I found my job, I found my house, I found instruments… I found my wife on Craigslist.” Cornicelli had played in a number of original pop-punk and metal bands in New York and Orlando before his ad was spotted by De La Garza, and he liked what he heard: “It was something different, that’s why it really struck me. ‘Hey’ was the first song I heard and I thought it was really unique and that there was some cool bass stuff I could do with it.”
Being involved in music scenes around NYC, Blanca and De La Garza developed an urban style that can be heard throughout IGOR’s music. “I still have a lot of that street sound in my vibe,” says de la Garza. “I really wanted to be in a band where I can play Michael Jackson beats or Queen beats and it happens to be this, and it’s been awesome.”
But the thing most unique to IGOR is primarily what they lack: guitar. Blanca was actually a guitarist in college and only picked up the keys about a year ago after tiring of the strings. The reception has been interesting. “I don’t think people down here understand a band without a guitarist,” he says. “They see you come out without a big amp and they say, ‘Huh?’ If the show gets bigger I’d love to shred on some guitar, but the way things are going now with just the three of us setting up every night, it’s just easier without guitars.”
The band does actually have a few guitar samples that they’ve worked into some of the recordings, but all those parts have been played by Cornicelli. “We don’t need a guitar player, we’re a power trio,” he says. “Guitarists are usually prima donnas anyway.”
Whatever they’re doing is working, because they’ve managed to emerge as one of the area’s most popular bands in a mere matter of months. IGOR is currently working on their debut album, which is being recorded and produced by Mauricio at his place of employment, Eternal Sound Studios on Univeristy and Lockwood Ridge. They’ve been heading to Tampa to mix and master the tracks at the legendary Morrisound Studios, and have already unveiled a few juicy cuts available for free download at igortheband.com.
“We’re trying to do it the least DIY as possible,” says Blanca. “We’re always trying to be the most professional we can within our means.” Looking to release their first EP via 7-inch vinyl in September, IGOR also plans to announce the details of an upcoming tour kicking off around the same time. Their next show is this Saturday at Sarasota Lanes for The Closet Benefit, along with fellow Sarasota acts Sons of Hippies, The Equines, Fancy Rat and Black Bear Affair.
“So even if you don’t like music, you can go bowling,” says de la Garza.