On "Naively" Walking Into His Roles In Mad Max And The Great Gatsby

9 March 2016 | 11:29 am | Bryget Chrisfield

"I don't feel like I ever really went away, it's just sort of happening and it's a good thing."

iOTA

iOTA

"Being on that truck just tearing through the sand dunes at 80 kilometres [an hour], with a flame-throwing guitar - and it's playing - and there's all these trucks and cars around me it was just like, 'What the HELL is going on?'" iOTA is discussing his role as Coma Doof in Mad Max: Fury Road. Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx posted a photo of himself playing his flamethrower bass alongside a still of iOTA's blind Doof Warrior, all masked up and belting out firey riffs, on his Instagram account and iOTA recalls, "You had to be very careful not to set it off into the wind". The Sydney-based entertainer explains he spent six months in Swakopmund, Africa for his role. "1200 people moved into this town and most of them had their heads shaved and it was, yeah! Really bizarre... It was just like a circus had moved into town."

"I love theatre — there's just something about seeing something that's really right there in front of you."

You may also remember iOTA from his superb turn as Trimalchio — The Orchestra Leader in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby or as Hedwig in Hedwig & The Angry Inch. Although he found the first Hedwig & The Angry Inch audition "harrowing" ("When I left, I got on the bus and I just had a little weep because I was convinced that I didn't get the job"), iOTA acknowledges, "It's the best thing that I ever did... because a whole new career opened up for me". "I sort of found that, in my life, the things I kind of naively just walked into, like Hedwig..., are the things that have kind of really worked for me," he adds.

Reflecting on theatre vs cinema, iOTA offers, "I love theatre — there's just something about seeing something that's really right there in front of you. I love the film experience — I mean, it's good for other reasons; I feel like, you know, it's better than having to do eight shows a week for six months, and [it's] something that you can have with you for the rest of your life and look at." But, then again, curtain calls are pretty bloody great. "Yeah, it's pretty good," iOTA allows. "I mean, it's a shame that everyone — no matter what they do — doesn't get to walk out on stage and have everyone applaud them."     

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He's in the studio as we speak, working on "a little something that [he] can't talk about". When asked what else he's working on at the moment, iOTA tells, "There's always a coupla things simmering away". There's also his brand new album to discuss and, when asked about the Wolf Number 9 recording process, iOTA offers, "I didn't sort of give myself, or anyone else, much time to fuck around. I just went for it and did it very quickly in the studio." iOTA's been playing gigs around the country to launch Wolf Number 9, which he explains has been both "great" and "scary". It had been ten years since he last played shows of this nature and iOTA shares, "I didn't really make a plan to stop doing it and it's not really like a plan to make a comeback. I don't feel like I ever really went away, it's just sort of happening and it's a good thing."