An Interview With Core of IO

Over the years the canon of Metal has spread wide and far, with genres, sub-genres and diversions along the way. Core of IO are masters of technical metal that is almost mathematical in its precision, founded in 2013 Core of IO’s  brand of progressive-metal echoes metal mavens such as  The Mars Volta,  Foo Fighters and King Crimson, well at least to this listeners ears.

This Sunday St Paul’s Worthing brings metal to the masses with a festival that ranges from Melodic Hardcore through Progressive Metal, Metalcore, Electronic/Rapcore to Blackened doom/Gothic metal in a varied bill that is set to be the biggest event of its type in Worthing for years.

Core of IO  join a select list of bands who will be playing at St Paul’s, “Infectious Sounds” presented metal fest on Sunday June 30th  I caught up with singer  Bob Tett and guitarist Luke Stenlake to chat about  song writing, favourite bands and influences and why Goodfellas is better than The Sopranos

Core of Io refuse to be labelled, they have a wide breadth of influences, is that a deliberate ploy or just your passion showing through? Or is it a reflection of the taste of different members of the band?

Trust me; it is not a deliberate ploy. We are a band playing songs, we play what we want to and the end result is what it is. Didn’t everyone pick up an instrument in the first place to simply have fun? We haven’t forgotten that.

I can hear 40 years of metal in your sound, from Deep Purple and King Crimson to Slayer and beyond, what are your influences?

All of us have different musical influences. Rich is originally a jazzer, Bob grew up on punk rock, Gareth grew up on  nu metal, hip hop, ska punk, funk, prog rock and Luke was a healthy dose of all guitar music; prog, metal, punk, indie etc

How did the band form?

Bob (Singer) called me up one day saying his old band was ending and wanted to start something new. He had already found a bass player and drummer who eventually could not commit fully. We had known Gareth (bass player) for years and by circumstance I was about to go to the same University where he was already studying Music. It was a no brainer when I heard the bass parts he wrote to what would eventually be our song “Wishing I had Time.” I recorded a verse after a jam session thinking nothing of it, and musically we clicked. Rich was playing drums in a pop band with Gareth at the time along with a lot of other Jazz projects. We asked him if he would be interested despite the fact he had never played or really listened to heavier music at the time. I remember our first gig with him, he may as well have used brushes compared to the power house he is now.

Best and worst song ever heard?

That’s a very hard question. If I had to choose one I’d say “Unfamiliar” by Oceansize. It’s got so many great parts.

Worst would have to be a choice between John Cage’s “4’33” for simply not being a song, when he actually plays it’s amazing! My Memory also escapes me, but I do also remember a minimalist piece of music that was essentially a high pitch ringing noise for fifteen plus minutes, another strong contender!  I’m also pretty sure there are many pieces by Derek Bailey that could be the worst song I’ve ever heard. Free improvisational jazz is just not for me, sorry.

Best live band ever seen?

As of this week, it will have to be Tool. But Bob is tapping me on the shoulder and telling me to tell everyone that they need to watch God Alone hailing from Cork.

If you could play on a bill with any act who would your dream choice be?

The Dillinger Escape Plan as It would have to be a reunion show. That would be the dream. (Luke)

Bob would also like to tour with Black Peaks but that’s mainly because he would like to spend the entire duration annoying the crap out of all of them.

Do you write in the rehearsal room or individually, what’s the process.

Whatever the process is it’s a long one. Ha ha (Bob).

It’s a lot of bouncing ideas of each other. Individually we all come to the table with ideas, then the long process is jamming, writing new parts, layers, and re-arranging. 50% of the time we realise we’ve most likely gone too far (i.e…length of song, too many riffs, large amount of sections that could be a chorus or verse). The re-arranging process is where the fun happens. (Luke)

Fender or Gibson?

Both. When we formed Bob and I were playing a Les Paul and an SG. These days a telecaster and strat do make appearances. It’s an even split for me.

Slayer or Saxon?


BMTH or Enter Shikari?

Enter Shikari…I recall Rich saying their live show was unreal.

Tool or Silent Screams?

I’m not familiar with Silent Screams, will have to check them out. Will have to be Tool as they a band all four of us love. (Luke)

Harry Potter or Luke skywalker?

Luke Skywalker

Goodfellas or the Sopranos?

Goodfellas, just because Rich is utterly horrified by one of the scenes in it even to this day.

Plans for 2019?

Keep our heads down and finish writing our debut album. Part 1: iO. Set for release in 2020.

What can we expect from the St Pauls Gig?

Bob is thinking about having a drink. You could not ask for more entertainment than a drunken Bob.

If you had one piece of advice to give someone setting up a band what would it be?

Never give up.

Interview was answered by a combination of Bob Tett and Luke Stenlake.

Infectious sounds and St Paul’s Worthing presents: Callista, Core of IO, Bleed Again, Seething Akira, The Hero Dies first and Sonnet of the Damned on Sunday June 30th, doors open at 5pm tickets just £4, that’s less than 70p a band, great value, great music, great venue. Tickets available here

Big thanks to Mike Baker for arranging the interview and for doing an amazing Job at St Paul’s

Read more interviews and articles on Womu – a Worthing music blog at

Rob Kelly

Support Live Music: Infectious Sounds & St. Paul’s Worthing in arrangement with Empire Music & Lost Imperium Music

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