I had a short chat with Brett, Jesse, Jason and Mitch of Winnipeg's Ivory Waves at their gig in Montreal. We spoke about their debut album, touring and the music scene in Winnipeg. The band features in a few Spotify playlists and have more cool things coming!
How did you guys start the band?
Jesse and I had played in a band before this called Vanilla, so we were already playing music together. Jason was in another band that was sort of fizzling out. Both of those bands stopped doing their thing so we thought to get together and make a fun band with our friends!
We went on a road trip to Minneapolis to see Homeshake and we were pretty blown away by the musicianship.That kind of catalyzed us wanting to make a band like that because we hadn’t really heard anything like that in Winnipeg.
Is there any artists in particular that made you want to make music?
Obviously Homeshake, D’Angelo for sure and I guess a lot of the local acts. Just seeing how you can just do it. It's such an elusive thing in high school thinking about starting a band and playing shows and when you see your friends do it then its like 'oh we can do that too’.
How was it making your first album together?
It was fun, almost too fun hahah! We had written all the songs within the span of a few months really and then we waited a year to record and recording took 5 months probably because of scheduling conflicts. We started in January and finished a few weeks ago. But yeah, it was a fun time! We recorded with our friends at Collective Studio in Winnipeg. They’ve been amazing and so helpful and they know exactly what we want to sound like and helping us get there.
Are you guys excited about releasing the album?
Yeah, its been too long we think. Its kind of strange that the songs have been in our heads and we’ve been jamming with them for a long time for them to only come out now but I mean we’re really excited!
How’s the music scene in Winnipeg?
Its awesome! There’s so many bands and two new venues opened up 3 years ago and it opened up doors for everyone who need to play. There’s also older bands and more successful bands in Winnipeg who do a really good job to create space for other people to play, so a lot of cool opportunities arise through that. When we get back we’ll be playing at a music festival that’s run by members of other bands in Winnipeg and it's a really good chance to play with a bunch of other cool groups. Real Love Winnipeg is the organization that books a lot of things. We definitely wouldn’t be playing in a band if it wasn’t for those people. They’re really good for providing a stage for new bands to play on and giving them the chance to play shows with people they might admire.
Do you think that music scene and where you’re from influence you're writing?
No, I don’t write about things in particular too much, its way more intuitive.
I have a bit of an outside perspective because they started the band and I joined later, so I would say the only influence we have from the Winnipeg music scene is trying to be slightly counter, its very pedal heavy and there’s a lot of effects that’s really popular and I think we’re pretty dry compared to most bands. No reverb no chorus.
Do you have a tour story you can tell us about?
I guess playing a sold out show in Ottawa and playing with Mono. One thing from that show was that watching their set; they were insanely tight. Then having the band come up to us to compliment our music was very validating especially since we thought they were so amazing.
Oh! Today, on the subway we saw a guy playing flute on stilts and he was dressed super colourful and had crazy long pants, that was probably the craziest thing i’ve seen in a few days. He looked like a character you would approach in Zelda but you can’t talk to him yet because he’s too busy playing the flute so you have to come back at a later time.
Favourite Canadian artist?
Best concert you’ve been to?
Roger Waters The Wall
Wu Tang or Bahamas
Solo acoustic Neil Young set
An artist you’d like to tour with?
Listen to Ivory Waves on Bandcamp & Spotify!