INTERVIEW: Ivory Hours

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Quite good! Busy, but in the best way. 

Can you talk to us more about your song “Dreamworld”?

Sure. It was one of the first songs written for the album. I was trying to capture a moment of existential bliss. They’re often fleeting and hard to experience again once they’re gone. Moments of beauty like that are spiritual in a sense, but I believe that feeling of connection originates in humanity and not some higher power. All religions create a story around the idea that we’re part of something greater, but our scientific knowledge reveals that in the simplest way possible. The atoms in our bodies were forged in the hearts of stars, and when we die (if we don’t lock them up in a coffin) they become the tissue of other living things, and so on. Not a unique thought, but a powerful one that doesn’t come with any xenophobic baggage. 

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I pulled together a couple experiences where I’ve stayed up all night and watched the sunrise. It’s really pretty to watch the world wake up, I find it can inspire a number of interesting thoughts. 

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! We’ll be releasing one for a song called ‘Shadow Kids’ shortly, and we’ll follow that up with a few others this summer. 

Why naming the album after this track in particular?

I think it sets the tone for the album and the theme that connects all the songs. They can all viewed within this framework where our perception shapes the world around us. That can be positive or negative, but overall the goal is to become aware of that power and use it to generate positive experiences. 

How was the recording and writing process?

I had a lot more time to write than I did with the last album, so it was nice to let things breathe and make some changes where it felt right. I changed my perspective on songwriting again and chose to include some more assertive lyrics which I hope sparks some interesting conversation. We worked with Dan Brodbeck again, he’s incredibly talented. I always look forward to sessions with Dan because we’re really productive, but hardly notice because we’re constantly laughing. Unlike the last recordings, we worked in multiple studios and I did a bunch of it at home. That made for more experimentation and less pressure which I think we’ll aim for again in the future. 

After the success of your previous album, were you looking to build up on the music on your previous material or did you seek for a whole new direction?

I don’t think it was entirely intentional but we did end up going in a different direction. The last record was really polished and sparse in terms of the arrangement, mostly because we wanted to pull off all the songs live as a three piece. For this one, I indulged my addiction to overdubs and if I heard something in the song, I recorded it. I wouldn’t say that approach is better or worse, but it provided a more accurate idea of what I hear in my head. We also used a lot more distortion, which I’ve always liked but didn’t know if we could make it work with our aesthetic. Our live show was getting louder and louder and seemed to prove that that wouldn’t be a problem. 

What aspect of feminism and love did you get to explore on this record?

In my ignorance of it, I always thought of feminism as an antagonistic movement. With a bit of research, I realized how misinformed I was. There have been several great advancements in equality, but our acknowledgement of them overshadows the fact that there are several other systemic issues to overcome. One of them is the idea that ‘confidence’ is an innately male trait. In reality, it’s taught & fostered in men from an early age, but often looked down upon in women. In ‘Shadow Kids’ I’m urging anyone (specifically women) to break out of the role society has built for them. If you hold yourself in higher esteem and don’t give a shit what other people think, you can shape who you are and inspire the people who follow in your footsteps. Unfortunately, the people who instigate change aren’t often the most popular, but if you know you’re not alone it can help. 

As for love, there are couple angles. I think the record unwittingly shows a bit of progression in my character from a romantic, unrequited lover to someone more open to new possibilities. Somebody not loving you back is such a powerful feeling that it’s almost too easy to write about, so I’m trying to find a way of celebrating love without making me want to throw up from kitschiness. In ‘Invincible’ I’m talking about the sense of security you get by trusting another person. ‘Skeleton’ is about how hard it is to become vulnerable, and how necessary it is to create a true connection. 

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re prepping up for a big Canadian run this Sept/Oct! 

What else is happening next in Ivory Hours’ world?

I’ll probably start writing again over the summer, hoping to have less time between releases this go around. We’ve got live sessions on the way, and we’ll be having a lot of fun making videos for the new songs. 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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