Interviews: Ivy Gardens

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Sludge Metal band Ivy Gardens from Canada. Check out this band and follow them on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or come out just like that?

A small town street called Ivy Gardens was home to our band HQ for many many years. It was where we heard the music that inspired us, first played together, learned our instruments, and recorded music. I personally loved the visuals the name suggested: tendrils of Ivy vines growing and choking everything around them.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

We used to be more of a punk band. Very quickly we realized how great it feels to play at massive volumes. Naturally, we leaned into the feel of the volume, and we got heavier and heavier. Eventually, we reformed the band in 2020, and we knew exactly the kind of heavy, sweaty, and sludgey music we wanted to make, that also retained the high energy of early punk inspirations.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

We were all close friends, and that’s definitely the reason we’ve been able to stick out together as a purely DIY independent band all these years. No matter how much we piss each other off or disagree artistically on an idea, we’re all close friends, and we all can work through our disagreements.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Don Caballero, Swans, Devin Townsend. Each band informs our music in some way. Joe’s love of Don Caballero and early math rock manifests into riffs with strange time signatures and freaky grooves, while Seb’s love for the industrial sludge and experimental nature of Swans lends well to our heavier dirges and sonic exploration. Andrew loves really riffy metal music, and that’s at the core of what we do as well.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Nothing else to do in a small, boring town. Might as well blast some amps, and you might as well blast something good. Our favorite pastime.

6. Where was your last gig?

A much beloved local watering hole and metal scene staple, The Doors Pub in Hamilton, Ontario. A tiny room with tons of character, energy, and a vibrant local scene. Also good tacos.

7. Where would you like to act?

We have no real acting ambitions, but we do love to create videos for our music. Recently, Sebastian directed a music video for our track “Goon”. It involves a violent, bloody, and gorey hockey fight, where Andrew loses an arm, and gets scalped.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

We’re not really interested in being “featured” on someone else’s track, we consider Ivy Gardens to be its own massive wall of sound and not something suited to being a brief “feature” in someone else’s production. But we’d definitely be Neil Young’s backing band.

9. Whom not?

Anyone other than Neil Young and Jon Fogerty.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

We’ve performed together since we were very young, and almost always with really long hair. Headbanging as much as we do with hair that long, you rarely see the audience's faces. Personally, I look at the crowd maybe 2 or 3 times during an entire set. I’m focused on what I’m playing, and how I’m physically performing, and not particularly interested in anything else. For me, all I see is hair in front of my face. Haven’t felt any stage fright in a very long time.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

When we were younger, it was the early “grunge” scene and Seattle bands of the nineties. Gradually, we discovered the bands that inspired them, like The Melvins and Black Flag. Lots of alternative acts of the time, chiefly early stoner metal and desert rock like Sleep and Kyuss inform the sound we have today.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Nothing particularly strange. Mostly weed. To be expected, really.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Love em. They have great taste in music and band shirts, and they go really hard at live shows.

14. What do you think of our site?

Love it! A great resource to find info on new and exciting music.

15. Something to add?

Our message to the world: Listen to Kyuss.

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