NEW IVORY: Trading Up
New Ivory is over the idea of what an indie rock band should be. They just want to get on with making feel good music.
Words: Jason Weintraub
Images: Carlo Morucchio
Most bands understand that trying to be versatile can either make or break their catalogue. While good groups can stick to their genre and do it well, the daring ones are able to mix different kinds of sounds to make it all their own. But when you take a group like London rockers New Ivory, a new band that is keen on experimenting, but has the history of other indie UK bands to contend with, one has to wonder whether they can get on with making their kind of music without sounding like something we’ve heard before or falling below the radar.
“I have to say that many UK bands focus too much on appearance and aesthetics, when personally they should be focusing on songwriting. I hate to hear fake lyrics just because they might get you famous. Keep it real,” Mikey, the band’s frontman says.
Interestingly though, for the band that has been together since 2008—Mickey on vocals and lead guitar, Alessandro on bass and Andy on drums—the tuning process remains a constant, Mickey explains. “We are currently still refining our sound. Every band redefines its sound every time it writes a record. I hate it when the public/critics want you to do the same record over and over again.”
Having recently signed to Dim Mak records, home to such artists as MSTRKRFT, The Bloody Beetroots, Mustard Pimp and Klaxons; and founded by electro house musician, producer, dj and party promoter Steve Aoki, who’s remixed tracks for Lenny Kravitz, Peaches, Bloc Party, Drake and Chester French—the potential for the three-piece band is great. “Yes, we are signed to Dim Mak and plan to release a couple of records with them. It’s working out good so far, everyone is friendly and helpful over there,” Mickey says of their new label home. “The only obstacle with Dim Mak is that they have been concentrating on electronic and djs for a very long time. I’m glad they chose us to start with bands again, and I heard the excitement in their voice when they talked about how good it feels to start working with bands again. It will be a challenge in the beginning, but I’m glad we are part of that challenge and I’m glad they believed in us.”
Sophisticated ears may pick up musical cues from genres like New Wave, Psychedelic and Punk when listening to New Ivory, but for the band, who recorded Arrows and Slings, their first EP back in 2009/2010 under the Leggins moniker, they see it more simply. “We write and compose whatever we feel is right at the time,” Mickey confides. “If we want to make a Rock song, we will make a Rock song…if we want to make a Pop song, we will make a Pop song.”
That sentiment is a direct result of their experience thus far in that some expectations of the band differed from what the band was actually inspired to create on their first EP. According to the band’s lead vocalist, the mood lends itself to their current modus operandi. “The new record was most definitely more natural for us to write. In the beginning, we were trying hard to write a good Indie Rock EP. Now, we don’t really care what people think anymore, and we created a record that felt right when we were composing it. Songs came out naturally and it was a really relaxed and fun environment.”
Right now, the band is currently on reprieve in Italy. They’ve spent the last year touring throughout the UK and US, and recording new tunes for their upcoming album, which is set to be released in early 2012. “The new album was produced by our good friend Maurizio Baggio and mixed by Joe Marlett (Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Blink 182),” Mickey shares. “Joe brought to the table some pretty cool stuff, and made our record sounds fresh.”
Though the addictive hooks and heavy sounds apparent on their first offering seem to be here for the long run, the band knew exactly which areas could use a little improvement for their debut LP. “It started to get clustered when we were doing our EP. Therefore, we stepped back from synths a little bit. We still have the catchy hooks and catchy songs, but we redefined our sound, with cleaner guitars and cleaner synths,” Mickey says. He continues, “Our new record is completely different from our EP Arrows and Slings. It was a natural evolution of the band, of my personal life and what I felt at the time we were writing the record. It is also important to realize that years have gone by since our EP, therefore many life changes and experiences have occurred and crafted our new record.”
With a new single “Something You Should Know” being prepped by Dim Mak records for release on October 11, a new album dropping next year and a full tour waiting in the wings, New Ivory is ready for a new dawn.
Images by Carlo Morucchio.