Wednesday 12 September 2012

Ivy Garden Of The Desert Interview

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing Diego from Ivy Garden Of The Desert. The superb Italian Psych/Stoner/Desert Rock Band who have released two albums – Docile and Blood Is Love which forms part of a trilogy the band are currently involved with.

These releases have been well received amongst us stoner/rock fans. And I raved about both releases previously. I am a huge fan of this great band and they have agreed to do an interview with me.

 So here we go with IVY GARDEN OF THE DESERT!

Q1 – Hi Guys. Firstly, thanks for doing this and taking the time to talk to us at Sludgelord. We really appreciate it.

-Thanks to you, Steve!

Q2 – For People not in the know – Can you tell them how the band came about, When you formed etc...

-Ivy Garden Of The Desert established in the first week of December 2008. Paolo (bass), Andrea (drums and percussions), and I (Diego, guitars and vocals), soon decided to create our own music through a sound that might express our personalities. Then, we have been influenced by the world we are living in, by dreams and desires, and lastly by that kind of wonderful music that has conquered our hearts along the last 20 years.

Q3 – How would yourselves describe your sound.

-Well, people have quite different opinions about it, but the majority says we play a mix of grunge and stoner. And I would totally agree. Anyway, it’s never simple stating things like these. By the way, Ivy Garden Of The Desert always try new forms and sounds.
Q4 – Which bands influence you on your music.

 -Soundgarden, Metallica, Desert Sessions, Kyuss, Nebula, Fu Manchu, Motorpsycho, obviously Monster Magnet, Sleep, Om, Wino and his awesome bands, The Heads, Toner Low are only a few names of a greater heavy rock panorama, but they may help people understand from where we fed until the day you heard our voice.
Q5 – Is the band a full time project or do you have full time jobs to contend with.

 -Hehe, it would be great to say that it is a full-time project. Unfortunately we still have to deal with a harder present. Andrea (25 years old) is a drum teacher, Paolo (27) is a biologist and I (30) am about to end five years of Languages and Modern Literatures at the University of Padua.

Q6 – What is the song-writing process like in the band. Is it a whole band collective or individuals that write the music.

-In the very beginning of our story we liked to jam but soon after decided to play what I composed by my own. Now, 4 years later, we’re returning to delight the rehearsal room walls with long, psychedelic jam sessions...and we are enjoying ourselves so much man! Our first full-length could be the result of this writing process...who knows! 

Q7 – You have received a whole load of great praise for your first two albums that most of took you by surprise. Are you happy with the response you have got so far.

-Obviously we are! It’s quite a long and hard road to be musicians, but we are ambitious people and won’t give up easily.

Q8 – You originally stated your creating a trilogy of releases starting with Docile and then Blood Is Love. Can you tell our readers what the trilogy is about and what can we expect from the 3rd part.

-Yes we can, Steve! We are releasing a trilogy that talks about the band’s character. Paolo is a secretive guy: Docile ep is pure “secretiveness” and it starts with the bass not by chance. Andrea is a fury, certainly while he’s playing, and Blood Is Love ep starts with the drums still not by chance. The third part will represent the “devotion” that I always felt and still feel for those who created the music I couldn’t live without. By the way, you can find secretiveness, fury and sense of devotion in all members’ characters.

Q9 – Can you tell us when it will be released. Or you still in the writing stages of it.

 -I would like to tell you the exact release date but Nasoni-Records will surely have other new albums to publish before. It would be great to see it released within May 2013.

 Q10 – What are your plans after you have created the last part. Will you move onto something else. Or is that looking too far ahead into the future.

-Playing more gigs would not be a bad idea. Meanwhile, we’ll go on with the sessions aforementioned. For sure, we will give to our fans our first and already announced full-length after the trilogy. We won’t stop unless we need to. 

Q11 – What has been the reception like to your live gigs. Has it all been good responses. Any major live highlights so far.

-We played awful gigs, as every band have surely experienced in their own musical careers, but we mostly received very good feedback. We sell CDs and LPs at every concert of ours: every and each new fan is a fundamental achievement. One of the most beautiful experiences that we had was playing in Austria on 8th September at the Stonefree Fest. 

We shared the stage with two amazing bands: Dirt Deflector and Torso. There were also The:Egocentrics. I’m sure we will have great time also at the Hullabaloo Festival in Hohenlobbese (Germany) on Saturday 29th September. There we will share the stage with Footsteps and Samsara Blues Experiment. Obviously, we played great gigs in Italy too, in front of our families and friends, who support us always passionately!

Q12 – Do you get many gigs in your home. Or do you have to travel around a lot.

-You opened a long and sad issue with this question. But I will be clear with very few words: the bands who play their own tunes here in Italy cannot play as much as they deserve. There are too many music clubs that pay innumerable tribute bands instead of rewarding who creates their own music. Or maybe I should be partial and say that it’s all going amazingly in our country!

Q13 – When you started the band what were your original hopes and dreams for the band. And have they been met yet.

 -We have only one dream: playing our music and gaining enough money to live a decent life. I wanna play to gain enough money to have a family, to dine out with my beautiful woman by time to time. And I’m sure of talking for my band’s mates too. Let’s see what happens 

Q14 – Italian Stoner Metal has got some great bands at the moment such as yourselves, Zippo, Morkobot, Ufomammut and ZU amongst others. Can you recommend some other great bands to check out from Italy

 -Thanks for considering us a great Italian band among those ones mentioned by you. Morkobot is one of Andrea fave bands. He also likes so much One Dimensional Man’s brilliant You Kill Me, if I’m not wrong. There are not Italian active metal/stoner bands that I use to listen at home or in my car. It’s the same for Paolo, as far as I know. That’s All Folks and Acajou were two great Italian stoner bands by the way.

Q15 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner Rock/Hard Rock

-I’ve been swimming in the same pool of shit for years: I do believe in the melodies composed by Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, U2, Simple Minds, Radiohead, Litfiba, Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Nebula and Wino’s awesome bands (Shrinebuilder, Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, The Hidden Hand and Spirit Caravan). 

Paolo has been playing only three CDs in his car for many many years: In Search Of…, Eating Dust, The Action Is Go. Now, fortunately, he’s enlarging his musical horizons  Andrea always discovers new underground bands not necessarily belonging to the stoner scene. He’s always hungry of brand new stuff to listen.

Q16 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.

-We enjoy many evenings eating and drinking and smoking. We always search for a profound sense of community. We need it. But we love, too, the time we spend together in the rehearsal room. Seeing people who appreciate our stuff at the gigs is the last big rewarding aspect.

Q17 – What is your view of bands and blogs giving away music for free. Lot of bands and people have different perspectives.

-We don’t like giving away our songs for free. It’s our job, even if it’s not our real job, and our greatest passion. Therefore, we prefer to sell our stuff. Some will support us, others won’t. Moreover, we buy many original CDs and’s some kind of respect towards artist’s work, isn’t it?

Q18 – What advice or words of wisdom would you give to upcoming bands and musicians who are about to start a Sludge/Doom/Stoner Rock Band.

-Don’t catch yourself seriously. It obviously does not mean acting without sense of responsibility.

 Q19 – What are your views of blogs such as the Sludgelord reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines? Has your music reached the mainstream mags, at home or around the world?

-I quitted to follow mainstream music magazines. I feel more satisfied following “independent” online mags and blogs. They spread your own music around the world. They know what they’re talking about. Is this not enough and great?

Q20 - Lastly do you have anything you want to say to your fans.

-Obviously yes! Dear fans, don’t expect that Ivy Garden Of The Desert will repeat themselves along their own musical career! If you wanna a follower of “Docile” or “Blood Is Love” or whatever shit, you’d better spend your money on something else.

Well guys thanks for answering these questions. Can't wait to hear the last part of the trilogy. All the best from all of us at Sludgelord.

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