Ivers, enthusiastic new Minneapolis band, introduce themselves

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Three people looking down at camera.
Ivers. (courtesy the artists)

After the success of our recent series of first-person local artist profiles, we're inviting more up-and-coming Minnesota artists to introduce themselves to our audience. Today: young Minneapolis-based band Ivers, who've been working with producer Whistler Allen (of Hippo Campus).

Introductions and origins

Henry Hughes: My name is Henry. I guess I play mostly guitar, but we all just do a lot of the stuff in the band, whatever it may be.

Megan Fritz: I'm Megan, and I'm mostly vocals.

Ivan Mann: I'm Ivan. I do guitar also, but [also] whatever they need me to do.

Whistler Allen: My name is Whistler, and these guys are being very humble about what they do. I just have been in the process of helping these guys produce and put the paint that they have on the canvas. I tracked drums for this record, but I am not a part of like, their writing process in any other way.

Megan: Henry and Ivan went to arts high school together, so they met there. Henry and I know each other through a mutual friend, so a while back, we just started playing music. Really starting in early 2020, right around when COVID hit, is when we realized that this kind of trio was a good bubble to keep ourselves in, [in regards] to people that we could see. That's when I feel like we discovered that we work so well together, and have similar sounds [and] similar desires for what we want out of our music.

On their writing process

Henry: Well, I think a lot of the times — like for "Push," which is kind of what we hold as our best writing process song, it kind of comes together very quickly, like in a moment. It starts with any sort of musical, melodic piece. It can be super short, like this time, it was a voice memo for that single. I think that Megan just hopped on that and wrote something. I had been sitting on this guitar riff idea for a long time. I [was] just like, "Hey, we should try this out." It just starts with a melodic piece, and then, you know, Megan comes in and does her thing.

Megan: Yeah. As for that, I have a phone notes thing, with a bunch of different lyrics or ideas or things I feel like I want to write about. I feel like with "Push," I had kind of a few different things talking about me leaving for college. I feel like, once I got the first line of melody down to that guitar piece, it just kind of all came together very quickly, lyrically, and melody wise. That one got moving really quickly. But yeah, it's usually off of a random idea that I have that I decided to expand into this one song.

On the band's sound and influences

Ivan: Maybe like, electronic-acoustic mess, but I don't know.

Henry: I'm curious to see what you'd say about that, Whistler, because you're a little more outside of the [band].

Whistler: Man, I'm pretty bad with genres, but I do think electronic and acoustic do describe things pretty well. I like the use of the word mess, but it isn't a mess. It's kind of new age-y. It has a lot of things that I've heard in the past. A lot of things feel familiar, but also [it] feels fresh and feels like something I haven't really experienced before. I'm not really describing the sound.

Megan: One [influence] we fall back on a lot is The Japanese House. I feel like they have a cool way of going about things, and a cool sound that fits in a genre, but also doesn't fit in a genre, in my brain.

Ivan: We made like a playlist, [with] inspiration that we got out of it. Soccer Mommy was on it, and a lot of Hovvdy.

Henry: I think The Japanese House is a cool example, because I think they kind of twist genres, and we wanted to do that a little bit.

On their new EP, Closet Wine

Henry: I think that we were just talking about the things we were feeling in the moment. There wasn't like some crazy thesis or like higher [message]. They were real feelings. They're just in the moment kind of things. It was just such a new thing to write a group of songs. I don't think we'd ever done that. I think in the future, we're looking to do like, a more cohesive writing process lyrically and stuff, but it was just this for fun thing that became like, "Okay, we're actually going to put out a group of songs in a way that's a little more serious."

Ivan: Our process of writing songs all started from just being bored and just wanting to hang out with each other. We're just like, "Let's freakin make music and just see what happens."

Megan: I feel like that is also why — I think that for us, especially, and other people who heard music before it was out, it feels like a very nostalgic project for us, because it's how we were feeling in those moments. Now that those feelings have passed, listening back to I remember how we were feeling when we wrote this and what it felt like to add [a certain] part. I feel like that's something that's really cool about it. It's something we can already reflect on, which is a cool experience to have.

Henry: The reason [the EP] worked out the way it did is definitely due to COVID. We were kind of playing around in doing some local stuff with different projects for a while, and then COVID hit, and that's one of the three of us kind of split off, and that was definitely how that formed. This has entirely been [written] over quarantine.

On their aspirations as a band

Ivan: We haven't actually worked out the songs to be played live, and I think that's a whole process that I'm personally really looking forward to. I just can't wait to play in front of people. I'm just super excited.

Megan: In a post-COVID world, playing live again is something that we all really want to do and miss doing, but also just continuing to write music and looking at what we've got coming up musically. I'm really excited for that to continue too.

I feel like for me personally, just because we've come out of Minneapolis, it's always a dream to perform at First Avenue or the 7th St. Entry. Those are iconic Minneapolis spots that would be a big deal for us to play, and I think we'd all be really excited about that. As for who we'd be playing with, I don't really have a great idea. I feel like it would kind of be whatever opportunity presents itself. Obviously, there's so many good artists in the Minneapolis area that we would love to play with. I feel like it's less about who and more just that we are getting to play live again.

On the challenges of making music remotely

Megan: I feel like the main one for me, personally, is that I'm not living in the area anymore. I come back and forth, and I try to do as much as I can virtually. We're still trying to figure out our system, but I think the fact that I live halfway across the country right now has been making that process different than we're used to. We're just still trying to adapt to that. I'm living in Washington for school. I moved in late September, and I've been trying to be home when I can to work on stuff, and [have been] trying to juggle both things.

Henry: I actually moved out to Washington for a minute too, but ended up coming back, due to COVID, mostly, but also [I was] just missing Minneapolis. We've been very fortunate with what we've been able to do, and that we are a smaller group. I think that works out well for us. I feel like we've been super fortunate to be able to do what we've been doing. Honestly, we can't complain that much about it.

Ivan: We're still trying to figure out the writing process with Megan being far away, and how to do it virtually, but that's like a whole other thing.

As told to Sylvia Jennings

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