With “Jack Frost nipping at your nose”, Cliff and Ivy are following right behind with their one-of-a-kind, ice-cold sound. Hailing from Anchorage, Alaska, the band that calls themselves Cliff and Ivy consists of six members: CliffMonk on bass, Ivy Silence on lead vocals, Don Bolles as the tour drummer (The Germs and 45 Grave), Scott Feris on guitar, Stephanie Ward on backing vocals, John Scott on synthesizer & piano. Ivy Silence proudly proclaims that “We’re pretty sure that we are the ONLY gothic, deathrock/punk band in Alaska!” With that being said it’s safe to say that we now know that Cliff and Ivy are original to the frozen core, which makes it even more intriguing to find out more about this Alaskan bunch!
With over 20 years experience writing & performing together, it’s no surprise that the secret to their success has been their wide array of influences. From art, punk, hardcore, old-school goth & EBM to no wave, industrial & tribal music, current events and unwritten history, Cliff and Ivy epitomize the words unique and different. That is what makes their brand so special is the fact that Cliff and Ivy are so incredibly diverse plus it doesn’t hurt that they are the ONLY band of their kind in Alaska!
I recently had the pleasure to review their latest album ‘Equilux’ for Skope (http://www.skopemag.com/2013/09/09/cliff-and-ivy-equilux) which proved to have a lot of promise and dedication as a full record. The group did a minitour this summer in LA and also on the east coast promoting the album. Four tracks from ‘Equilux’ (“Lost Your Soul”, “My Medication”, “Get Up” & “Transplant”) have received radio airplay and they even charted in the Top 10 of the College Music Journal (CMJ) for the week of August 19-25 at WRSU Rutgers Radio.
The lyrics that Ivy pours out are definitely dark ‘n’ direct & quite poetic but also have been called “apocalyptic” in nature. Silence no more as Ivy reveals the meaning behind it all: “I have synesthesia which means that I experience switched around sensations. In other words each word in the lyrics has a certain color and texture. I gather them together and create a visual image which I see in my mind. It’s like creating a painting with words which becomes a story. It’s sort of an experimental way to write lyrics but it is great when a listener really gets a whole story out of them. I’m working on a graphic novel type book with all the lyrics and illustrations for them.”
Killer press/feedback has been rolling in for Cliff and Ivy and they have even been lucky enough to share the stage with some great acts along the way.
The Mau Maus (old-school LA punk)
Year of the Dragon (former members of Fishbone)
Damn Kids (former members of White Zombie)
I Still Have Nightmares (cool new LA goth band)
The Veins (former members of penis flytrap and 45 grave)
The Sacred Spiders (opened for Peter Murphy)
Not only do Cliff and Ivy have a new EP coming out shortly produced by KRAMER (Butthole Surfers, White Zombie, Ween, Urge Overkill, Galaxie 500 & Bongwater), but they are also hitting the town playing shows locally.
And so the frozen tundra has spoken and that is that there is no stopping the force of Cliff and Ivy! So as it is Cliff & Ivy are putting Anchorage, Alaska on the map in terms of hardcore, deathrock/punk music. But Ivy Silence wants to reassure fans & listeners that: “We wont be giving up the electronic gothic industrial sound as this is for studio versions of our songs and when we play out live we definitely rock out!” So get ready as the icy cool group Cliff and Ivy attempt to silence the critics!
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)