For Ivy League, the impact they’ve made since the release of debut LP ‘Transparency’ has been as loud and as explosive as the album itself. Killyourstereo.com caught up with Josh Huff from the band to talk about the release of Transparency and why the group are confused by all the Title Fight comparisons.
You guys are just off the high of releasing Transparency, were you happy with the response it received?
We are very happy with the extremely high amount of positive feedback we’ve received so far.
For this album in particular, was it difficult deciding what kind of a direction you were going to go for musically, and what kind of musical influences did you draw on to help you decide this?
It wasn’t very difficult for us to decide how we wanted it to sound. We wanted to stick to "our sound" as close as possible, while still showing progression and maturity. I think we were able to achieve that.
You guys are a band of only three, compared to a lot of other punk bands that can have four to six members. How do you make up for lack of members and how did you achieve that huge sound that is on Transparency?
I think the way our drummer, Willie, plays has a huge affect on the way we sound. As far as guitar goes, I try to play more than just power chords and work in transitions and things that allow it to be more interesting to listen to than most three piece punk bands allow. Before we recorded, we were playing around with tone and volume, and Paul Miner really captured exactly what we wanted him to with the production of our record. It’s also something that we have been able to transfer over live, seeing as how Willie is a super loud and fast drummer, Erik plays loud, and I run 2 heads and 2 cabs. I always loved when bands were loud growing up, and now we have a chance to do the same.
Transparency is your first LP and the follow up to your last 7”, Summer Sessions. Is the record writing process on a complete album all that much different from the one you followed for the EP?
I wouldn’t say it’s different, but it is definitely more stressful. A debut LP is a big deal, and we were definitely striving to make every song as good and interesting as possible, while trying out new patterns and small things to differentiate from our older songs.
This question may be a bit like picking your favourite child, but do you have a favourite track on Transparency; one that you are particularly proud of?
Definitely hard to pick, but I personally am most proud of Void and Transparency.
You guys are currently touring around the US with Koji, Turnover and Have Mercy. How are you finding it?
This tour is a blast so far. Everyone is getting along great, and we all bring something different to the table sonically and characteristically. I think we’re all benefiting from one another.
Do you prefer the record making process to touring, or is it a relief to get into touring after finishing up a record?
We love writing and recording, but it’s very nice to have a finished product that we can show people, and not have to deal with the stress and strain that goes into writing and recording. Touring is definitely hard work, but is fun nonetheless.
What kind of habits and routines do you guys follow when you are touring, and what is your favorite part about going on tour?
This tour, we’ve been trying to do more touristy things like hitting beaches, climbing mountains, etc… Instead of just getting to a city and going to a mall until it’s show time. We’re really trying to take advantage of this opportunity to see the country. Our favorite part about going on tour, aside from playing shows, would have to be the people we meet.
It has been said by many that Ivy League sound like Title Fight, and you guys have been likened to them quite a bit over the last few months. Is this a comparison that you welcome?
Honestly, we don’t think we sound anything like Title Fight, but it’s not a bad comparison. We are absolutely in the same genre as bands like Title Fight, Daylight, Turnover, Citizen, etc…, but to say we are a Title Fight Jr, is a little off. It’s not anything we get offended by though. That band is an amazing band with a great work ethic, and we have the pleasure of calling them friends. I think the more people listen to us and the other bands, the differences will become more apparent.
A lot of bands lately have taken to releasing their records on Vinyl, and sometimes only on Vinyl. Kids who listen to punk these days seem to prefer old-fashioned Vinyl records to CDs or buying music online. Why do you think this is?
Vinyl seems like more of an art form and "collector" item than CDs. I think that’s why people enjoy them. Plus vinyl sounds great. For some, I feel like it’s the same as playing at an old venue that’s been around for a while and has gained a notable reputation. Nostalgia.
A friend complained to me the other day that punk has become soft and that it no longer has that ‘dangerous,’ aggressive factor that might scare your mother. Do you think this is the case, and if so, do you think this is a change for the better or worse?
We do think there are less true punk bands out today, but I don’t think that it has lost its edge. There are a lot of bands that are caught up in being cool and doing whatever it takes to "make it" that they lose sight of what playing punk actually means. Sometimes it feels like there’s no sense of community anymore. It feels like kids and listeners now only pay attention to what social networking sites say. Which band is the most Internet hyped. It seems like true work and talent doesn’t matter now. It’s all about hype.
To wrap things up, any chance you guys might pop down to Australia any time soon?
We would love to come to Australia. It looks like a very beautiful place, and if we have the opportunity, we’re taking it.