Star From Ivy – Circularity (The VH Interview)

Star From Ivy are a band who are currently inspiring people to discover more about themselves, history, politics, poverty, space, economics and just about everything in-between. With an album due to be released where every song can be hashtagged and then linked to a current affairs news articles I decided to find out a little bit more about the concept behind ‘Circularity’. Hailing from brewing capital of the world Burton On Trent it seemed only fitting to meet at The Tower Brewery and have a few pints of Burton’s finest craft ale….

So, My first question reads “The Circularity concept…?”

Chris: (laughing) How long have you got? I think it depends on what you want to get out of it, if you’re into the music go for the music side of things, if you want to explore other things then head to the website. It’s an open platform and the interpretation is what you get from it.

Where did the concept of doing something bigger than a normal album come from?

Chris: I think the new constellation logo sums up nicely what this is all about, the wave pattern that connects all the stars, I thought it was a really good analogy for the project, it was all about connecting dots- the things we were into, the things we wanted to do, what wanted to get out of it and the things that we were already doing. It was about putting all that into one package, one concept.

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If you’re hearing about Star From Ivy and the Circularity concept for the first time, what’s the easiest way to explain it?

Steve: I think the main thing is that there’s a theme behind each track that people can explore further, you can then add your own interpretation to the meaning of the song.

Was it written with that concept in mind?

Mark: No, not at all, a few people have asked that and that wasn’t the case. We’ve had all these hash tagged articles and people have asked if the songs were written because of those articles. The songs were written, Chris added the lyrics and this whole thing came about after that.

Chris: Actually some of these songs were written ten years ago…

 You say some of these songs are 10 years old but you’re only recording them now, what’s the reason behind that?

Dan: We actually tried recording them before but the songs just weren’t ready, we weren’t ready! Sometimes songs take a long time to grow. Going out on one here. I’m going to say there’s well established bands that have songs on their albums that aren’t quite ready therefore you can go and see them on tour 5 years later and think “ Wow, that song sounds amazing now but I didn’t really like it on the album”. There’s a reason for that; it’s because they’ve learned how to play it, it’s become bedded into them or they’ve become bedded into the song.

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If the focus when you were kids was say, to be the biggest band in the world, what’s the focus now?

Mark: To be respected as just 4 local lads that play good music.

Chris: I’d like as many people as possible to hear what we’ve achieved on this album. Dedicate some time just to listen to this and I think it really could impact them.

Mark: Maybe people will realise we’re from Burton On Trent, and by that I mean that people think bands are all out of a tin! It frustrates me that people will stop in on a Saturday night and watch someone on a TV talent show cover someone else’s song but they won’t go out to watch a real band play their own music.

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With that in mind, what do you guys think about the importance of local music? You guys would class yourselves as a local band.

Dan: It’s really important; everyone is a local band, everyone is a product of their environment and everyone started somewhere. The local scene is so important; everyone pushes each other forward and is there to give one another a hand up. If someone does well they give someone else a hand and you’re there to inspire each other in loads of different ways.

Chris: There’s a massive amount of talent around, it’s worth going out and seeing what’s out there. Even if it’s not on national radio or a national platform there’s great musicians playing great songs locally. It’s good to go and experience that.

What are your favorite parts on the album?

Dan: There is a bit in ‘Lifelines’ just before the double guitar solo where Chris does this big powerful note, it just gets me every time. We used to shy away from doing some things, we’d reign it in; but now sometimes it’s nice to put those bits in, especially when they sit so well in the mix.

Chris: The little bit in ‘Soul’ the bass run (Chris then goes on to sing the bass line to me dododododoooodooodo!?!) Steve just made it sing.

Steve: Also in ‘Soul’ there’s a bit where we kick in on an odd bit and there is just so many layers, we create a massive wall of sound!

Mark: ‘Lifelines’ again, the scream and the bit that comes after, every time I hear that my hairs stand up and I think “Fuck, I’m in that band”.

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Last question, plans for the future.

Mark: Split up. Take another 5 years off and take another 10 years to record an album.

Perfect, we’re ending the interview on that.

For all the information and to find out more about the Circularity Project please check out the website http://www.circularity.org/ There really is a mind-field of things to get lost in. Star From Ivy haven’t just written an album of songs for you to listen to, they’ve created a concept that could change the future of how we view and value music. The question is, is the world ready for it?