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Q&A: 90ivy Show Their Versatility With New Single 'Now or Later'

Photo Credit: Rob Carroll

Sydney based indie rockers 90ivy have released their first new music since The Flowers EP; bursting back onto the scene with the funky, percussive bop 'Now or Later'. In a musical epiphany, the lyrics and lead guitar riffs came to the band members almost immediately - and for anyone at all familiar with the inner workings of song writing and music production knows that this is extremely rare. So, obviously, it had to something special; and it was.

Warm, syncopated bass intertwined with an incredibly catchy guitar riff, topped off with bright, almost cathartic vocals, 'Now or Later' makes you wanna dance.

We caught up with 90ivy to discuss the inspiration behind the track, their likeness to hugely successful indie pop band The 1975, and the experience of working with producer Peter Holz (Gang of Youths, Vance Joy). Check it out the interview and single below!

Nearly everyone who's heard your new track 'Now or Later' has commented on the funky guitar riffs and subtle disco vibes being reminiscent of The 1975. Was this an intentional choice? (Were The 1975 some form of inspiration for the band, or did it just happen?)

When we were rehearsing 'Now Or Later' in our rehearsal space, there wasn't a clear intention to replicate the sound of The 1975, the riff was played, and we rolled with it! We have many different influences and are huge fans of The 1975, so we can imagine that subconsciously influenced the tone of the lead when we jammed it out on the day and decided to roll with it.

The Flowers EP introduces an audience to your sound as very indie-rock; powerful drums and traditional guitar lines intertwined with strong vocals. 'Now or Later' seems to be heading in a slightly different direction, with more of an indie-pop resonance - it's bouncy, with a "syncopated bass line" as you've previously described. But, as fans, we don't know what's next! Is the indie-pop vibe something that was always on the cards?

We’ve been working on new material for so long, and frankly, there are many different genres we touch on. This song did head into the indie-pop direction, though it's not a direction we are entirely heading in. We like showing diversity and touching on different sounds and sonic influences, though what we have unreleased touches on the indie-rock elements which we previously released. We intended to show a new flavour but want to grow as a band continuously exploring new sounds/ideas. So in terms of what’s next, all of our music sits broadly under the umbrella of indie-pop. Some might have more of a grunge tilt, some with more rock flavour and others with more sugary pop, but you can always expect that it’ll be in the world of indie-pop.

You have played alongside and supported some talented up and coming artists; Great Gable, Jess Day and The Moving Stills, to name but a few. Is there anyone you'd like to collaborate with in the future, or anyone whose sound you really enjoy?

Wow, there are too many! But I think significant influences for us when starting this band are acts like Middle Kids, The Beths, Jack River and Hatchie. It would be a dream if we could get in the room with them to jam out some ideas one day or even play alongside them!

What's it been like working with Peter Holz? After his success with Australian artists and his array of ARIA awards and platinum records, it must be exciting working with someone of his talent.

Pete is a longtime friend of our drummer Leighton and has become a great friend of the band. He is the most easy-going, talented guy we have had the pleasure to work with, and we hope to continue this wonderful relationship with him for many releases to come! If you’re reading this, love ya, Pete!!!

The mixture of indie pop and indie rock that we've seen from you guys so far has really left us wondering where your musical inspiration comes from. Who are some artists that you listened to growing up that influenced the music you've Released?

There's a range amongst all four of us, but the key artists that influence the songwriting would have to be Mitski, Jeff Buckley, The Shins. We’re all fans of Radiohead, The Sundays, Sixpence None The Richer, Paramore in terms of broader music influences. These acts show such diversity in their catalogue, and that's something we strive to emulate.

(For Agnes) In a recent statement regarding 'Now or Later', you said that the

verse and chorus lines came to you almost immediately or "on the spot". Is there something you attribute this to? Or just a super rare coincidence!?

Such a good question - I always wonder that - what was in the air on the days when a melody just comes to me instantly mid-jam. It’s something you can’t recreate or manufacture, though sometimes I wish I could! I’m not sure I can put my finger on it, but all I know is that when Liam started playing that riff, it just made me want to boogie and shout-sing, so I just went with it!

To end on an easy one, where did the name 90ivy come from?

We were brainstorming names in the background for a long time, almost up to a year, whilst we were still playing shows, recording and releasing music - it was always in the back of our minds that we wanted to change to a unique name. However, there wasn’t a name that seemed to fit besides 90ivy. We’re all born in the ’90s, and the IV represents the four of us. So it made perfect sense for this new chapter, especially with solidifying the band with all four of us playing on 'Now Or Later'.

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