‘Bloom’: Jim Ivins Discusses New Ivins Single, Quarantunes Solo Project
The year 2020 was set to be a monumental one for loud-alternative rockers, The Ivins. The band, still riding the wave of success from their acclaimed album, The Code Duello, had spent the last two years working on the follow-up, Conditions, when the whole world came to a screeching halt.
Once the lockdown began guitarist Jim Ivins tapped into what would become one of the most creative periods of his life. He began writing songs in earnest, without any direction or limits in mind. It began with a new Ivins single, “Bloom.” An infectious musical jaunt with guitar-driven groove and an Ivin-esque signature, hook-laden vocal.
The song was soon followed by Jim Ivins’ new solo album — the aptly-titled, Quarantunes. A 12-song collection of material covering the spectrum of rock, pop, r&b and punk. For this project Ivins recruited an arsenal of Nashville heavyweights to lend socially-distant performances, including renowned players from the area and bands like Florida Georgia Line, Daughtry and Three Doors Down.
Fans can also expect a future release of The Ivins’ Conditions album as well, which was engineered by Michael Zuehsow (Colt Ford, Cherub) and mixed by Robert Venable (Kelly Clarkson, Twenty One Pilots)
I recently spoke with Ivins about “Bloom,” his new music and more in this exclusive new interview.
How would you describe The Ivins sound? Is there a way you can put into words what your music is all about?
Jim Ivins: I’m trying to make loud-alternative a genre classifier. When I was growing up alternative meant powerful guitars with deep, introspective lyrics. Today it’s more melody-driven and almost dance/pop. I’ve taken the position of taking the music I grew up with and bringing it into the now.
What can you tell me about the band’s most recent single, “Bloom?”
Jim Ivins: “Bloom” came out of what ended up becoming one of the most creatively fruitful periods of my life. The Ivins had just finished an album we’d be working on for almost two years, and the week it was mastered was when the lockdown happened and everything came to a halt. With the unfortunate reality of 2020 I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and no distractions. I started writing anything that came to me. I wrote the music for “Bloom” as a nostalgia-driven track and brought it to the guys. They all liked it and put their own stamp on it. Lyrically, I wanted to write a song about my longtime girlfriend and what she means to me. It’s a song about a lost person meandering through life, and how it only takes one person or connection to change things around.
Where do you draw inspiration?
JI: This year what inspired me was rediscovering my love of just writing music with no boundaries. As a band, we’d been grinding things out for years — writing, touring, meeting people. This year it was just about writing. It always starts with music and sometimes a melody will come at the same time. Lyrics are always the last part.
What can you tell me about your new solo album, Quarantunes?
JI: Quarantunes is a project I started in order to bring together the Nashville music community while we were all stuck inside and couldn’t go out and play shows. There are over fifty Nashville musicians involved in the project. It started with me writing and recording full demos and then sending them to anywhere between two and six other people to play the parts, while putting their own creative stamp on them. I wrote the songs based on how I was feeling that day, so that’s why there are so many different genres at play. The one thing I didn’t do was work on lyrics and vocals. Instead, I allowed the singers I chose to write and sing whatever they wanted. It was a fun process writing these songs and then going through my personal Rolodex to decide who I felt could bring the most truth to the parts and putting together these different “bands” for each song. Some of them I’ve personally never met but had come recommended from those that I did. Being that we’re in Nashville, in addition to top-notch local talent there are guys on this album from Florida Georgia Line, Daughtry, 3 Doors Down, Relient K, Tonic, Accept, CKY and more. I couldn’t be prouder of the album.
What can fans expect next from The Ivins?
JI: The Ivins have an album called Conditions which is the follow-up to The Code Duello. The way I’d describe it is like what would happen if you put rock songs on one end of the spectrum and more pop-driven songs on the other. Then you take it like Silly Putty and stretched it out. There’s an experimental territory in the middle we’ve never done before. The songs were immediate and powerful. We’re not sure when it will be out yet but I’m really excited for people to hear it. We’re also beginning a campaign where we’ll be flooding the stream by releasing a new song every two months for the foreseeable future and putting out a new video every month in between. Hopefully in 2021 we’ll get back out doing what we do best — bringing live music to people safely.
What are you most looking forward to about the future?
JI: Playing shows again, pure and simple. The pandemic has shown me that I took a lot of life for granted. In the past I found myself coming up with excuses. You’ll never see that attitude from me again. I’m going to relish every moment of doing a show. I want to see everyone I know, travel and make connections with people again. I’m looking forward to getting back to doing what I love.