After relocating several times and dealing with managers and record deals falling through, The Ivins prepare to release their first album.
“The Ivins” is the musical brainchild of brothers Jim and Jack Ivins. The brothers, along with guitarist Hatton Taylor and Regan Akers, are less than two weeks away from releasing The Code Duello, their full-length debut album.
The road getting here has not been easy for the brothers. They began production on their album in 2013, after moving from Richmond, Virg. to New York City.
“Over the course of the last three and a half years, we’ve had a couple of record deals come and go, managers, lawyers, everything,” said vocalist/guitarist Jim Ivins. “It’s basically just kind of put the album in limbo for a long time.”
In 2014, the Ivins brothers relocated from New York City back to Virginia. This past fall, they moved to Nashville, TN at the suggestion of their manager.
“We signed with a manager and he told us to leave New York,” said Ivins. “He thought it would look better if we broke out of our home state of Virginia. The amount of bands that you hear about breaking out of Virginia is extremely small, so we thought it would give us kind of a unique edge if we moved out of Virginia.”
Ivins also added that New York was “insanely expensive.” He also added that the move to Nashville has been beneficial due to a growing rock scene.
In addition to relocating several times, the brothers have also dealt with industry-related problems. Over the course of the past three and a half years, they’ve had several record deals, managers and representation fall through.
“The industry is in this weird place where a lot of industry insiders just don’t believe that people still like rock music,” said Ivins. “A lot of people have decided that pop music is the only thing left and if you sign a rock band, you’re basically signing your death certificate.”
As a result of this, the album sat in limbo. Ivins says that whatever momentum they had built up in New York was lost due to operating in a minimal capacity.
“We would play shows and what would always happen to us was people would come up to us at the merch tables and be like ‘I really love your band, where can I get your music?’ and we’d be like ‘You can’t.’”
After the last manager and record deal fell through, the brothers decided it was time to move to Nashville.
“Once we got to Nashville and we were around all the music going on here, we were just totally invigorated by the energy and wanted to be able to make our mark,” said Ivins. “As such, having no more commitments to anyone other than ourselves at this point, this fall/winter we set about officially wrapping the album with new mixes and a few re-recording touch ups.”
Vins says he and the rest of the group are excited to make their own lane in the Nashville music scene.
Once they began working on the album, “immediate” was a term that was commonly thrown around.
“People in 2017, the attention span is so low, listening to new bands and listening to music in general, so it’s like, you’ve gotta get people’s attention right away. Because if you don’t, there’s a million other bands they could listen to.”
According to Ivins, only two or three of the songs on the 13-track album even break four minutes long.
The album, named The Code Duello, is named after an ethics code for duelists.
“We had the title before we made the album,” said Ivins. “Jack has a Master’s Degree in Southern History. When he was doing some of his studies, he stumbled upon this term … As the record kept being made and we kept having these music industry one step forward, two steps back experiences, the title kept becoming more appropriate for what the album was about and what we were going through at the time.”
Jim Ivins describes the album, which will be released April 28, is “a 3 a.m. album”, describing the vibe of the music “as the sound of walking through the Lower East Side of Manhattan, inebriated and wearing sunglasses.”
“A lot of the album has to deal with the struggle to get it made,” said Ivins. “There’s songs about overcoming what society thinks we should be doing as career musicians … there’s a song about a plane crash that I was almost in, there’s a song about Jack and I’s mom dying … It’s a pretty dark album.”
The album will be released on April 28. Check out The Ivins’ single “Stockholm Syndrome” here: