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Ivory Hours

Ivory Hours | Photo captured from Ivory Hours' YouTube video, Warpaint

Ivory Hours is playing a benefit concert in support of mental illness. We were thrilled to support this fundraising event and to promote it. If you're in London, Ontario, and get a chance to check it out while rocking out to some great tunes, here's how you can buy tickets. Also, we chatted with the band about why mental health issues are so important to them, so check out our interview below.

Benefit concert for FEMAP in support of mood and anxeity disorders - Friday, December 11, 2015 @ 8:30PM - London Music Hall (London, ON)

Bio provided by Ivory Hours

Ivory Hours is a sassy alt-pop trio from London, Ontario. The band was formed by Luke Roes (Vocals/Guitar) in 2012 and features Chris Levesque (Bass) and Thomas Perquin (Drums).

It’s been a big year for Ivory Hours. Amidst constant touring, the London, Ontario natives hit the studio to record their debut full-length album ‘Morning Light’ - a collection of infectious pop tunes co-produced by Dan Brodbeck (The Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan) and mastered by Joao Carvalho (Lights, Stars). 

After releasing the album on June 9th 2015 the band went on to win 102.1 The Edge’s ‘Next Big Thing’, garnering their first commercial airplay for the single ‘Warpaint’. Within weeks they announced their grand prize win of the Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artist Mentorship Program. Shortly after the band announced a North American tour for spring 2016. 

With ‘Warpaint’ spreading on radio and online with the help of a clever stop-motion video, a new album and acoustic release in the works, a MuchFACT funded video for ‘Dreamer’ on the way and a hometown brimming with support, it’s safe to say Ivory Hours is riding an upward spiral.

You guys have been together since about 2012, right? How was Ivory Hours born?

Sort of, I've personally been writing for the band since then but we've gone through some changes in the past few years. I wrote the first Ivory Hours songs in late 2011 (that's when Two Keys was penned) in my last year of university. I showed the songs to my friend Nick (the previous drummer) who was living in Vancouver at the time and he ended up coming out to Ontario to work on them. Shortly after we got my sister Annie on board and another friend Graeme. That spring we moved to Vancouver and released the first couple EP's. It wasn't till 2013 that Annie and I moved back to London after losing our brother Paul. That fall I solidified Thom & Chris as the new rhythm section (Thom was a friend of a friend and Chris I met randomly at the LMC blues night). After a ton of touring to support the Mary EP Annie moved on to pursue a career, we recorded the full-length album Morning Light this spring and have been working as a three piece for almost a year. 

You announced a big North American tour coming this spring, but you guys are definitely no stranger to the road. How do you keep well when you're away for long periods of time?

It's definitely a challenge, it's not often that you get a proper night's sleep which can wear on you over time....I don't think there's anything specific that we do other than keeping ourselves in check by not over-drinking etc...I try to eat well but to be completely honest I'm not very good at keeping any sort of exercise regime, which I'd probably benefit from a lot. Thankfully our shows are really energetic so at least I sneak a bit of cardio in :). 

Mental health is of course, a huge focus for programs like mindyourmind, but also for other locals organizations like FEMAP. We're so happy to see a benefit show happening for them. Was there a specific reason the band chose raise money for this cause?

A number of reasons. We tragically lost my brother Paul to depression almost three years ago. One of the most difficult parts of the experience was the frantic effort to educate ourselves about what it was, how to 'treat' it and how to best care for him. The lack of available care was frustrating and terrifying, and unfortunately he was unable to access FEMAP because they were stretched too thin. I hope that the money raised will help them increase their capacity for treatment, but also increase awareness of how important these resources are. Healthcare is much more concerned with treating symptoms than prevention and I think a great case can be made for bolstering organizations that address mental health cases at early onset. I've also suffered from anxiety in the past and I wish I'd reached out to someone sooner. Sometimes just having someone acknowledge the way you're feeling can make all the difference. 

If you could say something to a young person struggling with mental health issues, what would it be?

No matter how bad you feel, eventually you will find a way out. That, and telling someone about the way you feel is incredibly liberating, even if it's just a close friend. It might seem like you should 'tough it out' but the strongest people I know are the ones who have made peace with themselves in and out.

Has music been a coping mechanism to get through tough times over the years?

Nothing compares to the catharsis of singing and playing music. I've always used it as a way to address difficult feelings, stress and anxiety and I'm eternally grateful to have it in my life. The sense of satisfaction you get from completing a song is probably one of the most positive addictions you can acquire. 

The Ivory Hours live show is tons of fun to attend and dance to. What's your favourite venue to play at? Where is it?

London Music Hall is one of our favourites - it's a beautiful venue and the production is amazing. Not to mention that nothing can compare to the excitement of a hometown show! The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto is another fantastic spot, very rich with history.

We don't often get to interview bands from right here in our hometown! So what's your favourite thing about London, ON?

My favourite part is the people. I really underestimated how much I missed my family and friends when I lived in Vancouver. Everyone is incredibly supportive of the band and their commitment has been the ultimate ingredient to our success.

On top of being oh so catchy, Ivory Hours' tunes tend to be stories. What's the songwriting process like?

These days they usually start with a beat, then a bassline, followed by a guitar riff or vocal melody. I write inside of a recording program so I'm constantly overdubbing and building a full song as I go. It sounds crazy but most of the stories originate from the first thing I blurt out in the melody phase. I press play and sing the first thing that comes to mind. Later on I'll think about what the line means and write the lyrics with central theme. 

You worked with the likes of Dan Brodbeck on your latest record- Pretty sweet! If you could work with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

Dan's a beauty! It was a fantastic opportunity to learn from him. As for theoretical working relationships....probably George Martin (or Phil Spector, Brian Wilson). I'm really inspired by producers, especially ones as heavy handed as he was with the Beatles. His string arrangements are incredible. 

Any funny pre show rituals/funny things about the band we should know about?

Hmmm not to much really - I get really quiet (I'm really introverted by nature), Chris practices and Thom boots around chatting with people (or takes a nap).

Photo captured from Ivory Hours' YouTube video, Warpaint.