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Formerly known as TOMORROWS, brothers Jim and Jack Ivins, or THE IVINS, are making noise under a brand new moniker with a new slew of songs that will be released on their debut album The Code Duello later this year. THE IVINS play anthemic alternative rock and roll meant to invade your radio and brainwaves. According to the brothers, the sky is the limit. As TOMORROWS, they had their music featured on the radio, television and elsewhere. Now writing new music with a renewed sense of wisdom and experience, they hope to make it big.

Who are THE IVINS?

Jim: My brother Jack and I have been playing together in various bands for about six or seven years now. For a while, we were just THE JIM IVINS BAND. That was a kind of acoustic pop-rock band. We were that for a while, then briefly changed the name to TOMORROWS in 2012. Then we became THE IVINS last year when we started recording our upcoming album. We figured that, while we liked the name TOMORROWS, it was pretty generic; so it was difficult to find us. If you Googled our name, we wouldn’t show up ‘til about page six. We hadn’t made a big dent yet as TOMORROWS, so we thought it was safe to change the name again.

Did you play in any other bands before any of these incarnations of THE IVINS? ivins 2

Jim: In high school, I played in a pop punk band called BUSTED WIRE. At one point, it was very known in the pop punk and pop-rock scene. I did that for four years then started getting more into singer-songwriter music, so that’s where JIM IVINS BAND came from. Our band, THE IVINS, now is kind of reactionary to a lack of rock music in mainstream culture. You turn on rock radio, and it’s a lot of dance music and lo-fi acoustic stuff. That’s kind of baffles me. We’ve been listening to rock and roll since we were born, so we’re all about riffs. We wanted to find a way to use our love, [as well as] rock and roll and riffs and try to modernize that into something that’s progressive and successful in today’s music world.

Jack: Jim and I have been playing together our whole lives, always jamming and whatever. I had a band in high school that was sort of like a funk band. I played with various groups. The Dominion Collective actually just did a feature with another band I play in called BURN THE BALLROOM.

Tell me about your influences. What are some of the new bands that you draw influence from? Are there any old acts you used to love that still influence you?

Jim: I listen to a lot of rock music that comes out of England. In my opinion, England and the U.K. still get rock music that’s really great. I’m really inspired by bands like OASIS and STEREOPHONICS. There’s also bands from the U.S. like GARBAGE and 30 SECONDS TO MARS. There’s definitely vibes and parts of their sounds that I really want to incorporate into our sound, sort of like a gumbo. We want to really base our songs on riffs. Going over the whole spectrum, we also look at hair metal bands like MOTLEY CRÜE and FIREHOUSE. You could also talk about LED ZEPPELIN. We also idolized them; who hasn’t?

As TOMORROWS, you had your music featured on television channels like MTV and Fox Sports. What was it like to be a burgeoning band to have your music featured on such a large platform with so much exposure?

Jim: It was crazy and such a trip. Some of those songs were tracks that even haven’t come out yet, but it got used to underscore a montage of racing scenes for some NASCAR brand of sports racing. It was pretty surreal to be featured on that. We’ve [also] gotten some songs on MTV’s The Real World. As a band on any level, it’s always crazy to hear your music on TV or the radio. Recently, we gave a song to be used on this really popular app [called Soundtracking] and got featured as song of the week. We got something like 3 million impressions. We’re just trying to make the most of any opportunity possible. The market is really over saturated right now, so opportunities that put the spotlight on you is important in the development of a band. We do it any way possible.

You said there seems to be a void for good rock and roll in the mainstream. Are there any bands out there that are actually holding it down for the genre and getting big attention?

ivins 4Jack: There’s barely any rock bands featured in top 40. There’s not a ton of stuff that I’d call “rock” that gets mainstream play that’s American.

Jim: ARCTIC MONKEYS released a bunch of songs from their new album that’s really good. A song like “Do You Want to Know” is so weird for a mainstream single to get really big, so that was pretty cool. There’s [also] that BLEACHERS record that I thought was really great. What’s interesting to see in what’s going on in the culture is that country music has kind of filled the void for rock music right now. It’s going more in a rock direction, so people seem to be getting their fill for rock music by listening to country on the radio.

Jack: I don’t think any of those bands are filling the rock void. While country music is getting a bit away from what it used to be, I don’t know if I’d say that. I’d say that maybe it’s taking more of its airspace.

Jim: I guess Jack and I have different opinions on this issue, but I’d say bands like FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE is doing it. That record by ERIC CHURCH is pretty rocking. Jack told me he saw MIRANDA LAMBERT not long ago — we know their bass player — and Jack said it was a pretty big rock show.

Jack: Yeah, while she is a really twangy country singer, they did a cover of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Hoochie Koo;” that was so awesome. That was really incredibly rocking. I can’t believe I forgot about that. This might be indicative of old stuff we listened to, but BRING ME THE HORIZON has really changed.

Jim: Yeah, they’re on the top 20 for Billboard right now. It rocks, and it’s really cool to see that.

Jack: Yeah, I know about how their singer was really messed up on drugs and got into rehab. He got out and decided he didn’t want to scream anymore because he’s not pissed off and mad anymore. Their new single is pretty much all singing. It’s mainstream accessible, but I know it’s polarizing for a lot of their fans.

Jim: I think it’s great that a band like them can break out of the underground and finally get their due after putting in for so many years, even if they have to change their style. I think it’s great.

If rock is to ever have a resurgence in mainstream radio, what will it take? What will rock sound like if it becomes popular again?

Jack: In the states, pop reigns, but if you go to Europe, rock is everywhere. They love rock in Europe.

Jim: What I think it will take, and this might sound corny, but it just comes down to songs. A really good song will always win out. An artist like ADELE is the proof in the pudding. It was only three years ago, but you had this overweight, white British singer who sounds absolutely nothing like anything on the radio and goes off to sell 25 million albums. It’s because she has really good songs. I think it’s entirely possible for rock to make a comeback, but it’s going to come down to great songs and tapping into a feeling that listeners are feeling deprived of listening to the radio. What that is? I don’t know. NIRVANA tapped into that when they got big. It just happens, but no one knows how it will happen. I think a good riff, chorus, and/or lyrics make it possible for rock to come back. I think it will come back. Hopefully we can contribute to that.

What are you guys hoping to achieve with your band?

Jim: We want to be the biggest band in the world. It’s weird and maybe it’s my own paranoia at play, but it’s become unfashionable lately to want to be successful. You hear a lot of artist say, “I just want to make music that I like; I don’t care if anyone listens or likes it,” but we’re about getting our music out to as many people as humanely possible. When U2 did that huge tour with the big claw thing in stadiums with MUSE, I saw that and thought it’d be really fun to do something like that. We want as much exposure as possible and start a movement with our music. I think that’s what every artist should want.

Jack: That was well said. If you want to be a musician that makes a career out of it and you love the music you’re playing, you’ll have people who like it. There’s some people who might not like it, but I’d certainly love to be on the same level of the FOO FIGHTERS who make great music and get to travel the world where they want and when they want. I can’t think of a better arrangement than that.

For more updates on THE IVINS, be sure to visit their website, “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and catch them at the Canal Club on February 21, 2015 for The Baes of RVA Fest.

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