Bands Undone: Dave Norris & Local Ivan (Interview)

Dave Norris & Local Ivan @ Bands Undone
Decided to make the interview separate.

If you like to read the interview here is the transcrpition part of Dave Norris and Local Ivan..

MW: Ming Wu
DN: Dave Norris
EMJ: Emily Jeffers
GB: Graham Boyle (of Local Ivan)
BA: Brandon Agnew (of Local Ivan)

MW: Hi, I’m at Canteen right now for Bands Undone, and I’m with Dave Norris and Local Ivan. Nice to meet you, guys.
DN: Nice to meet you.
MW: I’m talking to…
DN: Dave Norris.
GB: “Local”.
BA: “Ivan”.

MW: That was a great set.
DN: Thank you.

MW: How did the band form?
DN: I’ve been writing songs for a long time.
I’ve been playing with these guys [Local Ivan] for the past year and a half or so, and they’re really good.
The formation of the band had a lot to do with who I was playing with and who were in different bands around town…my friends.

EMJ: How long have you been playing solo?
DN: In town, probably since I was about 19. I had a band before called Addison when I was 19 or 20, and I played in that for a while and wrote songs for that band as well.

EMJ: What has brought you back to playing music in Ottawa?
DN: I can’t do anything else. I can’t do anything else this well, not to toot my own horn or anything.
EMJ: The jobs, the career, the school’s not working out—it’s just solid music?
DN: Yeah, I can’t do that stuff. I just thought I would put as much as much as I could into music and see what happens at the end of it. It’s the journey of life, really.

EMJ: Do you feel that same kind of commitment with Local Ivan? Are they in the same space, where music is their main focus?
DN: Yeah, I was thinking about this the other day. Pretty much everyone in the band is looking to be a full-time musician and is making sacrifices in their other lives for playing music as much as possible. Pretty much everyone in the band writes their own material and has their own music projects going on.

EMJ: Do you feel like some of that creative energy competes? When people are working on their own individual music, does that filter into your own work?
DN: It’s great. I really like the idea that people have their own music projects going on and people are busy with those things. It makes for interesting people.
If they were just working for the government…
EMJ: “Local” is gesturing at Dave.
DN: If someone is really sacrificing a lot, then that’s the best thing…in the entire world, I think…. I’m just kidding, sorry.

MW: Who are your musical influences?
DN: I have tonnes—many many many many many many. David Bowie and Bob Dylan are probably at the top, I would say. They’re definitely influences, but so are people who come through town. I’ve seen shows that have inspired me to do more live shows, like Wax Mannequin. I really dig what he’s doing. That’s a good one. I think he’s awesome.

MW: “Local”, do you have any musical influences?
GB: Dave Norris.
MW: [To BA] How about you?
BA: Dave Norris.

EMJ: So Dave Norris is obviously very inspiring to his bandmates. That makes for a good cohesive unit in Local Ivan, I guess.
DN: They’re all inspired by me musically, and in their lives. Basically, the reason why they get up in the morning is for Dave Norris, and I appreciate every moment of that.
[To members of Local Ivan] Thanks, guys. Thank you.

MW: Do you have a favourite venue you like to play live in Ottawa?
GB: Oh ho ho ho ho!
DN: What? Is that a loaded question?
GB: It’s political.
DN: It’s political maybe, yeah. The last show I played was a solo show at Raw Sugar, and it was amazing!
I had a really great time there. I think that’s a great newer venue.

EMJ: Do you find that the Ottawa music scene is inviting or is it loaded with politics, as “Local” has pointed out?
DN: I think everything you do in life is loaded with politics. It’s tough to say.
For the most part, you’re dealing with people who are trying to pursue a career in music, which is insane, so most of the time it’s interesting, if nothing else.

EMJ: I think Dylan and Bowie would agree with you on that.
DN: We’ve talked, and…yeah, they do.

MW: Do you have a favourite song that you like to sing live?
DN: Not one in particular, no. They’re all my little babies. I love all of them, equally. If I said otherwise, they’d get mad at me, and I’d perform them terribly.
BA: Politics.
DN: Exactly, the politics of my own songs.

EMJ: Can’t play favourites with your children.
DN: That’s it. It comes back to bite you later on…or something.

EMJ: There was a recent article about Pink Floyd winning a lawsuit about how their albums had to be sold online in complete form, not as individual tracks. Do you find it’s the same way with your albums, that they should be listened to fully, as opposed to each track individually?
DN: I think people listen to music in different ways. If you listen to an album and you really like the album, and you like to listen to all the tracks in a row, you know, you sit down for 45 minutes or whatever it is, and that’s the way you listen to music, that’s great. I don’t think it should be forced on other people.
It’s a different art form. There are people who write just for the song, and try to assemble an album that has consistency. Then there are people who write album albums. You’ve got to listen to the whole thing to get the entire picture. It’s not either/or for me, I guess.

MW: Do you have EPs out or albums?
DN: Yeah, right now it’s pretty much EPs. I find it fun to write those because they’re really short. It’s not that we don’t have the material. I do a lot of whittling, I think—maybe too much—but the end product is always something I want to put out.

MW: Have you toured or opened up for other bands or musicians?
DN: Yeah, we toured in November last year for the first time with the entire band, which has six members. We opened for Parlour Steps, from Vancouver. They’re a really cool band, really great. We’re opening as much as we can. We like to play shows, and whenever it’s possible to open up for somebody and the opportunity comes, it’s great.

MW: What’s coming up in the next few months or so?
DN: We’re looking to record soon. We have some material we’re going to sit down with, if I can get everybody for a week, and really get the instrument parts down and stuff like that. Then we’re going to go into the studio, record it, and then release it as soon as possible.

MW: Are you going to get any help from someone? A producer?
DN: We’re looking to record with Dean Watson at Gallery Studios.

EMJ: Where do you see yourself five hours from now?
DN: Ha ha. Nice.
GB: I plan on being at Meredith Luce’s show at The Manx in about five hours.
DN: That’s a good call.
GB: So release this interview really quickly online, somebody else might want to go too.
DN: I’m probably going to be doing that too…or sleeping.
EMJ: “Ivan” is nodding.

MW: Last question, what’s your favourite format? CDs, LPs or cassette tapes?
DN: Oh wow. It’s gotta be LPs over CDs. Tapes? …Pft.
GB: I was just at a record sale, so I’ve gotta say LPs.
BA: Dave Norris.

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