Interview with Aster and Ivy
Guitarist Irno Kola of Aster and Ivy answers some of our questions following their latest release, “Tsunami.”
Aster and Ivy is an indie-pop band hailing from Jacksonville Beach, FL. The band is comprised of singer Ruben Colaci, bassist Ryan Cox, drummer Quinn Alexander, and guitarists Irno Kola and Mitch Fountain. Following the release of their debut single in 2017, “Silhouettes,” they spent the last year playing gigs across their home state. The band released their debut EP ‘Tell Me Pretty Things,’ in June 2018.
On January 25th, they released “Tsunami,” their first single since the EP. This song marks a new era for the band, as this is the divergence from their previous sound (as discussed in our interview below!) and is the first release to feature their current lead singer, Ruben.
For this first week following the release, 100% of the funds earned will be donated to Doctors Without Borders to help with relief efforts for the tragic Indonesian tsunami that happened late last year.
For the release of “Tsunami” guitarist Irno Kola took some time to answer a few questions for us! See our interview with him below.
If you had to describe your music in three words, what would they be?
Fun, passionate, and fresh.
I want to hear your origin story; what got you all into music? How did you guys form Aster and Ivy?
I think music came to all of us at an early age for various different reasons. Some of us started off with lessons and others just got inspired from records we would hear in music shops. At first Aster and Ivy started off as a singer-songwriter acoustic gig that Irno did, but quickly became bored with. Irno met Mitch at an open mic night that Irno hosted during college, but didn't formally link up to make music until a couple months later. From there we met Ryan off of a Craigslist ad and ended up recording our first single "Silhouettes" in December 2017 with just the three of us. Quickly after that, we met Quinn through Craigslist and instantly clicked.
For a while it was just the four of us (Mitch on guitar, Irno on vocals and guitar, Ryan on bass, and Quinn on drums) and we ended up recording our first 5 song EP ‘Tell Me Pretty Things.’ A couple months later, one of Mitch's friends, Ruben, showed interest in the band and after hearing him sing it was a clear decision that he would take over as lead singer. Since Ruben's introduction into the band, we have recorded our new song "Tsunami" and are in the process of preparing ourselves to get back into the studio.
Who are your top musical influences?
I would say that our music influences vary pretty widely from person to person, however, a couple of unanimous influences we have would be Hippo Campus, Frank Ocean, Tom Misch, COIN, and Daniel Caesar to name a few.
I am in love with “Tsunami” and have had it on repeat! Tell me a little about the song - what’s the inspiration behind it?
First off we would like to thank you! “Tsunami” is a song about love, but specifically it is about the moment in which desire turns into passion. Sometimes this transition can feel overwhelmingly powerful and wash over you. The song expresses this feeling through imagery of sensuality and tropical themes.
You’ve been together since early 2017, so how do you feel you’ve evolved as a band over the last two years?
Besides the addition of another member, we have evolved our sound from what was initially a very upbeat folk-based sound to a jazzy pop and R&B inspired direction. As musicians and as a group we are much better now than we have ever been and we continually strive to push our boundaries and create music that we love and truly believe in.
Outside of music, what do each of you do? What are your passions?
Ruben: Traveling and planning trips to places I've never been, playing/watching soccer and hockey, outdoors stuff in nature, and watching a good TV show that immerses me.
Irno: I love camping, traveling, spending time outside, cooking, and various other things. However, a big passion of mine is running and managing businesses, which I have always been interested in since I was a kid. I enjoy seeing an idea that I made come to life and watching the analytics and fine tuning everything until it's just right. This comes in handy for the band.
Quinn: Anything to do with entrepreneurship and building a brand or a business.
Mitch: I'm a pretty simple person. Music is honestly all I do all day everyday.
Ryan: Honestly, all of my passions point towards music in some way. I do most of my graphic designing for the band, which I enjoy, but I think that I love it so much because it supports our music.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What is your go-to Starbucks order?
Grande nitro cold brew with vanilla and almond milk 100% no exceptions.
What can your fans expect from you in 2019? What are your goals for 2019?
Our goals for 2019 include releasing new music consistently, going on more tours, increasing the "fun" factor of our shows, creating high quality and affordable merch everyone can enjoy, playing large festivals, and most importantly growing alongside our community.
Thank you to Irno for taking the time to answer our questions! We’re looking forward to seeing what Aster and Ivy has in store for us this year.
To listen to their new song “Tsunami” and join in on the fun (they are super interactive on Twitter!), check them out at the links below.