ALL ABOARD FOR FUN TIME
Spellbound's Interview with Iva Davies, 12 April 1993
Have you ever said to yourself, "If
I ever get the chance, I'd like to ask Iva Davies 'this'?" Then you kinda
smirk at yourself, "When am I ever going to get the opportunity to do
that?" Sure, when hell freezes over and you suddenly accomplish all your
lifetime goals at once, right? So, what goes flashing through your mind
when the voice on the other end of the phone says "hello" and damn if
he doesn't sound just like Iva Davies!?... a moment of panic?... disbelief
("Who is this, really?")... or an incoherent but barely suppressed urge
to break into Monty Python? You fumble for the appropriate "hello" (he
is waiting, you know), and exchange awkward if sincere pleasantries. After
all, what does he know about you? Just surface facts, while you practically
know his life story. So, you take a deep breath and launch into the interview
for which you've been collecting questions during the past five years.
We decided to start with a year in
the life of the man, namely 1992. Although to us it may not have appeared
to be a busy year for Iva, it was. A year that brought him to somewhat
of a crossroads in his career. To stay with the Regular, well-trod road
or take a Massive step forward onto a new path. We asked him about his
Why the departure from Regular/Festival?
Iva: Regular/Festival? Now, that's a simple one because it's purely
a matter of having fulfilled the obligations of the agreement. It was
literally kind of like the date ran out. No big mystery at all or anything
with that. And we looked at a whole bunch of people to go with, including
going back with Regular and Festival. At the end of the day, when everything
was weighed up, the best situation was with Massive, and Laurie Dunn.
You need to go back and gather some facts there because Icehouse's original
management company was a collective of fellows who, although the management
company split up, still see each other and speak to each other regularly.
A friend of all of theirs was Laurie Dunn, who in those early days operated
in London his own record company and was also at certain times working
for Virgin. Similarly, when he came back to Australia -- he'd been away
for a long time -- he was working for Virgin here, and when Virgin were
bought by EMI he decided to start his own label here. So he still has
the association with EMI through his distribution here. He also knows
and has known various of our managers so it's all like a big kind of club.
Spellbound: The Massive Club... so basically they gave you the
best offer then, maybe above and beyond Regular?
Iva: Yeah, the best offer in terms of it being a bit more open.
It's a small company, but Laurie's a very dedicated record man. There
are a lot of guys that, you know, kind of ride along with it, but Laurie
definitely wants to be master of his own ship. He takes an interest in
everything and really gets things moving, so that's good, too.
Spellbound: Gives you more personal attention.
Iva: Well, yeah, it was interesting because in the end we probably
dealt more with Festival than we did with Regular. But Laurie is really
a man to work hard at his thing and so we're dealing more directly with
the independent label than we are with its distributor -- as opposed to
what was happening between Regular and Festival; we were dealing generally
with the distributor, who was Festival.
Spellbound: That sounds like a better situation.
We then questioned Iva about the
overseas label situation pertaining to Chrysalis. While the record company
had a major breakdown in communications and was bought and sold like second-hand
furniture, Icehouse's Australian-themed Code Blue was put on hold. With
perhaps a hint of bitterness, Iva explained what it was like to be held
in suspension for two years.
Spellbound: Tell us about your departure
Iva: Well, that's only just virtually, as of today, been resolved.
In fact, we just got the bill from the solicitor today. (laughs)
Spellbound: The Bill...'it was nice knowing you -- pay us now.'
Iva: Yeah, no, no, no, he did a very good job. But, you know the
thing is finished when you get the bill for it, if you know what I mean.
But that's been a long time and kind of a funny one -- I have to mind my
P's and Q's obviously. But you were aware that of course Chrysalis didn't
release Code Blue. And that really kept us in suspension for the whole of
the period till now, because we couldn't record for anybody else and they
were not going to release that album. But in the meantime Chrysalis was
bought again. They've been bought a number of times. We'd been signed to
them and the new executives really didn't even know that we were still signed.
In fact, they were very surprised when we came back to them and said, 'Oh,
by the way, there's this album that you have that you haven't released and
we've been sitting here twiddling our thumbs waiting for you to do something
for two years.' And they sort of said, 'Oh, I thought we'd let you go.'
Spellbound: Great communication!
Iva: You know, they got a bit of a fright, too, because they had
a big spring cleaning, as it were. When they were sold, a lot of people
left and a lot of people were let go, and I guess they assumed that we were
amongst those. It wasn't the case, but it effectively meant that we couldn't
really do anything. We couldn't do anything with that album, and we couldn't
make any more albums to be released overseas.
Spellbound: Pretty ridiculous situation.
Iva: Yeah, well, you know that's the reason why nothing much has
been going on because we were kind of tied up. I mean, a lot of people have
been in that situation -- but somebody like Bruce Springsteen, of course
obviously he's far better publicized (laughs) than somebody like us.
After getting us really talking
about record companies and solicitors, Iva then very quietly blew our
minds. After living two years as starving Icehouse fans, Mr. Davies revealed
to us a banquet.
So is there anything in the works for an overseas label?
Iva: Well, we'll be looking...yes, there are, there are little
Spellbound: ...nothing you can mention...
Iva: Not really. A little bit depends I guess on this year, too,
because we're due to actually have three albums out this year.
Spellbound: This year?
Spellbound: Pardon, you said three?
Iva: (laughs) Well, yes, there's a double album which is coming
out in a couple of months, we hope.
Spellbound: He's dropping breadcrumbs... that's the Project, right?
Iva: That's correct, yeah. I've separated them into two albums.
There's a lot of material. I guess they're all kind of from the same type
of mechanism, all the material, but I separated one out into a more straight
forward dance album, and the other one into a little bit more esoteric
Spellbound: Icehouse at its best, esoteric?
Iva: Well, it's all different. I mean, you're going to probably
have some mixed response, I guess. This whole project has really been
something that I've been standing back from. And I have some favorites
out of this collection and some which I'm not necessarily totally convinced
by. But that was the aim of the project, to let other people maim and
mutilate, basically. And some of it's obviously really successful, but
of course the net result of all of them is that they're all sort of new
things. There are a couple of things which are obviously virtually unrecognizable
as anything you've previously heard. So they constitute really new songs,
Spellbound: So who's doing the maiming and the mutilating?
Iva: Well, a whole collection of people, including a lot of work
done by a company called General Dynamics -- in fact led by Cameron Allan,
who produced the first Flowers album. He's based in Los Angeles now. The
way this started was with Ray Hearn, our old manager who has been based
in Japan for eight years. He's an entrepreneur of sorts, and part of what
he's been doing has involved taking a lot of tapes from old people, from
'old' people (laughs), from old established artists, old people... and
giving them to various remix guys and reprogrammers and then having new
dance orientated things done with them. He's done that very successfully
for a lot of people including Yellow Magic Orchestra. Really I guess a
whole generation has never even heard of Yellow Magic Orchestra, although
they're huge stars in Japan. And he's produced these new albums out of
their old things. Ray himself is not an engineer, but what he does is
he has certain people whose work he's been watching and he goes and employs
them to do this kind of thing. One of those people, obviously once again
part of the club, a friend of both of ours, being Cameron Allan, has been
working in this area and he was employed by Ray to do some of this work.
So when he was talking about a similar thing for the Icehouse material,
he requisitioned Cameron, and he's done a lot of the stuff on this album.
But there are all sorts of other notables as well, including Bill Laswell,
who's sort of a legendary producer in America insomuch as he's a bit left
of field, I guess. He's been involved with people like David Byrne and
Brian Eno, and he has his own label which releases world music. He's actually
a bass player by trade, but he's not what you'd call a pop producer. He's
done a few things and one of the things he did was a version of "Love
In Motion" with Chrissie Amphlett singing the lead vocal, which you've
already heard from Masterfile. His versions are most recognizable as the
original songs. Cameron Allan's are quite different. There's been some
stuff done by Guy Pratt, some stuff done by an English guy called Mark
Gamble, and some stuff done by 808 State. So this is kind of really Ray's
idea. It came out of the fact that he'd been doing this with other people
and he knew that we were going to be held up in other ways. He just wanted
to make it a kind of personal project to do this. And I really just made
myself available to help wherever it was necessary and kind of stood back
from the whole thing. So, to a certain extent, I take no responsibility
(laughs). Really, it's a peculiar thing to do because these guys were
basically given carte blanche to do anything they felt like doing with
the songs, even so far as to cut up the lyrics. Cameron Allan did a version
of "Man Of Colours" where he cut up all the lyrics and made them into
peculiar lines, which is kind of interesting. So, I couldn't afford really
to be too precious about it because it would kind of defeat the purpose.
Spellbound: Hearing about this Project album brings to mind actually
an interview you did a while back where you said the Melbourne Symphony
Orchestra was covering "We Can Get Together." Did that ever come about?
Iva: No, the story rings a bell. I think somebody told me this
was happening, and I haven't heard anything since. I don't have any kind
of hard evidence on that.
Spellbound: It'd be an interesting bit to throw in amidst all this
Iva: Yeah, things sort of seem to happen that I'm unaware of. I
mean, we'll walk into a supermarket and hear a version of "Crazy" or something
like that which I've never heard before.
Spellbound: 'This song sounds familiar -- it's my song!'
Iva: Yeah, it's kind of peculiar, but once you've released a song,
anybody can go and record it.
Turning Iva's thoughts to another
"project," we talked with him about the only single to come off the Masterfile
compilation, "Love In Motion." We wondered how the girl who "touches herself"
(and hits big with it in America) was chosen to be the vocalist. He explained
how he had very little "hands on" experience with this particular single.
You mentioned the version of "Love In Motion" done with Chrissie Amphlett.
How was she chosen to be the vocalist?
Iva: I'm not entirely sure. I think that Laurie Dunn, who is the
managing director of Massive, had been managing director of Virgin Australia,
and the Divinyls are signed to Virgin Australia, so they had some kind
of association with her and it may have been at his suggestion. I'm quite
sure that Bill Laswell had no idea, or perhaps he did have an idea, of
who Chrissie Amphlett was after "I Touch Myself" in America, but as I
said, there's been a kind of committee of guys that have been instigating
these mixes and suggesting various people and various possible ways of
doing things. Really, I always seem to be the last one to have heard the
mix or whatever.
Spellbound: The last to know... So you really weren't there in
the studio then with her.
Iva: No, I wasn't, partly because Bill Laswell's got a very enclosed
method of working. He doesn't like anybody in the studio. I daresay that
was the main reason, and the other reason is that it's fairly intimidating
singing in the studio, and certainly if you're having to sing somebody
else's song and they're sitting there, watching you... a bit difficult,
so I never really thought, 'Well, I should go in and have a listen or
be there,' or whatever, because I thought that would probably be counterproductive.
Spellbound: On the CD single there were various mixes of "Love
In Motion," some that we thought were quite good. On one of them, you
played basically all the instruments including bass, which we're really
not familiar with you playing. Is Stephen out of a job?
Iva: Uh, no (laughs). There've been a lot of things over the years
that haven't necessarily been credited accurately. Part of that was just
pure diplomacy. The fact of the matter is, I played probably half the
bass on the Flowers album, all of the bass on Primitive Man. And over
the years I played a lot of solos... I remember reading a review of "Baby,
You're So Strange" in an Australian magazine which was glowing about the
amazing guitar solos of Bob Kretschmer. Got pissed off, 'cause I'd played
Spellbound: Well actually, we've noticed that through the years,
such as performances of "Touch The Fire" where Bob's up there smiling
away and sort of moving his fingers correctly... sort of... strumming
the rhythm guitar part while your solo is playing on the track.
Nineteen-ninety-two also saw Iva
don the producer's mantle, only to have it become a bit soiled. The "mussing
up" was labeled with his name, but we gave him a chance to air the dirty
laundry. After the cleaning up, he led us out of the murky Daylight into
the shocking dark.
You also did a bit of producing with Living Daylights.
Iva: Yeah, well that was kind of a honeymoon with Laurie (laughs).
I must admit I was never an enormous fan of the demos. It was partly a
mission of my own because I've never done a lot of producing, just to
see how I would go. At the end of the day, it was produced on time, under
budget, and the managing director of the company was happy. Then the band
went and remixed it. The version that was actually released is not the
version that I produced.
Spellbound: Is your name on it?
Iva: It is.
Spellbound: Oh, dear. Well, that's not very nice. Hopefully that
won't throw you off from doing perhaps some future projects with other
Iva: Well, it's possible. I haven't heard too many things in Australia
that I've been really excited about, I must admit. We've been going through
a kind of really blank period. I went to the ARIA Awards about a week
ago, and I found it fairly disappointing when I compared the fact that
in the boom period of Australian rock music in the same charts there would
be a song by new bands like Icehouse, Midnight Oil, Divinyls, Eurogliders,
Cold Chisel, The Angels, Australian Crawl, Men At Work, JoJo Zep and the
Falcons, Split Enz, Dragon, in the same year, in the same chart. And it
really was kind of a particularly healthy period.
Spellbound: The Eighties were good to Oz music.
Iva: The early Eighties were, yeah. And I think we're up to this
really blank period where nobody knows what's going on. The thing is,
that's kind of produced what the new album due -- that's the third album
-- is going to be, which I'm sort of writing at the moment -- furiously
writing. And that's going to be a bit of a shocker, I think.
Spellbound: Really, a departure... again?!
Iva: Well, it's pretty raw. But, at the moment what's happening
is you've got a whole bunch of dance clubs, which I'm sure you have all
over the place. And then we've got a whole bunch of seventeen year old
people who are wearing flares and long hair and trying to be Seattle.
And yet, with the right idea, but not quite getting there. I'm sure this
is actually going to happen, you know. It's almost like what was occurring
just before punk, with the fact that on one hand all the hip people were
going and dancing on glowing floors to John Travolta. And then, within
about three minutes, that whole thing was totally upset because this fellow
in London had released a song called "God Save The Queen." I feel that
it's that crisis point again.
Spellbound: Yeah, that's exactly what it seems like over here.
Iva: That's good, because I could never get excited about dance
Spellbound: Can you dance?
Iva: Only for large amounts of money...
Spellbound: What are your rates these days?
Iva: ...no, I'm not a dancer... (laughs). No, I've never been that
comfortable, but I don't know... but, no, I can't relate to the whole
recreation of going out and jumping around to something that comes out
of a box. To me, music has got to be a bit more real than that. Of course,
that's sort of tied up too, because I'm aware of the mechanics behind
the creating of that and now it's got to the point where producers are
creating a mythical band, and then it comes out and it's really a guy
sitting in a studio somewhere, creating these things with machines. The
bottom line is that this music has no soul. 'Soul' is a bad word to use
because it sort of evokes a whole genre of music. Perhaps 'heart' is a
better way to describe it... fairly shallow.
Spellbound: So this album's going to be pretty shocking to us?
Iva: I could honestly say that there are some other atmospheres
from the more luxurious sound productions of the past, but not really
too many. It's a different kind of thing. Now, I'd be tempted to say it's
a bit like the first album, but then the first album is fairly luxurious
keyboardwise. We've been scrupulously avoiding keyboards of any sort.
It's a very kind of bleak album.
Spellbound: Are you going through a dark period?
Iva: Apparently, because every time I write a set of lyrics, it's
incredibly dark. I wrote a song the other day, while working with Paul
Wheeler and a fellow called David Chapman. I'd finished this set of lyrics
and I had a rough vocal of it. I brought it in before we were about to
record it into the studio, and David listened to it on a Walkman. He sat
there and he just shook his head and he said, 'This is going to upset
a lot of people!' So, what can I say? I'm not responsible (laughs).
Spellbound: What kind of darkness is it?
Iva: Not personal darkness as in "Don't Believe Anymore" stuff.
Kind of a bit like "Walls" type bleakness.
Spellbound: You're not becoming Morrissey, are you?! You were born
on the same day...
Iva: Is that right? I've never been a great fan of his, but he's
had some great titles. The only Smiths' song I really liked was "How Soon
Is Now." But, yeah, it's kind of the same dry comments as 'I hate it when
my friends are successful.' It's not that that's the subject, but it's
just that kind of style. I borrowed some of that kind of style of comment
from Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, who've always managed to be flippant but have
a dig at something at the same time. I guess it's sort of reminiscent
of that Berlin period of Lodger and The Idiot and Lust For Life. I don't
know whether you know any of those albums. You've got to listen to The
Idiot by Iggy Pop; I mean, it is the best album ever.
Spellbound: Alright, we'll rush out and buy it today...
We don't know if two days later
can qualify as rushing out, but we did buy The Idiot. We listened and
enjoyed. Maybe not to the extent Iva does, but it does nestle down nicely
next to the Bowie CDs. Getting back to the man responsible for our trek
from record store to record store (The Idiot is hard to find)...we were
eager to know at what stage the writing for the album was, and how soon
would we see a tour.
We're doing demos and finals at the same time. We're kind of like self-producing.
There'll be an additional refining stage, but it's pretty much a cottage
album, in a way.
Spellbound: Are you in a public studio or in your own?
Iva: Well, we're doing a lot of it in the new studio at home, but
some of it can't be done there, or set up. Paul can't play drums there
and stuff. So, we're commuting between home and then when we're ready
to do a final, we go in to Trackdown in town and spend a day. We're doing
that on Friday with a new song that we just finished. So, we're writing
a song or two and then going in and doing it properly, and then all the
master tapes will probably get farmed around various producers. You see,
I'm making albums differently, and I think this is the way that probably
a lot of things are going to get done in the future. Instead of booking
a huge slab in the studio and the guy comes out, stays at a hotel and
works for three months and whatever and runs two months overtime. Because
technology has changed, I think that what you're going to find happening
is that people will be doing a lot of stuff at home and then they'll be
sending them off to somebody who can put another slant on things and add
things and edit things and take things out and whatever and then send
them back and then you'll send them back again. You know, eventually collaborate
in that way with producers rather than have them as boss of the session
for three months.
Spellbound: When you spoke about a sort of refining period, will
that be when you'll bring the rest of the guys in the studio to help you?
Iva: Well, it's possible. At the moment, the core of the playing
is just myself, David, and Paul. It's really like a three piece band.
And, unless there's a good reason to do otherwise, that will remain.
Spellbound: And then, the album will come out...
Iva: Well, hopefully, we're aiming at August or September.
Spellbound: That soon? We'd heard the end of the year.
Iva: Well, you know, I say that now...
Spellbound: How soon after the album's released do you think there'll
be a tour mounted? No pressure...
Iva: Well, I don't know. That's sort of an unknown quantity, because
things have changed here to the extent that it's not really viable. The
idea of promoting an album by playing it live has kind of become redundant.
One wouldn't really consider playing unless there was some kind of interest
in the album already. So, I guess what I'm aiming at is an album which
is not ambitious moneywise, and it's going to be a fairly dangerous album,
so it may well just disappear, in which case it would be not really worthwhile
to put the whole machine into operation. As it is, really, quite a machine
when it gets going. But I can't afford in my own head right now to be
turning into John Farnham. It's taken its toll, over the years, of going
down that road. To be honest, that kind of thing is just not working anymore.
As well as the fact it's abhorrent to me, idealistically. Realistically,
it doesn't work anymore. We've just had a couple of albums out here, by
very famous people like Jimmy Barnes and Midnight Oil, and they're pretty
much what one would expect of those two bands. But, there doesn't seem
to be a huge amount of interest in it because I think people's tastes
are changing. We don't really know what people's tastes are, so at the
end of the day, I just decided to do exactly what I felt like doing, in
spite of the fact that it may be a complete disaster. I guess the only
guarantee that I have on that is that if I can keep it cheap, then it
won't be too much of a disaster.
The newest name to write down
on the Icehouse roster is David Chapman. David has been seriously working
and writing with Iva, along with Paul Wheeler. We wondered what kind of
effect this new blood was having on Iva's songwriting.
David's very good; he's a guitarist. I guess the good thing is that we
share -- with Paul too, to a certain extent, although he was kind of a
whippersnapper when all this was happening -- certain influences, which
are fairly exclusive. For this reason I find it not dissimilar to those
which Bob had actually, so I guess nothing's really changed. I've always
had the same basic plan, and tried to drive at a certain area; it's just
that there've been so many occasions where we've been distracted either
by producers or by the industry or whatever. There have been, for example,
a number of songs which would fit fairly comfortably on this new album.
I would cite something like "Regular Boys," or even "Lucky Me" or something
like that. It's not quite as radical as that, but maybe like "Baby, You're
So Strange." It's a peculiar mix of this Berlin sound and there's a little
bit of glam and a little bit of metal. But, as I say, it's always like
we've been driving at the same area. I mean, the original of "Nothing
Too Serious" was quite raw. David Lord made it into a nifty little fast
song, you know. There were a couple of demos of that which were very dark.
It was, in fact, a song about a reasonably apocalypse type of idea. Which
is not a charming thing to write a song about, but all with a little bit
of tongue in cheek. But, none-the-less, the sound of the originals of
that were quite dark. And so, as I say, there've been glimpses of that
for one reason or another. The machine has focused on things like "Electric
Blue," which I never said was my favorite song.
We then brought up the subject
of videos with Iva, asking if he thought they are as important now as
when four young guys called Flowers filmed "Can't Help Myself."
I'm not really qualified to make a comment 'cause I've ceased to watch
any of that stuff. I don't watch that much television anyway, but I've
always had a real aversion to the media. So I don't really know how it's
affecting other people. But from where I see it now, I can't believe it's
anything like as important. The other night at the awards, for example,
a local MTV host announced that MTV was to go off the air here. I can
only imagine that this means that basically people are not interested
enough. I remember a time when to get a play on MTV in America was absolutely
the most important thing for a music industry person, so I guess I don't
know whether I'm wrong, but I don't think it's anything like as important
as it used to be.
Spellbound: Speaking of videos, and Icehouse videos, whose idea
was "Dusty Pages?"
Iva: Not mine.
Spellbound: He's not responsible... we're doing the 'he did it,
he did it' thing again...
Iva: Well, as I say, over the years, credit has not gone where
credit was due. (laughs) Some people should have been nailed to various
stationary objects, for things which I've had to explain.
Spellbound: As you are now...
Iva: That was a couple of guys out of Melbourne who were very vogue
video makers for a while and probably still are too, called Paul Goldman
and I forget the other guy's name -- collectively known as the Rich Kids.
They've done some good videos, too, but on this particular occasion I
just arrived and there it was, it's like, 'Get in that thing.' That's
the similar story to the 'dangling in the molecule thirty feet in the
air.' There've been a lot of those. The last video that I really got involved
in was the Australian "Great Southern Land" video, which was a long time
ago, whereby the director kind of lost it halfway through. I mean he wasn't
particularly experienced and it was obvious that the whole thing was totally
out of control. I kind of took the reins with the cameraman and said,
'Right, this is what we're going to shoot.' Planted all these stakes in
the ground and set them alight, and I basically said, 'Bring on the goannas,'
and stuff like that (laughs). I actually went into the editing suite and
labored through those long nights, saying, 'No, freeze that shot, step-frame
this one,' and blah, blah, blah, when I didn't have a clue really about
the mechanics of making videos. I've always been of the opinion that music
should be heard and not seen. So therefore, I guess I've had to excuse
myself from the whole mechanism of videos a little bit. Their validity
as pieces of art is questionable. And for me, I'm a musician, and my bit
sort of begins and ends with the music. So, I guess I'm not responsible...
Spellbound: You're not very comfortable in front of the camera?
Iva: I hate cameras, I've always hated cameras...
The Masterfile compilation was
also an event for Icehouse in 1992. But for the fans, it was a deja vu.
Hadn't we seen this one before with Great Southern Land? We voiced our
confusion to Iva and got a slight surprise when he agreed.
We were kind of curious: Masterfile was your first release on your new
label, and it seemed to us that 'Oh, my goodness, haven't we done this
before and called it Great Southern Land?' So can you tell us the reasoning
why it was again a greatest hits package?
Iva: Right, you're right, and it was a misgiving that I had also.
Really, it's a case of an introductory thing to the label. And, rightly
so, Laurie believes that really nobody did a lot of work on keeping the
profile of the band's work in the public eye. One of his specialties is
that packaging is a priority. Over the whole of his career with his own
label, and his various things with Virgin and whatever, he's been known
for the quality of his packaging, so to him it was not a great matter
of principle of rereleasing a similar package, because as far as he was
concerned it was a different package. I must admit I had the same misgivings,
but then on the other hand it was gold within about four weeks, which
was a great thing because it was a real shock to me, but it also introduced
the band again to Australia where it had been very quiet for a long time.
And really set up an opening on a new phase. But beyond that, I can't
really sort of explain too much further.
Spellbound: It was his idea... you're not responsible...
Iva: I'm not responsible...
A question that was voiced to
us many a time, especially by those who sent money to America to get news
about an Australia-based band, we brought to Iva himself.
Why did the official fan club close down?
Iva: Basically because there wasn't really anything to tell people,
'cause there wasn't anything happening.
Spellbound: So it was basically a lack of information?
Iva: Really, yeah. It was getting very difficult to produce information
because there wasn't much apparently happening. Certainly, there wasn't
anything at all happening for a while, except really fascinating stuff
like archiving and things like that.
Spellbound: Do you think an official club will start up again?
Iva: Well, it may do; there's a lot of work in it. I guess that's
something that hadn't been considered at the moment because there are
so many other things. The process of getting these three albums together
is pretty amazingly intense at the moment, because I'm having to try and
write songs and design covers for other things at the same time and stuff
like that, you know. I hadn't really thought about it, to tell you the
Spellbound: So, you'll be doing some more artwork?
Iva: Well, not entirely mine, no. I mean I initialize this sort
of idea, and then put it in the hands of somebody who is actually going
to put it together. And that's going on at the moment, because the artworks
of all three albums are related. The one thing you could say about these
three albums is that they're all experiments. They don't fall under the
category of an Icehouse studio album, and that applies to the double project
album. Also, the new studio album is kind of out there as well, so...you
know, it's a year of experiments. So I guess in that way they're related
even though the music may be completely foreign.
So many people have come and gone
within the Icehouse camp. We envisioned Iva's address book as one full
of scribbled out names and new entries written over old. We inquired as
to whether he was still in touch with those names that were still legible.
Some yes, and some no... Bob is the ever-elusive person. I mean we did
have a Christmas card from him which had yet another phone number on it.
Whenever I've tried to call him, I can't find him, so I don't know where
he is. But I think he's kind of enjoying being elusive at the moment,
so I'll wait till he gets through that phase and surfaces again. Guy Pratt
was out not so long ago, and actually came up and stayed at our place.
As usual, he's jet-setting, and being incredibly famous and witty and
hanging out with all the right people. Who else? Actually our place has
kind of been like a hotel lately. It's been like so many people staying:
Cameron Allan came and stayed when he was out here, and just within the
last four weeks. Steve Morgan just left this morning; he's been here for
a few days. Paul Gildea was up for about four days, and Paul Wheeler has
stayed over. Simon Leadley, the engineer at Trackdown with whom we're
working closely, comes up and stays regularly. It's really been kind of
bedlam, you know. So many people flitting in and out, considering I'm
pretty insular really. But it's nice too. I guess the whole summer here
was taken up with the building of the studio. It's pretty full on when
you have people ripping bits of your house apart. So we didn't really
have a break until the last few weeks when it's all been sitting there.
And even now there's still things unfinished whereby somebody turns up
at seven in the morning and starts hammering and sawing. So I'm trying
to work and also enjoying the end of summer as well, because pretty soon
now it's going to be gone and that'll be it, and then we'll be right into
solid work with no possible distractions.
Spellbound: No more windsurfing...
Iva: I haven't sailed for ages; I'm surfing at least every couple
of days at the moment. I've been doing this for about a year and a half,
and I surf a big Malibu board. So Tony Llewellyn and I go surfing probably
every couple of days, nearly every day at the moment, and it's something
you can do for like an hour and a half and then get back to work. But,
as I say, pretty soon it's going to be cold enough that it won't be a
great inducement to get in the water (laughs).
Spellbound: Does it help you clear your head?
Iva: Absolutely, yeah. It's something that Paul and David find
difficult to deal with, because when I've been sitting in the room for
six hours or something, I really have to go out, you know, and they're
not even vaguely inclined towards anything that involves sunlight. So
it's very difficult for me to go, 'Well, just going to go for a surf for
an hour and a half...'
Spellbound: Maybe you should check their bedrooms and see if there
are any coffins in there.
Iva: Yeah, really...(laughs)
Spellbound: So you're basically not really windsurfing anymore?
Iva: Well, I haven't been so much because I've got a fascination
with learning how to surf. I got to a point with windsurfing where I couldn't
do much more on flat water, and I was getting bored with that, and I had
to get into the surf. Except every time I got into the surf, it was a
bit of a disaster, because I'd get kind of cleaned up and worked over
a bit. So I decided I'd learn how to surf and get used to the whole thing.
And, I am, too, I have gotten used to it, but as I say, that's my current
fixation -- learning how to be a Malibu legend.
We asked Iva to lead us through
a typical day at the studio. He turned out to be a very proficient tour
Currently, there are two processes: the one which is done at home, and
that would be that I'd probably go upstairs and kind of have a tidy-up
from the chaos of the night before, because I hate working in a mess.
Kind of washing the cups and vacuuming...
Spellbound: Ah, yes, we've heard about your vacuuming...
Iva: Fascinating stuff... and then David and Paul, they're kind
of night owls I guess, so they don't arrive usually until about eleven
o'clock. It's hard to sort of get them out of bed, basically. We usually
spend quite a lot of time before they can concentrate, because at the
moment there are no curtains there. So the sun blazes in and these guys
being closeted night people can't really function well in daylight. So,
it's not until about four in the afternoon where I'm actually getting
anybody to really concentrate. At the moment the way we're writing is
kind of pretty haphazardous, not anything like as methodical as what I
would do before. Paul has got a MIDI kit which he sits at and fools with,
and we've got a guitar plugged in and a bass plugged in and we might fool
around with a few loops. I guess you know what loops are; they're the
way lot of dance music is generated, but we're kind of doing perverse
things with them like turning them backwards and stuff. And that's basically
the way we're writing. Usually once we've got an idea by doing something
like that, we might sit down and organise it a little bit better with
the computer. So, that's that process, and at the moment I'm usually clocking
off at about seven in the evening, so it's not really a long day. However,
this will go on for a few days or even a week before I've got a whole
song organised and usually I write the lyrics away from everybody and
present it to them, or make them leave the room for a couple of hours
and I'll sing it. So, once I've organised it to that extent, then what
we do is we book a day at Trackdown with Simon Leadley, who is our main
engineer. And we'll arrive down there at ten in the morning after having
assembled a bit of equipment that we're having to remove from Whale Beach.
Arrive in town at ten or ten-thirty, set up Paul's drums, and that'll
take a couple hours to get happening, and then run up what we have already
and play it all again live. We fiddle around a bit more with it during
the rest of the day and quite often that day we'll go until eleven o'clock
or so at night.
We then questioned him about which
atmosphere he's more comfortable in -- recording in the studio, or being
on tour -- and it seem Mr. Davies prefers vacuuming studio carpeting to
a confetti covered stage.
I've always preferred to be able to control the sound. There's something
about playing live which is obviously totally beyond your control. I mean,
that can be good, and that can be not good, you know. There are enough
unknown quantities in that to make it a little bit disturbing. You don't
quite know when something's going to completely spit the dummy and break
down, or when your voice is going to break down or something. So, the
reason why I've not weathered touring very well is because I'm incredibly
intense about getting from one end of the show to the other in one piece.
And while I'm touring, this is my entire reason for existence. It requires
that I have to be in bed at blah, blah, blah, and I can't go out to a
club and do what I want... and I can't smoke this number of cigarettes,
and I can't do any more than this number of interviews in a day or I won't
have any voice left, and it becomes kind of a totally possessing thing.
And I'm usually just incredibly stressed by it all the time and it's not
a great way to live. So, had the tours been not so intense, I might have
got the opportunity to enjoy performing a bit better, but my major recollection
of all those years of touring is just that I can't remember what happened
because I was so worried the whole time.
Spellbound: Would you say basically the biggest tour probably would
have to be the Man Of Colours tour? We guess your recollection of that
would be a bit of a blur, too.
Iva: Well, they've all been a bit of a blur. It might have been
the biggest in some ways, but then on the other hand Flowers toured non-stop
for 14 months. And when we were touring in those days it was a lot more
rigorous. We were doing nine shows a week with a Sydney to Melbourne drive
overnight in the middle of it. You can do it in about 15 hours. So I sang
and spat blood into a microphone; that's the sort of shape I was in. I
don't have a real friendly recollection of touring at all.
After having been to Iva's studio,
we then stepped into his living room and asked him to put some music on.
This is what was playing...
(laughs) You know, last night I was playing a very old Brian Eno record
called Here Come The Warm Jets. But I very rarely play anything at home.
Especially at the moment when I'm writing. I walk around in a daze basically
because my head is like this kind of tape recorder on a loop. It just
continually plays what I'm working on, and if anybody gets in the way,
then I'll jump on them. If anybody puts a radio on... It's as if you were
trying to plan a speech or something and you walk into a room and there's
talk radio on, it would be incredibly annoying. I guess you can imagine
that. So I don't really have anything on. And then recently I've got a
whole influx of stuff that we listen to upstairs, out of curiosity. I'm
not a great fan of a lot of it but a lot of stuff from England; a band
called Suede, a band called Levitation, Soul Asylum, Soundgarden -- I
kind of enjoy that second album. But as I say, a lot of this stuff is
just for curiosity value -- Jesus Jones' new album, stuff like that.
We got Iva talking about his hobbies
and how he fills his spare time. We discovered "spare time" does not enter
into Mr. Davies' vocabulary.
Between the studio and your normal life and the surfing, is there anything
else that you do?
Iva: Not a lot. Not really. I guess that pretty well takes care
of it. You know, I'm either up in that room, or out in the water.
Spellbound: So you don't really have any other hobbies?
Iva: Nope. It's kind of boring, really, isn't it?
Spellbound: Well, we heard once that you like to read quite a bit,
with history being a favorite. Is that still true?
Iva: I read every night, yeah, before I go to sleep. It's kind
of a ritual of mind, doesn't matter what hour it is, and whether I'm really
tired, I always make myself read for half an hour at least. I'm just steadily
going through everything in the house. Anything I haven't read, I'll pick
Spellbound: Did you get around to the Serrated Edge books by Mercedes
Lackey that we sent you?
Iva: I haven't read those, I must admit. I'm very sorry about that...
Spellbound: Naughty boy...
Iva: But, I guess my priority for reading is classics. I figure
that there have been so many classic books written that I would rather
read those things which have stood the test of time and obviously had
some value in them, than read something which was as yet untested, and
may be a load of rubbish.
Spellbound: Now, how can anything inspired by you be a load of
Iva: Oh, well, I don't know, I mean is it a successful book? Did
it get rave reviews?
Spellbound: Well, I don't know about rave reviews, but the writer
does very well for herself over here. She even has her own fan club!
Spellbound: So you have to sit down and read it.
Iva: Oh, okay...
Spellbound: It'll take you five hours, that's all. (he laughs)
We then threw Iva a curve ball
which he caught quite well. When he pitched it back, it became a speed
ball, with a philosophical twist, aimed at the music industry.
What makes Iva Davies angry these days?
Iva: Angry...well, where do you start?
Spellbound: In alphabetical order...
Iva: I guess I'm going through a real period of anti-industry sort
of feeling. At the end of the day, all this stuff that's happened with
Chrysalis and all that is very illuminating. I found it very difficult
to work out the logic behind an album which had had two Top 20 American
singles, and align that with the fact that we don't have a contract with
them anymore. There are a lot of things about the industry in music and
art which kind of make me angry. It's not bitter; it's a different thing.
It's interesting because I can afford to be kind of philosophical about
it. You know, you can't go and relive those years and grab all those opportunities
that were lost, some of which I completely blew. But, at the end of the
day, I still feel really comfortable with the legacy. I may have compromised
to a small degree, but I'm not unhappy with the actual hard product, you
know; I'm proud of it. This is a nice way to feel, I guess. At the end
of the day I think it wasn't too bad and it wasn't completely dishonest
and I didn't wear what people told me to wear and stuff (laughs)...
Spellbound: It wasn't completely dishonest?
Iva: Not at all. Obviously as I said there have been occasions
where I've been bulldozed, but not too many. This is good, so I can sit
back from the whole thing and not be kind of bitter and twisted. It's
a different kind of thing; it's not bitterness, it's like a kind of regrouping.
When speaking about the new album,
Iva seemed to have donned his "armor" to protect himself from the backlash
of feelings he experienced during and after the Code Blue period. We talked
with him about Code Blue and whether this particular dragon had any fire
left in it.
Are we seeing shades of what happened with Code Blue reverberating here?
Iva: Well, it's possible, but Code Blue was a different thing.
Yes, I'm aware of that kind of trap. The difference is that Nick Launay
produced the album in his particular way. And, to me, it didn't have a
lot of the heart of what was there in the demos, which one of these days
I'll actually release. It was kind of distilled out of it. So that what
we ended up having was a kind of token version of what it could have been.
And that album is not going to lie down yet, but it won't resurface again
in the form in which it was released in Australia. So, I understand what
you're saying. A more "rock" album is going to alienate people. Certainly,
if you take that line and then go about a thousand miles further, probably
that's about where I am now. However, I believe that this is going to
be rawer, and rawer in a different way. I think it will be done without
too much counterproduction and fuss, and I hope that it retains a lot
of its conviction, whereas the Code Blue demos actually had a lot more
heart than the final product. Does any of that make sense?
Spellbound: It makes a lot of sense. We certainly agree that the
B-sides that you released of the demos of "Where The River Meets The Sea"
and "Knockin' Em Down" were much better than what came out on the album.
Iva: Well, there were a lot of improvements in some areas, but
the net result was that it was hard to listen to that album. I never listen
back after a project's finished, except maybe once. But, for some reason,
I actually made a comparison one day and I listened to Man Of Colours,
or part of it anyway, and then I put on Code Blue, and I found it really
difficult to sit there and be assaulted. It was just the way that he produced
the sound in that it actually makes it difficult to listen to. It's interesting
because I've been listening to quite a lot of Seattle bands and stuff
like that and in spite of the fact that it's kind of really rugged music,
it's not abrasive in the same way. So, I don't think it's necessarily
fair to sort of go, "Is it going to be as difficult to listen to as that?"
Hopefully, it will be a lot more organic, and that's really what I'm looking
for. I'm looking for something which isn't so highly produced. It certainly
won't be a polished thing like Man Of Colours. That was a real studio
masterpiece, in a way, really it was. David Lord is a pristine producer;
everything is beautifully done. But on the other hand, Paul never really
got to play the drums the way he can. When he does play like that, it
has such life in it, you know. I'm hoping that the result of this more
clumsy process will actually produce something with a lot of life. It
may be that some of it might be confronting, and some of it might be depressing,
and some of it bleak, and some of it might be hostile. But, I think at
least it will sort of tell you that and perhaps some people will understand
Spellbound: Well, you get a big pat on the back for recognizing
Iva: Oh, absolutely! He's been really key to the current process
of writing, which is very difficult to organise, because as I say we're
writing in an environment where he can't really play real drums, and I've
been having to kind of trick the situation into accommodating his input.
And although he's not an experienced songwriter, he has a great musical
sensibility, so I depend a lot on him at the moment for his ears. Certainly
a lot of what we're doing is based around his performance.
Spellbound: We remember five years ago in San Diego, CA, sitting
in the California Theatre, listening to Paul do his soundcheck, and watching
a few ceiling tiles actually fall down from the force of his drumming
Iva: Really? I wasn't aware of that...
Spellbound: It's very true. This poor little old janitor had to
shuffle from aisle to aisle with the ladder, trying to put them back up!
Iva: Oh, no... I'm not responsible...
Spellbound: You were out of the building at the time. (he laughs
We asked Iva how he sees himself
as a musician, and once again got a very humble response. We're sure his
fans would disagree with him when he uses words like "average" and "decent."
How would you rate yourself as a bassist?
Iva: Oh, pretty average actually, very average; I'm not a bass
player. I'm not a brilliant guitarist either, but I think I always made
a decent rhythm guitarist; I think it's a matter of feel. I think that's
something you can't teach people, and it's quite often something that
a lot of lead guitarists don't have. The way I write, it's usually based
around something feeling good. And Steve is very good, he's always been
very good at copying things. I know a lot of players like that, a lot
of bass players. I guess Guy Pratt was like that as well. But there's
something organic about it especially if it's part of the writing process
to actually produce the feel. I guess a good example is "Love In Motion."
It's not a very complicated song; it's an incredibly basic song, but it
really hinges on its mesmeric quality. A lot of that is a result of the
simplicity and the feel of the bass line and very little happening with
it. So, it's not the sort of thing you can hand over to somebody and say,
well, do that with feel, because people usually will do that mechanically,
you know. It's not the same thing.
Spellbound: It's in the genes...
Iva: Not necessarily (laughs). There certainly are a lot of musicians
that work entirely from feel, and I think it's interesting that bands
like a lot of reggae bands operate entirely on that level. Their bass
players usually are incredibly kind of docile. They don't play too many
notes, you know, they sort of play one note every three minutes, but do
it with such absolute soul, that you feel totally comfortable with that
idea. That's the sort of level that I operate on, I guess, and people
like Steve tend to be far more interested in the technical expertise of
the instrument which has never interested me at all. Otherwise, I would
have actually practiced the guitar, which I have never done.
Spellbound: You just like all the offhand noises it makes.
Iva: Absolutely, yeah.
Spellbound: Can you give us sort of a run down of what other instruments
Iva: Well, the only instrument I ever played proficiently was the
oboe, obviously. Then, as all good oboists are obliged to do, I also played
cor anglais, which is just a bigger version of that, although it's a particular
thing. I don't play piano at all well; in fact, I'm totally hopeless on
the piano although I've been taught a number of times. It's just one of
those things... it's like drums -- I have no affinity with them whatsoever.
It doesn't matter how long I would spend playing scales, I just never
kind of get it together. It's peculiar because I've written mainly from
the keyboards, but that's because it's like a map of music in front of
you and it makes sense. Guitars don't make any sense to look at the strings:
you sort of go up one string and then you have to go back down to the
bottom of the next one and then go up that. On the piano you start at
the bottom, you go to the top -- it's really kind of sensible. So, piano,
not really that well. Aside from that, when I was at school, I played
a large number of brass instruments. Not particularly well. Everything
from double B-flat tuba to tenor horn, and everything in between. If you
know anything about brass bands, you know there's all these instruments
that operate the same way but just sort of come in different sizes, and
I played all of those, right up through euphonium and baritone and all
that sort of thing. So, apart from that, I don't know... I don't really
have any brilliant instrumental skills.
Spellbound: Well, actually, you're leaving one out. As one Celt
(the Celt being Kristin) to another, Mr. Davies, you left out the bagpipes.
Iva: Oh, yes (laughs), that's true, but I haven't played them for
so long. I guess the last time that I seriously played the pipes was when
I was about 12.
Spellbound: What about "Wind And Sail?"
Iva: Well, yeah I did, I hauled them out again, but it was fine
because I could play my own tune, you know (laughs). I started playing
the oboe when I was 13 or 14 and the fingering is so embedded in my brain
that I couldn't really honestly convince myself that I knew exactly where
I was putting my fingers. I kind of achieved the result that I needed.
I couldn't play a reel these days, I'm afraid...
Spellbound: Well, we thought it was pretty fantastic...
Iva: Thank you (laughs).
Spellbound: Obviously you still play your oboe; how often does
Iva: Oh, I haven't played for months, which is just purely the
mechanics of there are not enough hours in the day. When I had the studio
set up upstairs, when I first got it happening, the first thing I put
in place was -- here's my oboe and here are all my bits and pieces and
here's all my music and this is going to be great because I can sit up
here and have a practice, you know. I haven't had one practice up there.
We had to ask this next question.
It was almost expected of us. His answer was pretty much expected, too.
Even though we really needed to focus ourselves on what's coming up, can
we back you up a little bit here and ask you, and again, don't be humble
-- what do you think is your favorite Icehouse album?
Iva: Album? Oh, I don't really know... you know, I don't think
that's a question that can be answered. For starters, I never listen to
them. In the past when anybody said what's the sort of favorite, what's
your favorite song, I would always say and I still believe it, it's the
one I finished yesterday. That's the only reason why one would keep doing
it. I guess if I thought, well, that was it, that was the best thing then,
well then I won't bother trying to do anything else. (laughs)
Spellbound: That's true. Well, we know that probably your favorite
Icehouse video would have to be "Street Café," since you had such a lovely
time doing that one...(he laughs) so I guess we won't ask you that (he
laughs again). Unless, of course, you want to correct us...
Iva: No, I feel it's still obviously a highly regarded video out
of the ones that we've done, and it is a good video. I just can't divorce
the circumstances of the making of it from the final product.
Iva also spoke to us further about
David Chapman, how David was part of the "North Shore Boys" and even owns
a bit of Icehouse history.
David's sort of like a member of another club, the club that includes
Paul Wheeler, which is a whole bunch of North Shore boys. The North Shore
here is an area where in fact I lived in the Flowers days in a big old
house. These guys were all, unbeknownst to me, avid Flowers fans and they
turned up years and years later as friends of Paul Wheeler. There's one
central music shop in this area whereby they all met each other and found
in common that they liked all the same bands; one of them was us in the
very early days. Years later it's strange because Paul Wheeler ended up
being our drummer, and then I keep meeting all his friends that have bought
our old guitars (laughs). So, David Chapman in his own right is actually
very successful as a commercial writer; he makes a living out of jingles,
but he's actually been in quite a few little bands. Strangely enough,
he bought Bob's first guitar that he sold.
Iva then told us that during the
two years he took off, there was an inventory of sorts of Icehouse memorabilia.
We opened this subject by asking about the fate of one of our favorite
Do you still have the jacket you wore in the "Cross The Border" video?
Iva: I do.
Spellbound: You do... you haven't given that one away?
Iva: No, there are certain things that I won't give away. In these
last two years, part of the regrouping has also been a big archival period
as well. I really couldn't do anything much, so I've been trying to retrieve
all the master tapes from all over the world, and that's facilitated some
of the work on the Project [which has since been titled Full Circle].
Because I've been away, such a lot of stuff gets left, and you don't know
where things are, and it's a really dreadful feeling to think that everything's
out of control. I don't know what equipment is in this box, and I know
there's stuff here that doesn't work, and I know there's stuff that I
don't need, and I need to sell it because I haven't got any money. So
I had a big clean-up, and sold a lot of old gear, and part of that was
also going through and cleaning out the wardrobe. What I did is I got
all the stage clothes that I thought were good, and turned up in videos
and were on album covers and things, and I put them in boxes and stashed
them away in a lock-up. And in amongst those are things like that bolero
jacket and the beautiful Man Of Colours jacket that Larry Ponting's ex-girlfriend
Sarah made, with all the embroidery and stuff on it. Yeah, things like
Spellbound: Speaking of cleaning up, do you think that we'll ever
see the Afghan singles re-released?
Iva: Well, I don't even have a copy of those, you know. There are
an awful lot of things that I don't have copies of and that's one of the
reasons I've been so interested in the various disc collections, because
most of the European and a lot of the American releases I've never even
seen. And I certainly don't have copies of them...
Iva also make some interesting
comments during the updating of his biography that we felt were worth
sharing. From beaches to Bacall, curry to cars, it's all there. But how
does one sing the name "Humphrey Bogart" in tune?
Who is your favorite musician?
Iva: The early Talking Heads albums, the ones in which Brian Eno
were involved, were probably the most interesting for me, up until the
point that they started getting a lot of success. Not that this is something
I do in principle -- dismiss people after they get success -- it's just
that it was Brian Eno's involvement that made an interesting combination.
Spellbound: So, you just want to leave it as Brian Eno?
Iva: Well, I have to say I am a fan of two or three Iggy Pop albums
which still remain my templates, I guess. I'm certainly not an overall
fan of a lot of his albums, but The Idiot, Lust For Life, and to a certain
extent Blah, Blah, Blah were great albums. But those first two are really
legendary in my estimation.
Spellbound: You have for favorite bands Talking Heads and Boom
Iva: Well, Boom Crash is still doing what they do and doing it
really well. If I were to list one of the major influences way back in
the beginning that really got me interested in this whole thing of popular
music, it would have to be Pink Floyd. I bought everything that they'd
ever put out. I still think that they stand up very well. I've sort of
cited a few people along the way that have been a current distraction.
I go back and actually look at what got me interested in the first place...
I can remember clearly when I first heard Dark Side Of The Moon, which
was late in the piece. But then I joined the whole thing late in the piece.
Obviously it's a very popular album, but then it wasn't and it only had
just been released and Pink Floyd were a bit obscure. But I remember it
made a very big impression on me.
Spellbound: Yeah, they're still very good, especially with the
addition of Guy Pratt (he laughs). Okay, so it will read Talking Heads,
Boom Crash Opera, and Pink Floyd as your favorite bands; favorite musician,
Brian Eno. For favorite video clip, you have Robert Palmer's "Addicted
Iva: I have? Is this my bio? I don't really have a favorite
video. I can't say I've watched too many videos for a long time. No, blank,
Spellbound: Favorite actor: Humphrey Bogart.
Iva: Yes, I've still got a thing for him. Actually, one of the
new songs is a reference to him.
Spellbound: Really? Does it have a title?
Iva: Yes... but not yet...(everyone laughs)
Spellbound: He's doing it again... anyway, favorite actress: Lauren
Iva: Well, yeah, I have to say that I was sort of deeply in love
with Lauren Bacall in those days, yep. She had a strength that I think
these new women in Hollywood that are regarded as the female rat pack
would be paled next to.
Spellbound: Favorite movie: Don't Look Now?? (everyone laughs)
Iva: Well, yeah, I mean it is a classic. I still love 2001; I think
it's a great movie. I wouldn't put any movie on top of another. There
have been a lot. I remember when that came out, it made a big impression,
as well. I don't know whether that would be a current favorite. These
days if I'm going to watch a movie, I like it to be really entertaining
and not too challenging, and that sort of puts me on the level of Monty
Spellbound: Run away, run away... (everyone laughs)
Iva: Those I really enjoy.
Spellbound: Favorite T.V. show -- well, that's kind of a loss --
you have the news here.
Iva: Well, I don't really watch television; I don't watch anything
regularly. If I were to decide anything now, actually I'm going through
a peculiar phase. I'd have to cite that I've become a complete Star Trek
fanatic. I actually enjoy the new series so I guess because they're still
screening I'd have to say Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Spellbound: Food likes: Japanese, sushi?
Iva: Certainly I was a complete devotee for a long time, but there
are no Japanese restaurants up this way. So, since I've been out of the
city, that's been difficult. We're going through a curry period. Indian
rates most highly at the moment.
Spellbound: Food dislikes: Mexican anything?
Iva: Yeah, still current, I'm afraid.
Spellbound: Here in Southern California, that's blasphemy!
Iva: I can believe it!
Spellbound: Pet likes: beaches?
Iva: Yeah, still current.
Spellbound: Pet dislikes: dogs on beaches?
Iva: Dogs on beaches? I guess that's changed a whole lot!
Spellbound: Although it might make a great song title.
Iva: (Laughs) Yeah, possibly. Well, you write the lyrics and I'll
think about it! (everyone laughs) Pet dislikes... one of my primary dislikes
Spellbound: Cars? Why would that be?
Iva: I don't know. I just don't like motor vehicles.
Spellbound: Hobbies and interests: windsurfing? I suppose we can
add surfing to that.
Iva: Surfing has eclipsed that for the time being.
Spellbound: Ambitions: you had Australian Wavesailing title?
Iva: Really? I guess it might be more conservative. I'll never
be a Malibu Legend, but I'd like to be able to surf a bit better.
To conclude the interview, we
left the floor open for Iva to speak directly to the fans.
I really appreciate everybody's efforts, that's one thing that constantly
amazes me. I mean, we haven't done anything for ages and stuff. However,
it is all turning over again...
Spellbound: Do you have any message you'd like to send to the fans?
Iva: Well, let me see. I'm looking forward to seeing the fanzine.
Hopefully, there will be a lot of stuff this year to come out, some of
which will be, well, it'll be interesting. And you know, I hope that it's
not too shocking. But, I'll be interested to hear what everybody makes
of it. Certainly, what we're working on at the moment, I'm kind of excited
by. And, it's a new phase. I'd be interested to hear, once it does come
out, how everybody responds.
Well, that's it, folks. Ride's
over. But, keep a hold of your ticket stub. This particular attraction
may come around again, or so we've been promised... We'd like to thank
Louise Stovin-Bradford for setting this interview up and for putting Iva
in a good mood with a huge chocolate lamington! We also send our thanks
out to Iva himself for giving us a fantastic interview. We want everyone
to know that we had arranged for an hour of Iva's time, and he very graciously
gave us two! Iva proved to be informative, patient, and quite funny. We
had a great time talking to him, and for that, Mr. Davies, you are responsible!
© 1993 Spellbound
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