Keeping It Honest with Shane Crump of The Ivory
Those who best know Shane Crump as the bassist of the super heavy Alesana may be infinitely surprised by what his solo project The Ivory has to offer. Melodic, emotional driven rock is what’s in store for the listener, with Shane Crump’s clean vocals and the sweeping auditory soundscapes taking one into a world of a broken relationship. Gloom the title of The Ivory’s debut EP, five songs in all destined to leave a lasting impression on all who venture out to give a listen. In between activities with Alesana and The Ivory, we caught up with Shane Crump to find out more about his brand new solo project and the resulting Gloom that ensued. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Ivory, and how long the project has been in existence.
My name is Shane Crump, I write everything for The Ivory. I will be singing and playing guitar during the live shows. I thought of the project about two years ago.
What was the name of your very first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was the song about?
I can’t recall one particular song I would call my first, but the first band I was in went by the name of ‘Falter’. We were the hard rock high school garage band, I feel like every public high school had one. We actually ended up winning the battle of the bands at our high school and won free studio time. I’m sure I could find old members that still have the burnt CD-ROM discs of the recordings.
How does The Ivory differ musically from your work in Alesana, for those who have not heard your new project yet?
The Ivory is a soulful melody driven piano pop band, while Alesana is much heavier and brings on the progressive rock vibes. The Ivory has allowed me to branch away from the heavier side of things, and shows my musical talents as an individual. I eventually created some songs with this project that hit home and rolled with that feeling for the EP.
Is there any story or concept behind the EP title Gloom?
Most of these songs are based around the feelings of losing someone you’ve loved, trying to get over a breakup, or wanting to mend a broken relationship. Those are some of the basic outlines of the songs lyrically. I went through a breakup during the time of writing this EP and honestly that helped inspire these songs. The word ‘Gloom’ describes the sort of melancholy state I was stuck in during the grieving period. Don’t worry, I’m totally better now, haha!
Select two songs from Gloom and what inspired the lyrics.
Be Young, Be Free (the opening track) is about the push and pull you go through in a unstable relationship. When I listen back to the song now I’m like “wow, I was utterly confused about this girl”. Like, I love this girl, but I’m over her, but I still want to be with her, but I should give up. It’s that are we together or are we not scenario.
I Miss You (Track 4) is about wanting to pick up the broken pieces and ignite that spark you once had with that person. Remembering all good times and wanting nothing more than to relive those times and mend the heartache. Everyone misses someone at some point, so I think this is one of the most relatable songs on the record.
Who did the cover art for Gloom and how much input did you have on it?
The talented Justin Reich created the cover art. I spoke with him about the ideas I had in mind and he brought them to life. The shadowy figure standing in the water at a distance represents isolation or aloneness. Like being stuck on an island all by your lonesome. The movie ‘Castaway’ may be a good example of that, haha. The guy and the girl with intertwined hands represents companionship and harmony between two lovers. The way I look at it is the shadowy figure named ‘Gloom’ is looking back on what he once had (him standing on the shore with the girl). It’s a beautiful cover with a twist, haha.
Has The Ivory ever played live or plan to do so in future days?
The Ivory has not yet performed in front of a live audience. I am currently practicing everyday and have a team of talented musicians ready to perform these songs with me in the near future. I’m currently in the works of getting us on the road.
If The Ivory could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I would totally open for The Fray. I just saw them play live and they are such great performers. They have honest lyrics and that’s something you don’t hear much these days. I never really started singing until this project and I’m definitely compared to Issac Slade a lot. Plus, we both have a “The” in our band name. Maybe I can be the younger version, haha. 😉
If The Ivory was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
A glazed donut, cause HOT glazed donuts are always tasty!
How do you think the new Alesana recording Confessions compares to the previous albums?
Confessions wasn’t over thought. We usually don’t go with the first thing we come up with but, in a lot of cases on this record we did. The idea was to “go with the flow”. I think musicians are always searching for the next best thing they can write, so if you ever ask an artist which album is their favorite.. I’m about 95% sure they will always say their most recent.
When you look back on your work with Your Name In Vain, what do you think of it now?
I was such a little teeny-weeny emo kid back in those days. I had just started playing bass then, and only because they needed a bass player. My first love for any instrument was the guitar, so I was always progressing my writing skills on guitar. I wrote a lot of fun songs with that band and it’s still awesome to go back and listen to some of that. My taste for music has definitely changed a lot since those days. I think artist tend to change with the time of the music, I mean you don’t really have much of a choice if you want to make something that’s going to stick.
What’s up next for The Ivory?
Tour. Write. Tour. Write. Record. Tour.
Any final words of wisdom?
If you write… keep it honest.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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