(Mental Health Breakthroughs): CLIFF and IVY

Contributor’s Note:  Alaska’s premiere dark punk/death rock duo, CLIFF AND IVY have recently unleashed their new four song EP, Bring Us The Night.  Available on limited edition 7″ vinyl and digital formats.

CLIFF AND IVY‘s music is influenced by magic. Their psychedelic style lyrics are derived from synesthesia.  The mission of Bring Us The Night is to make fast dark punk songs with weird supernatural themes. “To hit ’em hard and leave ’em wanting more. Calling all to embrace the dark; to rise, slay, and rise again.”

For fans of goth, death rock and dark punk

In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, the Alaskan dark punk/death rock duo Cliff and Ivy discuss mental health, the music from “Bring Us The Night” and their influences.  Fans can find Cliff and Ivy on Facebook, and Instagram

Madness To Creation:  What gets you through the difficult times?

Cliff and Ivy:  Music and art gets us through all difficult times. Being able to create music and art and offer it for others to appreciate has been our passion. Passion for music has helped direct our lives. It has helped us deal with grief and all challenging times. It is an outlet for energy and emotions. Music has brought us focus and brought positive people into our lives. Our family history is based on music and performance. Our ancestors played West Virginia Melungeon bluegrass, marching band music, 50s rock and roll, vaudeville, did street performance and more. 

Madness To Creation:  What got you into music?

Cliff and Ivy:  Hearing early rock and roll music on the radio in early childhood, really inspiring us with joyful energy.    

Madness To Creation:  Tell us about your current project, what were some challenging and rewarding aspects? 

Cliff and Ivy:  We have a new EP out called Bring Us the Night. It’s a dark punk/western influenced ep. It’s self released and produced by CliffMonk. It came together pretty fast, and has been fun and rewarding. The songs are short. This was all recorded in our home studio and released on our own label House of Extreme Darkness. Due to the pandemic, we had to learn how to release it entirely on our own as opposed to relying on other people to produce/release it. The only challenge really has been finding time to work on it among other life obligations. We are working on a new album too. The single from it was released on the Texas label Saustex Records comp called Only the Strange Survive. 

CliffMonk: Killing Joke “Revelations”: it’s all about the mysticism, the vision, the dark journey, and the power of your self-will.  

Ivy Silence: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Juju – it’s all about the magic, supernatural spirits, and Halloween!  

Madness To Creation:  What has been the biggest blessing and curse about going through the pandemic?  How has it affected you mentally?

Cliff and Ivy:  Added isolation has been hard. We live in Alaska so it has added to that. However, being used to being isolated has given us skills to get through a prolonged one. It has helped us strengthen our independence skills and self reliance. 

Madness To Creation:  Are there any songs of yours, published or unpublished that perhaps mentally served as a vehicle of therapy?  Are there perhaps any that dealt with a subject too painful, that you didn’t want to release them?

Cliff and Ivy:  The majority of our work is therapeutic. We do feel that sometimes we don’t want to release it but that is what we know is our best work. Our music is always part of our mental state. It changes often, we have many tools in our box and colors on our palette. Maybe one song to think about for this is “Velocity Drift” from our second most recent ep, called Deathmask Devotion. Velocity Drift was recorded within hours after Ivy’s mother’s death. Ivy was with her when she died. This song is like an emotional whirlwind and deals with complexities, pain and loss.   

 

Madness To Creation:  What do you hope for in 2021?

Cliff and Ivy:  Performing live – we have some late 2021 tour dates scheduled in Portland and California, in 2022 we will play in Texas and New Jersey (at a big festival), so we hope these withstand any COVID-19 flare ups in the world. 

Madness To Creation:  What’s next?

Cliff and Ivy:  We are working on a new album, with surprise guest collaborators. If you like our most current EP you will like this one! We hope to add to our video portfolio with some animations and short horror films with original music. We have a hardcore punk project as yet TBA. We have a back catalogue that goes all the way back to the 80s some of which which has not been released. We will be working on releasing selections on our label House of Extreme Darkness. We’ve done some soundtrack work for horror films. We’d like to do more music for films.    

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