Seattle folk-rock band returns to Kentucky

By Taylor Hubbard

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Folk-rock band Ivan & Alyosha journeyed from Seattle to the local hangout Cosmic Charlie’s on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

A book titled “The Brothers Karamazov,” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, inspired the name of the group. Pete Wilson, Ivan & Alyosha’s bassist and vocalist, said the producer of their first EP, Eli Thompson, was a fan of the brothers in the book.

Wilson said Thompson thought the brothers in the book had a bunch of interesting conversations.

“One is an atheist, one is a monk. They deal with death, and life, and faith, and doubt, and family and all that stuff,” Wilson said. “(It) basically (deals with things) we believe every band’s writing about anyway.”

Although the band started as a two-man group, they now travel with more members. The band consists of one acoustic guitar, two electric guitars, an electric bass and drums. The drums are the most recent addition.

Instead of having one person write the songs, there are three songwriters in Ivan & Alyosha. Wilson said the band’s musical influences include the Killers, Delta Spirit, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, but the main inspiration is the process of writing any given song.

“For us, the song always wins,” Wilson said. “So it’s whoever is writing the great songs out there — no matter the genre.”

Wilson said the band tries to recreate their studio sound while they are playing live. He said the band has gained a lot of experience in the studio because of guitarist Ryan Carbary’s role in producing their music.

“We always call ourselves kind of indie by default, but that’s because we didn’t know how to grasp that energy that we have live on record.” Wilson said.

While Wilson said the band’s members share similar interests and a common goal, they are different enough to be musically dynamic.

“The road is hard, but this has been a really fun run for us,” Wilson said. “You get reminded about why you’re doing it.”

Ivan & Alyosha has been touring on and off for about four years. The Seattle natives played in Louisville a couple years ago, but this was their first show in Lexington.

Wilson said the band is optimistic about the tour so far and looks forward to visiting Lexington again.

After all, Wilson said, nobody could resist Kentucky’s “bourbon and people.”