The Ivories are a four-piece from Leeds embarking on their first UK tour to support their debut single 'Reduce The Temperature.' Given that the NME and Radio 6 have spotlighted the act, Room Thirteen decided to give the band the opportunity to speak for themselves. Lead singer Helena Gee, drummer Anna Prior, guitarist Emma Rowe and bassist Cathy Russell took time pre-set to give us their opinions.

R13:So, as we have been hearing for a while, is everything brilliant in Leeds?
HG:Haha, it's alright. There are a few bands coming out and there is a lot of hype but we all get on.

R13:Helena, any good clubs in Leeds you would want to plug to our readers?
HG:Well, obviously my own. 'Release The Bats', it's on every second Tuesday of the month and I set it up with my friend from Black Wire because we have strange taste in music and nowhere else plays it. Basically we try and play as much Nick Cave as we can in one night and it goes down all right.

R13:You are a week into the tour, how is it going?
HG: It's been wicked.
ER: Yeah, it has been really good.
HG:It's strange like how we can go from having a really horrible gig to a really amazing gig but someone said to me you'll never know what a great gig is like until you've had a shit one.

R13:Do the crowds know the songs and are you getting a good reaction?
HG:I think a lot of people are coming to see us as they have heard about us or read about us. They might have gone out and bought the single but the reaction, especially from guys, is that they seem to absorb it but in a trance like way.
ER:They always seem to warm up as the set continues.

R13: Whose decision was it to have 'Reduce The Temperature' as the lead track?
HG:Basically we had the three that we recorded and we were going to release two of them but we kept and released the three on the single. 'Reduce The Temperature' was the one that we enjoyed making the most and were the most enthusiastic about.
ER:It sounded like the sound that we really wanted to make.

R13:Do you think the three songs are a good representation of the act?
HG:It's a bit like that, a bit of introduction and a bit of representation. The B-sides are quite old tracks that we knew people liked already. I reckon it represents us well. Everyone says different things, if we look on our message board there are different support for the songs.
ER:We wanted it to sound like what we do live and thankfully it turned out the way it turned out.

R13:Are you working on the album yet?
HG:We're writing all the time. Even on tour we have the acoustic guitar with us but we want to release a few more singles at least.
ER:I think we're looking to put another single out in February.

R13:What are your hopes for the record?
HG:It's hard to say as no matter what we write the song like as soon as we get into the studio, the song gets transformed and I think that's the best way to do it.
ER:It's always good to see how it ends up after all the studio process.

R13:Were there any key factors in signing for your record label, 48 Crash?
ER:We just wanted someone we could work with. Things like our artwork are our ideas and theres no pressure.
HG:It's just a really great type of atmosphere to record in.

R13: Who are the main musical influences on the group?
HG:I think the stuff that comes across the most would be acts like Echo and The Bunnymen, Nick Cave, a bit of Siouxsie and the banshees. The darker corners of pop.

R13: Do you feel as though you are 'ambassadors' for girls in rock or would you rather just be judged on your music?
ER:I think we have consciously tried to avoid that. I think it does more good to stand up on our own. It is a fact though.
CR:And it has got some us talk and publicity but it's not something we have courted.
AP: We don't have that girl band mentality and we don't go about saying that but it's just who we are and what we are, so who knows.
R13: So we won't be hearing you shouting girl power and all be wearing Union Jack dresses in two years time?
ER: Never say never. (Amidst much laughter from the entire band.)

R13: Similarly, how do you feel about being labelled with a lot of other Leeds and Yorkshire bands in an attempt to create a scene?
HG:It's good that we are getting exposure so it's not all bad but again, it's just a fact, we still want to tour the country.
ER:Show it's not all hype.

R13: Anna, you regularly posts on the band's forum - and given the Arctic Monkey's recent number one single - how much importance would you place on the Internet for a new band?
AP:Incredible importance, especially with the My Space stuff at the moment. It's just a way for people to listen to new bands. I mean, I don't know what I would have done without the Internet. 5 years ago, I couldn't have been in a band as it's just come on so much as there was none of this and such a good way to find new music.

R13: What would be your favourite sweet?
AP:Fruit gums, always, that's it.
HG:I'll go with flying saucers. (A pause as this question gets serious consideration.)
HG: C'mon Cathy, we can be here for five hours as she keeps thinking of other ones. What would be a Newcastle tradition for sweets?
AP: Whitley Bay Rock?
CR:Yeah, say that, Whitley Bay Rock.

R13: As the fireworks have been bombing the skies all night - what names would you have to have for a range of fireworks?
HG:What a random question!
The band's manager chipped in with White Heat, to go with the name The Ivories.

R13: Top 5 fashion tips for a Saturday night?
HG:Braces, braces, braces, braces and braces. That's it, that's what people need.

They may not be the saviours of girl rock or Leeds but The Ivories showed they have a clear vision of what sound they want and a strong knowledge of local confectionary. More importantly, their set later in the evening indicated they know how to put on a show as well. Ivory may not be the new black for 2006 but The Ivories are bound to be a vital addition to the UK music scene.