Pin It

Grand Inquisitors 

Seattle’s Ivan and Alyosha are down with Dostoyevsky.

click to enlarge art16099.jpg

"I stopped trying to be cool a long time ago," says Tim Wilson. "I think the biggest enemy for many young bands can be self-consciousness. You have to be free of all that to truly be a part of what you're doing — to perform and to write what you feel, otherwise you're trying too hard. It's posing, and people see right through that.”

Wilson is the frontman for Ivan and Alyosha, a burgeoning folk-pop outfit from Seattle with a Dostoyevsky-inspired name and earnest, philosophical lyrics to match.

The band started out in 2007 as a duo of Wilson and guitarist Ryan Carbary. And in 2009, they released their first EP, The Verse, the Chorus — which spawned the hummable sleeper hit “Easy to Love” and gained enthusiastic praise from NPR.

“In 2010 we added some band members, built a studio, toured a decent amount, signed on with our manager, went to SXSW, I had a kid,” Wilson says. “It was a little crazy.

“I feel like we’re building up some steam now as a band, and we plan to release projects more frequently, starting with our first fulllength this summer.”

The first taste of that album will arrive shortly in the form of Fathers Be Kind, a five-song EP that showcases some of the best new songs in their repertoire. It hearkens back to ’60s and ’70s Americana — a sound that calls to mind faded color photographs and Super 8 home movies. The lyrics are straightforward, usually taken directly from Wilson’s own life lessons.

“The way I write has always been a bit more specific than poetic,” he says. “I’ve never really gravitated towards artists who write in an ambiguous way.”


It was Wilson’s own entry into fatherhood that inspired some of the subjects of the new songs and in turn the title of the EP. Cynics be damned, he’s particularly fond of one verse from “Living for Someone” that runs: “Now I just quit my job/ and sold my fine possessions/ Expecting our first child/ amid the great recession.”

“Cheesy?” he asks, rhetorically. “To some, maybe. Heartfelt? Absolutely. Especially with all that’s going on in the world, this is a song about living beyond one’s circumstance, and I’m happy with some of the themes I was able to articulate.”

Perhaps more surprisingly, people often get the band’s literary nod to The Brothers Karamazov.

“Nine times out of 10, people are familiar with the book. Or at least Dostoyevsky,” Wilson says. “We usually get asked, ‘Which one’s Ivan and which one’s Alyosha?’ [But] the influence of the book on the band is a bit more broad and thematic than it is specific to each band member.”

Ivan and Alyosha play with Champion Birdwatcher and Goodnight Venus • Fri, Jan. 21, at 9 pm • Aclub • $5 • 21 • 624-3629


  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Meet 
the Sun
  • Meet the Sun

    Karrie O'Neill is finally ready to take her music full time, complete with a brand-new album and upcoming tour
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Party like it's 1975
  • Party like it's 1975

    The latest British pop sensation invades Spokane
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Act Naturally
  • Act Naturally

    After a brain tumor, one local man's recovery was aided by listening to classic rock. This weekend, he gets to meet Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein @ Bing Crosby Theater

Mon., Oct. 24, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by E.J. Iannelli

  • Across the Decades
  • Across the Decades

    A Piece of My Heart explores the experiences of six women during the Vietnam War
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • THEATER | Chicago
  • THEATER | Chicago

    A sultry, mesmerizing romp at The Modern Theater Spokane
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Finding Solid Footing
  • Finding Solid Footing

    Local radio personality Molly Allen has written a new play about ending and mending relationships
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Kids Aren't Alright

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children can't quite strike the balance between whimsy and darkness
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

indigo girls

spokane symphony

Readers also liked…

  • Fire From the Depths
  • Fire From the Depths

    It took Soblivios two years to finish an album; now they're ready to ravage the world with it
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • Pay to Play
  • Pay to Play

    The power struggle between three music-licensing agencies, local venues and musicians trying to get paid
    • Apr 8, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation