Alice Ivy waxes about her love of playing live on her latest single tour.

Melbourne’s Alice Ivy (Annika Schmarsel) has been gaining significant momentum with the release of her latest single ‘Touch’. Having just finished up her first interstate tour, we had a chat to Schmarsel about how it all went, along with what she enjoys most about making and performing music. 

You've just finished up your first interstate tour! I caught the Melbourne show and was in awe of the musicianship you displayed! How do you feel on the other side?

I have just finished up the tour this weekend in Tassie! Crazy, so overwhelmed with how the tour went in particular the Melbourne show. I met some pretty awesome people along the way, looking forward to doing it all again sometime soon!

Do you find playing home shows in Melbourne easier or harder than interstate?

I feel like it’s harder playing a show interstate as you just need to deliver well in order to gain the audience’s respect and attention. Sometimes it’s a nice feeling walking into a gig and knowing no one in the room though, it’s good practice because you can really scope how the crowd is feeling afterwards and reacts to your set.

Do you have more fun recording or playing music live? What do you enjoy about both?

I definitely have more fun playing live than recording. I love recording because I feel like I have so much freedom to do anything, and it doesn’t cost a whole heap to record as I do most of it myself. I love performing because it’s just fun, I really enjoy playing with my guitarist (Luy) on stage because we both just feed energy off one another. Combining this with an energetic audience is the perfect gig!

Your single Touch has been getting some rave reviews. Could you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the song?

I really wanted to write a song that creates a dreamy like landscape. Artists such as Bonobo and the Avalanches are really inspiring to me because they use a lot of field recordings, that just layer a song. I aimed the track to have that underlying Alice in Wonderland theme, ‘Down the rabbit hole’, and to just take you on the journey. On the subject of Touch, the music video is incredible!

Did you put in it the hands of the trusted animators James Thompson and Bill Presser or have some input in it's creation?

We collaborated a little bit on this one, I had the idea of a garden gnome that went on a journey, but I need to give the majority of the credit to these guys. We would bounce ideas off each other and they would send through drafts for me to review. I was continuously blown away by their work.

Who have been some local acts you've been digging lately? Do you often draw upon those bands when picking your supports?

Local acts I have really been spinning at the moment are Lanks, Ainslie Wills, Hiatus Kaiyote and Milwaukee Banks. These guys are all killing it at the moment! I look at the guys these guys are playing with and draw ideas from that.

How do you go about juggling your commitments with Alice Ivy and Leisure Suite?

I sort of go month by month, or if things overlap I just somehow make it work. Lucky it hasn’t been too difficult yet.

Lastly, what's in the name Alice Ivy?

I wish I could tell you a really epic background story on this but I don’t have one! I wanted to use a name that’s not my own, and this one kind of stuck!

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