Holed up across the Front Range, the members of alternative-pop band Ivory Circle have been using the time off from live gigs during the COVID-19 shutdown to revisit and rework older material.
In the mix is the group's song "We Will Run," which was re-released earlier this month. It's an inspirational anthem of survival and liberation. Rich in metaphor, the song is about fleeing a violent relationship. But today the song has taken on new meaning and could just as easily be about escaping a fire, taking on climate change or confronting a system of violence.
The band — founded by singer-songwriter Connie Hong and multi-instrumentalist and producer Chris Beeble, who were later joined by drummer Rob Spradling — has found some success over the years, and along the way has perfected its craft.
Westword caught up with Beeble to discuss the remix, life under COVID-19, and how a summer marked by a pandemic and mass uprisings has changed "We Will Run."
Westword: How are you holding up through the shutdown?
All things considered, I think we’re all hanging in there all right. A lot has happened for everyone personally in the midst of it all: My wife and I have a baby on the way, Connie is embarking on a new career path, and Rob just bought a new house with his fiancée. I think it’s been mentally and emotionally taxing for all of us. Well, I can at least speak for myself, but this release was something we all were looking forward to and excited about.
Are you playing live yet?
We aren’t currently playing live. We all live about an hour away from each other, so getting together in a non-pandemic scenario was already difficult, so we’ve decided to just work on projects remotely for the time being.
Between fires, pandemics and state violence, there's plenty to run from and fight for right now. Talk about how revisiting "We Will Run" fits into this current moment. How has the meaning of the song changed since you originally released it?
I think this song hits home especially hard with everything that is going on. It’s always broadly empowered me to face my own personal challenges. I always imagined the character of the song fleeing from a villainous figure or force and having the courage to stand up and fight with everything they’ve got, with the last chorus leaving me feeling hopeful that they were victorious, yet mournful of the cost of the fight.
My hope is that people can hear this song and feel empowered with whatever it is they are fighting for. My heart especially feels for the Black Lives Matter movement and those fighting the police brutality against our brothers and sisters in the Black community, and I hope they can find some inspiration in this song and feel empowered to keep fighting for their lives.
In order for us as a community at large to move past this and “fly,” we really must “open our eyes” and stand up against these injustices staring us in the face.
Talk about producing this version of the song. What's different? What were the obstacles...particularly because it's so tough for people to come together?
We always loved this song, but it had been seven years since we created the original version, and we were just antsy to revisit it, as we’ve all honed our craft a bit more in the last seven years and wanted to heighten the production and experience of the song.
We used the original vocal performance and a few other elements here and there, but reworked everything else to try and create a bit darker and more cinematic arrangement, and are all very happy with how it turned out.
What else are you working on right now?
We’ve played around with the idea of doing another remix of one of our older songs, “Beat the Drum,” but we will have to wait a little bit to see how COVID life plays out in the next couple of months.
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