Von Iva kicks off 2009 on big screen
By Dan Mayfield
Journal Staff Writer
It will be hard to repeat 2008.
It was the year that the band Von Iva made it big. It released its latest CD, an underground indie-chart topper, licensed three songs for commercials and appeared in the No. 1 movie "Yes Man," as the backup band to one of the main characters.
"It's been pretty exciting," drummer Kelly Harris said.
The three women from San Francisco are becoming known just as quickly for their sultry looks and hard-driving stage shows as they are for their pop, synth, disco rock songs.
Though the music has taken off, Harris said her family is more excited about seeing the band in "Yes Man," alongside Jim Carrey with Zooey Deschanel.
"The premiere was right before the holidays and I got to see it four more times with my family in
Indiana," she said. "Everybody wants to come to it with me. We thought for sure you would get a glimpse of our arms, but it was good. The band segment was not hard."
The band is featured for a few seconds in the movie, though Deschanel sings something more in tune with the movie than Von Iva.
Still, the band is in a good position to leverage itself in 2009.
"It's been great to be able to make a living off the band," Harris said. "We don't know what the next step would be, but we hope to tour with some big band."
Sure, all-girl rock bands are a rarity. There are the Runaways, The Eyeliners and a few others. But most rely on some slinky vixen to sing (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or No Doubt) while dudes back them up. Von Iva is of a newer generation where gender doesn't seem to matter in rock
But it still does in some ways. For the rock band guys, groupies still play a major factor.
"A lot of guys are scared to approach our singer Jillian. They think she's going to emasculate
them or something because she exudes all this confidence on stage," Harris said. "She's isn't like that at all."
"I think a lot of guys are afraid to approach women in rock 'n' roll. A lot of these women seem
unapproachable," she said.
So, to prove the point, the band went on Playboy Radio and tried to help guys get over their fear of hitting on rock girls.
"The hostess was putting these scenarios together, and guys would say 'OK. This is how I would
approach her,' " Harris said.
The saddest part was that most had no clue.