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Von Iva having soundtrack success
By Scott Iwasaki
Deseret News
Published: October 24, 2008


The movies and TV have been good for keyboard-punk trio Von Iva.
The group — singer Jillian Iva, drummer Bex (aka Rebecca Kupersmith) and drummer Lay Lay (aka Kelly Harris) — will appear as a band fronted by actress Zooey Deschanel in the upcoming Jim Carrey film "Yes, Man." The trio also wrote and performs the song from the Logo channel's "Curl Girls," and its song "Birds of Prey" is in the Jerry O'Connell/Heather Graham film "Baby on Board."

So, it's fitting the band's new extended play CD, which will be released Tuesday, is called "Girls on Film."

"We laughed about that," said Harris during a phone call from Tucson, Ariz. "We didn't really think too much of the movie connection, because when we named the EP, we were thinking of Duran Duran's song 'Girls on Film,' because the songs we recorded for it have that same kind of '80s feel."

Von Iva's sound emerged throughout the band's four-year career.

"We all came from different styles," said Harris. "My grandfather was a jazz drummer and taught music. But my first instrument I played was the bass. I only switched to drums after joining Von Iva.

"Anyway, our style came from the three of us having a vision of what the band should be," she said. "When I started playing drums in Von Iva, I had a nice background in funk from a previous band.

"When we got together, we decided to make music that felt good when we played it," said Harris. "We were playing in the moment for ourselves. We would play music derived from what the three of us could provide. We had no rules or ideas other than that."

The group's first full-length CD, "Our Own Island," released last year on Ruby Tower Records, has a throwback feel, Harris said. "One of the reasons why was the fact that, not only did that sound come about through the writing, but we actually recorded the songs on an old reel-to-reel.

"We shunned the modern technology of Pro-Tools and recorded our stuff live."

That process had its own challenges, said Harris.

"We had to be able to be 'on' all the time," she said. "We couldn't just record some music and then go in and fix it up with computers. We needed to be able to play live and at the drop of a hat.

"That process helped us as musicians. We really honed in on our craft."

Harris said working with Deschanel for "Yes, Man" also gave the band an artistic boost.

"It was so great writing, playing and recording songs with someone like Zooey, who is so talented and a great musician to boot," said Harris. "We were able to get a little goofy, too, with some costumes for the movie. But we kind of took that experience to heart, and it helped us more to realize what this band is capable of doing."