Shedding the skin of a cover band and showing their true colours, Sivle (Elvis spelled backward) from Brantford, Ontario is coming into their own while pushing the limits of indie rock.
The vocal powerhouse Joan Minnery has the cadence and range of a Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine while keeping a style all her own. Her voice sounds like it was birthed on a Broadway stage there is such a theatrical beauty to it, yet there is an unmistakable rock element that adds the knife sharp edge to the arrangement.
The strange beauty in this band comes from the versatility of each member making their true direction hard to pin point, which is one of the most exciting aspects to this group.
I can hear the ticking of the time bomb that is about to blast Sivle over the radio waves and anyone in the blast radius will have an earful of inspirational rock.
Sivle is an indie/soft rock band with a rock n roll element that is shown when they blow the doors off classic rock songs like “Rocky Mountain Way” or perform hard hitting originals like “Throw Down Those Stones,” a song about the rising violence in their own city and abroad making it the best introduction to what this band is. The song combats the worlds negativity with a message of love and unity, bringing with it a rhythm that sounds like it was conjured up by the spirits in the dark depths of a far off jungle.
The song starts with Bill Minnery making Van Halen eat their heart out as he shows exactly what he’s capable of on guitar while drummer Dan Taylor enters like a wave that gradually climbs to the size of a tower, swelling over and crashing on the entire beach full of spectators.
Lyrics like “Love is immaculate, it rises it falls, it lives, life is life only, a moment a treasure, a gift,” shows off not just the lyrical prowess of the group but the overall message they are trying to put out which is that love is the answer.
This band is a spider that dips each of its legs into a sound and then spins them all together in a unique and gripping web that you don’t want to escape from.
You can hear the old style rock n roll influence in songs like “Dancing with Tom Petty,” and “What would Walter do?” a song about hockey’s greatest dad, Walter Gretzky, yet the whole time the indie sound and inspirational lyrics are present causing a real relevance to their work.
I had the opportunity to ask singer Joan Minnery some questions about Sivle and their direction.
You started as a cover band and are now spreading your wings making your own music. When will the first album be released?
We started out as a cover band, this was supposed to be how it was to go but we received an opportunity to play WTFest 2019 and it had to be all original music or we couldn't get the gig. We won the spot out of 450 bands but they wanted originals and we had none.
Enter my brother Bob who had just written a song for Walter Gretzky and then we all got together and wrote “Whatever It Takes.”
We were hoping for a full album this June, and that was the plan but with what's happening (Covid 19) we're on hiatus as we can't get together. We're now looking at more Christmas 2020, which will be nice, because we'll put our Christmas songs on that album too.
When did music enter your families life?
I personally began singing when I was a young gal but as a band, we got together in September 2017. It was for a huge event I was producing based upon my book “Walking My Way Back To Me.” We were culminating the story in musical form. From there, the young lads asked to keep the band going. Bill has been playing since he was 12, Dan has played his entire life as has Bob.
If you couldn’t use the words love, peace, or inspirational how would you define your music in one word?
Victorious. Positive Reinforcement. Motivational.
Your band has an original sound that filters out your influences, your covers even have your own flair to them, how do you achieve this?
That's kinda my doing. I am very musical theatre and over the top and it's more colourful to sing a song Vaudeville than just straight forward. I've got chops and I use them. The vast age gap and the obvious Van Halen/Metallica backup influence meets the Broadway Country Elvis loving front person --- fuses together to create something recognizable yet totally ours. We add our own flair as we allow each of us to excel and contribute. We foster the individuality of one another and complement each other.
What is your favourite song from your set list?
My personal favourite from our Covers is “Creep” and I am sure the band all agree on that. As for the Originals, as much as we love “Throw Down Those Stones” we're all still akin and in love with “Whatever It Takes.”
Do you plan on eliminating covers from your set list and perform only originals or will there always be a blast to the past element with a Sivle show?
We're always going to do a Blast from the Past, that's our forte, our niche, our identity and let's face it, they don't sound like anyone else's. But we'd be totally down to do a full original set.
Your band name is Elvis spelled backward, is he your biggest influence?
Elvis, Elvis,Elvis....3 floors of memorabilia in the house. We ran the second largest Elvis Festival in Canada and we toured in several Elvis tribute bands....Yes he's the biggest influence for me. Bob is Bob Dylan, Bill is Van Halen, Dan is Fleetwood Mac.
How important is Canada to your music?
Canada is home, it’s everything. It is the essence of our nucleus. The pride of the Maple Leaf. There is no Sivle without Canada.
What is next for Sivle?
More originals, getting our album out, hopefully getting some songs put to actual videos and we'd love to write an all original musical based upon our songs.
Joan Minnery – vocals
Bill Minnery – lead guitar
Bob Minnery – Rhythm guitar
Dan Taylor – Drums
Original songs written by Joan, Bill, bob and Anne Minnery.