Von Iva

Von Iva


"Von Iva is a fierce force to be reckoned with on the independent music landscape." -Performer Magazine


Jillian Iva, Bex, and Kelly Harris, better known as the San Francisco-based trio Von Iva, has had many musical tags thrust upon them. Electro pop punk. Soul rock dance. Synth rawk. Fashion-forward dance punk queens. Alt-pop. Gay icons. Dirty disco. The new purveyors of soul. A bombastic live band. Punk soul. A booty-shaking mix of soul, disco, and dirty raw rock and roll. Genre-crossing. Skuzzy and sultry. A saucy little affair.

And, you know what? All of those descriptions ring true for these fearless femmes. It is Von Iva's special mix of musical madness that has landed the group, which formed in 2004, such opportunities as these: Playing the band that Zooey Deschanel fronts in her new film with Jim Carrey, Yes Man , out December 2008; writing the theme song for Curl Girls on the Logo television channel aimed at the gay and lesbian market; and getting their song, "Birds of Prey," in the 2008 Jerry O'Connell/Heather Graham movie Baby on Board, "Same Sad Song" in Showtime's The L Word in 2006, the video for "Not Hot to Trot" in select Dell computers in 2006, and "LALA" in heavy rotation at Forever 21 stores nationwide. And, of course, earning coveted opening slots for such a diverse group of lineups as the Go-Go's, Lady Sovereign, the Walkmen, the Gossip, !!!, the Raveonettes, Imperia l Teen, Girl in a Coma, Noisepop, The Warped Tour and more.

"Every time someone asks, 'What do you sound like?' I still trip up," admits lead singer Jillian, whose great grandmother (Iva) - a snake charmer in a carnival - inspired the band's name. "But, that's a good thing. Being able to cross all genres by playing with everyone from the Go-Go's to !!! really defines who we are."

Adds drummer Kelly Harris (a.k.a. Lay Lay): "There's this outside culture that can either totally inspire you and push you into their direction or you can choose to totally ignore it and hole up and do your own thing. We chose the latter. It's good that it's hard to compare us to others. That was intended. We want to keep people on their toes."

Their distinctive blend of electro-pop-rock executed by synths, drums, and gritty soulful vocals (no bass or guitar in this group, though an early incarnation featured 7 Year Bitch's Elizabeth Davis on bass) is beautifully showcased on their new EP, Girls on Film (Oct. 28, self-released), which features some tracks from their 2007 CD Our Own Island on Ruby Tower Records, (i.e., "LALA," "Birds of Prey," and "Guise") and some new songs (i.e., "Living For It," "Emerald Eyes," and "Electricity.") The group's first release was a self-titled EP on Cochon Records in 2004, which included the aforementioned "Same Sad Song" and "Not Hot to Trot."

Seeing where each of the band members comes from musically explains how they got to the sound that is uniquely Von Iva. Jillian grew up listening to her parents' Motown records and was fascinated at a young age by the "glitz and glamour" of the Supremes and Donna Summer , Tina Turner's "amazing stage presence and her sexy-but-badass persona," as well as Bauhaus, Joy Division, Siouxsie Sioux, and even Guns N' Roses. Bex, meanwhile, "fucking loves" Kylie Minogue and the Darkness in equal doses, while still being inspired by 1970s rock, vintage gear, and, of course, Joy Division. Kelly grew up on Sly and the Family Stone, Donna Summer , and all the "disco rhythmic funky stuff" she could get her hands on with some '80s Giorgio Moroder coolness mixed in. And, yes, Joy Division.

But, as infectious as Von Iva's recordings are, it's the trio's live shows that have created the buzz and lured everyone from rock chicks who need new strong female role models to raise their fists for to fashionistas who thrive on sass and attitude to gay men who fawn over Jillian to club kids who like to dance their asses off. This spectrum of appeal extends to impressing musicians with whom they've shared the stage, including veteran drummer Gina Schock of the Go-Go's: "I like Von Iva because they are great musicians and they write good songs that rock. They are also fantastic live and put on a really entertaining show."

"Our performance and energy is what we're about," says Kelly, who notes that the group plays everything live as true to their records ("No weird overdubs live!") "You never know what's going to happen at one of our shows. We'll do an extended jam you haven't heard before on one of your favorite songs. Jillian really loves to crawl around on things and get on top of the speaker cabs or my kick drum. Bex's keyboards are played through amp s instead of the P.A. and she's distorting them into this ground-shaking sound. Girls and boys hop up onstage with us."

Adds Bex, "Jillian is a total gay icon. She is one of those people I can see drag queens impersonating. That is part of our appeal. She is sexual, she doesn't give a fuck, and she takes command of the stage and the audience."

Von Iva will soon be taking command of the big screen when they appear in


"Girls on Film" EP
"Our Own Island" LP
"Von Iva" EP on Cochon Records
4 tracks for Warner Bros film "Yes Man"
Theme Song for MTV/Logo Channel's Curl Girls
Split 12" remix of Not Hot to Trot w/the Vanishing on Princehouse Records

Set List

45 minutes of raw power. All originals.