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Ivan & Alyosha


By Katelyn Sonderman

Pete Wilson, bassist of Ivan & Alyosha, has the best of both worlds. As a family man, he gets to enjoy life with his wife and two high-energy little boys, but as a musician, he is lucky to have an amazing support system that wants him to succeed in the industry and pursue his passion. We caught up with bassist Pete Wilson on the way to Salt Lake City and got the scoop on the band’s newest album, It’s All Just Pretend. This album is the first to feature their new five-piece group and they are excited to get out to spread their music to the fans.

Now! Omaha (Katelyn Sonderman): How does it feel to have the album out after a two-year break?

Pete Wilson: It feels really good. We worked a really long time just to demo the album and the demo turned out great, so well that we used some of the recording for the actual making of the album. It’s easy to get caught up in making everything perfect, so we are really happy to have something released that we’re all proud of.

How does this album differ from your previous efforts?

This is the first effort with us as a five-piece and we evolved from a duo group, so there’s always difference in sound as we add more people to the group. We’ve also gained a lot of experience, especially when it comes to production. Ryan did a lot of the producing for the album and it’s amazing to see how much he’s learned since we started. We’ve always been indie music kind of by default, we haven’t had the funds in the past to really get a big sound. With this album, we got the big recording sound we wanted, on a small budget. We wanted the sounds to hit hard, and we achieved that.

Who does most of the writing in your group?

For all of us, it’s a continuous process. You’re always writing on the road and we all crank out music at home, as well. When you’re all constantly developing and changing songs, you forget who wrote what early on. It’s a collaborative effort. Ryan, Pete and I equally wrote this last album, but I can’t tell you who wrote what song. They’re the band’s songs.

Your band name comes from a famous Russian novel? Is literature often an influence or do rely on other sources for inspiration?

I wish I could say that was the case, but we really use past musical influences as a source of inspiration. Movies actually inspire me, too. You get so wrapped up in the emotions that are created for those few hours, that the right movie can give you a really good dose of inspiration.

Have you guys started writing your next album yet?

A little bit. We’re constantly writing on the road, but I actually did a lot of writing this summer from home. We got to spend more time at home this summer, since the band had a new baby on the way, which was a nice change of pace. I was really inspired and you always have to beat writer’s block. Right now, the songs are flowing, but that’s not always the case.

As your families expand, do find life on the road harder?

Yes and no. The first day is always grueling. It’s hard to leave home and those you love, and we definitely can’t be gone as long as we used to be. At the same time, when the tour gets hard, we now have this amazing support system of people who encourage us and inspire us to be the best we can be.

What do you want people to take away from this album?

We have some really good songs on this album. Every year, every decade, what’s popular in music changes, and moves on to the next best thing, but a good song can stand the test of time. We wanted songs that worked well with the album, but could also stand alone.

Ivan & Alyosha with Noah Gundersen, September 20, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 ADV/$17 DOS. Visit for more information.

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