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Interview: Illvis Freshly + NEW MUSIC ‘Hold Em Up’

Walking down a darkened hallway, twisting and turning through a myriad of closed doors. I am walking into an interview following only the sound of the polite chatter coming from guitarist Phil (Philly) Lyons. Abruptly the darkened maze gives way to a brightly lit greenroom and inside the rest of the band were kicked back preparing for that nights show. After a round of polite introductions, the boys ushered me jovially into a more private room in order to conduct this interview.

We began in the way most Canadians tend to do, where did you grow up..? What high school did you go to? Ahh I have family there.. cool, cool. Small world love. This is where the conversation turned,  it’s always a lovely experience to walk into an interview session and embark on a verbal journey that’s humble, authentic and passionately splayed.


Let me introduce, Jesus Estevez, Dan Howse & Phil Lyons w/ Mt. Doyle. Together they are Illvis Freshly.

LBH: Let’s talk connection.

Illvis Freshly: We are about the collective experience, the search for oneness. We want to make music, yes, but more than that we want to invite you into our process, into our space, our world. When we are recording an album it’s an experience for us too, it’s part of the fabric of who we are. It’s very personal.

Philly shared that he had something profound happen at last years Tall Tree Festival,  something that moved him, a connection so strong with the audience that it moved him near to tears. “This guy after our set pulled me to the side and said, ‘Level Up: Experience Points Gained.’ I knew right then, he got it.”

You can download a song, but you can’t download an experience.

-Dan Howse

LBH: Let’s Talk Influence.

Illvis Freshly: We are having the time of our lives right now. We love what The Funk Hunters are doing, what Griz is doing. We love looking back at The Velvet Underground. We are interested in original sounds too; hooks, guitar, we get weird out there sometimes. If alternative sound met up with hip-hop, and then spun around with an indie flavored riff, that’s what we are doing now. It’s new, it’s us and it’s reflective of where we are in our lives. When we started making music together, our sound reflected our youth, our lives that where revolving around fun and adventure. Today we are more self aware and think our music reflects that evolution. We have more life experience and as cliche as it is to state, more personal difficulties to work from.

LBH: Let’s Talk Slight Edge. 

Illvis Freshly: Hmmm. Something people don’t yet know about us?? We are huge English Nerds. When we write, it’s a process. We take pieces, literature we value and dissect it, we are jewel seekers. Imagery is important in our lyrics, we want you to journey with us. We want to take universal themes and then make them personally relatable. We are currently working on an album, “Illenials”.. one of our tracks is different, vastly different than anything you have heard before. It’s sexy & dark, with a melancholy finish. We worked with the talented  Kaitlind Allura. It articulates a toxic love intelligently, it’s twisted and we think people will relate.  

LBH: Let’s Talk Festivals.

Illvis Freshly: Shout out to Tall Tree Music Festival!! 

LBH: Why should everyone go to Tall Tree? 

Illvis Freshly: It’s on the top of the most beautiful mountain in the world and there is NO cell reception. It’s not a corporate festival so there is a very authentic feel there. It’s intimate and all your best friends are there, even the ones you haven’t met yet. It’s kinda like going to four different house parties, with three different scenes and that one guy from work is there, all at the same time. The lines are blurred between artist and festy. It’s all about good connection. 

Last year, we entered into a contest, a ‘Play at Tall Tree Festival’ contest. It was so rad because it wasn’t some electronic thing. All the finalists were chosen over social media by a vote, so it was our listeners that won it for us. We won, and got to play Tall Tree all because we have the best fans in the world. It’s so important to believe in yourself, this is our dream and it’s happening now. 


Photo Credit: Matt Love

LBH: Let’s Talk Illvis Freshly. 

Illvis Freshly: Free styling Pops, Illvis Freshly was originally in the chorus of a song. We recorded it on a lap top which got stolen, insane. So we lost the song, but afterwards decided to salvage the name! It’s funny too, because at first none of us liked it. 

LBH: Let’s Talk Giving Back through Music. 

Illvis Freshly: This is something I am very passionate about, (Doc Zoo) I wanted to find away to help in healing though music. A pilot project at Island Community Mental Health is using hip hop music to help mental health patients heal.

In a story on CTV Vancouver Island’s newscast, Consumer and Life host Louise Hartland features Joey Marelli, a patient who was diagnosed with Psychosis that is participating in the program. The pilot project allows Marelli and other patients to create hip hop music and express themselves. To learn more, watch HERE. 

*Jesus Estevez (aka Doc Zoo) and Marco Bermudez (aka. Nostic of The Leg Up Program and Dia-Nos) facilitate the unconventional form of therapy.

New Music: Hold Em Up (Official Video) 

First release from the new Illvis Freshly album ‘Illenials’. Stoked on Sandy Warhol’s ambitious creative vision for this one. This is the first Rossignol Creative music video to date!!!

Thank you Shout Out

A message from Illvis Freshly: Shout out to Matt Love (The Real Matt Love) for helping shoot this one, thanks to Suan & Tee Jay Blasky for helping out on set. Thanks Studio Robazzo for letting us use your studio and CineVic: Society of Independent Filmmakers for the lights. Shout out to Tom Rogers of Atomix Studios for the master. Special thanks to The Patch Victoria for lending us the super dope threads. Thanks Domino’s Pizza for the pizza. A lot of work went into this one and we hope yall dig it. Like and share if your so inclined, illvis loves yall!!!

CONNECT: w/ Illvis Freshly

Twitter: @illvisfreshly
Instagram: @illvisfreshly

On Tall Tree Music Festival: It’s intimate and all your best friends are there, even the ones you haven’t met yet. It’s kinda like going to four different house parties, with three different scenes and that one guy from work is there, all at the same time.

– Illvis Freshly

words by | Deanna Beaudoin


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