Last week, we caught up with Floyd Quinlan-Baskett of Ivy Streep, a three-piece band from Melbourne as they were getting ready to gig at the Tote with Zolkova and Nonna’s Kitchen. Floyd is the guitarist and song writer for Ivy Streep and his fellow band members are Lachlan Hobson (bass guitar) and Harry Wrigglesworth (Drums). The band formed in 2017 after school mates Floyd and Lachlan tried out a few other bands. Like many bands, friendships and bonds formed during school years linger.
"I also met Harry (our drummer) while studying Sound Production. After a year or so of not seeing either Lachie or Harry after I'd finished school, I was on the hunt for members to form a new band of my own with my first entry into singing. Now we all live together so things have considerably evolved since then.”
When did you start playing guitar and who inspired you?
“I picked up the guitar when I was about 10 or 11 I think. I remember my mum had an old friend visiting and her son had an electric with him and it was the first time I'd ever seen or touched one. I picked it up and started teaching myself the basics. I'm sure I was extremely annoying after my parents had heard the riff from ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ by Cream for the 1000th time! But they kindly booked me in for some lessons a few weeks later and I was hooked.”
While there wasn’t any particular artist that initially inspired Floyd to play music, his parents constantly had records playing in the house.
“My parents would play everyone from The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, The Guess Who, Joni Mitchell, AC/DC and an old Tim Rogers solo record that got blasted to death!”
Floyd was also inspired by his guitar teachers and have a few before he met John Mostyn.
“John Mostyn, who is an incredible jazz guitarist, was probably the one who taught me the most and showed my a lot of stuff that I would've never learnt about.”
How would you describe your music & who are your inspirations?
“Our new music I would now describe as soft, but with an edge. In terms of inspirations the list is somewhat massive as we all have rather broad tastes. With our upcoming 2nd record, there’s a lot of Blues, R&B and folky stuff. A few that come to mind are Alexandra Savior, Bill Withers, Julia Jacklin, Otis Redding, Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green era mainly), Maple Glider, Marlon Williams, Sibylle Baier and just anything with a lot of emotion spilling out. We've evolved and learned a lot since our first record and I think it will show come the release of the new one.”
How do you go about writing songs? Do you follow a process like writing some lyrics first or coming up with a riff?
“It varies, but most of the time it comes from us just having a jam together and me writing lyrics separately that may or may not fit over the music. Everyone contributes to the music and anyone one of us could come up with an idea that we all build on. Lyrics mostly come from me as I'm very picky with words and usually take a while to finish writing something.”
Gig Run Down
Here’s Floyd’s gig run down from his amps to guitar and effects.
“My main amp from the get go has always been a Vox AC30 - I think it's a late 1990s head and 2x12 cab. It's basically never clean and always on the edge of breakup. I also often gig with an Orange Rocker 15 that sounds similar, but I only use it when I can't be bothered lugging the back-breaking Vox!”
As for guitars…
“I mainly play a heavily modified Gibson SG Jnr. When I bought it, it had already had an old Vibrola wammy added to it, so I thought I'd take a bit further and add a neck pickup and mess with the wiring to the point where I can individually split and change the phase of each pickup. Also during the depression of lockdowns and such, I splashed out a little and bought myself a 1965 Guild Polara, which is just an absolutely stunning guitar and actually belonged to Harry Howard (Rowland S. Howard's brother) so a nice bit of music history with it.”
What about effects?
“As for pedals, I'm a simple man so don't use much, but I've had a Crowther Double Hotcake from ages which is just one of the most versatile and unique drive/fuz pedals I've ever played. Over the last couple years I also added the King Tone Rise treble booster type pedal which is a lovely thing to kick the amp up just that little bit further.”
If you were stranded on a deserted Island, which gear would you make sure you had with you?
“As for having to choose one bit of gear, that's hard! I'd probably have my old little Yamaha acoustic called Linda (after Linda McCartney). It belonged to my mum, who's left-handed and it was strung up for lefties for years. One day before recording our first record I strung it up right-handed and it just has this beautifully damaged warm tone that I'm still yet to come across in another acoustic. Thanks mum!”
What do you love most about gigging live?
“Performing live is something I've enjoyed ever since I was a kid. I can't quite pinpoint exactly what it is, but I guess it's just the feeling of being on a stage and sharing something with people that appreciate it.”
You can catch Ivy Streep doing shows around Melbourne. For more information on Ivy Streep and where you can catch them, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IvyStreep.