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A Band With Spiritual Concerns And Folky Twists

Ivan and Alyosha takes its name from characters in the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel, <em>The Brothers Karamazov.</em>
José Mandojana
/
Courtesy of the Artist
Ivan and Alyosha takes its name from characters in the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel, <em>The Brothers Karamazov.</em>

The folky, Seattle-based band Ivan and Alyosha recently came to NPR headquarters for an interview. But there was no Ivan. And there was no Alyosha.

"Man, they're sleeping in the RV," lead singer Tim Wilson said laughing.

The band, which claims neither an Ivan nor Alyosha among its ranks, takes its name from Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. Among the novel's titular characters are two siblings named Ivan and Alyosha; one is an atheist, the other a pious man.

The name fits, especially since some of the band's music explores religious themes. One new song called "Glorify" features the lines: "Glorify the Lord above, with your drink and making love / Glorify the Lord my son, with your whiskey and your gun."

"This is our best attempt at the Johnny Cash bruiser gospel song," Wilson says. "There's a scripture that says, 'Everything you do, do it to the glory of God.' ... In a sense, we're coming from that kind of background, but we wanted to write something a little bit more interesting and a little bit more out of the ordinary to your typical gospel song. But at the same time, it's not poking fun. It is a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but it's a story about somebody screwing up."

Wilson spoke to Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about this and other songs on the band's new EP, Fathers Be Kind. A new father, Wilson brought his 11-month-old to the studio as well.

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