Words In Motion
Spellbound - Vol II Iss I
© January 1995

From Alana C., Rockhampton, QLD, Australia -
I recently had the opportunity to experience Icehouse's interactive floppy disk and I was very impressed! What Iva had to say was interesting reading and certainly gave me a better understanding and appreciation of the songs and what went into the album.
I do have a couple of questions though. Why was the Big Wheel cracked at the end of the presentation? Also, the disk mentions something about a Big Wheel competition. Is there such a competition?
Iva's answer -
Simon is really the one to ask as to whether there was some "mystical" intent behind that detail. Perhaps a suitable explanation might be found by observing the way that the album closes with the end of "The System"! On the other hand it may be simply a mechanical result of the way Simon created the "fragmental" building of the wheel in the computer programme… or perhaps we're just not telling! The Big Wheel Contest… Simon did a lot of work but the record company here never got it together to launch the contest (we were swapping from Massive to EMI). The contest was to decipher the text surrounding the centre of the wheel. Clue… it's in the lyrics of one of the songs… clue… you can do it with the right computer font or if you're an ancient Greek! Only problem I know is that Spellbound figured it out straight away… ho hum! However, did you spot the text mistake in some of the artworks related to the album? The Big Wheel CD is correct, but check out the "Satellite" version! That was my fault - when I relayed the lyrics to Patti Gaines over the phone from memory I actually got my own lyrics wrong! I later realized my mistake and the subsequent artwork was corrected.

From Maureen H., Penticton, B.C., Canada -
What lies behind the beautiful and haunting lyrics of "Trojan Blue"?
Iva's answer -
"Trojan Blue" is written from the point of view of Helen of Troy as she watched Troy burning in the final stage of the Trojan War (as related to us by the great Greek history teller, Homer). Helen ("the most beautiful woman in the world") was the wife of the Spartan king, Menelaus, who was quite a few years her senior. The visiting young, dashing, and handsome prince of Troy, Paris, fell in love with her, seduced and abducted her, taking her across the sea back to Troy. From what we can gather, Helen was not too unhappy about this! Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon, King of Greece, launched their combined fleet (the famous "thousand sails") and lay siege to the city of Troy. The campaign which lasted ten years (maybe it was more… I can't remember!) was finally won with the equally famous "Wooden Horse" trick, Paris was killed, Troy was rased to the ground, and the repentant Helen was returned to Sparta. There are many famous tales of the various battles and heroes of this siege including notables like Hector and Achilles (including the story of how he got his ultimately fatal "heel").
We have always been led to believe that Helen was "abducted" but there is more than a strong suspicion that she, in fact, quite willingly eloped!
I wrote this song from that point of view and as a challenge to her "conscience" as she witnessed the city and her lover being destroyed before her eyes. Perhaps all this was the result of a youthful fancy! If so, place yourself in her position as she watched Troy burning (ten years older… but how much wiser?!)

From Germaine S., Anaheim, CA, USA -
Where was Iva born and where did he grow up?
Neville Davies' answer -
ID was born at Wauchope on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, but his first home was in a small forestry settlement at Bellangry about 17 miles northwest of the town of Wauchope. When he was one year old the family moved into Wauchope itself, but a year later transferred to the rural city of Wagga Wagga about 300 miles southwest of Sydney. There we made our home in the suburb of Kooringal for the next nine years. Iva was eleven years old when his family moved to Sydney where he has lived since. During his childhood he spent some holiday time at the home of his maternal grandparents at Mathoura in the southwest of NSW near the Victorian border and at Kiama on the NSW south coast with his paternal grandparents.

From Tricia L., Newport News, VA, USA
How does Iva go about writing a song?
Iva's answer -
I wish I knew!!!!! Usually I just start fooling with new sounds… keyboard or sampler… quite often a sound will have an atmosphere or evoke a certain mood which will then encourage me to choose a particular set of chords or harmony. Quite often, also, I might start with a particular rhythm "groove"… maybe from a song I've heard or more likely these days a "loop." I do, however, concentrate on establishing a harmonic basis (set of chords) and a format of song parts (blocks and sets of chords) very early in the piece because unless I find these and they are inspiring I know that I will never find a melody to work with and therefore will never complete the song. Over the years there would only have been say four or five sketches that got a long way down the line but remain uncompleted. In other words just about everything I have started has been worked into a finished song eventually (and released!!!). Those few exceptions were the ones which I convinced myself had a satisfying "bed" before they were, in fact, ready. Hence, when it came to the critical stage ("hearing" a melody) nothing would materialise! Somewhere early in the piece I like to find a "title" or at least a subject or "chorus" set of lyrics which I can focus on. Having done that the rest of the lyrics can be "slugged" out later around the final melody.
The outstanding exceptions to this general process are those songs which began with "lyrics first." These occasions are rare, i.e. very seldom have I sat down and written an entire set of lyrics without previously creating the music. This has happened only a handful of times and has probably produced better songs. Some notable examples of this process would be "Great Southern Land" and "Man Of Colours." Unfortunately one has to be really "struck" by inspiration for this to happen and unfortunately also, it doesn't happen very often.