Five minutes with Ballarat’s Ebonivory

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Five minutes with Ballarat’s Ebonivory

Hailing from Ballarat, Ebonivory is the project of five young lads, and are proving to be a force of progressive metal with a tasteful blend of technicality and accessibility. Lead by Charlie Powlett, Ebonivory is rounded out with David Parkes (drums), Connor McMillan (bass), Jake Ewings (guitar) and Aidan Simpson (guitar) and have been going from strength to strength since their very first release back in 2014. Now a serious force to be reckoned with, they’ve landed a spot on Progfest’s lineup for 2019 for its 10th Anniversary Edition. We have a quick chat with the guys.
Progrock from Ballarat? Tell us what is the most progressive thing about your hometown?
Ballarat has a super inclusive music community, there’s no line in the sand any more between the indie crowd, the metal crowd or the punk crowd; everyone just supports everyone and comes to everyone’s shows. We’re really lucky to have a community that has so much mutual respect regardless of what peoples tastes are.
Tell us about the rock / heavy music seen in Ballarat in general these days?
I can remember in my high school days I was playing busy shows every fortnight in a thrash metal band but as the years go on it’s turning into a quality over quantity kind of thing. We’re seeing a lot more Melbourne based bands make the trek down, and big ticket names on tours come through as well. There’s still plenty of room for all the new talent that comes up every year with all-local lineups and shows at smaller venues, but it’s great to see the shift in opportunities for locals looking to take a step up.
Does it translate? Do you see people coming to Ballarat from other places like Geelong or Melbourne or is it a one way push from your side?
In some particular instances people definitely make the trek here for bigger bands, for example Northlane’s last show here was packed; I think it’s a much better experience seeing your favourite band at Karova Lounge when they’re a maximum of two meters away from you at all times. Smaller regional venues give you a kind of intimacy you just can’t get anywhere else.
What do you think events like Progfest do for this sub genre in the overall Aussie music scene?
I think everyone that is in to prog is aware of how fringe the genre can be. I guess that’s the whole point; so we can miss out on the more mainstream conventions of music. I think it’s killer that we have a prog festival at all, let alone one that brings in so many big names and provides opportunities to local prog acts to get on stage with massive artists! It’s so important for the prog community to get together (and get out of our bedroom studios haha) for something like this!
What’s 2019 hold in store for you guys?
Playing at Progfest this year marks the start of a really big year for Ebonivory. We’ve spent the last two years off the radar creating and perfecting three LP’s worth of recordings, the first of which will be available in early 2019. As for gigs, we’re looking to play as many shows as possible, as well as an extremely special show planned in Ballarat that hopefully takes us back where it all began!
Catch Ebonivory at Progfest in Melbourne on January 26 2019. For tickets, visit