The Mailboxes — Pop band plans Appalachian Trail hiking tour

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 1/9/19

The Mailboxes, a local band, is planning to bring its music to the people of Appalachia as its band members take on the Appalachian Trail and video their progress throughout their journey.

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The Mailboxes — Pop band plans Appalachian Trail hiking tour

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The Mailboxes, a local band, is planning to bring its music to the people of Appalachia as its band members take on the Appalachian Trail and video their progress throughout their journey.

Comprised of husband-and-wife team Logan and Jillian Ivey, The Mailboxes is a fairly new indie/art pop band and one of the few to be formed in Cleveland.

Jillian moved to Cleveland when she was 7 years old, when her parents left the mission field in South America to attend Lee University; she is now 27 and Logan is 29.

When she was in high school, Jillian was asked to join a musical group with some classmates; however, the band only played two shows. She chose the name The Mailboxes early on, because she likes how songs are similar to writing letters to people.

As she continued to play songs with different band members throughout college, Jillian always used the name The Mailboxes to identify the group, but didn’t meet Logan until they were both students at Lee and he had joined the band as a bassist.

“All my college friends kept asking me when I was going to release a CD. I didn’t even know I had demand for a CD. So, I released my first album, 'Red Flags,' during my senior year at Lee in 2013, which is also when I married Logan,” Jillian said.

After releasing "Red Flags," she was contacted by one of her favorite bands, Reliant K, who had discovered her new album and wanted to meet, which she said was like a dream come true.

Logan was previously in a metal band called Oration, where he served as vocalist. After joining the mailboxes, him and Jillian decided to enter Artist Signal, a local musical competition, with a grand prize of $10,000 on the line. Following a hard-fought tournament against several other talented bands, The Mailboxes won and Jillian was able to finally afford a keyboard.

After this victory, the couple met back up with Reliant K and recorded a new EP all their own titled "Post Script."

Despite support from Reliant K, The Mailboxes had a difficult time making connections in the music industry, which Jillian says contributed to her feeling of uncertainty in life, post-college. To combat this, she decided to start self-booking gigs for the band and began a small tour in 2015. She later booked a monthlong tour that same year; however, the problem she continued to encounter was how none of her band members could play gigs full time, which made her rethink the band’s composition and reshape it to just be her and Logan.

Upon returning from the tour, Logan was at his vinyl siding job when he fell off a ladder and broke his right wrist and left elbow. The doctor told him he’d be in recovery for a year, which sent Logan into a state of irritation and mild depression.

“This was a terrible time, but it was a great time for us to grow as a married couple,” Jillian said.

In trying to stay active, Logan decided to run an ultra marathon, which is farther than a standard marathon’s length of 26.219 miles. Through the couple’s combined interest in exercise, they decided to hike the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, which is 210 miles. After they completed it, they were hooked on hiking.

Since awareness of their band was minimal, the Iveys tried to figure out what would draw the most attention to The Mailboxes while also helping them achieve a personal hiking goal. They soon discovered the Appalachian Trail and made it their mission to hike it and catalog the journey for their fans.

“That’s when I had the idea to hike it as a type of art performance," Jillian says,  "and to do it all while wearing purple; lavender, to be precise, and we could even use this for our next album,” Jillian said.

The pair continued adding onto this idea until they decided to bring instruments along the trek to play for fellow hikers and for their videos as well. The journey begins in March and will run until mid to late September.

Once they reach Maine, they plan to go on a full tour showcasing their new album called “Inside Outside.” The album’s colors are composed of lavender and dark green, which represents their hike. Their lavender gear will represent the inside world that includes creativity and our ability to solve problems, while dark green represents the outside world and its beauty, as well as its dangers outside of ourselves.

“Inside Outside” will be composed of 11 songs, and particular singles will be released starting in January.

One of the major ways to support the band is by donating through Patreon, which offers early access to songs as well as preorders. The couple asks all fans to donate as they can, so the pair can continue bringing their fans more music.

Following their return from the AT, The Mailboxes also plan to host an art gallery event at the Association for Visual Arts in Chattanooga, which will feature all items from their journey.

The Mailboxes’ music can be purchased on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon music.

For more information, check out the band’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. Its website is www.ilovethemailboxes.com. 

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