Resemblant a phoenix emerging from the rubble of their musical history in London the relatively new band Lovelife has traversed the underground music scene with their emotions written in their lyrics and their attitudes in their beats. Their music is lattice of moody synth-pop rhythms, a hint of neo soul and a bit of angst. Lovelife is steadily making the climb from unknown to top five on the music charts. They’re slowly creeping into your living room, your radio and into your soul as they give listeners a piece of theirs in songs like Your New Beloved and Dying to Start Again. With Your New Beloved the band consisting of Sam Jackson (Guitar), Frank Colucci (Drums), Ally Young (Keys) and Lee Newell (Vocals) introduced to the world a song that was not their first release as a band but a track that caused people to stop and listen.
In an exclusive interview with the band we get an insight of who they are, their rapid development as Lovelife and some shocking secrets that will leave Lovelife die hards screaming.
So here we are ladies and gentlemen, the night of the last show at the Constellation Room. The end of Lovelife’s seven week residency in LA and OC: a night to remember. People were standing outside starting the line two hours before the show started. The band announced via their facebook page that the night would be special. Please believe, it was epic and probably the greatest show they have had since playing in the US. It was indeed a special night.
Here’s the interview that took place prior to that.
NS: So basically for a group of guys from London, you guys have been travelling around the US a lot. So essentially how has the transition from moving from London to Brooklyn to being an LA based band, how has that affected your journey as musicians?
Ally: Good question. I think it’s, it’s impossible to not be influenced by where you are and your surroundings. Regardless of…. I think, I think, we can certainly hear it in the music. Because some stuff was written, like our first EP, we wrote that in New York. We started a bit like one or two songs and the others we finished in New York. And the second EP was written exclusively in New York. And the third one, was mostly in California and when we were travelling. I think certainly for us, when we listen two through three we hear the difference in where we are physically and emotionally when you listen to it, what we’re going through. So I guess in that sense you can hear it in our music when you listen to the three EP’s.
NS: Previously, you’ve opened for Capital Cities and The Neighbourhood. Currently you’re essentially doing your own thing, you’re co-headlining a show right now. So how is it different from doing residencies right now and co-headlining versus opening up for people?
Lee: Umm, well there’s no pressure opening up for people. Umm, because it’s not your show you’re just there to be as good as you can be. No one’s come to see you, potentially and so you don’t have to owe anything to your audience almost. You just do what you want to do and if you’re good enough they’ll come back. But with these things, with people who do know who we are, as modest as it is, they do know who we are, we owe it to them to give them… You know they’ve come out and support us we want to give them the best show we can possibly give. You know represent our vision, it’s completely our vision, represent what we want to be. Rather playing someone’s else’s stage, cause it is different. More pressure.
NS: Currently, what is the biggest influence on the band?
Sam: At the moment?
Ally: Probably the California sunshine.
NS: Some vitamin D. Versus all that snow over there.
Ally: We’re not used to this.
Ally: Yeah. No. Definitely not. It’s like in the 80’s and a week until Christmas. It’s not like that in England.
NS: There is a drastic difference from Dying to Start Again versus Me After You. which I only found on YouTube. Can you like, well I guess you kind of elaborated about it a bit, can you tell us about the transition from Me After You to where you are now?
Lee: How do you find it different? In what sense?
NS: It’s like, it’s not as good as what you’re right doing now. What you’re doing right now is really amazing and each EP you progress and get better. And like somewhat of the material it seems more…it seems more serious. It seems more like it’s based on like your emotions. You can hear the emotion in the song. Versus “Me After You” it seems kinda like, something happened and then you’re singing about it.
Ally: Yes, very good point.
Frank: That is actually the first song we wrote as Lovelife. And so, the more songs we’ve written, I guess we’ve just been learning ourselves. Like along with everyone that listens to us. The three EPs, sorting of finding our sound, sort of finding, exactly the sort of music we want to make. And that’s why I think every EP is gotten slightly more concentrated into our exact sound and where we go from here will be a further progression from the last release.
I guess it’s fine that people that really listen can hear like, the almost honing, if you will, of like exactly the sort of music we want to make. And ah, yeah, hopefully, it’ll just continue in that direction.
NS: What was the inspiration for the Stateless EP?
Ally: We wrote that EP, umm, when we were travelling a lot. We didn’t really have like…we were on tour a lot …moving from New York back to London and London back to LA. I think we call it Stateless because all the EP’s are named after where they were written and where we were. El Regreso is the name of the street we lived on in New York. The Fourth Floor is the second apartment we lived in in Brooklyn; we were on the fourth floor. In Stateless we were travelling a lot so we didn’t really have a particular base. We didn’t really have sort of, a metaphor for that record. We didn’t set out with one. So I think it sounds like four songs that we wrote over that time. Where we were travelling, in different states. Physically and emotionally, so that turned into the premise of the record.
NS: I kinda remember a time period when you went from Brooklyn and then all of a sudden you were in LA. So I was like, “What happened?”.
Lee: That happened.
NS: Well yeah! Stateless happened. They were really different, because Midnight Swimming came out then I believe Stateless came after that and was like, “They’re two completely separate songs.”
Frank: Just purely based on the fact that when they were written, they were written in all different places.
Ally: You can take two songs, whether it be an EP or a full length record, you take two songs side by side they might sound completely different. But in the context of an overall listen, the dots become joined.
NS: What is the story behind Exhaler? During the recording and then also when you perform it there is a lot of anger, a lot of sorrow during it. So there are a lot of emotions in that song.
Lee: Umm. It’s about friends. A friend of mine I had years ago. Something happened and we’re not friends anymore. Simple as that really.
I mean I went to school with him. Grew up with him. We all did. We all knew him. Well Frank and Sam knew him really well. But I was, I was…his sort of best friend really. And then umm…something happened. He’s tried to sue me…and us. And other things happened and so it was really about that and how he never…He’s the sort of person to never listen..to anyone.
Ally:It was the monumental end of a…a long term friendship.
Lee: Yeah I’m sure there will be more songs about him really. The term, “Exhaler” refers to him not breathing anything in. Not taking anything in just…
Sam: One way traffic.
Lee: One way traffic. Yeah, I suppose so.
NS: What can fans anticipate from Lovelife in 2014?
Ally: Well, we’re all juicing. We’re on a juice diet, we’re cleansing. Physically, we’ll be much more attractive and glowing. Umm. Music wise…
Lee: We’re writing at the moment. We want to make sure that it’s the best thing that we can do. Umm. So. Once we’re finished with all of that..music…maybe in the form of an album. We’re talking about maybe a semi-feature length film. A short one.
NS:…(Thinking, “Did Lee just say, “film”?”)
Lee: Yeah. We want to give these new songs a fair shot. A good life time.
Ally: We’ve done these three EP’s and that’s kind of a filler. We used them almost as a signing post for ourselves to find out what Lovelife is and what we want. Like Frank says every time we get a little closer to the music we want to think it is. We sort of through those three, have done that. This is like Lovelife 2014, the start of Lovelife from here on end.
NS: If you weren’t musicians, what would be your day job?
Lee: Foot model.
Ally: Foot model for Lee.
Sam: Footballer for me.
Ally: I’ll go Footman. Sort of like ah, sort of like an overlord or something. Frank?
Ally: Or like Bebop and Rocksteady.
Frank: I can run like a mani-pedi bar and do foot styling.
NS: You’re still like a band anyways. A band of like foot people.
Ally: The chiropodist.
Frank: Is that feet or is that back?
Sam: Chiropody is feet.
Frank: But I thought it back.
Sam:No that’s Chiropractor.
Ally: No that’s back.
Sam: A podiatrist? That’s feet.
Ally: A podiatrist.
Lee: I’m pretty sure chiropodist is feet. Anyway. Feet.
NS: What is the craziest thing that a fan has done or said?
Frank: Recently there have been a few people that have asked us to write our handwriting or something in their hand and maybe getting it tattooed on themselves. Which is quite a lot of pressure actually. I’ve got terrible handwriting. I feel uncomfortable because I’ve got horrible handwriting. I almost can’t handle the pressure.
Sam: I’m fine. I write like a typewriter.
Ally: He makes beautiful cursive.
Frank: People bring us tea.
Sam: It’s nice really. It’s not crazy or weird. They bring us Yorkshire tea.
NS: So then your favourite tea is Yorkshire tea?
NS: You mean Yorkshire Gold or any Yorkshire?
Lovelife: Gold. Gold or Red. Hard Water.
NS: That tea is very hard to find in America.
Frank: They sell it at WholeFoods and it’s expensive so we really appreciate when people bring it. Not even every WholeFoods. Two of the ones that I have been to recently have had it.
Ally: They sell it at Bristol Farms at on Sunset. On Sunset and Fairfax. If you’re ever in the area.
The set was switched up a bit with the addition of rare live performances of She Makes it Look So Easy, a dedication of Invisible to their US Tour manager (it happened to be his birthday) and a live performance of Every Minute. The floor was packed with fans of Lovelife and other bands present that night. As the performance ensued the audience sang along to every word of Exhaler, Your New Beloved and I’m No More. The audience and the band were enamored by the entire experience. With every chance fans rushed to grab Lee’s hands as he engaged the crowd, a fan who’s phoned died asked to borrow mine to record Your New Beloved (which I obliged him) and people swarmed the stage during the last song of the set.
It wasn’t just a great performance, it was a personal one which people new and those familiar to Lovelife could feel who they are. On what was the end of the California residency season was the start of an epic journey to the masses.
After the show, the band hung out with the fans, took pictures and signed exclusive posters (there are only 30 in the world) that sold faster than 75% off breast implants in West Hollywood.
Lovelife, like a phoenix reborn into the re-emerging synth-pop world will continue to soar. Ally could not have said it better right before the show, “This is like Lovelife 2014, the start of Lovelife from here on end.” If that show was the start it will only become exceptionally better from here. Therefore it is fair to say at this point, “Welcome to Lovelife.” one of the best music journeys you will have in 2014.