Interview: Lovelife

Erika from Rockin’ The ‘Burbs had a chance to sit down and chat with the fellas from Lovelife before their show at the TLA in Philly on Friday, May 10th (opening for Capital Cities and Gold Fields). Forget everything you’ve ever read about this band (or any previous incarnation) on the blogosphere – we’ve got the full scoop right here. Keep reading to learn which recent pop song “changed their world” (HINT: it’s by someone with a mutual penchant for writing breakup songs) and how they’re enjoying living in and touring around the US.

FYI, Lovelife’s first 2 EPs, The Fourth Floor and El Regreso, are currently available for free download on their site. They’re set to release a forthcoming EP Stateless, due out this summer. You can listen to their new single “Dying To Start Again” below.

Lovelife + Erika backstage @ the TLA

Lovelife + Erika backstage @ the TLA

RTB: Hey fellas, thanks for taking time to sit down with Rockin’ The ‘Burbs. Is this your first time in Philly?
LVLF: We’ve been here a couple times separately but this is our first time as a band playing together.

RTB: Did you get a chance to hang out in the city at all before the show?
LVLF: No, we got here really late… tons of traffic. It started this morning when our cab driver in New York didn’t know where he was going. There’s a thing happening where cab drivers just don’t know where they’re going anymore.

I got a cab in Washington and it was the same thing. The cab driver was like, “can you give me directions?” Anyway, we found our way somehow… just followed the North Star.

RTB: How would you describe your music to someone who’s listening to you for the first time?
LVLF: I’d describe it with words… and maybe a hand gesture.

Electronic pop (with a hand gesture). We’d definitely say pop music – we’re not scared of that word. We’re big fans of pop songs.

RTB: What’s the story behind your band name, Lovelife?
LVLF: I wanted to create a “lovelife” because I didn’t have one, it was really as simple as that. A lot of our songs are about break-ups and girls and that’s really how the band started. It’s really the only name that hasn’t been taken. And we wanted a band name that was one word, so it’s a brand.

RTB: Some of you come from a bit more of a rock background, how did you get into the synth-pop sound you have today?
LVLF: In previous bands, we always wrote music that was quite derivative of what we were listening to – our version of what we liked. This time around, we wanted to do something that was a bit out of our comfort zone because we were writing about things that were uncomfortable. So it was fitting. You want something new and different. There aren’t many bands like us out there – I struggle to think of one.

From a production point of view, it’s difficult to record a whole band. You need a lot more equipment, but with electronic music and synthesizers you can start making music in your bedroom. You can make something sound good in the middle of the night in your bedroom. It’s so much easier to record your ideas and create music in one place. We all bring in something to make it happen.

RTB: You guys recently played SXSW, how was that experience?
LVLF: It was amazing, way too much fun. We’re all still coming down. We started with that and then went on tour, so we just went bananas. After it, we were all just ill and we only had three gigs.

We hopefully will get to go again next year.

RTB: We’ll have to tag along.
LVLF: Yeah, you can jump in the van.

RTB: Did you get to meet anyone that stuck out?
LVLF: We got to see Kendrick Lamar play, which was amazing. We weren’t expecting we’d be able to see him play and then we just walked right in without a ticket and got to see him. It was so good! But it’s more of an industry thing, hard to see a lot because you have a million things to do – promo and press. Plenty of free drinks though! It’s nuts, so much is free but we still managed to spend so much money.

RTB: You’re about to release your third EP, Stateless. How was the making of it?
LVLF: It’s our third EP, but we’ve released other stuff, singles and whatnot. We’re still finishing it actually, putting the finishing touches on it. It’s been good ’cause we’ve been writing all over the world – well America and England. It’s been different this time, it’s been more spread out than our last one. You’ll be able to hear the changes in how we’ve wrtten. It’s kind of like snapshots of where we’ve been – emotionally and geographically. It feels more like a collection of four songs rather than the movement the other EPs had. It’s a good thing, that’s what we are – we’re not in one place.

RTB: What inspires your lyrics? I know you mentioned relationships…
LVLF: Well just one…
RTB: Didn’t mean to sound like you go through a lot of them!
LVLF: No no, I wish I was! (laughs). That was a big one, in the very start. But now, still writing about things happening. Just find a way to get things off my chest through songs. Things are always happening.

RTB: So I’ve read that you’re inspired by all kinds of music – from rap to pop. Can you elaborate? Are there any other artists fans would be surprised you listen to?
LVLF: We listen to so much music it’s hard. We’re recording all day, so the last thing you want to do is listen to music that sounds a bit like you. People say we sound like Depeche Mode – and I never listen to them. I mean as a band, we listen to The Beatles, Bowie. But we also listen to Lady Gaga and Rihanna. We love Rihanna. And Taylor Swift – when we heard “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” we were in a cab in New York and it changed our world. It’s the perfect pop song.

RTB: You guys should do a remix of it!
LVLF: No, you can’t mess with a masterpiece! But yeah, if you don’t take those artists for what they are… I mean obviously we don’t wear Katy Perry t-shirts or dress up like cupcakes. But if you strip the songs down you see how they’re perfectly put together. It’s satisfying.

RTB: What was the inspiration behind your latest video “Your New Beloved” (see below)? Did you have any creative input into it?
LVLF: Yeah, a little bit. It’s about the end of a relationship, so we wanted the imagery to reflect the endings. So there’s a lot of slow motion stuff, a girl in a body bag. There’s no fully linear narrative, it’s just a nice set scene. It’s more an accompaniment in the video. We actually want to do another video for it, a proper video, eventually. But we’ll do that when we’re releasing our album. We just needed something and we got it really cheap!

RTB: If you could collaborate with any artist right now, who would it be?
LVLF: We’d love to do something that has rap verses. Imagine if we had Kendrick, just might cost $100,000. Maybe we could get a bunch of rappers, some underground.

RTB: So you’re from the UK and are now living in Brooklyn. How is New York living in comparison?
LVLF: We’re actually not living anywhere at the moment – we lived there for about 6 months last year. Now we just sorta live between backstage, the van, and hotels. We haven’t had a solid living place since last summer because we’ve been so busy. But when we do eventually settle in one place it’ll definitely be New York. We love New York much more than London. It’s like New York is from a film, it’s not real. It’s a different world. In a way it’s like Philadelphia too.

RTB: Are there any other places you’ve really enjoyed?
LVLF: New Orleans! It was amazing, it’s not like anywhere else in America. Doesn’t feel like anywhere else. It’s more European. It’s open really late, can drink in the street, it’s fun. But we’re looking forward to tonight and hoping to see a lot more of Philly.

RTB: After your current tour with Capital Cities and Gold Fields, you’re going out west with The Neighbourhood. Any other plans after the tour and for the rest of the year?
LVLF: Finish up the EP, and also work on the album. Then we’ll probably be back on tour coming to a city near you!

THE END

FYI, you can keep track of all of Lovelife’s upcoming tour dates here. Stay tuned for photos from their show at the TLA.

– Erika Reinsel