Each morning, after kicking the coffee maker at the TDOA offices, we give thanks for our lot in the world. This past year has allowed us an opportunity to interview every band that we’ve pondered putting on our “top 10 albums of 09″ list. Some take longer than others, but they’ve all been gratifying. Hailing from England, Lovvers are certainly a band that will be in that final 10. Sounding like the bastard child of Paul Westerberg, Will Shatter and Robert Pollard, they’ve perfected the sound of setting a spoon full of sugar on fire. Currently preparing to tour America with their brilliant album OCD Go Go Go Girls, they took a few moments to share the wealth.
TDOA: There are some hilarious entries on your website, where you publish negative reviews of the band. Do you value the opinion of the media at all, or are they just providing material for good jokes?
Lovvers: Like everything there are good and bad people. Its a shame most of them are clueless hacks but it makes for fun reading from time to time.
TDOA: When bands like Guided By Voices revived the Lo-Fi movement in the 90′s, they took a lot of heat from critics who thought it was just noise until they saw them live and the lightbulb went on. Did you make a conscious decision to have a lo-fi sound or does it have more to do with the economics of recording?
Lovvers: We find analogue equipment more satisfying to work with, and there is more potential for a sort of genuine creativity where the music sounds authentic and real – the sound of a band playing together in a room. That is what we strive for more than to sound ‘lo-fi’. Guided By Voices had bad experiences in regular studios and by learning to record themselves on a cassette 4-track, they liberated themselves to express the music in their natural style. We actually recorded in a great studio called Jackpot!, where the 24 track tape machine and all the equipment and the playful decor enabled us to feel at home and work at the right pace. I don’t think personally that the record sounds incredible lo-fi though, just not augmented with hi tech bells and whistles that the contemporary audience has come to expect.
TDOA: The lo-fi bands of the 90′s always seemed to love playing live because fans always responded to the change in “dynamics”. Can you tell us about your approach to playing live? One of the funnier reviews on your site implies that you could care less about playing live.
Lovvers: It’s always cool when a band sounds different when they play live, its natural as well I think. Take a band like Times New Viking, who have a cool grainy sound on record and then are really rocking and the sound is purer and louder when they play live. We do enjoy playing shows, and our approach is pretty straight up, try and get people to have a good time, and don’t outstay our welcome.
TDOA: Enough of the lo-fi talk! Your songs are really quite complex with quite a few melodies running through songs like OCD GO GO Girls. When you recorded that song, did it change from the version that you’d rehearsed or are there some overdubs in there?
Lovvers: We made our own demo of the song in our own house, which enabled us to experiment with overdubs and structure, in a relaxed environment – something we hadn’t done before. So in the studio we could work on the sound and add some keyboard to back up the sumptuous melodies we had come up with.
TDOA: Can you talk about the bands that influenced you? I’m interested that some of the songs have a Ramones feel to them and there seems to be influences from some American bands in there. True or false?
Lovvers: …yes we listen to American bands! Who doesn’t? Actually some bands from the Portland area, where we recorded, influenced this record. For example Exploding Hearts, Clorox Girls (both have been recorded by our producer, Pat Kearns), Wipers. We had listened to more Garage and Power Pop than before when we were writing this record. Also English groups like the Kinks and Wire.
TDOA: You’re preparing to tour in quite a few countries, including the U.S.. What are your expectations and is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing?
Lovvers: Can’t wait to go to San Francisco for the first time and have a gander at the Golden Gate Bridge. And to drive through the desert which should be novel for at least 2 or 3 hours before becoming incredibly monotonous. Today we’re going to Prague for the first time and expect to encounter plenty of boozed up britons on debaucherous stag weekends. Looking forward to returning to places and friends we’ve had fun with before, in LA, Portland and Austin.
TDOA: Have you considered doing a video (live or conceptual) to promote the band or are you anti-video?
Lovvers: There are some cool videos we’ve already done for Human Hair, No Romantics, Wasted Youth and OCD GO GO Girls. You should check them out.
TDOA: We talk to some good British bands who don’t have the money to come to America. How are you folks able to do it? Good support from Wichita?
Lovvers: Wichita helped us to get on SXSW and to record our record in the states. After that we found a lady called Michelle to book shows for us and a Michiganite Midwesterner named Mark to drive us around. Between them they make it all possible for us.
TDOA: Once you’ve completed the tour, what’s next for the band? Recording, more touring….
Lovvers: A break and then writing / recording. We have two 7”s ready to put out so hopefully they will come out later this year or early next. The only tour we have planned is another full US tour which will start in March for 4 weeks. Other than that I have no idea!
TDOA: We haven’t asked this question of a band in a while and we’re betting you’ll take the bait. If there was one band you could have “removed” from the planet, who would it be?
Lovvers: Twin Atlantic (on Red Bull records). And Mariachi El Bronx
Visit Amazon to purchase the new album:
OCD Go Go Go Girls
North American Tour Dates
Tue Oct 20 Santos – Panache CMJ Showcase New York, NY
Wed Oct 21 Kung Fu Necktie w/ Popo Philadelphia, PA
Thu Oct 22 Comet Pizza and Ping Pong Washington DC
Fri Oct 23 Dartmouth College w/ Turbo Fruits Hanover, NH
Sat Oct 24 Union Pool – Panache CMJ Showcase New York, NY
Sun Oct 25 Casa Del Popolo Montreal, QBC
Mon Oct 26 The Garrison Toronto, ON
Tue Oct 27 Now That’s Class Cleveland, OH
Wed Oct 28 Cafe Bourbon Street Columbus, OH
Thu Oct 29 Garden Bowl Cafe Detroit, MI
Fri Oct 30 Mac’s Bar Lansing, MI
Sat Oct 31 Firebird w/ Turbo Fruits St. Louis, MO
Sun Nov 01 Hideout w/ Turbo Fruits Chicago, IL
Mon Nov 02 Hi Tone w/ Kurt Vile Memphis, TN
Tue Nov 03 529 w/ Kurt Vile Atlanta, GA
Wed Nov 04 Black Owl Trading Florence, AL
Thu Nov 05 Saturn Bar w/ An Albatross New Orleans, LA
Fri Nov 06 Sam’s Burger Joint w/ Shonen Knife + The Strange Boys San Antonio, TX
Sat Nov 07 Beerland w/ Jack Oblivian Austin, TX
Sun Nov 08 Mohawk [FFF Fest Aftershow] Austin, TX
Tue Nov 10 The Rhythm Room w/ Health Phoenix, AZ
Wed Nov 11 Bujwah El Centro, CA
Thu Nov 12 Bar Pink Elephant San Diego, CA
Fri Nov 13 The Smell w/ The Urinals + Signals Los Angeles, CA
Sat Nov 14 Spaceland w/ Abe Vigoda + Le Face + An Albatross Los Angeles, CA
Sun Nov 15 House Party w/ Audacity Fullerton, CA
Mon Nov 16 Elbo Room w/ An Albatross + The Fresh & Onlys San Francisco, CA
Thu Nov 19 East End w/ Nice Boys Portland, OR
Fri Nov 20 Comet Tavern w/ Past Lives + Intelligence Seattle, WA
Sat Nov 21 Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, BC