What were you doing during Hurricane Sandy? Were you gorging on what you believed would be your last meal? Were you making hurricane babies in an effort to propagate the human race (and also because it's fun)? Were you enjoying a nice day outside in the sunshine because you live nowhere near the East Coast? Recent Brooklyn-by-way-of-UK transplants Lovelife—Ally Young and Lee Newell (formerly of buzzy English pop-punk band Viva Brother)—put their less-than-friendly NYC welcome to good use by holing up and recording their third self-produced EP, which expects a late spring release.
Posted at the corner of Ace of Base and Passion Pit, "Dying to Start Again" is the first cut off the forthcoming EP, and it's a brazen pop thumper that aches for the sunshine. The Brit duo is barreling toward their SXSW debut, so I caught Lee for a few words on the transition from Viva Brother to Lovelife, Hurricane Sandy, and the woes of being a vegetarian in Texas.
Noisey: NME wrote an article about you guys last year called "Viva Brothers Relaunch Themselves as Pop Group Lovelife," which you've publicly come out against. I don't want to dwell too much on Viva Brothers, but can you give our American readership (who might not be familiar) a rundown of who Viva Brothers was and what went behind the decision to end that project and begin Lovelife?
Lee Newell: I've been in a few bands before. Some were quite good, some were dreadful. I don't like to stand in the same place for too long. Meeting Ally changed the way I listened to music and I found a different way to express myself. So I did.
What inspired the move to Brooklyn?
We wanted to throw ourselves in at the deep end. Have a fresh start. We had some friends that lived in and around Brooklyn, so we scraped together every last penny we had and got on a plane. We just put our lives on hold.
What would you say are your main musical inspirations for Lovelife? Do you feel more connected to the kind of music you're making now as opposed to the kinds of music you were making with your previous projects?
I often listen to the radio. Earlier, I listened to XXX by Danny Brown and Your Arsenal by Morrissey. I don't think we sound like either. As for being more connected to the music now than previously, I just don't think that's true. But I feel now I am more equipped to articulate what I want to say.
How do you think the American music community is different from the UK? The fans?
It's different from town to town, really. I think I feel more comfortable in America, but maybe that will change. What I do know is that we've made some lifelong friends.
You guys wrote this EP during Hurricane Sandy. What other kinds of things did you do to entertain yourselves while you were shuttered in? What was on your hurricane shopping list?
I don't really remember much of it. When it first started setting in, the sky turned black and you could tell something fucked was about to happen. We got some candles ready and all of that sort of stuff, but Bushwick wasn't hit very hard. I do remember looking out of the window and seeing a big explosion in the distance. I think a factory got hit by lightning or something. It just looked like shit CGI to be fair.
You're heading down to Austin next week for SXSW. How are you preparing yourselves mentally/physically? What are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?
I'm excited for the sun. I'm eager to play again—we've just finished rehearsals and it felt really good. I'm not looking forward to the Texan cuisine as I am vegetarian. Everything in Texas is on-the-bone. Last time I was at SXSW, I had a traditional Texan P.F. Chang's.
Can you please cook me a roast dinner? Also, do you have a pair of white Dr. Martens you don't want? Because I need a pair. If not, no worries. Also, download all of our music. It's free.
If you're heading down South next week, catch Lovelife at one of their SXSW shows. Otherwise, see them live at these dates:
SXSW - Fri. 3/15 Neon Gold @ Empire Automotive - 8pm
SXSW - Sat. 3/16 LNDNA @ The Annex [522 E. 6th St.] - 4pm
SXSW - Sat. 3/16 Beautiful Buzz @ Brew Exchange - 6pm
3/18 Los Angeles, CA - School Night (Bardot)
3/20 San Diego, CA - Casbah w/ Citizens!
3/21 Santa Monica, CA - The Central Social
3/22 Los Angeles, CA - The Echo w/ Citizens!
3/27 New York, NY - Pianos
3/30 Providence RI - Fete Lounge
4/3 Washington DC - U Street Music Hall w/ Flume
4/4 New York, NY - Popshop @ Santos Party House w/ Alex Metric
4/5 Boston, MA - The Pill @ Great Scott
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