A brand new entry into the synthetic universe, LuckyandLove from LA are set to their release Eponymous LP via SRD Music on June 30. It’s a striking record, with a lot of diversity and excellent production, and not to mention…it’s only their first! The band is moving fast, scheduling many interesting things (find them in the interview), and we invited them to a conversation that frontwoman April Love kindly accepted. So, pump up the volume and enjoy…
1) Hello LUCKYandLOVE! You are releasing your first eponymous LP on June 30th via SRD Music. A new Electrowave duo from LA joining a British distributor – how did this come about and what was your motivation to join their roster?
Let me start by saying, thank you for interviewing us. We had a soft release of the LP for fans coming to our website and at shows. The shipping was a bit tedious and expensive for our fans and we also had a bunch of sales coming from Europe. Also, when we visited record stores on our tour, the store owners asked us what distribution list we were on and told us they’d want to order it through there when we had distribution. So I was looking around for solutions, and noticed Synthwave Vol 1 was getting attention and we had been looking for the best way to get our record to Europe. We are very happy to work with SRD they are awesome and passionate. We sent them a t-shirt and the CEO sent us a photo of him wearing it.
2) …and how did it all start with the band? What inspired you to found LUCKYandLOVE?
Loren and I were in a band before where Loren [Luck] was playing drums and I was singing and playing the Farfisa, Nord Lead and guitar. But it wasn’t until we bought Moogs and started playing together on synths that it really clicked. I found two four-leaf clovers when hiking with Loren and we met at the Good Luck Bar, so it was already naturally lucky.
3) You have an excellent record in hand which music sites and the dedicated “synthetic” media will discover sooner or later. A good band with a good record, and an excellent sound that came to light in acknowledged studios by some really skilled people. Please tell us about this with a few details about the whole process.
Thanks. We recorded part of Taureon in our home studio with our good friend Morgen Star, and it was incredible what he captured with the Moogs on that song. We really enjoyed recording with Morgen Stary, Josiah Mazzachi, and Be Hussey. Josiah is a lot of fun to record with–he’s got a sweet little studio called ‘The Cave’ in Eagle Rock, with amazing speakers and a kick ass Neumann mike, and his abilities are incredible when it comes to mixing. We recorded the tracks mostly live (all tracks at once). He’s popular and got booked up and called on the help of my friend Be Hussey at the Company since he records to tape. His studio is pretty sick! He did a fantastic job mixing Digging in the Earth. We have a video of his studio on our Instagram. Be Hussey had mastered the digital. Our vinyl manufacturer recommended Kevin Gray to master the vinyl. After it all was completed, we were sitting around listening to the reissue of Vangelis, Blade Runner, commenting how incredible it sounds and looked at the back cover and realized that he had mastered it. We are so happy with the entire result! We waited for our test presses for I think like six months, but the people at the factory were so sweet and friendly. A very big star (Adele) had ordered 100,000 orders of vinyl at the same time! We went down to the vinyl factory to pick the records, got a tour of how vinyl is made, and were told to be hush-hush about the records we saw in the presses. Loren designed the cover with a secret message hidden in there in just for me. We put the limited edition records together by hand with posters and pins.
4) When listening to your record, I was thrilled by the diversity of your musings. Electrowave and synth-wave, blended with cold-wave sometimes, to mention only some of your “spices” all arranged as complete songs rather than just electronic tracks. What is your process for writing and arranging your music, and how or why do you choose a certain style for a song?
Thank you, you really nailed the description! Sometimes we are like, “I am in the mood for a dance track”, but most of the time we don’t plan it, we just channel our higher selves to play the new song in a matter of a half hour. We record our song writing sessions and usually we just work backwards trying to perform the song as beautifully as we did the first time. There are definitely a lot of oxytocin feelings going on too.
5) What comes first to your mind – the music or the lyrics?
The music usually starts a few measures when we are connected and starting to have a music baby, and I usually start singing lyrics at the same time. The beat, lyrics, and–for me–the double synth parts for the most part are written all at the same time, and once I get a good chorus going, Loren will have his parts live looped and he adds a solo, and from there we get are ready to transition into a bridge and other parts which generally change key. Sometimes the initial song writing is so good because there is a synergy of stream of consciousness and variation that reminds me of jazz. When we perform Full Moon for example, we try to add more free-form to give people a taste of our “jamming” which you don’t hear a lot in electronic music. Most of the time it’s canned, if you know what I mean.
6) Where do you derive your inspiration from, for both the music and lyrics?
Well, for the lyrics, I feel inspired out of being sometimes misunderstood, or find myself speaking in metaphors to logical people. So only a song can do the explaining. In a song, I get to synthesize the message I want to convey and there is no worry that I’ll lose someone with my metaphors because people can enjoy the song, and I don’t actually need to worry about my message if they aren’t interested. I have written a lot of lyrics and poems away from the keyboard, but I find that playing two synths and singing at the same time inspires a triad. So musically, I find the melody for the lyrics easy to blend in. I was really inspired by Phantogram and all the artists that played the Moog Music Lab on Moogmusic.com. For Loren, he found a ton of inspiration with Reggie Watts. We got to meet him at Moog Fest and you can find a photo of us together on our Instagram. Reggie Watts inspired Loren to live loop.
7) The official video for the lead single, Digging In The Earth, was by Steve Barron. What brought you together,and how long did it take for this video to be made?
Steve and Loren were buddies since forever, and they were previously in a band that involved robots. Steve took only a month to make the video! He’s extremely talented and we are so grateful we could hire him as the director. The collaboration on the story was a lot of fun.
8) I understand that LUCKYandLOVE is currently writing and recording new music,and that your band is looking forward to working with producer John Fryer. This is huge news – a successful and inspiring producer, to work with a new and very talented band. Tell us all about this please!
We have had coffee a couple times at Stories Books in Echo Park to discuss the project, and he’s a really fun, down-to-earth guy. I was just sitting there thinking, “Shit, I am having coffee with half of This Mortal Coil.” I might have asked too many nerdy questions about what it was like to record Cocteau Twins (rambling on about the Four Calendar Café toilet seat). All ten songs are written, several songs are recorded. This record release has been amazing and taking up a lot of my time. I’ll start recording the vocals as soon as this release hits, June 30th.
9) Will you announce any live performances for the summer?
Yes, we are happy to announce we are performing at Echo Park Rising in Los Angeles August 17-20, and HM157, Los Angeles on September 20th. We will play a live stream show August 26th from our website luckyandlove.com. We are available for hire around the world, so if anyone has a party or event they’d like us to come and perform, drop us a line on our website.
10) Ten years ago, it was only a rumor in the underground, but today is an established fact: Synthesizers rule! A whole new generation of musicians from Europe and the Americas, from Canada to Peru, are attracted and inspired by Synth (Electro) Wave, driving the genre’s renaissance and offering a large variety of releases to music fans. What, in your opinion, has been the missing link in modern alternative music, and why do you think these specific genres attract young people who get involved as musicians or new fans?
They do rule! I think it’s just simply the ability to access the style of music via new music channel outlets. I think that the style was available previously in niche cities like San Francisco and LA, but you really had to search hard for them. This thing happened with shoegaze, and My Bloody Valentine where there was a second round of interest. Same thing with rave culture and EDM, for example. 1990s and EDM had similar candy pacifier fashion, and Underworld was a good place to start with electronic music. Also, to me being a synth player, a VERY big part of this is that when people had a synth on stage, a lot of times it was hard to hear because the guitar and bass players’ amps competed. You’d miss the amazing synth parts, and it was almost a waste. So, for me, Stereolab and AIR were huge and they gave space for the synths to come through. I think of a band called the Rentals, simply because their hit song gives the guitars a break and the Moog to comes through, even though it was meant to be slightly kitschy. I always feel slightly uneasy when people say we are 80s sounding, because personally for me, I like to think LUCKYandLOVE is a blend of late ’70s and late ’90s inspiration, primarily because the 1980s had pushed hard the digital synths and the late 1970s and late ’90s in my mind brought forth the analog synths which is an entirely different sound.
Thank you for your time, LUCKYandLOVE!
Find LUCKYandLOVE on social media, and listen to their whole album here before picking it up for a very reasonable price at Bandcamp.