Badass Band 41

           Back to LA BBB goes, this time with a killer band that is the perfect prescription to counteract the shitty tunes you have been listening to on the radio lately. The band goes by the name Lovers Drugs and their fresh spin on surfer pop rock is a lifesaver in a sea of ears drowning in wannabe Blink 182 bands.

               Lovers Drugs brought themselves to my attention a couple of months back and I’ve had my ears glued to their album, ‘Drift Off’ ever since. I went to scope them out via youtube because I wanted to see  if there was any video of them live. Sure enough, I came upon a slew of footage of them from live performances, plus a bunch of music videos.  The first song I checked out was ‘You Don’t Know You’. The poppy tune with its plunky rhythm  reminded me almost of something out of the 1950’s. There is something insanely unique about Adam’s vocals, like a hint of an accent that is drawn out in certain songs, in a way that makes the chorus extra memorable. It’s almost as if the vocals match the reverb of the instrumentals. As I continued my ‘drift’ through the tunes on ‘Drift Off’ it became very apparent to me that Lovers Drugs was another band that  can’t exactly be categorized. They somehow inject their own unique spin on a typical ‘California’ music style. Their slower songs actually take on a more folky sound, displayed in songs like ‘Midnight Movies’.  Some of my favorites, and  more notable tunes from LD? ‘Drift Off’, ‘Waiting for the Comedown’, and ‘Hey Lindsay’. Their lyrics tackle a variety of topics, love, relationships, money, human nature, etc.

               Lovers Drugs is one part Adam on vocals/guitar, one part Dean on bass, and one part Eddie on drums. These guys are fairly fresh on the music scene, which surprised me because typically it is apparent via a debut album (not necessarily in a bad way) when a band is fairly new. Clearly, this is not the case with these guys. I can’t wait to catch them live, which will be happening next week, Thursday, June 28, at The Satellite! Come hang out and scope out the Lovers Drugs live show along with me!

               The guys were kind enough to collaborate to answer some questions for BBB, so read on music fiends to find out more about where they are touring this summer, which band member is a pharmaceutical research scientist (For real!), and who they would love to interview if it were possible…

When and why did you all start playing?

Lovers Drugs started about two years ago when we (Adam and Dean) met at our day jobs in Hollywood. We discovered a shared affinity for new and classic brit-pop bands like The Libertines, The Cribs, The Smiths and The Beatles (of course!) We started jamming together and decided to hit a recording studio just to see what we could create. The result was our first EP, “Lovers Drugs.” The response was positive so we moved into live shows with various “fill in” drummers. We eventually found Eddie and started slugging it out in L.A. trying to build a solid fan base in Los Angeles. We are on our second CD now and things are looking good. We are keeping the ball rolling and have a third CD in the works.

Why the name Lovers Drugs?

Our name is often misunderstood or implies that we are some type of dread-locked, drug-loving hippies. The truth is that none of us have dreads. Actually the name reflects how music becomes a “drug” in people’s lives especially when you’re in (and out of) a relationship (i.e. love.) Certain songs can quickly remind you of a place or person, whether it’s good or bad. Music is powerful and a well crafted song can go straight to your brain just like any drug out there.

Do you get nervous before a show?

We don’t really get nervous anymore before a show. The more you play and become confident with your instrument, that nervousness fades away and becomes excitement. We are certainly excited before a show more than anything. Every gig is a new opportunity to make new friends and spread our music.  The anticipation before you hit the stage is really intoxicating. You never know if the night will go well or end in disaster.  Every night is something new and no matter what happens, you know it will all reset again for the next one.

Any rituals before a show?

We really don’t have any official rituals before a show but we are very religious about writing set lists. We want our shows to reflect a certain amount of professionalism and nothing looks worse (to us at least) than a band that stands around on stage trying to figure out what song to play next. Taking a few minutes before a show to organize your set makes for a better performance and makes the band look way more organized from an audience perspective.

Describe your show visually & musically for those who have never been.

Eddie hits the stage first and falls into his drums in a drunken stupor… no wait that’s not right. Actually, we like to create a dynamic exchange between ourselves on stage and the fans. Our songs have an upbeat flare so we try to compliment that energy by making each performance a workout. We want to show the audience a good time and make them feel like we’re giving it our all. That usually means we are sweating and tired by the end but the crowd deserves our best. Also, we’re toying with adding an “Usher slow jam moment” where Adam drops his pants and sexes it up for the ladies… but we doubt anyone would want that.

How does your creative process typically work?

We first decide which Beatles or Led Zeppelin song we’re going to rip off then it all goes from there. Just kidding… Usually one of us (Adam or Dean) has a basic song idea and then we try and flush it out with the other. We are really picky with our songs and strive for only the best-of-the-best to filter through. That sometimes means working for weeks on a song and ultimately abandoning the tune if it doesn’t “feel” right. One example of this was on our recent CD. We went into the studio and completely re-recorded our song, “Boys with Money” four times before we were happy with the final version. Dean produces all the music and doesn’t let things slide when things aren’t working.

What do you think you biggest break or greatest opportunity has been in your career so far?

 We’ve only been a band for about two years and we feel like our greatest opportunities are just now coming to fruition. We’ve worked hard to put ourselves in positive situations and we feel like that hard work is starting to pay off. We’re getting better shows (thanks to an awesome new booking manager), playing to more people and touring all over. We push ourselves to overcome tiredness and frustration to forge ahead to prove to the music industry that we plan on being here for a long time. We are excited to see what the future will hold.

What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?

Our biggest challenge so far has been working within the ailing flow of the modern music industry. We have a lot of desire and enthusiasm however the industry moves at a lethargic pace. We are the internet generation and fans expect immediate results. Unfortunately there is nothing immediate when it comes to labels, bookers and bands in the music business. To be successful, a band these days has to balance between patience and expediency—which couldn’t be more polar situations. There is a time to strike quickly and a time to wait while suits work out details. You never quite know which scenario is around the bend.

What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you in the coming year?

We are focusing this summer on touring and bringing our music to as many places that will have us, even if that means playing on the sidewalk in our underwear with an acoustic guitar and a tip jar (which incidentally is how we discovered Adam.) We have trips planned all across the West Coast throughout July. We hope to return to recording as well with a new CD (or two) in 2012.

Why should people listen to your music? What makes you unique? If your band had a slogan, what would it be?

Our music tends to skew more classically-pop and within that, there are certain rules. There is only a sliver of space to add a unique stamp before you lose the bounds of a good pop song. Being “popular” is the goal of any band regardless of their genre. A punk band wants punk-loving fans while a jazz band wants jazz-loving fans. We don’t expect the death metal crowd to enjoy our bouncy brit-pop ditties but we hope the indie-loving crowd will hear something they enjoy. If you’re out to have a good time and enjoy a catchy 3-minute romp, then you may want to give Lovers Drugs a listen.

If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

The music industry is a billionaire juggernaut that is spiraling out of control. Image has trumped substance and music has seemingly become an ironic afterthought. When we dig through our crates of old records from the 60s and 70s we listen to a wealth of amazing artists who earned their albums through talent and rehearsal. We are often blown away but the musical prowess and dexterity portrayed by these classic artists. This was long before computers came along to make stars out of third-rate-reality-show-sex-tape-know-nothings. Those old bands put in hard work and practice—we need more of that.

Random Portion

One song you never get tired of.

“Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney because when you play it backwards you get a ripping recipe for lentil soup.

What is the best live show you have ever gone to?

There have been plenty of great shows in our lives and none of them involved “holograms”. Let’s just say we are scared of this trend… Let the memory of Freddy Mercury exist in people’s minds rather than crash on stage when the holo-computer runs out of RAM right in the middle of, “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Favorite things to do NOT musically related.

Adam just got a PS3 so he has disappeared into the abyss of video games. Eddie is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in August and Dean is off on his laptop hacking into banks or something?

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?

Jack Kerouac created a fictional personality for himself in the novel, “On The Road” and that character always seemed appealing. The “character” is really just Jack Kerouac himself, although he adopted an alter ego named Salvatore Paradise. He hitchhiked across America with a self determined sense of freedom while discovering the world in which he lived. Much like a touring musician, that idea of travelling and sampling the different traditions and cultures that exist in our back yard is a romantic notion that sounds ever appealing.  

Prized Possession?

We’re all broke musicians. This is why we can’t have nice things!

What kind of jobs did you have before you were in the music industry?

Eddie (our drummer) cures cancer…really. He works as a pharmaceutical research scientist. It’s impossible to tell those “dumb drummer” jokes around him because they just don’t apply. He very rarely drools.

If you ran Badass Bands Blog, what is one band you would feature? (Aside from yourselves of course!)

Assuming we can employ some type of “resurrective” license to this answer, our lead singer Adam would love to interview Syd Barrett, the original lead singer/guitarist from Pink Floyd. Syd’s unique song writing and eccentric persona was the foundation for Pink Floyd. His contributions to music are often under appreciated. He showed the world that a wild imagination has an important place in songwriting and in life.



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