Back in January we introduced you to a UK band out of local Cardiff called “The Loves”. Who’s retro 60’s rock sound has been compared to the likes of Revolver by The Beatles, Nevermind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols and Oasis’ Definitely Maybe – .
But here is the twist, as soon as we discovered this fun bubblegum band. We also found out that “The Loves” after a decade in the making were breaking up. In fact their last show is on this Valentines Day Feb 14th. Yep.. talk about heartbreak. So, after a great deal of sobbing into our handkerchiefs, crying out to the sky.. “why..oh why!” and a major chocolate ice cream binge, we picked ourselves up dusted ourselves off and asked Simon Love of the Loves for a last interview. And… he agreed! So in his words below is some last affection from Mr. Simon Love of “The Loves” himself.
MG : For people here in the USA who have not heard your sound, in 5 words how would you describe it?
Simon: The same way I describe it to the people in work who, if I said “indie” they’d say “Oh like Oasis?”. I say- Pop music like The Monkees.
Simon: The change was purely because this time I had a band who could play live. The 1st record “Love” was done live because it was basically our live set at the time. The 2nd “Technicolour” was basically a solo LP & the 3rd I recorded live drums & guitar as the group at that time was fragmented & not that bothered about learning the new songs. For “Love You” I had London’s premier rhythm section- Jonny Tansey & Daniel Chapman & Stoke’s greatest rhythm guitar playing- Gerard Harris on board & these songs cried out for a raw live sound. Also for the 1st session (that yielded “December Boy”, “Bubblegum”, “That Boy Is Mine” & our cover of Jonathan Richman’s “Velvet Underground”) we had Rob Jones of The Voluntary Butler Scheme on organ. Subsequent sessions saw Alice Hubley
from Arthur & Martha fill his shoes.
MG: You are well known in Cardiff and London for pushing the pop and retro sixties sound. So why on the track “O! My Gawd” did you take a detour and go the Hip Hop route and why the homage to the Tom Tom Club?
Simon: Just for a change really. It’s still quite a 60s backing track if you listen to it. There’s a sort of soul riff that the bass & fuzzy Os Mutantes guitar play & the usual Loves Farfisa organ sound (as well as the Sly & The Family Stone bit in the breakdown) it’s just that the words are a little faster & weirder. I get really bored of LPs if they sound the same the whole way through. Which is why if you listen to every Loves LP there are no songs the same or similar next to each other.
MG: Which track on the recently released “Love You” album was the hardest to come to fruition. How did you get past that?
Simon: It was probably “O! My Gawd” as the words took a dog’s age to write. I asked for help from various people I knew who were good wordsmiths but for one reason or another I ended up doing it myself in one big go the night before it had to be recorded. Also a few of the songs on the record got re-recorded as they weren’t what I wanted them to be. “That Boy Is Mine” was done twice (the 1st was too fast) & “It’s…The End Of The World” & “WTF?” were recorded 3 times each due varying reasons usually speed or sloppiness.
Simon: I found him a while ago on myspace (when myspace was God) & I messaged him asking if he was planning to come to Britain to play anytime soon & if he was I could find him a backing band but he replied saying no. Then when I wrote this song “It’s…The End Of The World” & put the Jesus verse in there I knew I needed someone special for the voice. By this time I’d found him on Facebook too & plucked up the courage to ask & remarkably he said yes after asking what the song was about & why it was the group’s last LP. The morning I checked my email to find the mp3 of his voice saying the words I’d written I was whooping about the house like a madman.
MG: After a decade in the ring why is this “The Loves” last record? Is there no more love to give?
Simon: When I left Cardiff to come & live in London in 2009 I found a notebook I’ve got from about 1997 in my room & in it there are 4 LP titles & they’re the 4 LPs we’ve released. It seemed like a sign to get out. & after the non-reception the last record “Three” got (aside from a review in Mojo magazine) I decided our time was up. Luckily I knew we were going out with a bang as I’d been stockpiling the songs from “Love You” since the late 2007 & felt that it was going to be an amazing goodbye.
MG: ….sshhh just between us are you starting another band?
Simon: Maybe but not for a while.
MG: If you could, what would you say to the Simon Love of 10 years ago when he was first forming “The Loves” in his parents garage?
Simon: Don’t be so precious. That’s it. Everything else good or bad has happened for a reason. Or I’d say- you will experience incredibly painful lows in the next 10 years but it’s all useful & you’ll end up in a better place as a better person for them. & move out of your parents house sooner.
MG: On “The Loves” decade long journey what was the highest point and lowest for the band?
Simon: Let’s not dwell on the negative. The high points have been- doing 4 John Peel radio sessions, going to New York to play the CMJ festival, releasing 4 LPs on labels who care about what music they put out, meeting so many lovely people along the way & playing with some amazing bands, being paid (sometimes poorly but…) to have some of the best nights out ever, playing in the Tate Liverpool (The Loves as art) & generally doing what I wanted to do all my life.
MG: If there were an autobiography of the band .. what would the title be called?
Simon: Someone said that there’s a biography of The Fall where the author goes & interviews the past members & that’s called The Fallen, & that The Loves one must be called “The Loved”. I was considering making a film where I interview past members about their time in The Loves but I don’t think my ego could take it. Either that or “The Loves- One Man’s Genius”
MG: What are some indie bands that you currently have on your radar?
Simon: Some of the groups that are playing our final show tomorrow- The Vinyl Stitches (less indie more raw 3 piece garage), The School (featuring ex-Loves keyboardist Liz) & The Lovely Eggs. There was a group I saw a while ago called French Kissing who I really liked but they seem to have gone quiet recently.
MG: What is one stage that you always wanted to play on but never got the chance?
Simon: There was a time that for our last show we were trying to get one of the smaller rooms in the Royal Albert Hall. I would’ve loved to have played there just for the posters saying “THE LOVES LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL…elgar room” Elgar Room would’ve been in tiny text though. & in white. On a white background.
MG: Now with the band going it’s separate ways . Do you have any last words?
Simon: Be excellent to each other.
Thank you Simon we will definetly do our best!
In closing Simon Love of “The Loves” included their final Music Video from their 4th and final LP “Love You” called “It’s… The End Of The World” for our Metrogum Viewers to watch and a bonus video called ” Motherfuckers”. Side note Simon Love note only wrote the songs but also directed the Music Videos. A fitting Tribute to the end of a decade and an artist , who did it his way. Or perhaps it is just the begining. Happy Valentines Day!
The Loves “It’s… The End Of The World”
*Bonus The Loves “MotherFuckers”