#RealTalk | Q&A: Lovespeake
One of our favourite indie-pop bands Lovespeake have rolled up with a fresh new single called Dreamer that's jam-packed with bubblegum melodies, cosmic harmonies, and an all-around good feel. Known for their wildly catchy and nostalgia-inducing tunes, the six-piece Norwegian group sat down with The Beatforest for some #RealTalk in preparation for their debut album DNA dropping April 22nd.
Emerging onto the world stage at the start of this year, Lovespeake instantly won over our hearts with two top-notch singles each toting their own unique panache. Now fully equipped with a 10 track LP due out on Friday (as well as a brand new video for the title track DNA), Lovespeake are gaining momentum to thrust themselves into the spotlight and stay there for good. We were lucky enough to chat with the lead singer of Lovespeake (Alexander Pavelich) for insight into the band's history, inspiration, and all-around creative process.
The Beatforest Music Blog (TBF): First off, how did you all meet/how did you form? Where did your band name originate from?
Alexander Pavelich (AP): Andrew Murray (lead guitar) and I met in Liverpool back in 2007. We lived in the UK for four years and formed the band Eye Emma Jedi, the band that would later lead to Lovespeake’s existence. After recording an album for EEJ in Spain in 2012/2013, we got back in our studio in Norway and started demoing some more songs. It wasn’t until we were roughly six months in that we started discussing the possibility of making a brand new project, so the new music could get a fresh start. New name, new branding. I can’t remember exactly when I came up with Lovespeake, but I’ve always liked variations on English words with an added ‘e’ at the end (where they don’t normally have one!); like, 'Wolfe', 'Woode', even 'Shakespeare' and so on. It just had a great vibe to it, looked cool, and fit perfectly with the music and the concepts we were playing with at the time.
TBF: What would you say is one of the band's biggest inspirations for changing your genre from the harder indie rock of Eye Emma Jedi, to the retro, nu-disco vibes of Lovespeake?
AP: After playing indie rock for over five years we wanted to try a different creative approach to making music, making something that could cover more ground and be more flexible on a long term basis. Andrew and I have both grown a lot as people. Heck, I got a kid in the process! The craving I used to have for trying to write the ultimate rock riff isn’t there anymore. We’d been so used to plugging a guitar into an amp and blasting out riffs for so long. It was therefore a welcome change to play around with analog synths, drum machines, and all this vintage gear at the barn studio, Badminton Bay. We also recorded our own samples in the woods surrounding the studio; the swooshing of snow, smacking hay bales, and scraping bark off of pine trees. Instead of using generic white noise-sweeps in one of the songs, we instead used the sounds of Andrew sliding down an icy road! We were intrigued by the idea of making this ‘handmade’, organic retro-electronic record with modern production ideas, and being able to remember every sound and how we made them. Plus, I didn’t really want to base the next five to ten years of my life on a Star Wars-pun. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE Star Wars. That will never change.
TBF: Would you say the cohesiveness of the band has changed at all? Are you closer now than before since you’ve found this new sound?
AP: During the process of making ‘DNA’, a lot of things happened. Like I mentioned before, I got a son, and Andrew is his godfather. Andrew also reconnected with some family in New York, and started making his own music as Baya to channel all that input. So in the span of making this record, a lot of personal things happened that I think contributed very much to the final outcome. But the most unique thing about this experience was using an external producer for the first time - Jonas Raabe. Such a dude! We’d always written and produced our music completely on our own, but this time we felt like we needed that extra someone to help us bring it all together. In Norway we have this expression; the red thread. It’s like the consistent plot line or recurring theme in a book, movie, or music. Jonas was that red thread. Spending time with Jonas made the group dynamic very interesting and, ultimately, brought us closer together. Most of the core ideas have usually come from me, but here I felt like for the first time we were really together about the lyrics and resonated more with the essence of it all. So as opposed to me writing a song that, say, only I could truly relate to, we wrote songs that we felt had a universal appeal to us all and were unique.
TBF: I love the aesthetic of the Lovespeake brand; the multicoloured visuals, off-kilter geometric shapes, and throwback instrumentals. How did you develop this unique style? Are there any parts of Norwegian culture that infuse into it?
AP: I can’t say Norwegian culture has anything to do with it, I’m afraid. First off, Eye Emma Jedi never had good branding. I suppose maybe that was our branding, haha! But Lovespeake’s music is so much more classy. It’s warm, tight, and exuberant. It needed branding and artwork that would reflect the craft of it all, so we wanted our sounds to be visualised through hand-made artwork. Building around the theme of the album, DNA, the artwork would focus on a different range of colours to represent who you are, and how you can change as a person - so every cover has a new set of colours. The actual drawing represents a theme from each song, consisting of penciled lines that are hand-drawn on canvas, millimetres apart. We could’ve made it digital and had all the lines perfectly placed, but we wanted that human touch to it. Nobody’s perfect. And another fun fact: every drawing for its respective single was made on top of the other, so every cover has a bit of the previous cover in it. Meta-DNA! For the album cover we switched it all around - the band logo is drawn and we used coloured, wooden balls to create our own little DNA-sequence on the canvas.
TBF: Seeing as you’ve now released three singles from the album already (including title-track DNA, Tightrope, and Friday’s new release Dreamer), which one do you consider the most inspirational and why?
AP: In terms of inspiration, I’d have to say ‘Dreamer’ is my favourite of those three. There’s something about the lightness of it, the chirpy, bouncy modular synths and floating arp licks. I especially love when the pre-chorus kicks in with the vocal harmonies, the looped synths and oriental flute-samples in the background. The song is about dreaming, or rather quit daydreaming and go follow your actual dream! You’ve got all the tools in your mind - so go use them. It’s something I feel strongly about, and is a recurring theme on the album and especially the title-track DNA.
TBF: What was the concept behind the new video you’ve released for DNA?
AP: We wanted the album’s music videos to be consistent with Lovespeake’s branding; being based on the changing colours, hand-drawn artwork, themes from the lyrics and so on. DNA is very much about finding your own place, about grabbing hold of what’s hidden inside you and just going for it. The girl in the video does just that; she’s stuck in this uniform, lifeless place and catches the glimpse of a young blonde boy across the street. He's dancing at a party full of colours and people having fun, inspiring her to let go of what’s holding her back. You can’t really tell if he’s real or if it’s just something in her head... It’s mysterious and I love it.
TBF: We’re pretty excited about your debut album DNA dropping this week. Can you give us a glimpse into what to expect with your first full-LP?
AP: You can expect to hear more feel good pop tracks with solid references from the past half-century in music. There’s some trippy psychedelic stuff, some gospel vibes, and west-coast R’n’B and there’s darker tracks that touch strains of instrumental hip-hop and chillwave. Love goes both ways you know, so it’s both light and dark, but never too dark. There should be plenty of surprises…! It’s a dynamic record that works as an entity and not just through ten standalone tracks. At least that’s what we think, anyway! I really hope people catch on to it.
Huge thanks to Pavelich for taking the time out of his busy schedule to provide us in-depth #RealTalk on Lovespeake! Support this exceptional band by staying tuned to their socials for full details leading up to DNA's release this coming Friday!