Philly electronic duo answer questions from Popscure correspondent Elliott Malvas of You’re Jovian as they embark on spring jaunt to SXSW.
I first met Anna and Patrick back in 2015 at The Ottobar in Baltimore, Maryland. Their band at the time, Creepoid, was opening for Swirlies; we were doing 3 shows together. During that time, I was able to get to know them a bit and establish a connection. Familiar faces in unfamiliar places. In 2016 I was able to get Creepoid to come to VB and play with You’re Jovian. Shortly thereafter, Creepoid would announce they were breaking up, and from those ashes, Anna and Pat formed Lovelorn.
Over the past few years, you might’ve caught Lovelorn in Norfolk at Toast or Charlie’s. Now they’re playing in Richmond at Wonderland with True Body on Sunday, March 1st and then in Norfolk at Taphouse on Monday, March 2nd with buds, Arms Bizarre. They also just released a new single that demonstrates the band departing from the previous sound of their former band. If you’re a fan of darkwave, post-punk indie rock goodness, then you don’t wanna sleep on this. I recently caught up with Anna and Patrick and asked them some questions, enjoy!
How soon was it before you and Pat decided to start another band coming out of the fallout of Creepoid?
Patrick, Pete, and I started casually playing together about six months after Creepoid ended. Patrick and I had just moved into a new house, with a practice space, and I think it was this shift away from where Creepoid had played that helped initiate things. It wasn’t until about two months after that we really started thinking of it as a ‘band’ and writing songs.
You already had great rapport with fans, promoters, and venues through Creepoid. Was it pretty easy to build Lovelorn and get started because of this?
It really wasn’t super easy. Lovelorn is a completely different project, and we had to start over in lots of ways. Although we had some carry-over fans from Creepoid, we’ve had to put the work in to build up that base with Lovelorn. Once we have an album out, hopefully, it will get easier.
When did the music for Lovelorn start to take shape? Because it seemed like a seamless transition. To me, you all already had songs and a tour booked with what felt like a week after Creepoid disbanded. Of course I’m exaggerating, but still…it was quick.
It *seemed* quick, but that was only because Creepoid had ended long before we announced the final show. It was during that in-between time that Lovelorn formed, but we decided not to announce the new project until after our final Creepoid show.
Creepoid, to me, was a darker sludgier shoegaze band, whereas Lovelorn kinda had that to start but now has started exploring more of this European type house trance music mixed with some post-punk goth vibes. Is this a fair assessment or way to describe Lovelorn to someone who’s never heard of you all?
I would say…yes, fair. But I often describe Lovelorn as what James Murphy would sound like if he grew up in Philly and had to sweat his rent every month : ) We definitely took some time to shake off the familiar, but I think [ ] we’ve fully embraced being whatever Lovelorn is, as opposed to following old habits.
Anna, what was the initial transition like going from a bass player/singer with a live/organic band behind you to now being front and center with backing tracks providing the music? One might say that backing tracks, as reliable as they are, can lack drive and liveliness versus a band which can provide a lot of energy and be somewhat different night to night. Which do you prefer? It seems like you’ve fully embraced being the front person of Lovelorn.
I always thought of myself more of a performer than a ‘bass player’ or ‘singer.’ So, it’s easy to transition to a position that relies more heavily on being performative all the time. It was harder to transition to playing to a track for sure! Creepoid was always more…let’s say…organic in how songs were played night to night. But, I wouldn’t say that our set up lacks any drive or liveliness at all. Patrick and I each do things that allow us to be flexible and creative within the structure, and that’s important to us.
You all always use the hashtag #bringweed. How often do people actually bring weed, and do you all actually smoke strangers’ weed?
Necessity is the mother of invention, and when you tour the way Creepoid did, we needed weed in a different city every night lol. We started using it in 2015, and I would venture to say there have been very few shows we played since then that people have *not* brought weed…along with other treats. No one is a stranger once they share drugs with you.
Between Creepoid and Lovelorn, have there been any close encounters with the police on the road, especially when traveling with so much weed?
Don’t want to say too much here…but yeah, please kids…don’t drive with a lot of drugs.
You all are coming through en route to SXSW. Is SXSW still worth it for independent bands? It seems that indie bands put a lot of emphasis into SXSW and front a lot of money just to get out there and play 2 showcases. Is the greater idea of SXSW dead? What should younger or less seasoned indie bands expect from playing at SXSW?
Yes and No. I mean, if you go into SXSW thinking this is going to be your big break and catapult you into instant fame and success…then you are going to be disappointed for sure. But, if you go into it thinking you’re gonna see your friends/peers, eat some good food and play some good shows, you’re going to enjoy it much more. Creepoid definitely benefited greatly from playing SXSW, but it often took months to years for those benefits to be realized. So, just have fun, be patient, and tour as much as you possib[ly] can.
Any showcase(s) you’re looking most forward to?
The showcase of breakfast I’m going to eat at Bouldin Creek every morning ❤
Pat, I heard a rumor that someone once punched you in the face in Texas because they thought you were Nicky from Nothing. Did this actually happen?
Can confirm this did happen, but in Brooklyn.
Pat, you set up shows in Philly. As someone who plays in a touring indie band and books bands, what is your biggest pet peeve that other bands do when trying to book through you? Also, has lessons learned throughout show booking helped you personally book Lovelorn shows?
I’ve been booking shows for 15 plus years, so I have lots of pet peeves. [The] biggest has to be bands that aren’t willing to do their own promotion and expect the venue to do everything. It’s a team effort. I also get a real kick out of bands that complain to me about parking. My job absolutely helps me to book my own projects. I know the email etiquette (keep it short, be specific, and include a link (not 10)). I’m down to do whatever I can to make the promoter’s job easier – internal promotion, researching local bands, etc.
In 2015, Creepoid played 3 shows with Swirlies starting at Ottobar in Baltimore. How did that come to fruition? What do you remember from those short run of shows together?
Our booking agent at the time set that one up. 2 memories come to mind – the first is Sean Miller teaching them how to set up their pedalboards, which they bought on that tour. Second, the last night of that tour was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and we totally slayed. Really great set. Finished out the night partying with homies we have there. Very late/early morning, we got the notification of our long-awaited Pitchfork review of Cemetery High Rise Slum, and they TRASHED it. I remember thinking, “I’m glad we’re all real fucked up, or this would be a big bummer.”
Lovelorn has an interesting set up for only being a two-piece. Do sound people give you any flack for the way you go about your set up? I personally like that you keep the ability to mix the backing tracks up to you, the band, and not the venue sound person.
Sound people are actually usually pretty stoked on our set up. Every now and then, we’ve had a real square that’s just totally confused that we don’t have a guitar player, but the professionals are chill. I think they appreciate that we understand our equipment and are trying to have as much control over it [as] we can.
Favorite Norfolk, Virginia memory (even though you’ve played Virginia Beach before)?
Philly is quite honestly one of the best cities. If you had to live anywhere else in the country and base Lovelorn out of it, where would that be?
Philly is the best city for sure. Nowhere else really feels like home. But we also love LA and Austin.  If we move anytime in the near future, it would be to either of these cities.
Last question. I myself am a NASCAR fan. I often feel at odds with myself for being a musician and a sports fan. I feel that I get cast into this imaginary shoegaze culture of adoring all things beauty and being constantly artistic. It’s almost like this constant push and pull of being a jock and a musician. Some people don’t take me as serious for enjoying my sport of choice…I know that both of you are Eagles fans. I feel that in the indie scene, it’s almost a joke to some people to be an avid sports fan but also be a musician–especially to all the art kids out there. How do you feel about this? You notice it too?
I think that it’s less of an issue here in Philly because our sports teams are so pervasive in all parts of our culture–including music. Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook lol? In the Philly music scene, tons of musicians rep their team, whether that be Sixers, Eagles, whatever. That being said, I do know [a] ton of people that absolutely are not into sports and people into sports that aren’t into music–but not really too much animosity between the two worlds. What’s more of an *issue* is when you tour with a band from another city that’s equally passionate about their team…especially during football season : )
Go listen to the brand new Lovelorn single, “Around You,” and check them out on their spring tour, see dates below.
February 29th – Philadelphia, PA @ Ortliebs’s *with Night Sins
March 1st – Richmond, VA @ Wonderland RVA *with Night Sins
March 2nd – Norfolk, VA @ The Taphouse Grill
March 3rd – Raleigh, NC @ Slim’s Downtown
March 4th – Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone Club
March 5th – Atlanta, GA @ The EARL
March 6th – Savannah, GA @ The Sentient Bean
March 7th – Gainesville, FL @ The Atlantic +
March 8th – Miami, FL @ Gramps +
March 9th – Lake Worth, FL @ Propaganda Lake Worth +
March 11th – Saint Petersburg, FL @ The Bends +
March 12th – Tallahassee, FL @ The Bark +
March 13th – Pensacola, FL @ Night Moves Pensacola +
March 14th – New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
March 15th – Houston, TX @ Rudyards
March 16th – March 21st – SXSW
March 20th – Austin, TX @ The Velveeta Room
March 22nd – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
March 24th – Tulsa, OK @ The Whittier Bar
March 25th – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
March 26th – Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
March 27th – Milwaukee, WI @ Club Garibaldi’s
March 28th – Chicago, IL @ Situations
March 29th – Grand Rapids, MI @ Fulton Street Pub & Grill
March 30th – Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Art & Music Shop
March 31st – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
April 1st – Harrisonburg, VA @ The Golden Pony
*with Night Sins
+with Planet Loser