What I Learned at Bandcamp: Sound Is Lovv
Shoegaze band Sound Is Lovv began as the solo project of Brad Watson, but has since grown to include John Rockwell (Guitar/Backing Vox), Joel Murray (drums) and Dario Grenados (Bass). The group has been together less than a year but already released its debut EP, Shipwrecks, on Oct. 19.
Stream the album on Bandcamp and keep an eye out for future live shows.
Below, read our interview with Sound Is Lovv and listen to tracks from the new release…
How long have you been making music?
Dario: As a player, about 11 to 12 years, but wanted to play much earlier than that. Growing up “frugal” it took me saving up whatever monies I could get until I hit 18 and got a job, then I could finally make my first purchase.
Brad: I started taking lessons when I was 7, but didn’t take it seriously until middle school. Lessons are sooooo boring. I only started caring when I was able to learn the songs I wanted to play as opposed to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
John: I’ve been playing since I was 11 when I started learning drums. Guitar came a couple years later.
Who/what are your influences?
Dario: I’ll say this again, I love noise. I might hear something and want to recreate it or just make my own. Juan Alderete is a pioneer in my life in showing me how to turn your instrument into something else.
Brad: Too many, but I’ll mention two. Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), if I could ever have half the understanding of music theory and harmony as that man, in my lifetime, I’d die happy enough. Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins), she’s more of a pedestal figure than a direct influence. I could never come anywhere near her vocal ability, but it’s her melodies that really drive me to reach deeper, more than anyone else I’ve ever heard.
John: The Beatles were the first “real” band I got into and are essentially the reason I wanted to start playing music.
What is your favorite song you’ve released and why?
Dario: “Take Me With You” would have to be it. It’s the song I heard that drew me in. It’s so dream like. When I heard it, I realized it’s time I try something new and this was hook and bait for me. “Channels” is another great track. It sounds so forceful yet still encounters an opposing force and finally at the climax just erupts to give way to the audible war and in the end I can visualize the dust settling
Brad: Ditto. That song I think sums up what we’re about as far as dynamics. Just very straight forward, simple language, nice balance between guitar and synth. I owe a a debt to Smokey Robinson and The Miracles for the hook.
John: I have a band called King Hurrah that plays songs I’ve written. We’ve been playing for about five years in between school/life/bandmates pursuing other things and have released a few songs under different names. I’m proud of the music we’ve released, but you don’t linger on them after you put them out there.
Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
Dario: I play for another group, Xochitl. We hope to record new tracks early next year. We’re still writing material for that. With Sound Is Lovv, we’re definitely ready to hit the stage live. It’s the next logical step. And soon enough, start hashing out new songs.
Brad: Shows of course. It’s an itch that can’t be scratched at this point. Then new writing, now that we are an actual band as opposed to me behind a laptop. I think we’ll hone what we already have into something that will be much better, highlighting strong points and losing others. BTW, I’ve seen Xochitl and they fuck shit up. They cover the Power Rangers‘ theme song, already a good reason to go see them.
John: Since working a 9-to-5, I haven’t been playing or recording as much music as I’d like. I’d like to do more of both of those things and rediscover why I started playing music in the first place.
If you could no longer be a musician, what would you be or do for a living?
Dario: If I didn’t have this, I’d continue to be here at my desk in this cold warehouse. Keeping our customers stocked with their paints and adhesives. It’s where I’m at now as I type away my responses.
Brad: Maybe writing comedy?
John: I’m not a musician for a living yet, so I’d like to be that. I work as an editor at a theater publishing company reading scripts for plays and musicals, and it’s a great job and I feel like I’m contributing to creative projects, but at the end of the day, I want to make money being a musician. I have thoughts of being a writer on the side, keywords “on the side,” but I still have a lot of work left to get to where I want musically, before getting really good at that.
What musicians or bands do you look up to?
Dario: Victor Wooten, he makes me go “wwwoooooo!” Brass instruments kill it for me! It’s so damn fun to listen to. Rob Scallon of YouTube fame never seizes to impress. Damn near all of the Sargent House label line up especially Chelsea Wolfe. That girl can get me to pay attention to what she’s saying more than any other vocalist in recent times.
Brad: Omar Rodriguez Lopez. Bob Dylan. Immortal Technique.
John: I look up to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley, Shara Worden, Julian Lage, Radiohead, Neil Young, Björk, Kurt Vile, Kendrick Lamar, Jeff Mangum.
Why do you make music?
John: I don’t think there’s really a reason why anyone plays music or does anything they’re passionate about. You do it because you have to, basically. When I think about quitting music, I feel like I wouldn’t even know who I am anymore. It sounds like an exaggeration or a cliche, but it’s true. You become competitive with your best friends, you develop incredible insecurities, you forego career opportunities, you run the risk of losing yourself in all of that even still, but you do it anyway. There’s no rationalization or justification for it. With music— for the most part— you don’t even make any money doing it; you actually have to pay money for the chance to play and learn, even though it’s a ton of work and completely thankless a majority of the time. I think anyone who’s passionate about doing something feels this way— it could be art, it could be science, it could be making socks.
Dario: I’m addicted. Like during long gaps of practice or even at home practice, I tend to go through some withdraw symptoms. Probably because it’s my only real hobby.
Brad: What John said.
Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
Dario: I thought people should know Halloween is the only holiday I take seriously. I also conveniently take any other holiday that allows me to get off of work with pay.
Brad: The Cure is playing the States, something they rarely do, and anyone who likes even just their hits should check them out. Dario and I will see you there come May 22 at the Hollywood Bowl.