A lot has changed since we began this interview with LVLS, I will admit we were slow at getting things together and to them, the interview came right at a time when we were on the road, going to festivals and random concerts.
They themselves were busy, they recorded a new song, apparently had some member changes, and most importantly, they changed their names. WAIT… WHAT?
Just as we were putting the finishing touches on the interview, Jay contacted us and let us know, they were no longer LVLS, but from now on would be known as ALTAR FLOWERS. But… But…. Our interview…..
Fuck it all… We went with it anyway but not before contacting Jay and getting a few details on the change
” There’s 2 LVLS in USA which we could live with, but a band unfamiliar with Google, from the same town as us, have christened themselves with the same name. To be honest, I wanted to change the name anyways, we’ve developed and gone through so many changes, that a new name and I dare say ” branding ” I feel is the right decision”
Changes? What changes happened since we last spoke??
” There’s been a change in sound slightly, like any other band when the lineup changes, but we’re the same band. We’ve replaced a human with a computer; much more reliable and they don’t talk back! But to stop any further confusion, there’s a lot of bands called LVLS and Loveless so it’s a decision that’ll benefit us in the long run, we hope. It’s well justified on many levels “
Ok, we can live with that….
So here it is, our interview with Altar Flowers… The band formerly known as Prince… I mean LVLS
First of all, the usual question, how did LVLS come to be?
We’ve gone through a few changes in the past 18 months but initially I just sent a demo to G (drummer) asking if he was up for it. He did the rest, and here we are.
Is there an underlying meaning to the band’s name? Bad Childhood?
Suck at relationships etc?
I would love to give you an honest story that we were abandoned orphans raised in a sewer by a clan of demonic hipster nuns without ears but we weren’t. We’re very much loved- begrudgingly, of course.
Every band is put into a category that describes their
sound… Alternative.. Indie… Post Punk.. Rock, etc.. How do you
describe your music?
We definitely have the characteristics of a modern alt rock band; the 3 chord pop-rock songs and bigness, as well as the droney goth songs, the stripped down 80’s synths songs, a 50’s a cappella doo-wop song…just fuckin’ honest I’d say. We’re not afraid. Just don’t stick us in the Urban Jungle section…
What do you spend your time doing when you are not playing music?
I absolutely fuckin’ love gardening, G’s a fitness freak but I’m not sure what Paul and Charlotte get up to– let’s say Scalextric and Barbie’s.
You have a Kickstart…I am guessing that you are all self
produced, have you found this is an effective way to get your albums
and tours financed?
We cancelled ours, but sure, it’s a proven effective tool though it could also bring an uninvited added weight of expectation as it’s your fans or whatever who have backed you. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with that people-pleasing way of going about things. We pay for what we do by whatever means necessary.
What album is on repeat there at the LVLS headquarters?
I’m in a musical transmission at the moment, sortta fine combing bands I missed; lately Gin Blossoms, Cannibal Corpse, Roxy Music, Sunny Day Real Estate and I recently found some proper badass Tom Petty-type- Warren Zevon, what a cool fucker!
Which bands influenced your choice of musical style, besides dusty
records from the bargain bin?
We usually hear “The Cure crossed with Arcade Fire” but fuck it we like both them bands. We’re not trying to hide anything- like i said, we’re an honest band. I love Depeche Mode, Roxette and the cheesey 80’s stuff, but mostly 90’s guitar bands like the Pumpkins, Teenage Fanclub –stuff with a DIY ethic that occasionally germinates into a monster. I find is a very beautiful thing.
Do you have any strange pre-show rituals?
Nothing strange, just loadsa beer, high-fives and being sick like Motely Crue.
Who is in charge of lyric writing? Do you ever change the lyrics up
while you are preforming live?
Yeah, i just change it all for loads of swearing.
What kind of Pizza do you usually order? You know, in case someone
wants to secretly send tons of pizza to you before a show, cause fans
do that on occasion..
Anything without pepperoni- that shit’s wrong.
Describe LVLS in three words…..
Total fucking darkness
Being a bit of a writer, I get ideas at the strangest times. What
is the most random place or time you have thought of lyrics…
Ah, that’s a fucker- usually when I’m as far away from any recording device or instrument…we’d be miles better if I got them down.
Us here at GATRS tour, we travel all over to see bands and can tell
you some horror stories about our travels, what is the strangest thing
or funniest thing that has happened to you on tour?
We’re relatively a baby band so not much has happened, though, we did do a gig in London in March this year with a surprising turn out, so we headed back a couple of months later to another surprise- absolutely no one came. The opening day of the World Cup, and still the promoters paid us without any grudge. Good soul by name and nature.
When the time comes and you are selling out stadiums what is the
one thing you will insist on as a rider?
One of those Ferrari beds to have an afternoon kip in – I saw a red one on Cribs years ago; Missy Elliot’s I think it was.
Which comes first in the writing process, the lyrics or the music
We haven’t got any formulated way of doing things but usually the music. It’s a long process which ever way we do it – we’re trashy perfectionists.
You are from Manchester, so I have to ask…City or United? Tread
carefully, I am a fan of one of these teams LOL
We bend the band around football fixtures, ha. 2 Man United, Charlotte- Everton and G is a Oldham Athletic fan- I keep telling him he can cross over but he’s having none of it.
Any plans on coming to the US and playing? We have a group of
people across the US who house us free when we travel to concerts, we
could hook you up…..
That’d be great though it’s not in our plans as yet, it’s something we hope to do eventually. There’s a actually quite a few indie stations that regularly play us over there and plus I wanna have a nosey about too, I’ve never been.
Lastly, we ask this question of everyone we interview…what is the
most embarrassing song on your ipod or phone??
Ha, take your pick; Michael Bolton, Curtis Stigers, Linkin Park.
Same band (kind). New name but still great music.