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INTERVIEW: Less Love

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We are doing great.  Thanks for having us.

Can you talk to us more about your awesome latest single “Horse Race”?

Sky:  Horse Race is a song that was written by our friends in the band Colourmusic.  A while back their drummer Nic Ley and I was having a discussion regarding what defines a catchy song.  Nic was defending a contemporary popular song and I was arguing that just because it was shoved down our throats via major label promotion that did not make the song catchy.

He gave me a list of reasons why the song was catchy and one of his reasons was “clear, understandable lyrics.”  He added “and that is why nobody will ever cover a Colourmusic song.”  That made me laugh.

I am a huge Colourmusic fan, and I think their songs are pretty catchy.  I told him “just to prove you wrong my band was going to cover one of your songs and make it as top 40 radio friendly as possible.”

We failed to make it as top 40 as possible.  Instead we made it sound like a Less Love song.  I am cool with that.  In the end Colourmusic told us they dug it, so that is pretty flattering.

How was the film experience?

Bria Nicole: The film experience was a lot of fun. We had an opportunity to collaborate with many talented artists in a wonderfully creative atmosphere.

Sky: This was the most intense video schedule we ever had.  There was a solid week of filming that often went from 8am to 3am then up again at 8am to start all over.  Prior to this we never had a video that took longer than 6 hours to shoot.

All the people that participated in filming were people we knew from other bands.  The female lead is a singer/songwriter named Xaviara Divine, the male lead is our old bass player Chris Snyder. The henchman are Price and Paige Vernon from the band Big Okie Doom.  The guy I hack up with a machete is Mike Mills from the band Monsters in the Radio.  Mike helped direct the video, did most of the cinematography, and edited the video.  Singer Cait Brasel shot a lot of the live performance scenes. We were also joined by Seth Smith from Sippin on Dynamite, and of course David Goad from Kali Ra.

Billy Gro:  The film experience was many things. Fun, at times stressful, but most of all enlightening. I learned a lot about practical elements of making a film, such as lighting and special effects. Things I’d never had much hand in. I helped with many of these aspects while making the video. I also learned what it was like to die multiple times (Billy gets killed 3 times in the video). I learned that I need to practice my acting, and that I need to have my eyeglass prescription updated.

What was it like to work with Kali Ra and how did he come on board?

Billy Gro:  David Goad of Kali Ra is a unique brand of person. Very much in his own little world. He has a very dry sense of humor that many people might not pick up on. His creative vision is very singular.

Bria Nicole:  It was a wonderful experience. He brings a lighthearted, playful vibe to the set; while still wrapping it all together into a professional final result.

Billy Gro:  David was approached by Sky in the past about doing some sort of collaboration. A few ideas have been bandied about, but it wasn’t until we were recording vocals for “Horse Race” that we got David in the studio to lay down some tracks. We were looking for something very specific when it came to the vocals for this song, and I feel like David really nailed it.

Sky:  David and I were once lovers.  I thought doing this song together would convince him to take me back.

How was the recording?

Bria Nicole:  The recording process is always full of trial and error, but is always a great time for us all. We’ve ended up growing into a family of musical weirdos that find a collective communal rhythm.

Sky:  Haha, yeah, what she said.

Billy Gro:  I always enjoy recording, even when it is frustrating. If it is frustrating, it means I am out of my comfort zone, and if I am out of my comfort zone, then I hope I am learning. Working on this song, we tried many things differently than we had before, and it was difficult at times. Sometimes while recording, we are looking for a particular, but struggle to articulate what it is, or to coax i out of ourselves or others. Everyone who worked on this song really brought something great to the table though. I don’t know if it is exactly what Sky or I heard in our heads, but I walked away satisfied.

Sky:  In the past Billy and I have always engineered and produced our albums.  With this project we wanted to do something different so we brought in Kevin Lively (Rage Against The Machine) and Grammy award winner Michael Trepagnier (Coldplay) to engineer and produce the song.

Michael owns the record label Cardinal Song.  His label released Colourmusic’s Christmas album a few years ago.  Sense then he and I have had many conversations about how much we are both big fans of the band.  When I decided to do this cover he was the first person that came to mind. In addition we also brought in some really great musicians: Trevor Lindley on drums, Michael Albatross on lead guitar and backup vocals. Jason Scott, David McKinney, and Rebecca Hawk also sang back up on the song.  David Goad did the male lead vocals, and also did the synthesized string arrangement at the end of the song.

Basically what all of that means is that in the past everything was left up to Billy and myself.  This time we had a lot of very talented people with very varying opinions on the direction of the song.  It was at times frustrating but in the end the trick was just to find that communal rhythm that Bria mentioned.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?

Billy Gro: I am not sure. We are working on another single, and there has been talk of other material. But with the decline of the music industry and the short attention span of music fans, our impetus has been stalled somewhat.

Bria Nicole:  Less Love has been in talks about recording new songs, but our madman mastermind (Sky) will call the shots on a new ep/album. Where he stops, nobody knows!

Sky:  Yes there is going to be an LP, but I agree with Billy.  Things are tough right now.  Our first single we released in 2008 (Magical Purple Hair) made more money in less than a year than our entire catalog has earned in the last two years.

In addition to the decline in record sales there has also been a change in the way people consume music.  Most new music is empty calories that goes straight through the average music fan: enjoyed, appreciated, and then quickly forgotten.  Remember the album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix?  That was a really great album.  Nobody listens to it anymore and without a doubt nobody is buying it.

All of that creates challenges.  Right now we are just trying to think of new ways to approach each challenge.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Sky:  The album title is “The Battle Between Angels And Dinosaurs.”  It has had many starts and stops and currently is at a stop.

 “Horse Race” was originally going to be on the new album and Michael Trepagnier was originally going to produce the entire album (he still may), but I wasn’t happy with the feel of the material so I shut down recording temporarily.

We want the album to be new for us:  a new sound, a new direction.  When we were in the studio recording “Horse Race” we did a lot of things differently but it wasn’t organic.  It was too much of a struggle for everybody involved.  We don’t want to force this album.

As Billy mentioned we do have a new single “Second Hand Coat” coming out soon.  That also was supposed to be part of the new album, but it is not a new song for us.  Now the plan is to release that song, and then with a clean slate re-approach writing all new material for the album.

Any plans to hit the road?

Billy: I love to play live, but it is a labor of love. There is no money in it. We’ve talked of touring small towns and focusing on all age venues, which I think is a great idea. But nothing concrete as of now.

Sky:  Yeah we want to do something different.  I personally want to stay away from 21 and up bars. But short answer is no.  Right now we are focusing on the current projects and then the LP.

What else is happening next in Less Love’s world?

Billy Gro:  The future is wide open. We are focusing right now on finishing the new single. Then maybe another video? Another collaboration with local musicians? Only time will tell.

Bria Nicole:  As previously hinted, we will be working on a few songs in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more lackadaisical productions!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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