The reunited original lineup of +LIVE+ today (6/22) have released their first new music since reemerging in 2017 with 26 shows in five different countries, including major festivals such as Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza and Arroyo Seco; a run of arena dates with Guns N’ Roses; and solo headlining shows.
“Love Lounge,” the band’s first new single in 10 years, debuted yesterday (6/21). The multi-platinum band–Ed Kowalczyk(vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor (guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer(bass) and Chad Gracey (drums, percussion)–have released the song in tandem with a lyric video which can be viewed here.
Taken from the band’s upcoming EP (release date TBA), “Love Lounge”–available via Kavalry Records–sonically hits hard right out of the gate and lyrically explores the dichotomy of love and fear. The track, produced byTaylor and mixed by Tim Palmer, also features the two touring members of+LIVE+: second guitarist (Zak Loy) and second drummer (Robin Diaz).
“This is the first time I was asked to produce and engineer LIVE, and ‘Love Lounge’ was a monster track to capture,” says Chad Taylor of the song recorded at the band’s Think Loud Studios in the band’s York, PAhometown. “I wanted the band to sound raw and tight like our early days at CBGB’s.”
Explains Ed Kowalczyk: “I kept saying to everyone that we needed the first release of our comeback to be a ‘face melter’ in terms of energy and vibe. We were coming back from a very long break and I didn’t think it was time for a five-minute mid-tempo meditation.” Note: a Q&A with Ed and Chad follows below.
This summer, +LIVE+ will embark on a 40+ city trek across North Americawith their friends, Counting Crows, starting June 27 in Boise, ID. The full itinerary can be found here.
Q&A with +LIVE+’s
Ed Kowalczyk and Chad Taylor
Congratulations on the upcoming single, “Love Lounge.” It hits hard–and has lots of dimension and depth. This is your first single since the band reunited and toured extensively, so what did you guys want to achieve sonically?
CHAD: “This is the first time I was asked to produce and engineer LIVE, and ‘Love Lounge’ was a monster track to capture. I wanted the band to sound raw and tight like our early days at CBGB’s. The recording is truly a performance piece, where each member brings their unique voice to build this huge energy. Ed’s vocals, in particular, were completely spontaneous and filled with his trademark passion. The only challenge for me was that he recorded the entire vocal performance in only two takes! When you’re working with musicians of his caliber, you better record it right the first time, or you may never get it! He’s like a rocket launching into space. Zak Loy provided the original guitar riff, and Ed wrote the vocal melody and lyrics, with me collaborating on the bridge. My goal as producer was to keep the energy super high, and have the track reflect the fact that we are having so much fun writing and recording. Our friend and ‘Walk The Line’ collaborator Tim Palmer mixed, adding the perfect balance to our controlled chaos.”
ED: “I kept saying to everyone that we needed the first release of our comeback to be a ‘face melter’ in terms of energy and vibe. We were coming back from a very long break and I didn’t think it was time for a five minute mid-tempo meditation. It was time for a proverbial ‘balls to the wall’ rock song. I mean, for God’s sake, the music world needs it more than ever! I need it more than ever! Every time I turn around some schmuck is talking about rock and roll being dead…this is LIVE responding with a ‘oh yeah? try me.'”
Can you talk about the recording of the song in York at Think Loud Studios? What was the mood and vibe?
ED: “During our break/break up, Chad [Taylor] went and became a truly bad-ass producer. Not to mention the fact that the guys built Think Loud Studios during that time as well. It’s an amazing place because of the juxtaposition of its ‘state of the art’ quality but also being nestled in our little hometown, with all of our friends hanging out and what not. I just really love being there. I mean, it’s 20,000 square feet of man-cave and guitars…what’s not to love?”
CHAD: “It’s a dream to own our own studio. The past budgetary pressures we felt as a major label artist have been replaced with a more laid back, artist-friendly environment. These factors only encourage creativity and again, working with the guys has been an incredible experience. ‘Love Lounge’ is the band’s first release officially recorded in our hometown of York, PA. I think our spirit of rebirth has a little something to do with this!”
What inspired the lyrics to “Love Lounge”?
ED: “The lyrics to ‘Love Lounge’ are, like most of my lyrics, pulled from a stream-of-consciousness type of style. I really love to write things that are wide open to interpretation. The lyrics to ‘Love Lounge’ remind me a lot of the lyrics that I wrote for LIVE’s ‘I Alone.’ Those, too, are using what might be, on the surface at least, a romantic story to get at a metaphor about a bigger love. Love and fear are in a kind of constant ‘tug of war’ in ourselves and in the world at large. We live like moths around a flame; perpetually attracted to the light of love yet afraid of the dissolution that surrender necessarily entails. ‘Love Lounge’ is full of that tension lyrically, but melodically it oozes with the seduction of a deep desire to go beyond our limits…’come to the Love Lounge, I’ll be right along.’ All of my favorite rock songs do this in some way, like an archetype that prefigures every piece of art that touches our souls. In my life as an artist, I’m just trying to add more of those types of songs to the cosmic set list.”
CHAD: “Lyrically, this is the Ed I’ve known since our childhood. He’s always been a complex character, almost retreating when in the public eye, but privately Ed’s a guy who comes alive after midnight; who can drink most men under the table, and knows the very best places to hang in nearly any city on the globe. I might not be able to directly interpret ‘Love Lounge,’ but I’m grateful that Ed is showing this side of himself. I’ve gotta admit, you’ve never had a night on the town until Ed has led the experience– one part spiritual shaman, one part after-midnight ringleader. Somehow he captured that spirit in this new song.”
The song also features your two touring members, second guitarist (Zak Loy) and second drummer (Robin Diaz). What do you feel they add to the sound?
CHAD: “The first rule of rock n’ roll is that there are no rules! Ed and I challenged each other to break away from the creative constraints that existed in our past. The central theme was, ‘if we’re not having fun, throw it away and start again.’ To us this meant embracing our incredible history while also incorporating the sonic experience of our 2017 tour–which featured both Zak Loy and Robin Diaz. We found ourselves feeling completely free to experiment but at the core of each song is real rock n’ roll energy. I know our fans are gonna flip to hear the band with this much energy and passion.”
Will “Love Lounge” be in your set on this summer’s tour and if so, what are your thoughts about showing your fans what LIVE, 2018, sounds like?
ED: “Super exciting times indeed. I’m very proud of what LIVE is doing in the studio. In fact, I haven’t felt like this since 1992 when we were putting togetherThrowing Copper. So, yeah, I’m super stoked to put this song through a big PA system and blast it all summer to our fans…old and new.”