Interview: Luv Dot Gov Discuss Their New LP
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Sarah Knoll sat down with lead singer and guitarist Matthew Pop and drummer Stevie Seaweeds of local NYC self-defined power-pop band LUV DOT GOV. They just released an album, At Least We’ve Got This Madness on Drink More Records. The band discussed their influences, the music scene in NYC, and their musical origins.
Take a read below while you listen to their record.
How’d you guys meet originally?
Matt: We met about 6 years ago at Tamley Hall, outside smoking a cigarette. We were both playing that night in separate bands.
What bands do you play in other than LUV DOT GOV?
Stevie: Yes, I play in Bad Citizen and The Shipwrecks. They’re fun times, so I love doing that.
Define what LUV DOT GOV is for you guys as a band?
Matt: I would always say power-pop 100% even when people are like “I don’t know what that is”
Congrats on releasing the record, can you speak a little bit more about that?
Stevie: I think the overall theme is total domination laughs.
Matt: I just kind of randomly ran away to the UK in 2016, to kind of get a change and get out of New York for a while. I went to meet some friends in Glasgow, and ended up visiting Edenborough, which I just ended up falling in love with immediately. I went back and I was like, I’ve been trying to make a record for a few years, wouldn’t it be cool if I had a studio here. So I looked up a couple of recording studios in Edenborough, and I found Chamber where I recorded. I went and I met Graham, who’s the producer on the record and we just hit it off immediately. We liked all the same music and all the same things and I think I emailed you [Stevie] and was like “let’s make a record in Scotland” and you were like “haha, yeah right, but sure”. The studio was unlike anything I’d ever recorded in, so I knew this was going to be a big thing and we should hire real musicians, real strings and horns and everything.
You seem to have a lot of influences such as Weezer and other alternative bands from the 90’s, can you talk a little bit about your influences?
Matt: I think for me and Stevie probably as well, all of these bands like Superdrug, Teenage Fan Club, all of these bands were on MTV in the 90’s.
Stevie: For me personally, when I met him I had already listened to all of the Matthew Pop stuff, and for me it was like “oh shit, this reminds me of the 90’s” like all of the emotions I had developed. So I knew I wanted to work with this guy, I listened to his stuff for days, I wanted to play drums for him. Like I had my first tongue kiss to the Blue Album, it’s what we grew up on.
Matt: I think when we all went in to make the record we were all listening to a lot of ELO (Electric Light Orchestra).
What do you guys think of this resurgence of 90’s music coming back into contemporary culture?
Matt: It’s interesting to see, and I like to see that be successful. I’m seeing a lot of power-pop bands, like I’d say we are too, in the 90’s that just didn’t really hit it. Even bands that got signed got dropped a day later. So it’s nice to see this resurgence happening with a little more success and focus on actual good songwriting as opposed to recycling more garbage that can sell easily.
What was your songwriting process for this record?
Matt: It kind of just pops into my head. Usually melody and chords first and if it’s good enough I’ll usually stop what I’m doing and work on it. But I don’t really sit down and plan to write music, but once I’m done writing something then I’ll bring in a rough demo and tweak it and make really nice pre-production demos. And then those go into the studio and make some more changes until it’s this big badass thing.
What has been your experience in the NYC music scene?
Stevie: I think we built a great team from the start, it’s been an upwards spiral, my love for it I spread real hard to all of my pals and a year later we have a core group of loved ones.
Matt: We’ve been playing decent clubs and stuff. Not drawing huge, but I think it’s hard in NYC. Everything here is so oversaturated. We go over to the UK and play and it’s a lot easier, a lot more people come out and a lot more people are talking about it.
At Least We’ve Got This Madness is available now on Bandcamp for digitally and on CD.
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