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Interview: lovelesslust

LA-based lovelesslust (composer/performer Johnathan Cooper, guitarist/bassist Dana Wells, and drummer Anders LaSource) bridges the gap between rock band and art piece; their darkly aggressive industrial sound coalesces with an electrifying stage presence, sinister original art that flanks the stage, and a black and white visual motif that unites the musicians themselves with their art.

lovelesslust has performed at renowned venues such as Bar Sinister, House of Blues – Main Stage, and The Viper Room, and toured across the southwestern United States, which culminated in a performance to a packed house in Austin during SXSW.

The upcoming 11-song album THE CAR CRASH THAT ENDED HER LIFE CAME AS NO SURPRISE, produced by Cooper and mixed by Amir Derakh (Julien-K, Orgy), incorporates the band’s live energy, vocal harmonies, and lush strings into their synth-heavy sound. An early version of album’s first single, the anthemic crowd-favorite “AntiYouth”, was remixed by the legendary Chris Corner (IAMX, Sneaker Pimps).

Let’s talk a little about the history of the band. Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?

I was around 12 or 13, and was really impressed and inspired by Nine Inch Nails, particularly when I learned that the music was created by Trent Reznor alone.  I loved rock music, but I was already tiring of the formula that 95% of bands were following: a guitar or two, drums and bass with male vocals.  I knew if I truly wanted to do something great, I would need to outsmart the conventional wisdom and find a unique way to make powerful, intense music.  Around that time I committed myself to creating lovelesslust, and slowly but surely put all the pieces together to make that happen.  The final step of that process has been finding the right musicians, Anders and Dana, to compliment my compositions for live shows, and finally on this album.

What is your latest album and why should people buy it?

Our album is called The Car Crash That Ended Her Life Came As No Surprise, and people should buy it because it’s as good as that title is interesting.  Listen to the first 20 seconds on Spotify, and you will want to hear more.  There is a lot of nuance and a lot that will surprise you as you listen and demands your attention.

Lovelesslust album art

Tell us about your experience in the studio recording the new record?

This album was created from a set of 44 demo songs that I had created independently, calling the collection of demos “Romantic Perversion”.  I felt that it was time to invest in a focused, concentrated album of extremely high quality.  The songs on this record are all built upon those demos, so we were able to record very quickly with a base track already completed.  Anders, Dana and I had played these songs together for years, and labored over every detail of how to make them as strong as possible for the record.  In the studio, all 11 songs were recorded in a day and a half, with just a few takes needed since we were so rehearsed and clear on our direction artistically.  Then we added string arrangements to four of the songs, and rerecorded all of the vocal tracks and harmonies.

Describe the transformation a song undergoes once lyrics are added? Even though the music is the same, the lyrics can make it sound happy or dark or angry, etc.

A lot of this music is about personal anguish, which many people struggle to accept and feel they need to hide.  I find honesty really fascinating and frightening, so a lot of the lyrics are about things you wouldn’t feel comfortable to say in conversation, but might have been thinking to yourself when you’re being the most honest about how you’re feeling.  The lyrics help to make the music feel important, and in turn, the music helps the lyrics to be stomach-able.

How would you categorize the style of the band?

Industrial art rock.  Intense, and with a lot of variety — some songs, like “Heaven’s Black And White”, are melodic and beautiful, while tracks like “Pill” or “Pristine” are very heavy.  We have intentionally not relied on a formula for what lovelesslust sounds like to keep it interesting from one song to the next.

Which band musically introduced you to Industrial Music?

The Prodigy.  I remember hearing “Breathe” and being blown away by how it was simultaneously danceable, angry, complex and catchy.

At what age were you when you first started listening to Industrial Music?

I was 12.

Why do you think Industrial Music portrays the image that it does?

Because industrial artists often use strong imagery to help make their music stand out.  When industrial music is done well, it is usually done by someone who is good at thinking outside the box and finding creative ways to make unusual but effecting music.  Often, if you are into experimenting with sound, you’re more than willing to do so with visual elements as well.

Where can our readers find your band on the internet?

www.lovelesslust.com is the place for all things lovelesslust.  You can also keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for answering these questions. Do you have any last comments or words of advice for aspiring musicians and people trying to get into the business?

Thank you for having me!  My advice would be, be true to yourself.  You will only make good work if you truly dedicate yourself and your time to your work, and be willing to make a lot of mediocre songs before you make one good one.  Keep working, keep writing, keep practicing, and don’t give up.

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