In Conversation with…LVLS

Manchester’s LVLS (aka. Loveless) make indie guitar, pop rock music. Consisting of Jay Gibb (Vocals/Guitar), Paul James (Guitar), Emily Jane Conlon (Guitar/Vocals), Charlotte Hughes (Bass/Vocals) and Gaylord Knott (Drums). With an emphasis on a big stadium like sound, they are able to create something that makes a lasting impression on you, something that’s danceable and immediate. LVLS create a musical landscape that exudes sounds that are reminiscent of 80’s electro pop, mixed with darker elements of melancholy and gothic romanticism, they’ve got all the ingredients that make up a great sound. With the upcoming release of their next EP, Teenager, out 25th November and their ever-growing fan base and the attention that they are gaining from bloggers, they continue to soar to new heights and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving band, in my opinion.

I caught up with the band’s frontman, Jay Gibb, to talk about their upcoming EP and to discuss the band’s future and everything else in between. Read on to hear what he said.

Can you give us a brief history of how you came together as a band?
We met through friends of friends apart from Charlotte who we found online. A little more interesting, I actually met Emily at a funeral just as Charlotte had joined before the summer. It’s been all happy since then, and no arguments either…yet.

What’s the story behind your band name and how long did it take you to settle on it?
It was the first idea we had, hopefully it doesn’t suggest too much doom and gloom…

How would you describe your sound, for those readers that may have never heard your music before?
Big and beautiful like Monroe’s dazzling buzzums…

Are there any songs that you have on repeat at the moment?
Lately I’ve been going back to Skid Row and Roxette a lot. I loved that stuff as a young lad too. I think we need to bring the power-ballad back.

Can you give us an insight into your songwriting process. Where do you start and how do you put a song together?
It’s not precisely formulated as such, but we usually start with “we wanna write a song like that” or an idea of using a particular beat. Setting boundaries and working within them is something I do a lot, for example our song It’s Only Love was purposely written as 2 chords throughout. It’s not always ideal but occasionally it works really well for us.

Your last EP, 2 for Joy, garnered you a lot more attention from bloggers and fans alike. I’m sure it’s been good to receive such positive feedback from people about the EP. You’ve recently been working on some new material including a song called Echoes. When can we be expecting to hear that?
It’s been a quite easy process to be honest; both writing and recording these new songs. Having John (Producer/Engineer involved made it much easier. He understood what we were going for. His methods and production has contributed like a 6th member I think..

The songs should be floating about online towards the end of October.

You’ve got some big gigs coming up soon. You’re playing a gig as part of the Oxjam music festival and you’ve got a show coming up in London very soon, which is very exciting. What’s your favourite aspect of playing live?
Being a fairly new band; I’m enjoying the reaction, mainly. I don’t think people often see a band in a small club playing such an ambitious sound that in theory is designed for stadiums. I can understand for some “cool” cats it could be quite nauseating, but in general I think people have warmed to us.

Growing up in Manchester must have made a great impact on you as a person and as a musician, as it has always been a hive for creativity, especially music. Having said that did growing up in Manchester make you want to pursue a career in music even more?
Being raised in North Manchester you learn your strengths at a very young age. I’d rather be told I was shit at something than be encouraged to do something I was hopeless at.

But to be honest it was quite apparent that I wasn’t going to be a doctor or whatever; I can’t draw, I’m shit at football; probably too handsome to be a Marks & Spencer model, so straight away you’re limited. You can accept it and live that way or try something else. Writing music is what I enjoy and am least worst at, I suppose.

From a musical perspective I’m not sure it matters where you’re from anymore. City’s have embraced the Madchester thing up and down the country over the past 20 years; look at Kasabian for example, they’re “mad fer it” aren’t they?

We’re big supporters of new music here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. Having said that, are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?
A Manchester duo, Veladrome. I’m not gonna hype or say too much. The last compliment I gave them; they shot me down. I recommend folk go see them.

Do you have any tips for new bands starting out, any advice that you could give them?
Don’t take it too serious. That’s when it gets boring and you too become boring.

What’s next for LVLS?
We have our new ‘Teenager’ EP out on the 25th November, which will have both new songs we’ve recently recorded along with possibly 1 acapella and an maybe an acoustic song.

We’ve a few shows too at The Bassment in Ancoats on 26th October for Oxjam (Abandon) which we’re excited about, then onto Liverpool’s Zanzibar 23rd November and then onto The Barfly in London on the 4th December.

As for right now, I’m off to make a Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodle. It’s all about gauging the water just right…


A special thanks to LVLS for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.

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Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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