After being kicked out of their former band for making out during rehearsal and just as notoriously splitting up right before the release of their breakout album, Scott Blond and Lisa Light have mesmerized fans since their 2005 release, Times of Romance. With sexy 80s dance numbers and an even sexier live show involving half naked dancing and more, The Lovemakers have always made people take notice.
In July the duo released a five song EP entitled Misery Loves Company, featuring five full-length music videos with rumors that a series of EPs would follow. With an edgier rock sound and lots of fur, the EP is just a teaser for what’s to come next for this sexy Oakland duo.
Staff writer Grace Blasco recently talked with Scott Blond about the unglamorous reality of being a rockstar, why he could never do anything else, and how it’s necessary to make at least one music video that involves wolves.
SSv: What are you guys up to right now? You just released your Misery Loves Company EP in July and played at a couple of festivals this summer…
Scott Blond: Yeah, we toured a little bit… We were going to do a bunch of EPs, but kind of decided against that and we just started writing a lot and working on a bridge between the Interscope record, Times of Romance, and what the next record is going to be. We think that we’ve got it together now. There are a lot of songs, so we decided that we were going to do a full-length record for the next one.
SSv: Is that what lead to the decision to not do the series of EPs – you just had too much stuff?
Scott Blond: Well, we just changed our mind. We had a lot of stuff, that’s one of the reasons, and it all kind of just came together that way and we wanted all of it to be on the same record. We’re really excited about it. It’s a bit of a change sonically, and we’ve really been thinking about that a lot. We’re always trying to be a couple years ahead and we never want to come out with the same record twice, but at the same time we don’t want to do something that’s going to alienate anybody.
Being in a band is the most insane thing you can do with yourself. It just is. It's like there's no future really, and your personal life is just completely fucked, just everything. And the funny thing is that there is such a romanticized view of it, like, 'Oh, you guys must have it made.
SSv: I noticed the songs on Misery Loves Company have a darker feel with more rock influences, rather than the straight electronica pop of your earlier stuff. Is that more the direction you’re heading for the new album?
Scott Blond: Yeah, definitely. It’s definitely more leaning towards the rock end of things, but still on the EP we were still doing a lot of electronica stuff. There’s still some sequencing on there, there’s some computer stuff, but even at that time we were writing some of the songs that were going to be on the next one. We knew that on the next one, the one we’re working on right now, that we weren’t going to use any computers at all and very little keyboards. Well, there are a few songs that are pretty much all keyboards, but not in the same way. It’s a lot more live… I don’t really know how to explain it.
SSv: Is that influenced by your shows? I read in a past interview that you were trying to get away from the keyboard sounds because it interfered with the live show in a way, that you wanted something more present or interactive, if that’s what you meant?
Scott Blond: Yeah, basically, we wanted to capture a live performance a little more. We’re getting closer. It takes so long for a band to really come into themselves. We’re constantly changing; I mean we don’t even know what’s next. We really don’t have any control over it; it definitely feels like we’re channeling it a lot, like from some weird place. And then all of a sudden we come up with this record and it’s like, “Holy shit! This doesn’t sound anything like we sounded like a few years ago.” [Laughs]
And now we’ve been a band for five years. It’s just been me and Lisa writing songs this whole time. Every year we make another kind of breakthrough artistically and we discover new things and that always turns into a different sound.
SSv: Has your fan base come with you, or do you find that as you’re changing you pick up different fans? I know when Times of Romance came out it had this cult following that had its own steady build where people kept discovering it on their own. And it really lasted for a long time.
Scott Blond: Yeah, people are still discovering that record. It never really got any kind of push. It did here, but it didn’t anywhere else.
SSv: Live 105 [San Francisco rock station] played it a lot, right?
Scott Blond: And this radio station in Boston played it, though not nearly as much, and that was it. But the rest of the world has no idea that record exists. We’ll play a sold out show in San Francisco, but then we’ll go to Arizona and there’s three people. We still have yet to come up with the right thing; mostly the right people working for us. It’s always like pieces to a puzzle. It becomes more and more evident as time goes on that we need this piece, and then this piece, and slowly but surely we’re gathering those elements. You just never know. It could be this one, or it might be the one after that, or it might never happen.
SSv: In every review I’ve read and every article about you guys, whoever is writing the piece always has this phrase: “it’s only a matter of time.”
Scott Blond: Everyone always says that, and it’s cool. It’s cool that a lot of people believe in us and that’s going to happen, but at the same time, it’s such a struggle. Being in a band is the most insane thing you can do with yourself. It just is. It’s like there’s no future really, and your personal life is just completely fucked, just everything. And the funny thing is that there is such a romanticized view of it, like, “Oh, you guys must have it made.” It’s the same story, just broke and trying to outdo ourselves. It’s really difficult.
SSv: Your old keyboardist, Jason, left to pursue a more normal life, something like got a job at a hardware store?
Scott Blond: No, he’s a computer programmer. That’s what he was doing before the band. Like I said, you pretty much just have to give up to really do it. Right from the very start we made a pact with each other that never ended. We’re gonna do it until we do it, until we get where we want to be, no matter what.
So, we’re just kind of in forever. We’re total lifers. We can’t do anything else, we’re so in love with what we do that we have to make a living doing it. The cool thing is that I think with this next record the thing that is most evident, is that it actually sounds a lot younger and it sounds desperate. I don’t know how to explain it really.
SSv: It definitely has a really raw, harsh feel to it in comparison to the last stuff. In the videos you have severed pig heads and lots of fur and wolves. It feels life you’re channeling this much darker energy.
Scott Blond: The one that we’re recording now is even more, we grabbed onto that a lot more. There’s a lot of three minute, almost punk sounding songs. There are a lot of avenues we haven’t gone down up to this point. It’s all exciting. We’re really excited about it. More and more people keep latching onto it. Industry people. That’s kind of the weird thing.
SSv: Has switching over to Fuzz really changed things for you at this point? I know Interscope left you feeling like they weren’t really working for you in the same way…
Scott Blond: We got into it at the worst time possible, right in the middle of everyone getting laid off and the label was just crumbling around us. Fuzz is a brand new company, so there’s a good chance for us to get out of that world and do something really different. And it works. What that EP did, we got a lot of really good reviews and that was one of our main goals.
With Times of Romance, it’s definitely very slick sounding and very clean and it’s very major label sounding and I think we were kind of hoping we weren’t coming across as fake. We were really adamant that the next thing we did was going to have to be a lot crazier. And we pulled it off. All of the reviews that we got had a lot of stars – you know, four out of five stars, and five out of five, and they were like, whoa, we didn’t expect this, we just thought this band was just a show or something.
SSv: Do you creatively have a lot more freedom with Fuzz?
Scott Blond: Oh yeah, complete and total control. But we did on Interscope, too, for the most part. There were definitely some guidelines that were kind of unspoken, if you were on the edge of getting pushed to top 40 radio. Which is what they were thinking originally. They never did it. That was a hope from out of the gates. To get there you kind of have to be this certain way. We tried to spin it a certain way as much as possible to try and protect our future, in the hopes that we would be doing something a little crazier later on.
We also knew that in a lot of ways it was our first record. We were very young in our sound. Listening to the record we’re doing now, it’s very interesting for us to go back to Times of Romance and listen to it and see the growing process. We’re like, whoa, we’re becoming a band. There’s a history now, and we have all of these stories. It’s very interesting to look at from the outside.
SSv: How do you see your live show developing as your music changes? So much of your earlier stuff was about this crazy live show and half naked dancing…
Scott Blond: It’s still the same. Oh yeah. Most definitely. We’re really inspired by performers. We didn’t just decide to do it. That’s just what we gravitated towards. We love Prince and Madonna. Not that I listen to Madonna, but as far as show is concerned. When I go to see a rock show I would rather see that and hopefully get good music on top of it.
SSv: So much of the Bay Area scene right now seems to be noise rock and shoegaze, which is all about the music. With that you kind of lose that connection with the performer.
Scott Blond: I’ve never been a fan of that. Even though a lot of bands I like are that. I grew up in the whole shoegaze era. I was heavy into that whole thing, but as I got older, and now especially, I want to fucking see Prince. I want to go to a show and see the stage blow up. It’s so much fun to see a great show and have a great time and also have good music.
SSv: Was releasing the five videos with the five songs an attempt to bring the same energy to the people who couldn’t see the live show, or what was the rationale behind that?
Scott Blond: We just started doing it, basically. Instead of doing a full-length record we thought it would be cool to do five videos and five songs. Lisa’s boyfriend is the director.
SSv: So you had an in?
Scott Blond: Yeah, we had an in-house director. It was a good way for us visually as well to better describe who we really are. Like I said, the Times of Romance record was really one-sided and we didn’t really get crazy at all. Let’s give it to them visually and audibly. Watching the video you get the sense that this isn’t just some 80s throwback band, which we got tagged with a lot. Us and everyone else was getting that. We were on tour with She Wants Revenge and Rock Kills Kid. It was like, oh, you guys are part of the 80s resurgence. We didn’t like that at all.
We tried to get away from that with that EP. Even though the way we structure songs, and it’s funny, every time we throw in a keyboard it’s immediately 1984. If you take the keyboard out it sounds like a modern rock song…. I’m totally off topic now! But really, the whole video thing was a lot of fun, and a lot of work. We wanted to hire wolves for something…
SSv: You always have to incorporate wolves if you can.
Scott Blond: Exactly. It was a lot of fun.
SSv: Are you guys putting off touring now until you finish the full-length album?
Scott Blond: We’re shooting for some big singles on this next record. It’s straight ahead rock pop. We have a lot of people behind us right now, so it seems like time to go for it again. We’re going to try and catch it on nationally and hopefully overseas as well. We’re putting those pieces of the puzzle together right now.
SSv: Is Fuzz supporting that, or do you feel like you’re doing it on your own?
Scott Blond: Yeah, they’re supporting whatever we’re doing. I can’t say too much about it, but there’s stuff happening and it’s pretty exciting. We’re going for the radio thing again this time around, and it’s going to be a little weirder, a little different, but still the same. Hopefully people will like it. The process takes so long it’s insane. God only knows when this will come out. Probably spring or something. That will be my guess.
SSv: I’m looking forward to it.
Scott Blond: Yeah, me, too.