Dayton bros reunite to rock Blind Bob’s
While there is certainly something to be said for discovering a new group of musical comrades and the pleasant surprises that come with making music with a new group of collaborators, reconnecting with a group that is familiar holds significant magic, too. Shared experiences and history – knowing when your homies have your back and being pleasantly surprised by reaching new milestones together – offer chemistry and confidence in spades. If it weren’t for this phenomenon, the popular act of doing a “reunion run” wouldn’t exist, right?
The dudes from Dayton post-rock quartet Lovely know this phenomenon intimately – they’ve been making music together for nearly two decades. Honing their chops in Shadyside, Vows, Sound For Language and Kuan, these guys know each other inside and out. On their recent Waitin’ In Dayton EP, released in September, the chemistry is electric. A ’90s post-rock influence is also present here; the group is quick to pull pages from the playbooks of Seaweed, Fugazi, Quicksand and Hot Water Music, making the edgy, guitar-centric approach sound just as fresh in 2013 as it did in 1997.
Dayton City Paper caught up with Lovely’s Charles “Chip” Heck to discuss the group’s recent endeavors.
Lovely has been very active during the last few months in terms of playing out. Is this increased activity and effort to support the Waitin’ In Dayton EP? Will you continue to be active the rest of the year and into 2014?
Yeah, definitely. We are making playing out as much as we can a priority since we have the EP out now. We want to get the word out about the band and hopefully win some new fans and get our record in people’s hands. We will definitely be as active as dudes with young families can be and continue to write new tunes for the next release. -Charles Heck
When did you begin writing the material for your most recent EP?
A few of the songs actually date back to the Shadyside days. Shadyside demoed the music for “Spirits” and “Knots” back in late ’04/early ’05, but never put lyrics to them or really finished the songs. So, when Dave and Vinnie and I started jamming together again in the summer of ’11, I pulled those back out as a jump off point. “Try too hard” is a song I wrote sometime in ’08 or ’09 for the band VOWS, that Dave Brandenburg, Wendell Hensley and I were in with Justin Roseberry, that never really got worked out. “Out on 17th” is an idea Wendell had been kicking around since the VOWS days also, but it didn’t get fleshed out and finished until Lovely started. That song kind of ties the EP together because the lyrics are about part of our experience together in Shadyside recording our Later in the Past EP down in Nashville in ’04. None of the songs really had lyrics or vocals written to them until Wendell moved back to Dayton from Tennessee last summer and we all started playing together again and really began crafting the songs into what’s on our record. -CH
What lessons did you learn playing with others that changed the way you interact and play with the individuals in Lovely?
Probably just being more patient and open to suggestions in the songwriting process. Each group’s dynamic has been different, but with these guys we’ve been playing together in one form or another for so long it’s just easy and comfortable most of the time. So, maybe not so much lessons I’ve learned, but just more experience and respect for the process of creating something as a team. -CH
Who produced the record?
It was all self-produced and recorded in my basement, actually. We tracked it all ourselves and then turned it over to Mr. Micah Carli to mix it. I’ve been recording demos for my bands and friends’ bands for years now, so we decided to go that route to save some money. It was also good to do it that way because most of us have families now and it would be a lot harder for us to book a studio for, say, a weekend and be gone for days at a time rather than just record for a couple hours at practice on a weeknight. This way we could take our time and not stress about the ticking clock in a studio. -CH
You’ve been playing these songs live. Which of them has elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Yes, we have. We’ve had a chance to play everything on the EP live. We’re still kind of a new band and need to play the songs out more, so we haven’t gotten a lot of reactions from fans yet. But the feedback we’ve received from friends has been really positive on all the songs. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, our show we did with The Story Changes back in May, we had a really strong reaction from this random dude in the crowd. He kept yelling at us and telling us we sounded like In Pieces. Then he got so excited he jumped up onstage in between songs to try and pump up the crowd for us. Then, during our last song he jumped up onstage again and started trying to scream along. He stole my mic, so when my cue came to do vocals I had to kick him in the ass to get it back. Ha! -CH
Lovely will perform on Friday, Nov.15 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Riley, City Mouse and Dinosaurus are also on the bill. Admission is $5 for 21 & up. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit lovelydayton.bandcamp.com.