Love is All
words: April S. Engram
photos: Official Band Site
Having missed their explosive tour through the States towards the end of ’06, I felt terribly deprived when I missed seeing Love is All in action. All the buzz concerning this Swedish punk-pop band not only rested on their energy-packed debut album Nine Times That Same Song, but their equally, if not more, dynamic and LOUD live performances — just my luck for living where you see more cows than people. Nonetheless, I had the luxury of sharing a conversation with lead singer Josephine Olausson… via internet; time difference, Josephine’s sudden bout of nausea and my busy schedule did not stop this momentous event. An especially accommodating person, Josephine worked with me to make this happen and I truly appreciate her kindness.
Loose: I read your website’s bio about the “birth of the band,” if you will; would you claim your fame to fate?
Josephine: Fame… I don’t know. Everything has sort of just happened though without us interfering too much. It’s just been an endless period of good news. I’m not sure why this is…
LR: I guess fame is a word that alludes to many stereotypes about being in a band: making loads of money, partying to the wee hours, etc., so I’ll say the “reception” of the band; it appears that Love is All have been received very well from the press and new fans alike…
Josephine: Yes, that sounds better; but I still don’t know why that is. I sometimes think that we’ve been plain lucky.
LR: The cosmos are in your favor!
Josephine: Yeah. We must have done something right.
LR: Well, from my perspective, I heard “Busy Doing Nothing” on the radio and I had to stop what I was doing to see who did that song. It is a very infectious sound you guys have created!
Josephine: Well, that’s such a great compliment. That is my favourite way of discovering new stuff.
LR: Did it take you all a while to hone in on the sound you wanted to create?
Josephine: Not really. The messy part of the sound comes naturally since we are five people who are all really eager to be heard. And that reverb was really the work of our “producer” Woodie Taylor.
LR: Isn’t it nice when accidents come together nicely? So the lo-fi sound was Taylor’s idea?
Josephine: Yes and no. It’s all lo-fi because the songs were recorded in our practice space on pretty shitty equipment. It’s only recently that we’ve bought some “proper” microphones and stuff, but to make it all drenched in reverb was Woodie’s work. Maybe as a tool to hide that the recordings lacked a lot of what you usually hear from bands recording in real expensive studios and stuff.
LR: I love the lo-fi sounds, so yay for shoddy equipment! It gives the album a garage, DIY feel to it, and whose idea was it to include the sax?
Josephine: I don’t really know. I like to take credit for it, but it might have been something we all came up with. Markus (our drummer) knew Fredrik, who used to play sax back in school (ages ago) and we just wanted to add some on one song. It sounded so good that he just had to stay in the band.
LR: Nice, we’ll say it was all you! Female intuition, that’s what we’ll credit the idea to!
LR: Now what inspired the name? It’s unique…
Josephine: Actually, there are two stories, one that’s true and one that is not, which one do you want?
LR: Nice setup, I’ll take the untrue story first please.
Josephine: The untrue story is that it’s taken from a song called “Love is All” by Roger Glover with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. It’s a great song that we discovered long after we’d named the band, but these days we usually play it before we enter the stage.
LR: Nice, you have a ritual before you go on stage?
Josephine: Not besides playing that song and having a glass or two of pastis…
LR: Now I haven’t forgotten, I have to hear the true story now, you’ve piqued my interest.
Josephine: The true story is that I was watching an episode of The Man from Uncle one night and this episode was about some hippie sect, at the entry of the camp were gates with the letters “Love is All” over them. For some reason, I just thought it looked perfect and sounded so nice that I wanted to name the band Love is All. It took a while for the others to agree though.
LR: It would be hard to convince guys to be a part of a band with that name; they have to maintain their machismo.
LR: How was it recording the Peel Session? I imagine that it was pretty awesome to have the opportunity to record a Peel Session before you even had a full length album.
Josephine: Yes. It was crazy, but the thing was that some of us had already recorded one with our old band Girlfrendo (also with only a few 7-inches out). But, sure it was an amazing experience that I’m so happy we had the chance do.
LR: I bet! Your ’06 was filled with some great touring about the world, the long Maximo Park tour and your time in the States. How was the experience?
Josephine: I liked it very much. Sure, there were mornings when I was all grumpy and swore I’d never do anything like it again, and for our guitarist Nicke I think it was extra hard, because he has two kids at home… but overall it was so much fun. It’s nice to get to see parts of the world you never would see otherwise.
LR: Nice, traveling and seeing different parts of the world has to be the best benefit to touring, besides performing. Any places you guys would like to visit next?
Josephine: We’re off to Australia in February, should be pretty cool, especially since they have summer there during our most dreary time of year. I would love to go to Mexico too, but there are no plans for that.
LR: Ahh, yea, Mexico is beautiful… from what I’ve seen from Discovery Channel, and Nacho Libre, ok, the home stretch Josephine! For the new album, incorporating any new sounds or ideas?
Josephine: We’re currently working on some new songs, but I have no idea if what we’re producing has anything to do with what the final result will be like. We’re having trouble with our neighbors, so if we make any more noise we’ll be kicked out. Obviously that is trouble for us since we like to make a lot of noise. We’re currently looking for a new space, and when we’ve moved, I’m not really sure where the new songs will be heading.
LR: Oh geez, neighbors, go figure! Well, best of luck with that, hey, a lot of noise is what you’re all about and I love it.
Josephine: Thanks a lot.
LR: Just out of curiosity, are there currently any musicians you’re into right now, can’t get enough of?
Josephine: Fleetwood Mac.
LR: Really, nice! Have to love the raspy vocals.
Josephine: Exactly, I’ve been listening to them on my iPod every day on my way to the practice space.
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