Local Band The Lovelost Make Sorely Needed Romantic Music
Was it hard to find musicians not afraid of the ukulele?
Ippolito: Yeah, ha, when it comes to the ukulele, there's kinda of a raised brow, you know -- people expect you to be some kind of folk musician, you know, Phillip Phillips or Mumford and Sons, but I tend to write songs that are more in line with Beirut [the band], more melodic. As far as being a ukebox hero -- Eddie Vedder really opened my eyes to what the instrument can be and where the music can go from a rock standpoint. His playing is outstanding.
We decided not to form a "band" in the typical sense. The band would be us, and we would recruit musicians, to rehearse, record and play shows with us. After about six months we had a handful of songs and talked to our friend, Nick Kizer, a drummer with mad skills, to rehearse and record with us. He agreed and from there we went into rehearsals and then eventually into the recording studio.
Ixchel: We've been very fortunate to have so many talented friends who are not only tremendous musicians but are looking for something to play other than pop or rock. Don't get us wrong, we're not reinventing anything by any stretch of the imagination, but we are really trying to stretch ourselves musically, and in turn stretch the boundaries of the "genre."
Ippolito: We'd be remiss not to mention, David Cosme, trumpet; Chris Fiscus, percussion; Billy Keys, keyboards; Niki Kizer, lead guitars; and Robin Vinning on accordion; all who contributed their talents our record, Foreign. Of course, when you have these many players, great players, it's hard to reproduce the sound on stage. So, we are very grateful for Chad Einsinger, drums, Lawrence Ross, keyboards, Spencer Arellano-Haring, percussion, Don Hayes, accordion, and Ashley Creighton, keyboards, all who have helped recreate the album on stage.
The fact that the sound is jazzy and Latin, does that combination make it hard to book gigs with like-minded bands?
Ixchel: No, not really. And thanks for adding jazzy to the mix. Our sound has been called everything from lush to dream-pop, so jazzy is new and much appreciated. We think we are a good fit for any bill because we are a bit different sounding. You know, we're not that head-pounding band nor are we a dance band, we are somewhere in between and that makes us attractive to venues because we bring in a whole new set of fans.
Ippolito: We've played with everyone from Companeros, a wild garage/soul/funk band to Carol Pacey and the Honeyshakers, who play Americana, to Sweetbleeders, who are in a category all by themselves. And for the most part we deliver a good show and make a few friends along the way.
There are a lot of jazz-tinged acts around town people like Captain Squeegee, but the whole Latin scene seems far afield and different from rock in Phoenix in venues and in its audience. Is that an accurate reading?
Ixchel: You know, we're not really "Latin" in the most traditional sense. But, we do seek out bands that sing in Spanish and try to book shows with them and there a few of them out there. We also try to find World Beat bands like Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra to book shows with. So as far as the "Latin" scene, there's not much out there, but Phoenix does have a lot of bands that bring the culture.
Have you played to strictly Latin audiences? If so, how did they react to a rock song like "You Say I Say"?
Ippolito: We really haven't. But it's more of the reverse, you know. When we launch into a Spanish song like "Redemption," that features Ixchel beating on a floor tom and singing, in front of an Anglo audience, the response is great even though they don't speak Spanish.
Ixchel: We've played with a couple of "Latin" bands, and when we say Latin, we mean those who sing in Spanish. We played Tempe [Art] A Gogh-Gogh a couple months ago and we really enjoyed Tres Lunas and La Saga. They were awesome. They really brought the vibe.
Has the band ventured much outside Phoenix? Flagstaff? Prescott?
Ippolito: Man, we try. We were invited by Sidepony Music to play their festival in Bisbee, and that was awesome. We are currently trying to get up to Prescott to play with some of our friends up there. But then again, it's difficult for us to get attention from venues outside of Phoenix because, again, we're just not that kind of band. The one place we'd love to play is Tucson. Especially with our songs in Spanish.
The Lovelost will be playing Wednesday, June 18th at the Ice House Tavern.
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