Editor's Spotlight: The Bloody Lovelies
Interviewed by Skip Protection
Word travels fast when you have a loyal following and Cheap Lullaby Record's latest L.A. craze, The Bloody Lovelies, are no different. Getting ready to kick off their latest leg of the tour to support their first LP, Some Truth and a Little Money, I had the distinct pleasure to chat with Randy Wooten, pianist and primary songwriter, and Eric Holden, bassist. Their piano-driven and melodic rock is a delightful blend of the Beatles' harmony, Billy Joel's bombast while yielding a fresh and unique retro sound that sticks. This is the type of album you play in your CD player over and over again until you learn all the words and sing along when no one is watching. After all, folks can't be wrong when one considers that The Bloody Lovelies song Ceiling got over 110,000 downloads from MP3 radio before they even completed their first album. They have a slew of upcoming shows on the west coast and they are a must see! Here's what the band had to say:
MillionairePlayboy.com: Are you guys excited for the west coast leg of your tour? You've been in rehearsals right?
Bloody Lovelies: We're getting ready for the tour that starts next week. We just played a show at the Derby in L.A. It's a great spot and we really enjoyed it...very attractive ladies at the Derby.
MillionairePlayboy.com: I'll bet and we'll talk about more about them in a minute. What show are you particularly looking forward to?
Bloody Lovelies: We're really looking forward to playing at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco [on June 6th]. Also, we're doing a show with the Fixx that we're really excited about in Santa Barbara. The bigger markets are always great. We also like doing the record store shows like our gig coming up at Music Millennium in Portland, Oregon.
MPb: Do you like doing the record store shows? More interaction with the fans?
BL: It's a lot more interesting and it is casual, laid back. We get a great chance to talk to our fans.
MPb: What's the best show you've done so far?
BL: The Derby show was our best show ever. We like to think we are getting better with every show. Tighter as a musical group too. With our recent album release, it's been growing. We're selling more records and getting more radio and that's bringing in new fans. The crowds just keep getting larger and more into the show. Plus, it had been a while since we played in L.A.
MPb: Who do you consider your biggest influences?
BL: Probably Tom Waits, The Beatles and a lot of British Pop.
MPb: You can definitely hear the Beatles in your music.
BL: We've all got different backgrounds so you really see a lot of influences. Our rhythm section [Drummer Craig Macintyre] has a lot of R&B, Blues and Jazz experience. We think everything is tied together to our roots. We also enjoy Bowie and heavy metal...children of the 80s.
MPb: I know what you mean. What are you listening to right now?
Eric: Listening to a lot of Aimee Mann...big fan of hers.
Randy: James Booker, a New Orleans Piano Player. One would call him the Jimi Hendrix of the Piano...he was doing stuff that no one else dreamed of. He was a real freak show!
Eric: We've also been listening to a lot of Queen lately.
MPb: I'm a fan of Queen myself. Are you guys familiar with the Darkness?
BL: Oh yeah! We just saw them do a show in London. Crazy. Randy got to see them in the Abby Road studio where they were recording. During the show Randy got hit by the lead singer's visor when he threw it off stage!
MPb: Hey that's a good souvenir!
Randy: Absolutely. They are a lot like Andy Kaufman. You're never sure where the joke stops.
MPb: Definitely. Randy, I understand you formed the band when you attended Vanderbilt. How did the band come together?
Randy: Vanderbilt is a very conservative school and I was living in the one dorm for non-conservative types. I found a like-minded musician and we formed an acoustic duo...doing shows at coffee shops and stuff. Our music has changed a lot over the years and we were like a movie soundtrack going from heavy metal to country to pop from song to song. I moved to L.A. after school and met Eric. He was sort of a hired gun at the time and we formed the band from there. We went through a lot of changes with our sound and name and finally settled into the Bloody Lovelies.
MPb: That's a great name...where does it come from?
Randy: Eric and I were in a bar in London. You know, playing inside of one of those cages. We were in a Port town next to Portland and they kept saying a our music was bloody lovely. So we decided to keep the name. [Ed note: something tells me they tell everyone a different story!]
MPb: I spent some time on your web site looking at the message boards. The fans seem genuinely enamored with you guys! How often do you get to read the fan mail?
Randy: Oh everyday I at least take a look.
Eric: As often as possible but it's getting harder and harder.
BL: We don't get to post responses to all of our messages but we love reading about what the fans think. Plus, the street team has been really popular. We're really excited by the fans' reaction to us! They always post stuff after our shows too. One woman even wrote in and told us she was flying in from Philly to our show at the Whiskey A Go Go [THE legendary Sunset Boulevard which has hosted everyone from Janis Joplin to Van Halen]
MPb: I was really impressed by the site and the fans really love you guys.
So, during your travels, you've come across a lot of other acts. Any that really disliked?
Eric: Nah, normally I only go see a band when there's something I like about them.
Randy: Me neither. I like to see shows of people I know around town [LA]. Oh, we're going to see Prince soon!
MPb: He puts on a great show! But I hear he isn't licking the guitar anymore on this tour.
BL: That's not cool. We want to see that!
MPb: Any chance of integrating that into your shows?
Randy: I play an electric piano so that would be pretty difficult to pull off.
MPb: Heh heh. So, now that your first album is under your belts, what are you plans for the future?
BL: We're leaving it up in the air.
Eric: I mean if some big label throws a whole bunch of money at us, well, you never know?
BL: Our label now gives us a lot of freedom to do what we want musically. That's tough with the major labels because they demand you put out x number of albums in so many years.
MPb: So you think you get a lot more freedom on an independent label?
BL: They've been so supportive of us and we'd probably not be able to do the kind of record we want on a big label. Plus, our label has another act coming out soon so keep your eyes open for that.
MPb: So you mentioned the ladies before. Groupies...do you have a legion of them yet?
BL: laughing ...Yeah, they've been at our shows.
Randy: At our Derby show, my mom and sister were in the crowd. The female fans were being pretty suggestive and I think my sister was pretty grossed out. But it's been a lot of fun.
BL: Plus we've encouraged our fans through the site to email in pictures with the bands and they've been mostly females and us.
MPb: That's certainly a nice perk.
Okay, so our site is dedicated to pop culture for guys and a lot of our readers collect stuff like toys and comics. Any fond memories of toys gone by?
Randy: Well, Eric just got a full arcade game called Arcade Legacy with 30 or 40 classic games like Frogger, Centipede, etc. We've been having a heated contest with Street Fighter. Eric is Chun Li and I'm trying to master E. Honda. Eric has got Chun Li's flying leg kick down and I'm still working on E. Honda. Eric also just set up a great game room in his house that we've sorta made the band's hang out. We've even got Simpson's Pinball! We're building a studio next door to the game room so it's going to be something else.
MPb: I remember Simpson's Pinball...what a great game! [this is where I drifted off into my own pinball fantasy land]
On behalf of MillionairePlayboy.com and our readers, I want to thank you both for taking time to chat with us. Anything else to say to our readers?
Eric: We're hitting the west coast very soon so we hope to see you all at one of our shows. Please request our music on your favorite indie station...those really are the best stations.
Randy: Write us and let us know what you think of our music! We'd love to hear from you all.
It was a real treat to chat with these guys and I hope all of you check out their new album, Some Truth and a Little Money, available from Amazon.com
Be sure to check out TheBloodyLovelies.com and their label, CheapLullaby.com
Images and article © 2004 MillionairePlayboy.com