Welcome to the very first “Unsigned Spotlight”. 2017 was a year filled with incredible music from some of the biggest names in the community. In 2018, not only do we want to talk to your favorite bands, we also want to talk to your next favorite band.
We’re stoked to kick off this first one with Previous Love.
ST: The band’s latest collection of music was a self-titled EP in July 2017. What’s the reception been like since this release?
PL: It was really humbling all of the overwhelmingly positive responses we’ve had so early on with this EP. When people you’ve never met before are reaching out to you telling you your record made an impact on their life, that’s the whole reason we’re doing this.
ST: How long had the band been working on the EP, Previous Love?
PL: We began bouncing ideas back and forth for the EP about as soon as we decided we were going to start the band which was December, 2016. We used to play in a small pop punk band in high school, but once we all went off to college, we presumed that meant the end of us making music together. Instead, it ended up being a great time for us all to take a step back and grow as musicians. We couldn’t stay away from creating music, and while our singer Gary attended school across the country, we began sending voice memos in our group chat daily floating an insane amount of ideas. I think we ended up having ideas for something like 15 songs before we settled on the tracks for the EP. As of this coming spring semester, after a couple of transfers, we’ll be all attending school in Buffalo, NY. I couldn’t be more stoked about it.
ST: Where was the EP recorded and did anyone outside the band have a pivotal role in its creation?
PL: We recorded right in our backyard downtown in Buffalo, NY at GCR Studios with Jay Zubricky. We knew right away that we wanted to work with Jay. He’s done some killer work with bands like Every Time I Die, Pentimento, and Head North. There’s no doubt in our minds the EP wouldn’t have turned out the way it did without Jay.
ST: How does Previous Love approach writing music?
PL: Definitely not your typical ‘get four guys in a room and bounce ideas until something sticks’. We have a very ego-free environment that we try to push as much as possible. If somebody brings up an idea, we’ll always hear it out. We have a running joke when we don’t particularly vibe with an idea that we’ll “have to simmer on it” or “hear it in context”, hahaha. But as an actual process, we record all of our ideas whenever they come up, share them, and then build skeletons for each song. From there we narrowed down our favorite tracks with the most potential, and began to flesh each one out more and more. Every song goes through a ton of iterations before we really begin to settle on anything. I think as time goes on our process will continue to evolve. Everyone knows their role, and it really makes writing work very smoothly. Gary (singer/guitar) and John (drums) come up with a bulk of the songwriting, Steve (myself, bass) typically is your nitpicky minor details guy, and Charlie (guitar) is there for red flags. You know something is wrong if Charlie isn’t vibing with it. Obviously everyone contributes much more than that, but that’s the watered down version.
ST: What bands/artists may have influenced the sound and vibe of this album?
PL: The first couple records we really bonded over were ‘The Earth Pushed Back’ by Have Mercy and ‘Peripheral Vision’ by Turnover. When we felt distant and disillusioned with the world, those records were always something we could come back to. I hope our record can serve that role for people. Few things make me feel more strongly than a record where an artist truly taps into how I feel. Other sonic influences include bands like The Cure, Balance and Composure, and Citizen.
ST: What was the most challenging aspect to writing, recording, and releasing Previous Love?
PL: I’m gonna say the distance. We wrote about half the record without ever being in the same room together. That was a big challenge, but it was also a positive. It gave each of us a lot of time to work on ideas independently.
ST: In November of 2017 the band released an official music video for “Caffeine” off the self-titled. Why was this song chosen to be highlighted visually?
PL: Because it’s a HUGE track, haha. In all seriousness, we wanted to push Caffeine as the first video, because I think it really captures the emotion of the record as a whole.
ST: Where did the idea for the video come from and who was involved with the creation of it?
PL: People often don’t get to see what recording in the studio is like for young bands. We brought a couple of Go-Pros into the studio with us, uncertain of the moments we would capture. We figured we could both capture the studio experience while still injecting the emotion of the song into the video via effects, and Caffeine wound up being a great fit for that. John (drums) was responsible for all of the production on the video, and we all were really impressed with his work. He has some real talent for that stuff. We’re lucky to have him.
ST: What is the band looking to accomplish in 2018?
PL: Gigs and more music! We want to make many more friends, and spread the love. It’s a special thing getting to impact peoples’ lives through music, and we want to do everything we can to keep that going. This will be the first time where we’ll be all in the same place, so it’s full steam ahead gigging as much as we can on top of school. Definitely planning for more music this year as well.
ST: What would you like see change or evolve in the music community this year?
PL: Mental illness is a very serious issue that hits close to home for us. People have started to become much more open about it in recent times, and we’d like to see those conversations continue. We all gravitated towards music, because we found solace in it. When shit doesn’t work, or life gets hard, sometimes it’s all we have to fall back on.
ST: The band is from New York, and the state is known for its style of pizza. What’s your favorite pizza place?
PL: No doubt about it, Stevie V’s in Lockport. During a really awful snow storm last year they were still willing to deliver, and we were too stoked about it. They earned our business for life with that one. Great pizza and great wings.
ST: What’s the best toppings on a pizza?
PL: Cheese and pepperoni man! Tried and true, we like to keep it simple. We also love burritos, Mighty Taco in Buffalo is the SPOT.
ST: Pineapple on pizza — glory or blasphemy?
PL: Blasphemy! Get out of here with that garbage! Just kidding, to each their own. If you dig it, by all means, enjoy it! I’m pretty sure we’re not big pineapple pizza fans ourselves, however.
ST: What record label would the band love to be part of?
PL: Run For Cover records helped to shape a lot of our favorite bands, so they would be near the top of the list. That being said, there’s a lot of independent labels these days putting in so much great work. Topshelf, Side One Dummy, Hopeless, Take This To Heart, Triple Crown, the list goes on. Any label (and for that matter any person) that genuinely believes in what we’re doing and wants to help us certainly has our attention. I think a lot of bands assume signing to a label magically solves all of their problems, which just isn’t true. We believe in making one fan at a time, and creating great experiences for people. It takes time to build a great band, and we’re here for the long haul to prove to people we’re making things happen.
ST: What bands have you been jamming to recently?
PL: Teenage Wrist, Gleemer, Pale Waves, Hoops. We have a playlist over on our Spotify profile where we’re always updating it with new tracks we’ve been into recently.
ST: What advice do you have for other bands looking to release original music and get their name out there?
PL: Be genuine. Don’t go writing music for other people, write for yourself. Love your art. Read and learn every single day, and be ready to work your ass off. As much as we all wish the best music would magically rise to the top, it doesn’t work that way. Lastly, have fun! Playing shows and writing music with your friends is an incredibly fun and special thing to do, don’t take it for granted.
*Previous Love responses from Steven Browne.
Charles Campanella – Guitar
John Perdue – Drums/Vocals
Gary Sheedy – Vocals/Guitar
What are your thoughts on the self-titled EP from Previous Love? Have you seen the music video for “Caffeine”? Leave it in the comments down below or hit us up on Twitter: @SpinThoughts!
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TAGS: Previous Love
Photo Credit: Matt Sledz
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