quinta-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2016

Just For The Day with The Love Agenda - An Interview

Steve Webb é o responsável por tudo em seu alter ego que atende pelo nome de The Love Agenda (sim o álbum do Band of Susans, lei a história contada pelo próprio Steve na entrevista), bem, The Love Agenda é shoegaze, dos pés até a medula, todos os elementos da clássica era estão inseridos nas criações de Steve, some a isso uma curiosa ambientação mais experimental que remete ao Radiohead e aí sim, a música do The Love Agenda fico completa.

Fica a torcida para que Steve torne-se mais prolifico e assim o The Love Agenda possa nos brindar com mais belas e sonhadoras canções.

***** Interview with The Love Agenda *****

Q: When did The Love Agenda start? Tell us about the history..
A: The Love Agenda, officially was started around 2010, I had re-located from a neighboring state in the US, Alabama, and moved back to Atlanta, Georgia where I had grown up, and most of my immediate family resides. The years prior to that I had focused on singer-songwriter, acoustic based material (which I got signed to a label, but it didn’t work out..but solo album Steven Webb is available on Bandcamp ), and at this point I wanted to get back to a more electric, shoegaze approach, which I had been into for quite some time in the 90’s when I lived in California, and 1st started playing guitar and writing songs. So at that point, my cousin who is really a “hard rock” guitarist said he would play bass to the songs and be in the band, and his friend from the time he was a teenager, would play drums. We rehearsed at the drummers house, and just built the songs from there, which are all written by me. We had a good time, establishing a comradery as musicians. We did shows here locally in Atlanta, Georgia USA, and garnered some attention. (I did also open up to social media and the shoegaze forums, and establish some very cool relationships.) It was discovered that my motivation did not fit the other band members, so we parted ways and now it’s just me.

Some ask me if the name The Love Agenda name has anything to do with the Band Of Susans, whom have an album named Love Agenda, and it may…but not a direct reference since I am not familiar with their work whatsoever, but I used to scour many indie and rock magazines back in the 90’s, and may I have seen a review of their album and the name was way back in the recesses of my mind, “my sub-conscious” as a band name later on. Not entirely certain, but it fits perfectly!

Q: Who are your influences?
A:That is a many layered question, but primarily I can say that I’ve always been into what’s considered “alternative, new wave, indie” music since I was a teenager in the 80’s. My biggest influences of that time were Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Joy Division and The Cure…along with bands like early Tears For Fears, Big Country, U2. Depeche Mode were very immense for me though, along with The Smiths, who ironically I didn’t get into until their final album, but those 2 bands spoke to me deeply, and were “game changers”. I was into Industrial stuff as well, electronic music like Front 242, Nitzer Ebb and Yaz.

It wasn’t until in my early 20’s and moved to California, that I got into guitar: in terms of being serious about writing songs, developing my sense of what I wanted to do. That was all solidified when I heard what we term “shoegaze” today, cause I had no term for it. It was Swervedriver that really impacted me to do something exciting, deep, and interesting on guitar, along with My Bloody Valentine. During the time I was getting into shoegaze, I was just jamming to Joy Division and Jimi Hendrix records, feeling as though I was connecting to music I loved, and wow I could play to them! But Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine were something else altogether, and I resonated deeply with them, and I think for me it’s the way the overdrive rock music can be approached in a deeper, more experimental way. Subsequently, I would get into Lush, Slowdive, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, Smashing Pumpkins, which I all love for what they did and do. Another band was The Swirlies: like MBV and Swervedriver, it was like “I always knew this existed, but until I actually heard it…” kind of response. They are a cornerstone of shoegaze as an influence on me personally.

To this day I don’t play in standard tuning: I like the idea of coming up with songs in a unorthadoxed way, and it just fits…I attribute that to my influences definitely to some extent.

Q: Make a list of 5 albums of all time
A: Very difficult to do! No way I could do that….I can give you highlights of
5: Swervedriver “Raise”,
 Interpol “Turn On The Bright Lights”,
Radiohead “Hail To The Thief”,
My Bloody Valentine “Loveless”,
The Swirlies “Blonder Tongue, Audio Baton”…this is very difficult hone down to 5! HA!

Q: How do you feel playing live?
A: Playing live is great. My thing is, if the songs are well rehearsed, then everything should go as it should. The point is, is getting across your emotions to people who either know your music, or who don’t know, and that’s where my motivation lies: to make a connection. I tend to feel a bit more comfortable with a full live band than I did with doing solo acoustic, which is probably some latent “shyness”. But essentially, it’s about expressing yourself to people in front of you. I mean, I write everything in The Love Agenda, and it artistically fulfilling to get your emotions across, the opportunity to “wow” people in a room, venue, or hall.

Q: How do you describe The Love Agenda sounds?
A: I would say the sound of The Love Agenda comes from a shoegaze/alternative type of approach. The sound is based upon passion and inspiration. I think any band doing genuinely “they’re thing” is not really focused on the genre, you’re focused on expressing yourself, and what comes out is the real deal. It just so happens it fits into a category that relates, and I’m all for that. Obviously I’m not doing country or r&b, right? But I love and appreciate many genre’s and approaches.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
A: The Love Agenda recording history wasn’t as prolific as I’d like it to be, though this is about to fundamentally change. Due to some frictions over the years with the band members, I relegated myself to record with someone, an engineer if-you-will, who had a studio at their place and said they would record some of the songs. (The Love Agenda, when it was a band, did record a track at the drummer’s house, called “Rollercoaster” which really turned out to be a demo.) There is a singles compilation available on Bandcamp, which is a combination of prior recorded material before the band members, and myself in the studio. Some of those songs performed live as the band, as a part of our set.

With my now manager and friend Amber Taylor, and with the new energy and everything at this point, the process is very straightforward: mic’ing up the amp, plugging in the guitar, getting the levels right, and going for it, really. For instance, for the newest single “Just For The Day”, it was very much well rehearsed prior to recording, so the basic tracks are laid down pretty much without fuss. I program all the drums myself, as of early 2016. If anything, there are multiple vocal takes, and small layerings of things, other than that, pretty straight forward. There with her, I may do some post production stuff, since in any modern studio there’s much to consider. The longest process for Amber, would be just mixing and mastering, but she does a wonderful job of that, and for “Just For The Day”, the 3rd mix was the official and was done within days of recording. We’re looking now at recording the rest of an album…I have about 13 songs I need to hone down to 9 more. Labor of love! So my thing is: well rehearse and get everything together prior to record to be most effective, and allow oneself to be surprised, but if something absolutely doesn’t work or speak to you genuinely, let that be known as well. Be good to yourself in the studio and KNOW what you want.

Q: Which new bands do you recommend?
A: That’s a good question, especially in the shoegaze/alternative genre. I mean, I would mention A Place To Bury Strangers, but they are not exactly “new”. Having said that, I think the band on Matador Records, Savages are very interesting, but at this point I’ve only heard a few songs, and saw them on Jimmy Kimmel show here in the US. There’s no really “new” bands in the genre that I’ve been introduced that are blowing me away, aside from The Love Agenda!

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
A: Good question. I’ve thought of a couple of Devo songs, Depeche Mode songs, but really if I were to cover and release it would be a Radiohead song. I won’t reveal which one right now, would like for it to be a surprise! HA!

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: The plans for the future with The Love Agenda is to record, put out a kick-ass, impactful release, get new band members, and to do shows…locally and nationally, and I would like to do over-seas as well eventually. I am really pleased with “Just For The Day”, which we did a video and is available to download the single. It’s setting the tone, and the response has been great. Really make this music, and everything available and out there for people to connect with. It’s a new and powerful direction. That’s my goal.

Q: Any parting words?
A: I would say stay focused and passionate, and don’t listen to anyone but yourself, and trust yourself. This is an exciting era for new music, but I believe any era can be made exciting depending on the individuals involved and where they focus.