Philadelphia punk band The Loved Ones are about to make their first ever trip to Australia this week, touring with Strung Out and making a stop at the annual Come Together Festival. The band’s singer and guitarist Dave Hause caught up with us before their tour begins.
Start off by stating your name, what you play in The Loved Ones, and the last record you bought?
My name is Dave Hause, I sing and play guitar for the Loved Ones. The last record I bought is by a Philadelphia band called Free Energy called Stuck on Nothing.
Can you tell us a bit about how the band first formed?
Michael Cotterman, Mike Sneeringer and I all were friendly from touring with each other’s bands and figured it would be fun to start a band. We got together and it was fun enough to make records and tour.
What were the main influences you had when starting the band?
The influences were basically a combination of classic rock artists and punk bands. We all had as much love for the Misfits as we had for Tom Petty.
The band’s 2008 album “Build & Burn” was met with some pretty high critical acclaim, how does it feel to know that people are really digging the records you are producing?
It is always encouraging to have people respond positively to what you spend a lot of time working on creatively. At the end of the day you want to make sure you are proud of the songs regardless of commentary, positive or otherwise.
What was it like filming the video for “The Bridge?”
It actually was one of the highlights of that year, truthfully. The director, Justin Staggs, and his crew were so professional and so much fun to work with, it made the whole thing a really fun experience. Justin, who has filmed videos for Against Me, the Bouncing Souls, NOFX and Strike Anywhere I hear has said filming that video was the most fun video he’s made.
Your 2009 EP “Distractions” featured a few covers, how did you decide what covers you were going to record for that EP?
Well, the Billy Bragg cover and the Springsteen cover we had in the vaults since 2006. We covered "Coma Girl" on Joe Strummer’s birthday acoustically on a radio appearance and felt good about how we performed it, so we recorded a version and put it on the release.
Fat Wreck Chords released the last two records, how did the signing with Fat fall into place?
It was very simple, Fat Mike liked the band, called me up and wanted to hear demos of the rest of the songs that were written. We played him the songs and he said he’d like to put it out. We knew we were dealing with honest, decent and artist friendly people at Fat so we went with them.
What is it like working with Fat compared to the band’s previous label in Jade Tree Records?
It was a scenario wherein we got to hear yes more than no. At the time Fat had a lot more resources and were willing to push the band much further.
Where is the band currently at in regards to writing the new album?
I’m about halfway done writing it. I’m feeling good about the direction its going, it seems to be a bit more aggressive than the last record.
When do you think we can expect to see the new album being released?
Hard to say, we will kick writing into high gear in July when we get back.
Do you feel any kind of pressure when it comes to writing the new album considering how well received the last few records have been?
There’s always pressure to make as good an album as you can, the internal pressure I put myself under is much more intense I think than any other. I drive myself crazy when I write. There ends up being lots of ideas in the trash because I’m so neurotic about it.
Has the band’s sound evolved much since the release of the last few records?
Well yes, the sound of the band always grows and changes based on what’s inspiring you at the moment. Its important to challenge myself when writing so I don’t get bored.
How does the band approach songwriting? Does one of you handle most of that or do you all collectively write the songs?
I write the lion’s share of the songs, some on the last record were collaborations with Chris and Dave but we arrange the songs together so we work on the feel of the tunes and so we can spice them up to their best.
You are about to start your first trip to Australia this week, what are you looking forward to the most about this tour?
We have heard such great things about Australia, I am so excited to meet the people and share our music with them. I’m most excited about koalas though, and kangaroos. Marsupials of any kind really, so rad.
Is there anything you want to check off your to-do list before you leave the country?
Again, petting a koala needs to be checked off. I’m fired up about that.
The tour is with Strung Out, who are no rookies when it comes to touring Australia. What do you think the advantages are of touring with them rather than doing a headlining tour?
Anytime you support a band with a following its a little easier. The rooms will hopefully be full so its easier for a great, wild rock and roll show to happen.
The tour is also making a stop at the annual Come Together Festival, which features a vide variety of Australian bands. How do you think the band will go down in front of such a diverse crowd?
We are huge music fans, so I’m fired up to hear what Australian rock bands are cooking up. We’ll do our best to make sure the place has fun while we are playing.
Who are some bands you have been enjoying lately that we should be checking out?
She and Him, Titus Andronicus, Dear Landlord, Raphael Saadiq.
What is the most memorable show the band has ever played?
In the short time we’ve been a band there have been so many memorable shows. the first time we sold out the Unitarian Church in Philly, the first time we played London, playing Tokyo for the first time with the Buzzcocks and Rancid, opening for the Hold Steady…so many great times.
When you first started playing music, did you ever imagine you would be in the position you are in now?
Yes and no. You dream as a kid of being in Led Zeppelin, but once you start to really play your expectations level out to be more reasonable. We are really fortunate to have people care about the music we make and to be able to play all over the world.
If you could tour with any three bands, past or present, who would you choose and why?
The Beatles, The Clash and The Rolling Stones. Those are obvious though. The Replacements is the real number one answer though
What are the band’s plans for the rest of 2010
Write, record and release the next full length, then tour all over the world in 2011.
Thanks for the interview!