Unedited: Graham Lovelis of The Fling
June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
Long Beach favorites, The Fling, have been a steady fixture of the Los Angeles scene over the last six years. We recently spoke with bassist Graham Lovelis about the release of their new album and the soon coming technological Apocalypse.
138: What was the writing process like for this album?
Graham Lovelis: Dustin had a handful of songs that he wanted to do since the band started. Some of them we wrote together; we kind of came up with them all at once. Others I wrote, and there’s also one that Dustin and I wrote together. For the most part we brought in our own songs. We are moving in the other direction now, working out songs in practice now that we have the time.
138: Can you tell a difference in the writing?
GS: Yeah, I think the stuff we are coming up with a now is a little more cohesive and also a little wilder. Sitting in a room together, you end up playing heavier songs. It’s a lot more fun for everyone to just go crazy.
138 Collective: What’s the meaning behind the title When the Mad Houses Appear?
Graham Lovelis: That’s a line from a song I wrote on the album called “Day I Find.” It seemed to capture the mood we were all in.
138: Would you say there is an over-arching theme to the album or do you find each song a bit more individual in light of the writing process?
GS: I think there is a theme, I think it’s something dark, you know? I’m not really sure what it is….it’s kind of hard to describe what it is but I am sure that it threads it all together and I’m sure its something creepy and dark (laughs). We worked on it a lot at night, I mean super late some nights and it kinda had that feeling.
138: You think the late nights translated into the music?
GS: I think at times they did. My favorite part of the record is the transition between “Day I Find” and “Cold Comfort” and “Spooks.” It’s in the way they all come together, it all kinda flows. We did that super late at night.
138: One of my favorite songs on the record is “Wondering Foot.”
GS: Dustin wrote that one. We had a bunch of different versions of it, a slower one and a faster one. That’s one of the only ones we actually struggled with. They usually come pretty quick but we labored over that one for a while and finally found the right beat. Something laid back. I think it’s about a female, you know, like most things in the world. There’s an undercurrent of some sort of relationship in there somewhere, whether it’s with yourself or somebody else.
138: Yeah, it’s funny. Sometimes music can get really existential but most of it seems to center around relationship.
GS: Personally, everything I write is about relationship. Half the time it’s myself. My relationship with myself or the things around me.
138: Like internal struggle?
GS: Yeah, I think everybody can relate to that. Especially living in 2011, there are struggles everyday to get back to being a normal person. To get away from your cellphone, your Twitter and all that. That’s tough.
138: Do you think it’s even possible nowadays? Sometimes it’s hard to imagine life before Facebook.
GS: We all have a really hard time with it. I don’t think anyone in our band is comfortable with the idea of where things are heading. I don’t know if anyone is. I guess you just have to be ok with it. There’s defiantly a nostalgia for being a kid in the 90s; listening to Green Day and Nirvana on your cassette in your living room.
138: There seems to be something a little more raw and natural coming out of LA rock bands and the whole “Americana” thing. Do you think that is reactionary to the times?
GS: I think it could be. I don’t know if we have ever felt comfortable with the “Americana” label. I could see how people could get that from the first album but we are defiantly going in a different direction.
We all live three miles from the beach, so that definitely has an impact on us. Maybe it makes you appreciate your natural surroundings a little bit more.
138: How do you think being from Long Beach effects you guys?
GS: I dunno, there is defiantly a lazy attitude here. It can be good or bad… It’s a pretty mellow town. There isn’t much to do. There’s beer—
138: There is beer (laughs).
GS: Yeah there’s beer and house parties (laughs).
138: Would you consider yourself an artist, entertainer, or neither? Do you see a distinction between the two?
GS: I think it’s everything. Ideally you would just like to be an artist because that’s where the passion is for most musicians. But you definitely have to be an entertainer and a businessman on some levels too. You have to be able to do all of it. We had to figure that out pretty quickly. You are playing music for yourself but really when you go out to play a show, you are playing a show.
138: You guys have had to give up a lot to do music, what’s the motivation? The passion for the art? The hope of success?
GS: I think in the indie world success isn’t really measured by any sort of monetary means because there isn’t a lot of money to be made. People don’t really buy records anymore. To even hold on to that idea of making money from music is pretty silly. The motivation is primal for most of us. I don’t think any of us could do anything else. It’s just kinda what we have to do. If I am not working on music I am drawing or something. You just have to express yourself.
138: Staying true to yourself?
GS: I think it’s just how to stay sane.
Interview conducted by Phillip Domfeh, Staff Writer