EXCLUSIVE ARTIST INTERVIEW: THE LOVELACE BAND | PERFORMING JULY 16TH AT BAR NINE

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The Lovelace Band is a lounge ensemble that explores the Great American songbook through the lens of jazz, blues, funk, and bossa nova

In anticipation of their live show with us on July 16th at 8:30PM, Kai Lovelace was nice enough to email us from his home-base in New York to discuss the bands musical influences, live show experience, and what inspires them on a day-to-day basis

BAR NINE: Tell us the brief history of your band
KAI LOVELACE: We've known each other for a few years, started playing a weekly happy hour gig at a midtown jazz club then decided to run with it. 

BN: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
KL: Musically, Nino Rota, Henry Mancini, Erroll Garner, Duke Ellington, Walter Wanderley are among some of my current influences. I also draw inspiration from noir fiction and horror films

BN: What are your dreams and goals?
KL: Before too long I'd love to have a 12 or 13-piece orchestra and perform almost exclusively original music in the same styles I've been working in so far

BN: Who writes the songs, what are they about?
KL: Many of them are from the Great American songbook and are either about loving life and being in love, or about hating life and being alone. The songs I write are meant to briefly transport the listener into the story of another life, and are also written with the metropolitan chaos of New York City in mind

BN: How do you promote your band and shows?
KL: Mainly through Instagram, Facebook, emails, mailing lists, printed postcard ads, business cards, and trying to spread word of mouth every chance I get

BN: Describe your show, visual and musically
KL: We have a sound that more or less originates from the 1960s and try to back that up with a classy, professional and straightforward performance style. Visual simplicity and an art deco or mod vibe is what  I prefer. Musically we like to relax and ease the audience in with soothing lounge-style bossa nova before delving into the faster, funkier, danciest stuff to cap off the set or the evening

BN: What do you think about downloading music online?
KL: It's a very complex issue but it's going to happen no matter what. I have faith in the music industry to adapt as it always has and will. It is very sad and somewhat corrosive to the culture to deprive artists of their financial dues, but it's also not realistic to expect people to only experience a fraction of what the world has to offer artistically based on what membership they can afford to this that or the other

BN: What's your outlook on the record industry today?
KL: I'm excited because I see so many thriving niche communities of musicians and interesting experimentation going on, both musically and concerning the way music is released. I don't have much interest in mainstream corporate top 40 music, but technology is ushering a massive change in the way it works but I feel optimistic, also because I think streaming may eventually lead to a resurgence of live music

BN: What's your claim to fame?
KL: Aside from playing regularly at Swing 46 in Midtown and having original compositions performed at Merkin Hall and Symphony Space, I've also composed film scores for two independent features, one of which recently debuted in the Sarasota Film Festival

BN: Tell us a story about a day in your life
KL: My favorite days are when I go from my record store job directly to a gig in the evening because I'm steeped in the art hustle all day. 

BN: What inspires you to do what you do?
KL: Every other artist who has laughed in the face of conformity and consumer thinking or has overcome personal problems to make an original stamp on the collective world pop culture canon. Although I'm a musician, narrative storytelling, and performance art also inspire me to be on stage, besides the many artists who influence my craft

BN: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
KL: Don't leave any room in your head for negative thinking, don't be pushy or aggressive but be very confident and polite. Most of all, know your product inside and out and learn the best way to sell it to people

BN: What are some of your pet peeves?
KL: Tourists who walk slowly in chorus-line formation and block the entire sidewalk, unclear text message communication, and like every other New Yorker, the MTA

BN: How does music affect you and the world around you?
KL: It keeps life worth living, and also helps me to learn more about myself and the (admittedly insulated) world around me

BN: What's new in the recording of your music?
KL: Recently I've been using a miniature Hammond B3 Organ which has helped me bring a more eclectic mix of music to the band. I've also been layering in more extended percussion after the main recording sessions which adds to the sonic texture of the songs

BN: What are the biggest obstacles for bands?
KL: Financial situations and the problems therein. Although those problems sometimes lead to great innovations

BN: What's the best and worst thing about playing clubs?
KL: The best thing is the people. To have an engaged audience and meet colorful characters, seeing the best in people coming out if you successfully entertain them. The worst part is that as a musician you're essentially at the mercy of booze sales if you want to be invited back


BN: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there
KL: I'm looking forward to my next gig at Bar Nine this Sunday, and hopefully I'll have a birthday show organized there next month, which will be fun for the funkier and rocking numbers. Also, on June 17th The Lovelace Band will be performing at Swing 46, which will be a more traditional performance but features a nice dance floor and a complimentary lesson after the first set. Gonna be a classy affair

Steven Padernacht