MJ Tow of The Lovetones shares some lovely details with The Process Records about his accomplishments and his experiences of ten years of music with his amazing band, The Lovetones.
Does your newest album, “Provenance – Collected Works”, feel like a milestone?
It really does! I have to pinch myself sometimes and think, yes! We have released 5 albums in 10 years of playing and touring and now this retrospective! I wanted for many years to do a retrospective of my previous band in the 90’s ‘Drop City’. We also recorded 5 albums here in Australia, but because of label problems, never had the chance to do it. So I guess this makes up for that. We are extremely proud of all The Lovetones albums and our achievements. ‘Provenance’ was initially designed as an anniversary celebration. We had almost broken up, but got a call this year from Brad Shepherd from The Hoodoo Gurus to be part of the ‘Dig It Up’ festival in Sydney and Melbourne. It was such an honour to be asked to perform with some of the greats of Australian rock, like The Hoodoo Gurus, The Sunnyboys, Died Pretty, Tek and Younger (Radio Birdman) that afterwards we thought we’d release this album and tour, kind of as a thank you to all the friends and fans who have supported us throughout the years.
After 10 years and five albums, what have you learned from your experiences with The Lovetones?
There are so many things I would probably do differently if I had the chance, but saying that, life is all about the experience and learning from those experiences. We have met such amazing people and have become great friends with other like minded artists around the world and those connections still remain permanent to this day. I feel so lucky and privaledged to have had the opportuntiy to play my music to people around the world who appreciate what we do, releasing all those records, and to make those lifelong connections with others.
What does this collection of songs mean to you as a musician?
It’s a great legacy to have I suppose. it’s hard to put it in perspective as it’s so new really. I guess time will be the judge of our music. My hope is that people will continue to discover us and appreciate what we have done. After all, that is the hope of any artist that he or she will get their art to as many people as possible. That perhaps one day, what they have produced will make a difference to someones elses life or inspire another musician to make music. This is the greatest achievement of any artist.
What bands are your biggest influences?
We, as a band are influenced by a wide spectrum of music. We all enjoy contemporary music as much as music that came from the 60’s or 70’s. The honest truth is that I rarely listen to much music these days..When I do though, it’s usually world music, raga music, some jazz and classical and experimental music. The older i get, the more I am influenced by the great humanitarians and thinkers of our age. The people that actually make a real difference to other peoples lives. But ultimately music and art is always there in the background for me as a constant source of inspiration and ideas.
Are you planning on recording original music?
Yes, we have discussed going into the studio early next year to begin recording the next Lovetones album. I think Matthew Sigley and Chris Cobb have been writing also and will contribute more to the new album. Apart from the retrospective, this year we have also contributed to a Talk Talk tribute record, coming out in September. They were a big influence on all of us, especially the later releases like ‘Spirit Of Eden’ etc. I was approached by Toby Benjamin through my connection with artist James Marsh who designed all of the Talk Talk albums and who designed our “Lost” record cover. We have recorded a version of ‘The Party’s Over’ along with other great acts doing Talk Talk tracks like Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode/ Recoil) Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) Sean Carey (Bon Iver) Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) etc
Do you plan on going on an extensive tour?
It is unlikely at this point that we will be doing any extensive touring. As we all get older, everyone settles into their own lives and work situations, so touring becomes more complicated. The expense of touring costs, especially for a band in Australia trying to tour abroad, is astronomical! You have to remember that for 5 or 6 years we toured the States constantly without any backing or much financial help from labels. In the end, it gets to the point that it just becomes impossible to do it, unless someone is throwing a lot of cash your way.
What is the release date for the album?
There are no specific release dates for a Lovetones record, but I have finished a solo record this year and it will be released on Xemu Records (Dead Meadow, Spindrift, Morning After Girls) early 2013, and Matthew Sigley has a solo album coming out soon also.
What’s your fave song on the new record?
The song that has yet to be written..