Channeling influences from Joy Division, U2 and The Rolling Stones, Love Crushed Velvet blends alternative, glam and classic rock into a contemporary sound that retains a strong sense of melody and edge. The highly anticipated release of Delusions EP cemented the band’s place in the world of dark, melodic rock. Driven by lead singer/songwriter A.L.X., Love Crushed Velvet shows off exceptional emotional and stylistic range in lyric and musicality. Reminiscent of the glory days of rock and roll, Love Crushed Velvet has carved out a unique place in today’s music world, paying homage to the past while remaining firmly grounded in the present.
As such, Delusions is a powerful force that touches upon the complications of love, fame and our global society. Ghettoblaster recently caught up with A.L.X. to discuss it and this is what he told us.
When did you begin writing the material for your recent EP, Delusions?
We started writing again shortly after releasing our debut album back in 2010. We really never stop writing per se—there are just some periods when we’re more active than others. After about a year and a half and 20+ new songs, we just felt that we had to put something out, but didn’t have the time to record a full album because of touring and other commitments.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
“Revolution Time” was the most challenging song on the album because we had to re-write it after it had already been recorded. The groove, verse and bridge comprised the basic demo, and that remained intact til the end, but it became clear that we still needed a stronger chorus. Thus, we had to come up with something that we all liked yet could be squeezed into the existing track without having to recut the song. What we wrote ended up working out great, but was kind of a headache at the time.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
Both “Revolution Time” and “Jane, Your Light Won’t Change” ended up taking on a very different feel than I’d originally envisioned. “Revolution Time” had an acoustic blues feel and evolved into a big, muscular stomp that was full of bluster and testosterone. “Jane” had a bit of a grungy feel that ended up taking on postpunk/New Wave elements. I was thrilled with the end result, but it’s definitely not what I would have expected when we first went into the studio. That’s the beauty of starting out with songs that are stripped down and simple—you give other musicians and the producer an opportunity to contribute their instincts to the production, allowing it to take on a life of its own.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Yes, we had some great players on the album. George Laks, who plays with Lenny Kravitz, did most of the keyboards and organ work, and we had Ethan Eubanks and Robert Granata, two really talented local players, contribute extensively on drums and guitar.
Who engineered, produced and mastered the record? What input did they have that changed the face of the record?
David Maurice engineered and produced the record. He’s a very talented guy, and we let him run with things and allowed him to put his stamp on the album. We really wanted to move in a different musical direction, and understood that we had to get out of the way to some extent in order for that to happen. The album was mixed by Mark Needham, who is one of the top mix engineers out there, and his touch really brought the songs to life sonically and dynamically. Emily Lazar, of The Lodge, did the mastering–she is our go-to person for that.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new EP that ties the record together?
From a lyrical perspective, the album is really about the struggle to reconcile delusion and reality within our day-to-day lives—hence the title. It explores the subjective relativity of each person’s individual perspective, as well as the idea that we sometimes need to fool ourselves to enable us to embrace challenges.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We’ve been playing the songs out since mid-winter, and the response has been really great. Every few shows, we add another new track from the EP into the set—most recently “Spotlight”. We weren’t sure how that one would go over live, since it’s more “power-ballady” than most of the other songs in our set, but the audiences really like it, so I think we’ll keep it as a part of our live show.
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