Q&A With Jonny Love
You've spoken a bit about the process of writing and demoing for this album, travelling and writing in hotel rooms, etc. Can you tell us about that experience?
It was incredible, South East Asia is just an amazing place to be. It's so vibrant, colourful and culturally diverse it immediately had my mind going in different directions. Writing in hotel rooms with only my Mac in-built mic was also a bit of a challenge as my one I took stopped working!!
Funnily enough though one of the solos (Drunken Peter Pan) is actually the recorded sound from my hotel room in Vang Vieng, Laos which Greg liked so kept!
Most people go to London or New York, you went somewhere rather different... Do you have any stories you can share from your times in South East Asia?
Vang Vieng is a crazy place! Not many stories I can probably share publicly from there!
Another highlight would have to be the Songkran festival in Chiang Mai. Literally the whole city becomes one massive water fight for days! Absolute carnage... and let me tell you having a bucket of icecold water thrown at you when you're going quite fast on a dodgy scooter hurts!
Your new album "Courage" is set to be a bit more of a rocker than your debut. What prompted you to lay down the acoustic and rock out a bit more, given that a lot of these songs were written acoustically - I presume?
Yeah a lot were written acoustically as I figured that was the more versatile instrument to take with me on the road. I consciously put down the acoustic in the recording process a lot as I wanted to show a different side to me.
I think from the first album everyone knows I can do ballads, so I just wanted to show that I can also be a bit more rock'n'roll as well.
Will the rocking approach be spilling over into your future live performances?
Definitely. The band and I are really loving our live performances now as we've got a lot of variety now in the set. The more upbeat songs really add a good energy to the overall vibe as well. Crowd reactions have been the best they've ever been so it's definitely a step in the right direction I think.
How does the live arena compare to the studio for you?
They're two different beasts really, but playing live was always in my mind when we were recording. I didn't want to keep layering things up that would be totally unrealistic to play live without using a lot of samples. If it can be played live it is. I do love the absolute creativeatmosphere in the studio though. I'm extremely lucky to have done two albums now, they're literally the most enjoyable and personally satisfying times of my life.
Tell us about working with Greg Haver, he's got some great credentials!
He's fantastic to work with. His depth of knowledge of music and ideas are second to none.
Between him and Clint Murphy they've also got a great team ethic going. Everyone's free to speak their minds at all times. Greg really challenged me on this album to take it somewhere different as well which I think we've achieved.
And the other chaps you worked with?
Daragh Anderson is just a genius. If you haven't heard his band Codes' debut album "Trees Dream in Algebra" then buy it [...] and listen to it!
He had so many great ideas different to me. It was great this time around having someone in the studio who I could go and jam ideas with. The title track Courage came out of Daragh myself and the bass played Ben just jamming in the studio. We got so excited by what we were doing we had to find Greg, stop him doing whatever he was doing and come in and listen... He listened for about a minute before nodding, jumping on the drums and doing the perfect atmospheric huge drums behind it. It was a really special moment and that song is one of my favourites on the album as it's magic to play live as well.
Do you find the New Zealand music scene supportive of what you do?
The NZ music scene is really supportive of me and I can't thank people enough. It's amazing how many people have given their time and effort to help me over the years. Juice TV in particular have always been my biggest champions and supporters. The only thing I guess I do find I struggle a bit still with is the perception of me being English. I may have grown up there but have a Kiwi father/passport and heart!
How has the support been that you've received from NZ on Air?
NZonAir is just incredible... I don't know of anything else like it in the world. For nurturing and supporting local talent it's peerless. I can't think what sort of career I would've had without them, so a big thank you, thank you, thank you to them!
Who would be in your dream backing band?
Drums - Dave Grohl, Bass - Peter Hook, Guitar - Jonny Greenwood, Keyboards - Matt Bellamy
What's been floating your boat, musically, lately?
The Boxer Rebellion / Mutemath / Friendly Fires and Metric have been on high rotate [...]
Where to next? Tour plans, more travel, etc?
After the album I'll be touring around the country a fair bit to promote it. I'm also heading overseas to do the next video which should be epic - will keep you waiting on the details of that though... I'd love to do more travel if the opportunity presents itself, but hopefully through more of a professional gigging route this time rather than merely traveling. Then of course I'm already writing new material so am looking at recording a few more things soon.
Given your rugby connections do you have anything lined up already for the Rugby World Cup?
Surprisingly enough not yet! Know of anything going??
I was sitting in Sal's Pizza the other day and saw your face on their big screen tv, but it wasn't you solo, it was a band... Who are The CVE?
Good choice in pizza, the Pepperoni is incredible... The CVE are another band I play in with a few top notch NZ music industry legends. It's a great good time band that has some fantastic songs as well. The album's out shortly called "It Is What It Is".
As I'm not the lead singer it gives me a lot more of an outlet for playing around on my electric in the background which I love.
Is your surname really "Love" or is it a stagename? Just kidding, I'm sure you've been asked that once or twice before... Thanks for your time sir!
Just once or twice!!!!!!!!!
Jonny Love's sophomore album Courage is available this Monday both on CD or digital.