Loveless in the News:
Rolling Stonehill 03.2004
Spin Magazine 02.2004
Boston Globe 01.29.04
Boston Phoenix 01.16.04
Juicy Magazine 01.2004
Rolling Stone 12.25.03
Boston Globe 12.11.03
Boston Metro 12.8.03
Boston Globe 12.7.03
Amplifier Magazine 12.03
Boston Phoenix 11.13.03
Boston Phoenix 9.12.03
Boston Herald 9.8.03
The Noise 9.06.2003
Good Times Magazine 9.2002 Listen
Village Voice 6.2002
The Noise 6.2002
The Noise 5.06.02
The Noise 4.2002
Boston Globe 1.11.02
Cellars By Starlight 11.21.01
This Is A Way
Most bands dream of
signing a major label deal and assume that once that happens, everything
will take care of itself. The singer and guitarist of Loveless, Dave Wanamaker,
and guitarist Jen Trynin, both flirted with national success as major
label recording artists, only to see firsthand that getting signed, as
far as music careers go, is just getting started. For five years, two
full-lengths and an EP, Dave Wanamaker was the guitarist for Boston's
Expanding Man. After 1996's Head to the Ground was released on Columbia
and they were featured on the Cable Guy soundtrack, they recorded
an album for (Polydor/A&M in 1998) only to see it shelved. Though the
end result wasn't stardom, talking to Dave and Pete Armata (the bassist
in both Expanding Man and Loveless) doesn't seem to be digging up disappointment;
in fact, it's bringing up fond memories. They opened for Stone Temple
Pilot's "Tiny Music" tour, rented a mansion to record in LA, and generally
lived the life of rock stars. During the same time period, Jen Trynin
recorded the stellar Cockamamie, which was critically lauded but saw her
1998 follow-up, Gunshy/Trigger Happy, fall short of expectations. For
her, the experience was so disappointing she didn't pick up a guitar for
two years. She is currently writing a book about her experiences in the
music industry, entitled Everything Cracked Up to Be.
After Expanding Man,
Dave took the new songs he had written and played them for Q Division
producer Mike Deneen, (incidentally Jen's husband) who fell in love with
them. Though Jen had stepped away from music for a time, when she saw
Dave play "Stick to the Girl" at a solo show, she was smitten. And when
Dave called her and asked if she would play guitar in Loveless, she knew
she was ready to play music again. Why not join? Loveless is a classic
pop/rock band. Drawing from British influences, they are both heavy and
sweet, in the vein of bands like Catherine Wheel and Smashing Pumpkins.
Tonight, at Q Division
Studios in Somerville, Dave Wanamaker's cell phone is constantly ringing.
Since moving to New York City two months ago, he has been busy recording,
gigging, and maintaining a life in two major cities. In between the calls,
he has guitar parts to record, mixes to listen to, his band's biography
to edit, and a kind word for everyone who passes into the Q Division Lounge,
from interns to recording engineers to the horn section of the Bosstones
(who are recording in another part of Q Division). We begin with Pete,
and Joe McMahon, bassist extraordinaire, of Senor Happy and the Wonder
Bar, where he plays jazz.
Noise: What are you
Pete: Bass and guitars.
Noise: Are you sure Joe's not here to redo your bass parts?
Pete: If I have too many Black Labels, that's who we call.
Noise: Joe's no slouch.
Joe: That's not true. I'm a hell of a slouch, speaking of Black Labels.
Noise: Joe, in some circles, you are referred to as a "musical lady of
Joe: Are you
calling me a slut?
Dave rolls in,
harried and turns to me, saying "Sorry, it's so crazy right now."
Pete: I'm going to take care of getting liquor.
Dave: (Enthused) Nice.
Pete: I got fucking wasted on white wine last night.
Dave: He drank three bottles by himself, not even trying; he bought it
for other people but no one was drinking it... so. (Everyone laughs)
Noise: Why did you start playing guitar?
Dave: I was playing violin and the conductor of the orchestra was a cock.
Joe: Just say chicks.
Dave: One day I just said "Fuck this!" Got up and left. That, and chicks.
Noise: What guitarists influenced your style?
Dave: The Edge is probably my earliest and greatest guitar influence.
Old Jimmy Page.
Noise: Compare Loveless to Expanding Man.
Dave: Expanding Man was more rock but it was also more complicated. Aaron's
got more of a soaring voice than I do. In Expanding Man I would come up
with the melody and the chords and the idea and maybe write the chorus
lyric, and Aaron would write most of the lyrics. This is the first time
I've actually sung and written all the lyrics, which is what I want to
do. Expanding Man was a five person band and everyone was very involved
so it was hard to have your own song idea from start to end.
Noise: Your EP is polished and layered; how long did it take?
Dave: The whole EP took five weeks. Five days a week, including mixing.
It was the first time I had sung in the studio, so there were some takes
Noise: What songs are you happiest with?
Dave: "Darling Would You" is the most creative. I've never recorded a
song with a band having never played it before. We just added layers and
layers. As far as it sounding like a singer, I am the proudest of "Tonight."
(Dave is up for a Boston Music Award for that song.)
Noise: I've heard that your 1998 major label recording was quite an experience.
Dave: Well, for that record (the second we did with Expanding Man) we
rented a mansion in Encino Hills in LA and lived there for a long time.
Joe came out and played cello and keyboard on a couple songs. By that
time we were finished with the drums so Mike Piehl (currently drumming
for Reverse) spent the entire time in the hot tub.
Joe: Bathrobe and slippers for a month, never left the compound.
Dave: We spent so much money on that record. I've got the bill on our
fridge, $512,000 and it was never released; that's fucking awesome!
Pete: I still don't believe it's true and I lived it.
Dave: We used to pick limes from the trees and make Cosmopolitans.
Dave: The whole time we were there we had a party at the house and Powerman
5000 and Rubyhorse showed up, we just hung for weeks on the patio with
20 other people we didn't know.
Noise: Meet any random famous people in LA?
Dave: We played a show with Peter Wolf and Zakk Wylde acoustic at the
Cape Cod Melody Tent (everyone laughs at the randomness of this) and then
I got his number and we hung out and played some guitar. A year later,
on the opening night of the STP tour at the Universal Amphitheater, out
of the blue we were like "Let's call Zakk Wylde!" and we left a message
on his machine, not thinking he'll show up. So we're sitting backstage
and about to go on, and in fuckin' walks Zakk Wylde with his girlfriend
and a 12 pack! (Laughter)
Noise: So, after all the dealing you've had with major labels, are you
willing to go at it again?
Noise: What can they give you that you can't get here at Q Division?
Dave: More of a national market. This studio is great but they aren't
set up to plan eight month tours, promote a record nationally, etc. If
this band wasn't a pop band then it wouldn't be a big deal. The only reason
to go to a major label is if you are the kind of band that they can actually
break. If you're a hardcore band, there's no reason to go that route.
Jen Trynin arrives.
Pete and Joe head to the liquor store. Dave goes off to record guitars
again; when he fucks up, he can be heard playing the opening strains of
"Panama" by Van Halen. She and I laugh at this; she turns on the Olympics
and we watch Apollo Anton Ono skate the perilous short-track.
Noise: What drew you
to writing songs and playing guitar?
Jen: Started playing at 11 at summer camp, and my counselor played guitar.
She taught me four chords. I started writing songs because I didn't know
any songs, except "Blowing in the Wind."
Noise: Why did you join Loveless?
Jen: It was really good timing; I went and heard Dave one night and I
really liked his songs. I knew if I was going to to do something again
I wanted it to be like The Cars, and I still have a hankering to do something
like that. I've known Pete and Dave for a long time, eight years or so;
we met in 1993 or 1994.
Noise: Are you willing to go through the whole major label thing again.
Jen: Absolutely! I'm in it for the long haul.
Noise: Are you in it for the money?
Noise: 'Cause Dave said he's in it for the chicks.
Jen: I'm also in it for the chicks; I am in it for the chicks that like
Noise: Do you get the feeling that the band appeals to women? What kind
of man writes "Tonight, I only want to be beautiful"?
Jen: Only Dave. When I heard that song I was mesmerized when I heard the
words because I couldn't even ask him 'Where the fuck are you coming from
on this' because it was so perplexing. If I was singing that song, "Big
Whoop!" but because it's Dave, I think it's brilliant.
Pete: (Rolling back in, drink refilled) Tough and pretty; that's how he
Jen: Sick and sassy.
Pete: That was Dave's whole concept: like Muhammad Ali, tough and pretty.
After making the transition
from 50 cent PBR's from the Q Division soda machine to three or four delicious
concoctions of Stoli Vanil, cranberry juice and ginger ale, I could stay
all night, but work and sleep beckon.
Epilogue: A week later,
I catch Loveless live at T.T.'s. Dave's guitar playing, with its Corgan-esque
swoops and gorgeous vibrato, steals the show. Quick Fix drummer Shayne
Phillips watches them entranced. The rhythm section holds things down
and the twinned vocals merge seamlessly. When they rip into "Tonight,"
the guitarist of Godboxer turns to me and says "I love this song." The
mood of the room says it all: the residue of the working week is lifted,
the music has the room swooning; songs like this make you feel redeemed.
Dave and Jen sing "This is a way to fight it off." This is a way indeed.
Look for the debut Loveless, soon to be released on Q Division and check
out Loveless on the web at www.qdivision.com. See them in the 2002 WBCN
- Steve Gisselbrecht