Bar X on Second South. Photo: Max Lowe
This last Monday, July 25, I headed down to Bar X on Second South to shoot photos of a band I had never heard of up until several hours before on Hype Machine: The Fling. Shows at Bar X are few and far between, at least with more than a DJ dropping background club beats, so I was intrigued to see how the show would go down in the tiny, classy rustic-themed bar. The Long Beach based band consisting of brothers Dustin and Graham Lovelis, Justin Roeland, Justin Ivey and fresh as of this tour, Nic Harcourt, came on and immediately captured the full attention of the patrons of Bar X. The somewhat sorrowful mix of indie pop and classic rock songs the band divulged settled smoothly among the crowded tables of viewers.
At intermission, I headed out back with the band for a quick moment to shoot the shit.
SLUG: So how did you guys come together?
Dustin: My brother and I have been playing together since we were little kids. We grew up playing together and that is how it has been ever since. As for the rest of these guys, we have all found each other over time, playing in different bands and seeing each other around the Long Beach area. It’s a huge intertwined mesh of cities, and so you just hear of different people who you might want to play with through friends and fellow musicians.
SLUG: Where do your roots lie in your musical influence?
Nic: For me personally, I grew up listening to a lot of Christian Adult Contemporary, which has influenced me.
Graham: Nic does not speak for all of us though on that one.
Dustin: As children of the ‘90s, I think we definitely embodied the grunge movement, but we were also always into classic rock and jazz, all of which influenced the way we play as a group. We also grew up listening to our parent’s records from the ‘60s, so we loved and jived to that sort of music as well. The album Dookie by Greenday was a big one for us. The cool thing about us, though, is that we each have specific individual influences, and we each have our own musical style and preference, and then we all bring that to the table to create a very mixed platform for our music.
SLUG: What are your thoughts on Salt Lake City and how many times have you been here?
Dustin: This is probably our fifth time coming here, I think. Every time we have been here has been awesome, but the streets always confuse us to no end. Our Salt Lake friends tell us it’s the simplest thing, but heading north and 300 west sounds a little backwards to me.
Justin: One of the great things about Salt Lake that I have found is that the people are so receptive and excited about bands coming to town. We love playing in California, but there is just so much going on and so many shows that people will oftentimes just go to shows as a time suck and be quietly impressed. Here you can tell that the people coming to see the shows are really excited to hear you play and stoked to be there in the moment, which is one of the best things to see as a band.
SLUG: How do you guys like playing Bar X?
Graham: This place is awesome; we are usually playing in loud dive bars and it is super nice to play in a nicer, low-key bar where we can really take the songs down to bare bones.
SLUG: What makes your band unique?
Dustin: One thing that makes us, as a band, unique is that we have four songwriters in the group. There is usually one main songwriter or maybe two, so to have four really sets us apart. Since each of us that write have very unique methods, it makes our quiver of songs very diverse in style.
SLUG: Lastly, any projects coming soon from you guys?
Graham: Yeah, we are going to be realizing an EP on Halloween. Sadly it will not be Halloween-themed, but it will be good nonetheless.
Dustin: We hope to have a new album out by next year, and we are also going to be doing another big tour in the fall, coming through Salt Lake again to play at Kilby Court, so everyone should come out.
SLUG: Thanks guys, get back to your drinks and that second set!