Article / Interview by Mai-Liis Renaud
So Cornwall’s music lovers are in for a Real Treat at Lola’s Pub and Grub on Pitt Street, next Friday night (June 5th) as The Lovelocks, a new, hot, alternative country music duo from Toronto, perform for us with opening act “The Countrymen”.
I, myself am a lover of Heavy Metal but after listening to the first EP put out by these two girls, Ali Raney (left in above photo) and Zoe Neuman, (right in above photo) I find myself with a case of “music earworm” as I walk around the house humming the tune to their song “Dance”.
I asked Robin McRae, who is in charge of booking all the music acts at Lola’s: “What made you decide to bring the Lovelocks to Lola’s and Cornwall and why do you think Cornwall’s music lovers will appreciate this band?” and here is his answer. “As is usually the case I do research on any and all bands that I get approached by or offered via an agent. I check out the bio, and a few youtube vids, press quotes etc. Everything I read about the Lovelocks was glowing, which I must say peaked my interest. Then I checked out YouTube and from that moment on, I became a fan. I love the sound, the look, the stage presence, it seems like the perfect package. When I feel that strongly about an artist I want to share it with as many people as possible. I want everyone to feel what I am feeling. So I booked them to play Lolas on June 5th w/special guests The Countymen. $20 get’s you in the door. All those in attendance are in for a REAL treat!”
I was lucky to be able to interview these two lovely and talented ladies and here are my 5 QUESTIONS with the LOVELOCKS.
1. When and how did you two come together as this amazing Country Music duo and how did you come up with the name “Lovelocks”?
We actually grew up singing at church together and have known each other for ten years! About three years ago now, we decided to explore writing music in each other’s living rooms on Sunday afternoons. During this time, we were always being asked to play at friends’ weddings or local fundraisers and finally decided that if we were going to make a go of it that we needed to have a band name and start playing some real shows. We booked our first residency at a famed Toronto bar and spent about six months trying to figure out a band name – literally hundreds of text messages and emails went back and forth. One night, I (Ali) was on my phone scrolling through my Twitter feed when I noticed a news article about lovelocks being removed from a bridge in my neighbourhood. I clicked on the link because I wanted to know what was happening locally in my backyard, but also because I had no clue what a lovelock was and I wanted to find out! I found out that they are padlocks that two people lock onto a bridge to symbolize commitment and love and then you throw away the key! I really liked the sentiment of it, and thought it was a fitting image of our friendship and the sharing in the pursuit of our big dream – making music together! I texted Zoe, who just happened to be away on vacation in Europe nursing a broken heart – “What about The Lovelocks?” She texted me right back and as serendipity would have it, she had also just discovered what a lovelock was that day on a bridge in Paris. She forwarded me a photo of her in front of the lovelocks, and we knew immediately that we had found our name!
2. Who are the influences in your music writing and performing?
Our biggest influences in terms of our sound would have to be bands like the Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss and Union Station, as well as Mumford and Sons. We both love acoustic music, having grown up both playing instruments ourselves, and we always knew we wanted to recreate that kind of thing in our original songs. We always try to focus on writing ‘rootsy’ country music with a really hooky, pop chorus. We also love writing songs about love in all of its various facets, including the dysfunctional side of love where we get to show the sassier side of our personalities.
3. Both your voices are amazing but when you perform how do you decide who sings lead and who sings harmony ?
Thank you! We are always told by fans that we sound like sisters when we sing together, which is really funny because we actually have quite different speaking voices. But I guess it’s just years and years of learning how to blend and anticipating where the other person is going to go. We’ve actually gotten to the point now where sometimes we can’t remember who sings what and have to remind ourselves, often on stage! We don’t really spend too much time delegating who sings lead, it’s really more about who’s voice suits the melody more, and quite often we switch in the chorus anyway, so it really is split 50/50.
4. What are your major accomplishments to date?
Winning our first Canadian Country Music Award back in September was definitely the highlight of our career so far! There have been so many highlights though – signing our first record deal with MDM Recordings/Universal Music Canada, watching our debut EP rise to #2 on the iTunes Canada country charts on the day of release, opening for Canadian country superstar Terri Clark in Nashville this past February, and making our first music video for our new single “Born To Love” (which just released this past week on CMT Canada) are just a few that come to mind! We’ve been so fortunate to experience these career highlights not just as a band, but also as dear friends.
5. What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Our main goal is that we remain true to our friendship throughout our entire career. We got started in this business for the love of making music together, not for anything else, and that’s really the consistent thread in everything we do. We are super excited about the launch of our new single “Born To Love” which will release on iTunes this coming June 2nd. We’ll also be performing at some major festivals this summer across Canada and the US – Big Valley Jamboree, Boots & Hearts, Summerfolk music festival and CMA Fest in Nashville.
I know I said 5 Questions but I have one more for you …. What should music lovers in Cornwall expect to hear when they come to see you perform in Cornwall next Friday?
Music lovers in Cornwall can expect to have a toe-tapping good time! Most of our music is pretty upbeat and energetic – we love it when people get up and dance so much that we wrote a song called “Dance”! A memorable night is definitely in store, we hope to put on a good show and look forward to seeing everyone out!
Thank you both for this opportunity to interview you both and I know that Cornwall music lovers are in for a treat next Friday at Lola’s.
For more info please visit www.thelovelocksband.com for your enjoyment, here is a link to their new music video www.cmt.ca/video/the-lovelocks/the-lovelocks-born-to-love/