Interview by Isobel Geo for Fiber Online, Oct 26, 2003
ISOBEL: What changed in the Lovespirals sounds with your entrance in 1999?
ANJI: The sound was already evolving in 1998, moving towards something more jazzy and funky than previously. Ryan was working with Doron Orenstein, a trained jazz saxophonist, when I joined. Adding my jazzy and soulful vocals helped to further that evolution. As we continued to work together, my song writing style brought a more poppy edge to the music. The biggest change I brought to the band was that I encouraged a collaborative song writing technique, which had been lacking in the band up to that time.
ISOBEL: The last album was Windblown Kiss released last year, so what’s the new Lovespirals’ plans for albums, tours, or remixes?
ANJI: We’ve been writing and recording new songs ever since we finished touring for Windblown Kiss, and are about half way done with an album now. Soon we need to start preparing a new live set that includes all of these new songs. Right now we are getting together files for a remix competition using our new song “Walk Away” that PeaceLoveProductions will be putting on. We are currently seeking a label to release our next album, as well as looking into possibly doing them ourselves.
ISOBEL: Anji, and your project, Plastic Chair, how’s that going?
ANJI: Plastic Chair are going to have a track or two included on an upcoming Monolog Recordings compilation. Chuki has been searching for labels to release our first full length album, but I don’t think he’s settled on any one yet.
ISOBEL: In your opinion will new jazz be the future of electronic music?
ANJI: It seems to me that NuJazz has already been a fairly strong force in electronic music since the mid to late 90’s, though I suppose that has mainly been a UK thing. It always seems to take a few years until America catches up with them, so maybe it hasn’t really even begun here yet. What I’ve been hearing lately, though, is an insurgence of 80’s ElectroBoogie/ElectroFunk styles hitting the US labels that were previously doing Jazz/Soul/Funk inspired Electronica.
ISOBEL: Does Lovespirals has a brazilian bossa nova influence? Tom Jobim, Vincius de Moraes, Astrud Gilberto?
ANJI: I love Bossa Nova and was trying to influence Ryan to make an Astrud Gilberto type song for me to sing, but it came out a little differently… The song was “Our Nights.”
ISOBEL: Nowadays, what’s the strongest influence in the band’s sounds?
ANJI: As always, Ryan’s influenced by whatever music he’s listening to. For instance, during the writing of Windblown Kiss, he was listening a lot to Led Zeppelin, Pat Metheny, and Miles Davis. His music picked up some Jazz and Blues elements, yet we hardly sound like any of those artists. Lately he’s been listening a lot to Pink Floyd and Talk Talk. Of course, Ryan prefers to listen to music when he can focus all of his attention on it, so that isn’t very often. He likes to absorb albums slowly. I, on the other hand, tend to consume music. I’ve been listening to all kinds of stuff, but mainly music with very soulful vocals, from the 1970’s to now. Strangely, Ryan cites long boarding as being a big influence right now in his musical thinking.
ISOBEL: Are you very critical about another electronic music styles and hypes?
ANJI: I suppose we are both fairly critical of music. I think we are most critical of bands that don’t change over time, but seem to be stuck in one type of rut. We both enjoy a wide range of musical styles, including various electronic styles, rock, pop, and jazz.
ISOBEL: And are you critical about your own work?
ANJI: Sure, we’re totally critical of our work. We constantly seek to improve our skills and learn more about music. We never want to do the same thing twice, really.
ISOBEL: Who writes the songs, you or Ryan, or both? What subject always has taken in lyrics?
ANJI: We completely collaborate on all our songs. Ryan does the bulk of the music writing and performing, with input from me — particularly as far as the song structure goes. We work the songs up together, starting with either a guitar melody and vocal, or a keyboard melody and vocals. I write all of the lyrics and vocal melodies. My lyrics are generally about personal experiences, though sometimes they are imaginary. I like to write about love, primarily, but I also write about other subject matter.
ISOBEL: How can I describe Lovespirals?
ANJI: We’ve been referring to ourselves as Jazzy Electro-Acoustic Dance & Pop. That kind of covers it all. Our music is a mixture of Jazz, Soul, Blues, and Electronica with plenty of mood and melody. Sensual female vocals and beautiful guitar drive the songs, with funky keyboards and organic percussion keeping the rhythm. We’re currently dabbling in genres including Down Tempo, Deep House, NuJazz, and NuSoul, but we’ve also written in many other styles in the past, including Atmospheric Drum n Bass, Lounge, Folk Rock and more. We’re all over the board!
You can read Isobel’s Portuguese article at FiberOnline.com.
I’m starting to miss playing live again, it’s been so long. I can’t help thinking about how much more fun it would be, though, if we had more musicians to fill out the sound. A bassist would be a huge improvement, at least. It could be cool to have a keyboardist, too. Or maybe somebody who could play both, depending on the song. Like John Paul Jones, that would be nice.