January 29, 2005, Stratosphere Fanzine, Jen “Sidewaysgaze”
JEN: Do you consider Lovespirals to be a continuation of Love Spirals Downwards or is it a totally separate creation?
RYAN: It’s a new band for sure. But on the other hand, I’m just doing my thing: making music. I never sat down and decided to make music in a way that wasn’t natural for me. I’m just doing what I’ve always done; making music that moves me, something that challenges me to grow musically, and something I’d want to listen to when it’s all done. With each album, I think I’ve been sucessful in being genre-less. That’s something I’ve pretty much always wanted to do; not be confined by the restrictions of making music that a certain kind of genre or following expects. I’m a free musical soul and I’ve always aimed at following my musical bliss. So older fans that got that from my music should still be just as pleased, if not more so, with Lovespirals. But if you liked my older music because you were a fan of the record label and their narrow genre and style, then you probably never really got what my music was about and won’t necessarily be into Lovespirals.
ANJI: This is a complicated question. You can look at it in different ways. Sam Rosenthal said that Lovespirals are to Love Spirals Downwards what Jefferson Starship are to Jefferson Airplane, or Pink Floyd are to The Pink Floyd Sound. In each case, a band member left and the name was shortened. Is it still the same band? Then again, Love Spirals Downwards were never really a band, but a recording project headed up by Ryan. Of course, we don’t perform his old songs live, which fans would probably expect if they thought of us as being the “continuation of Love Spirals Downwards.”
JEN: Anji, have you been in any other bands before/during Lovespirals?
ANJI: Yes, I was in several local bands before joining Ryan as Lovespirals, and I have continued to collaborate with other musicians up to this day. Most recently, I did two tracks with Bitstream Dream, for the album, Connected, late last year. A song I did with Plastic Chair was released on a mix CD for EMI Switzerland earlier last year. I also began work on a collaboration with Harald, of Chandeen, for a special Kalinkaland project. Ryan and I both contributed to a song with Beauty’s Confusion that should be done soon.
JEN: How did you decide to become a singer and song-writer?
ANJI: I’ve been into writing songs since I was a kid. It’s just something I’ve always done. I enjoy writing lyrics and I love singing, even when I don’t have a musician to collaborate with. I’ve got tons of songs written that are just waiting for music to be put to them.
JEN: Ryan, your creative process is to perform all/most of the musical duties and then have a female singer perform vocal duties. Have you always always produced music in this way?
RYAN: Yeah, it’s pretty much the way I’ve always done it. Again, it’s not an essential strategy that I try to use. It’s just what seems to happen most naturally for me. With Anji, I’ll give her a song that is half complete and record her vocals. Then, I’ll go back and record more stuff and vibe off of what she’s done. It gives it a more real feel, playing off of each other that way.
ANJI: The way we write songs is usually like this; Ryan will be playing guitar or keyboard, coming up with ideas. I’ll hear a melody that catches my ear, either reminding me of something I’ve written already, or that inspires me to write something new, and I’ll start singing along. We’ll jam together — with him improvising musically and me vocally. If we’ve got something interesting, we’ll capture it as a demo recording.
JEN: Ryan, maybe you could shed a little light on what happens in the studio?
RYAN: I record everything with software and hardware, called ProTools, which runs on a G4 Macintosh. I’ll start off with a few parts, like a drum and guitar, and slowly build a song up from that. Intially, I’m trying to get the mood of the song down, making sure that I like how it feels. If it passes that test, then I’ll work more on the structure of the song, stuff like how many times a section repeats. Once that’s figured out, then I’ll keep trying different instruments and sounds. I’ll grab different guitars and see which ones sound best for the song. It often takes a while, but it slowly builds up like this over several days to several weeks.
ANJI: In a few cases, we’ve worked on a song over several years, really perfecting it. Several songs on our upcoming album were actually begun during the time we recorded Windblown Kiss.
Jen: It’s already 2005 – what do you have in store for this year, musically and otherwise?
ANJI: Our second full-length album will be released this year, though we don’t have the exact date yet. We also plan to work on a new live set with additional musicians. We’ve been talking to Rodney Rodriguez, who played with LSD on their Flux album and tour, as well as Tom Coyne, from The Last Dance. It should be cool to have a live rhythm section.
You can read the rest of the interview in a fanzine style layout at Stratosphere Fanzine’s Yahoo! Launch Group: Just go to the “files” section and check in the “new singer & band interviews – 2005” folder.