|Reno Divorce feature interview with Brent Loveday|
"Reno Divorce, Denver’s premier OC-style punk rock band, is coming to the end of their Northeastern “Lover’s Leap” Tour this week in Witchita, KS. I tried so hard to try to catch one of their Midwestern Mile High Punk shows as they cruised through Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio earlier this month, but was unable to make the hookup with the guys. I was so bummed! When I spent over a decade in Denver, CO, I rarely missed one of their shows. I’ve been following Reno Divorce since the early 2000’s, when I did my very first interview with them for Annex22.com, Flocked Media’s predecessor. I fell in love with their sound and style and no-nonsense lyrics and haven’t looked back.
Since I wasn’t able to see Reno when they passed through my new neck of the woods, I opted to catch up with Brent [Loveday]to find out what he and the band have been up to. Reno Divorce is one of the hardest working bands I think I have the pleasure of knowing. In my opinion, RD’s music just keeps getting better, like a perfectly aged oak barrel whiskey — the minute they start playing, you feel that warmness in your chest, and you can’t help but smile and want more. And no, I am not encouraging binge drinking, readers; if you listen to them, you’ll know exactly what I mean. It’s like RD knows what is going on in your mind, your heart. What you’re feeling right now, they’re singing about.
A FACEBOOK FIRESIDE CHAT WITH BRENT LOVEDAY (lead singer, lead guitar)
Q. How was your summer? Brent, how was Germany?
A. This summer has been incredibly busy. For the first time in my career, I’m starting to spend more time on the road than at home. Reno Divorce spent three weeks on the road at the beginning, and when I got home, I was right back out playing Sturgis with the solo project. I did some off dates in California with The Young Dubliners, too. Then sure enough, it was off to Europe with the solo stuff and then home for nine days. Reno Divorce is finishing up our three week US tour, which started September 27. My European tour was awesome. It started as just playing my friend’s wedding in Germany, and it ended up being a full fledged mini tour for hardcore Reno fans. It was so cool for them to see that side of what I do. It’s really stripped down to the bone, but that’s the way I write the songs anyway, with an acoustic guitar and my voice. It was like they were in my living room with me. I had my good friend, Doug Turner, playing the cojone and my wife was selling my merch. It was much more like a vacation than a tour, for sure. And my wife and I capped it off with three days on the French Rivieria, so you’ll get no complaints from me…
Q. What was it like to make videos for “Lovers Leap” and “Sunsets and Corvettes”. Have you tried the video thing before, or was this the first official foray into video-dom? I’ve already seen the other amateur videos on YouTube.
A. Well, the first “real” video we ever made was in 2009 for “How Long’s It Been?”. If you watch that one and then watch the other ones, I think you can definitely see that we’re more comfortable in front of the camera. When I was a kid, all I wanted to be was a rock star. I’m from the MTV generation. It seems like choosing this line of work has fewer perks and advantages than you’d think, so a chance to star in a music video is one you take advantage of. The idea I had for “Lovers Leap” would’ve cost about $200,000 to make, so considering we had a budget of about a $1000, obviously some compromises were made. But I’m very happy with the result. The songs on this record are so lyrically driven that the first reaction is to simply let them act like a script for the video. For “Sunsets and Corvettes”, I had the same feeling, but it was made in one day of shooting in Hollywood while we were on tour. I had to surrender that to Dillon Novak, the director. And I’m glad I did. He totally captured the essence of Los Angeles. I wish we would’ve had one more day of shooting, but for flying by the seat of our pants, I’d say it was one hell of a landing.
Q. On this Midwest tour, are there any cities you’ve never been to? What cities are you most excited to play?
A. We’ve never been to New England, so that’s where I’m most excited to play. Tye lived there for a while, so he can attest to how great the people are that live there. We are revisiting a few places where we haven’t been in a few years, so it’s always interesting to see if anyone will remember who the hell we are. This will be our first time in Baltimore and I’m excited for that. Some places we’ve hit just a few months ago, so it’ll be great to see our friends there, too. I’m also stoked that we’ll have the new record with us, on vinyl and CD. I can’t tell you what an achievement that record is. It’s the best thing we’ve done.
Q. I know Lover’s Leap isn’t quite a year old yet, are you already planning the next album; do you think you might make another video for this album?
A. We are planning a video for the song “You’ve Created a Monster”. The song is about the over diagnosis and pharmaceutical treatment of ADD in kids. As a recovering drug addict, I’ve seen first hand how easy it is to manipulate the doctor/patient relationship and I think the American mentality of taking a pill just to make it through the day is an epidemic in itself. I’ve personally dealt with the frustration of having a child and having doctors throw different medications at him, essentially turning him into a Guinea pig. It’s also a very short song, kind of on purpose, to correlate with how short our attention spans have evolved into as a society. It’s gonna be challenging to tell the story visual in a minute and 22 seconds!
Q. Do you like the fact your music is on iTunes; has it increased your audience or just made your solid and extremely loyal fan base download individual songs instead of buying the whole album?
A. I love the fact that we are on iTunes, and all the digital media outlets, for that matter. It makes what we do accessible to millions of people all over the world. The odd thing about Reno Divorce is that we’ve never had any real record labels or booking agents or media machines behind us. It’s always been word of mouth or touring. People who see us walk away fans, and the fans that I’ve talked to always buy the entire discography because the records are consistent. We don’t have filler. I won’t allow it. If a song isn’t up to our standard, if it doesn’t have a hook and meaning, then we don’t force it. So many bands release records just to have something to sell at the expense of their fans, and I’m just not into that. If you buy a Reno record, you can rest assured that it wasn’t thrown together to meet a contractual obligation or “just because”. You’ll be hearing our latest and greatest and peering into to where we are at in our lives.
Last Question: What band or singer or musician has been your “go to tunes” this summer?
A. I’m making a solo record, so honestly I’ve been pouring over the tracks I’ve recorded and arranging and adding layers to it. There’s not a lot of time to delve into much else, unfortunately. As far as what’s popular in punk rock for the past few years, I hate to admit that not a lot of it is very exciting. It seems like I always revert to the stuff I was listening to when I was 13. OFF! is pretty interesting, but there again, it sounds like lost Black Flag recordings. I listen to a lot of Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, old timers like that. James Hunter is very talented and almost makes we want to stop singing because he’s perfected it. JD Macpherson and his band are very talented, as well.
THANK YOU BRENT!
I wish everyone that reads this can check out Reno Divorce live, but if you’re not currently in the Northeast for the last leg of their fall tour, and you don’t live in Colorado (they’re heading back to Denver to gear up for their annual Halloween show, which is INCREDIBLE, I don’t want to spoil any surprises), then check the guys out at renodivorceband.com and ‘Like’ them on Facebook. I’d ‘Love’ them on Facebook if that were an option. *images provided by renodivorceband.com"