“My main motivation is connecting with other people.” – Says Loops And Loops which, started during the pandemic to fight off confusion and, stress. Full interview is below.
Hey, very happy to welcome you to the Radio Show and Podcast community. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Introduce yourself to the community.
Loops & Loops began as an outlet to deal with the pandemic. There was so much stress and confusion, I needed to do something with the extra time. During that time period, I wrote a song or two a day and found myself with quite a few songs recorded. The first few albums were quite lofi as I had only a midi keyboard, a microphone, and a ukulele. The most recent album, fake face, is less lofi and focuses on my love of 90’s indie bands like the magnetic fields and Yo La Tengo, combined with a touch of dreampop, with hints of more modern bands like Lord Huron.
One thing that I’m always interested in, when I sit down and chat with artists is, what their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that moment in time for you?
The most defining moment was watching a band called Don Martin 3 in a house show in Florida. The raw energy and simplicity of the band captivated me. It was the first time that I thought that I could make my own music. I started to meet like minded DIY folks and started making music. I began writing quite a bit of songs when I moved to New York and played quite a few shows under the name The Sems. Sadly, The Sems was often confused with the game The Sims. After a few setbacks with labels, I stopped releasing music for a while. It wasn’t until I discovered I could release my own music on my own terms that I started releasing music again.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works with you?
For the first three albums, I mixed all of the music. Jeff Zeigler, an old friend and awesome producer, mastered the first three. For this album, Jeff mixed and mastered the album. He is amazing and really made the record shine!
What motivates you? Not just in your music but in your normal life as well.
My main motivation is connecting with other people. I remember taking long walks as a kid with friends and talking about life. These existential walk-abouts shaped me. I often found that everyone has their own struggles. Talking seemed to help. When I started releasing music under loops & loops, quite a few people reached out. They were having an equally difficult time during the pandemic with isolation or loss of a loved one. I spend roughly an hour a day on twitter talking to people about a wide variety of subjects. Through talking with others, I find that I feel better. From what I gather, so do the people I talk to.
I am personally on a mission to get good music heard by everyone. What is one thing that bothers you the most about trying to come up in the music world today and, do you prefer being underground or, is the mainstream something you strive for?
When I was younger, I thought anyone who was mainstream was lame. I still remember being annoyed about Jawbreaker going with a major record label. I realize now that I was just gatekeeping. Why should I be the only one who has access to great music? Though I am not striving to become mainstream, I would not turn down the offer. We all have the desire to connect, to be heard. Music is a fantastic way to do just that.
Who, musically, is one of your bigger influences?
There are so many to choose from. I have listened to music as far back as I can remember. I would say my biggest influence is My Bloody Valentine. Though loops & loops does not use heavy, washed out guitars, MBV allowed me to get creative with making music. I would read countless articles on how they got their sound or came up with songs. Quite a few of the mic techniques I still use. I also use one of the songwriting techniques of writing lyrics the moment I get up from sleeping in order to tap into that quasi-hypnognoic state.
One question that I like to ask artists is, how did Covid affect your music in particular and the music scene in your area?
Covid hit the music scene pretty hard in terms of live shows. Most venues shut down and quite a few were closed permanently. On the other hand, there has been a proliferation of music. New songs are coming out everyday!
I, myself, personally think that there’s too much social media out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary but there’s a ton of it out there. What are your feelings on social media and music today?
Much like the amount of music out there today, there is an oversaturation on social media of music. There was a certain point when guys would come up to you with their mixtape asking you to listen to it. Today, there are posts, every second, of the same thing. Most people wind up ignoring it. Social media can be a great way to let fans know what is going on and connecting with others, but it can be (and often is) overdone. I would also add that it becomes an unhealthy obsession for people who are focused too much on numbers.
Do you create music often? When can we expect another release?
I am constantly writing music! I just finished a collaboration with a band called Lines of Flight. They are an amazing shoegaze/elctronic duo. That is scheduled to be released sometime in august. Starting next week, I am mixing a new album that should be released in January! I have several albums still waiting to be mixed. Each one will be released six months apart.
I grew up in the 90’s, I listened to everyone from Dr. Dre, to Weezer, to Pink Floyd, Metallica, Cypress Hill and back again. I truly believe that the 90’s were one of the greatest era’s for original music. Which era of music is one of your favorites?
Nice! I also grew up in 90’s! I listened to quite a few of those bands. I listened to quite a bit of 80’s hardcore, 80’s-90’s hip hop, and grunge. The two genres that I listened to the most in the 90’s was shoegaze and post-hardcore (especially Moss Icon).
If you could swap yourself into a different artist, who would it be?
Even though I did not mention him earlier, it would be Neil Young. He is an amazing writer and musician.
What tips or advice would you give someone that’s just starting out in the music game?
I would suggest to really focus on your music first. Even if you are a pro at promoting, the music has to be the way you want it to be. I would also suggest not focusing on numbers too much. The numbers on spotify or Apple Music do not mean your music is awesome or terrible. Connect with fans!
I want to thank you for this Q&A, Is there anything you want to say to everyone out there? Shout outs?
Thanks to everyone who has been supporting Loops & Loops! It is really appreciated.