Lovers Touch, the self-proclaimed dad rock group started as a trio during high school in Salt Spring Island, BC. After moving to Toronto, Shane Hooper, Dexter Nash, and Noah O’Neil added members Sam Lewis and Andrew Taylor. Gaining an audience within the music scene, the Toronto based band frequents popular local venues such as The Horseshoe Tavern, where they played a sold out show earlier in 2018. The five piece band have had a busy year, releasing a music video for their song This Is An Arrangement. I caught up with the band at their home in Toronto, true to style- filled with their favourite records and aged rum- to talk about the evolving music industry, songwriting, and what’s next for Lovers Touch.
What’s your experience been playing in Toronto?
Shane: It’s been great, there’s lots of all ages shows here, we’ve played a bunch of them now. Most of the time there’s four bands or so on the bill
Noah: We don’t actually book a lot of our shows ourselves right now. One show leads to a next in a way that a promoter or a band will see you at contact you afterwards
Shane: At our stage, no one really opens for anyone else, we all share shows
Tell me more about your new single and music video for This Is An Arrangement?
Shane: We’re releasing the music video on Valentines Day. The song definitely touches on themes of love, perhaps a marriage arrangement, or another type of arrangement...themes of love. We had the idea of one person almost waiting in a room, the other person not there. Sort of what your head goes through when you’re waiting
Dexter: We recorded it ourselves and the music video was shot at the Humber Film Studios
Andrew: We really recorded it ourselves, a home studio and everything. We built a box and put a bunch of socks on the walls...Sock drawer studios
Shane: We built it in the winter, in this garage, maybe 10”x10”, and then our friend came up from Montreal to help produce the record
What has changed about the band since moving into the Toronto scene?
Shane: We’re looking at these three songs coming out as our debut as a band, really. It wasn’t really serious back then when we lived on the West Coast, more of a high school band. We’ve formed a full band now and these singles represent where we are now. The three of us moved to Toronto together for the band
Dexter: You’ll notice with all the songs coming out, we’re sticking to a clean, 70’s style production
What direction do you think the music industry is going in? How has it changed since, for example, the industry in the 70’s?
Shane: I think singles are really important right now. That’s a huge part of it
Andrew: Yeah. For example, I don’t think anyone is listening to Bruno Mars’ Album, right now, it’s all singles, singles that can be played on the radio
Dexter: I think you have more of an opportunity now than ever, if you’re good you can put your stuff out there
Shane: There’s a whole other image aspect past just the music. The music has to match up with a great video, something people can share. With Instagram and all those things, having your personality on the internet is really important
Noah: It’s different now because I think that anyone can become a musician with the resources at hand. You can sit in your room and make a record. It’s great. Everyone that wants to be a musician can try. It’s such a diluted, saturated pool now though, it’s hard to stand out. But in general, it’s good to give everyone a shot. It’s just finding a way to stand out. That’s the big difference. It’s not the 70’s anymore. Every single can be a hit, no albums with fluff like it used to be
Shane: Instagram is also the go-to with younger people. You’ll see a big brand presence there now
Andrew: Mac Demarco is the king of this. He cares so much about his art, but he puts on this personality like he doesn't care. It's brilliant
Shane: It’s always sort of been like this, rock stars portraying an image
Sam: I think because of social media we are escaping the mystique of famous musicians. It used to be this idea that before you were too cool to talk to your fans, but we’ve gotten into this stage where that doesn’t work. You have to interact with your fans on an everyday basis
Andrew: We’re branching off into different stylistic choices, experimenting with 80’s vibes
What’s your songwriting process like?
Noah: Songwriting for us is very collaborative. Having 5 people giving that input gives us a natural progression through different genres. It’s hard to put our band into a genre, we create a lot of different things
Andrew: Finding consistency is hard, finding the common denominator
Shane: As a small band, we can release singles that sound differently and if one really goes over well, we can look at that style. We still have room to experiment and find out what resonates with the people