Interview - Love, Lies and Fiction

Love, Lies and Fiction are a melodic pop-rock group from South Florida. Let's have a chat with them about their music.

- Hi guys and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release The sun lights up the moon.
The Sun Lights Up The Moon is a warm song that sort of defies genre I think. We’ve heard some people classify it as country, though I don’t have anything resembling a country or southern accent, and some define it as pop-rock. Like a lot of our songs, the song starts off big, and quickly gets small, as in quiet. It almost reads as a ballad in the first verse, and then as the song opens into the chorus and it gets big again. In terms of the arrangement, it goes from really sparse and acoustic sounding in the verse, to full-on electric and synth sounding in the choruses.

Lyrically, the song speaks to the dynamics of true love: the love that shines on you from another, and how it can cause you to shine. In the same way that the moon doesn’t generate its own light, it only reflects the light of the sun, in a relationship, we shine as brightly as the love that we reflect. And that’s what the song attempts to capture.

- How would you describe your sound?
Vocally, we draw comparisons to the band “Vertical Horizon,” and maybe “Keane.” We’re told a lot that our sound is tough to categorize. Our lyrics lean towards stories which are less common in pop or rock. Our melodies are wide in terms of the distance from the lowest note in the song, to the highest, due in part to our singer’s upper register, which is very high.

We believe in story. We believe in people and relationships, and that songs should be about love (mostly). We believe in organic, live drums, but we also include trap drums and hip-hop sounding beats in parts of our songs. We like to transition or evolve our songs from trap drum beats to organic/live drums.

We believe that a song without a lead guitar solo is like a first date without a kiss goodnight: pointless. Even in our songs where it doesn’t sound like there’s a “traditional” lead guitar solo, chances are, what you’re hearing as a synthesizer may be a lead guitar through an effect pedal. We love the electric guitar.

So, that was probably the longest ever answer to a very short question. To sum up: We’re synth-rock-pop, with a hat tip to classic rock.

- What do you write about?
GREAT question. Answer: relationships. All of life is relationships. The single most important choice anyone will ever make, the one choice that will determine their overall and ultimate happiness in life, is the choice of who to love and who to marry. But relationships are not entirely limited to love relationships with people. We have a song titled, “Tight” which is soon to be released that deals with a man’s relationship with temptation. We’ve written about one-way love, and love of possessions and material things. But mostly, we like to write about human relationships. And the more dysfunctional, the more interesting the song. That said, we certainly write our fair share of found love, finding love, falling in love, losing love, and other more traditional love songs.

- What do you listen to when you are home?
That is a HARD question to answer. It’s like asking, “what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” Can I answer: “Baskin Robbins?” Or, “Ben and Jerry's?” Listening to new music is more than just something you do for pleasure when you’re a songwriter, it’s a responsibility, a part of your job. You try to sneak it in at all hours of the day. Finding new music to enjoy is my mission. Because hearing new songs means having new ideas. Surprisingly, I have found a few online music discovery tools that introduce me to music I really like, from artists I don’t already know. But I know there’s a lot of great music from unknown artists out there – I just wish it was easier to locate the cream of the crop.

We work very hard to listen to new music, especially unsigned artists. We are always looking for what’s new and what’s next. We want our internal melody making muse to be inspired by the next great thing, not by what’s trending now. We also want to support struggling artists who are working to break through, the same way we are. Some unsigned bands we love include “The Slang,” a D.C. based duo who’s songs “Is It Any Wonder” and their cover of “Blinding Lights” are both epic. “Compass and Caverns,” a duo out of Colorado does a cover of “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” that is so ridiculously good, it should replace the original (everything they do is remarkable).

Our latest discovery may not be very new, but she’s new to us: Lizzy McAlpine, who’s song “Pancakes For Dinner” captures everything we love about songwriting. She’s really a world-class talent. But our award for the best new (we think they’re still unsigned) artist and simultaneously best new song is the band, “Durry,” and their song, “Who’s Laughing Now.” That song is a masterclass in interesting phrasing and catchy hooks. We love them.

In terms of signed, mainstream artists? We believe “Havana” by Camilla Cabello is one of the greatest pop songs ever written. Cold Heart by Duo Lippa and Elton John is remarkably catchy and pleasurable. In the rock genre, we love the Scottish artist, Twin Atlantic, and their song, “Heart And Soul.” And our favorite up and coming soon to be worldwide star is a country artist/songwriter out of Nashville named Jake Rose. His song “Favor” is so good it’s not fair that so much songwriting talent resides in one person. His song, “Family” is another brilliant song.

- Your favourite live performance so far?

I’d like to say Harry Styles, but I couldn’t hear much of it. There were too many girls screaming. I think that’s what it must have sounded like when The Beatles first performed in the United States: He sang, “watermelon sugar,” and instead of hearing the next word, “high” all you heard was “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!” in the high voices of screaming young women. And we’re not even jealous…

So I’d have to say, favorite concert: Weezer. Love those guys. Great songwriters, great live show.

- Tell us a funny story that happened in studio or on stage
The first one that springs to mind might not translate very well, but here goes: We have a song that hasn’t been released yet. It’s called “Broken.” It has a breakdown that leads into the lead guitar solo that’s reminiscent of the kind section used by the late 80’s/early 90’s band, “Living Colour.” The drums, bass and guitar, play a riff that’s really tight and syncopated. And there’s a moment, just barely a fraction of a second of a break between the two halves of the section. And I just heard something in my head: a hotel call bell! You know that silly little bell you hit on the top to make that “ding” sound when you want to let someone know you’re standing there at the front desk because maybe they’ve stepped away and they’re in the back room? So I proposed to Lu (lead guitar/bass/every other instrument known or ever played – too much talent, Lu) that we add that little bell sound there. He added it, and it was simply funny. But as he’s mixing the song, I’m sitting behind him on the couch, and each time he replays that part of the song, and the bell dings, we don’t expect it, and we both giggle like school kids. And it didn’t matter how many times we got to that part of the song, each time it was funnier, and we laughed like idiots. Ok, so maybe you had to be there. Ding!

- Your favourite albums?
Recently, I’d have to say the new album from Ed Sheeran that includes the songs “Visiting Hours (brilliant and heart breaking, tear-inducing song)” and “Shivers.” I think the album name is the equal sign symbol as in: “=.” Also, loved Dua Lippa’s album, "Future Nostalgia," but mostly for the one song, “Levitating,” which is an epic pop song. But if I had to choose a favorite, from the last few years, it would definitely be Post Malone’s album, "Hollywood’s Bleeding," with the hits, “Circles,” “Saint Tropez” and “Sunflower.” Nothing but respect for that man’s artistry.

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
Obviously, Ed Sheeran. No, wait! Only if Jemaine Clement from Flight Of The Conchords joined us. Cause then it would be a party! I’d interrogate Jemaine to learn everything about how this magical song, “The Most Beautiful Girl In The Room,” came about:
https://ww…YIxpNPhAQE I feel like Ed Sheeran would like hanging with him, too. After the third drink, I’m convinced we’d have written a hilarious hit song together.

- What would you ask backstage if you were the most important band on earth?
Not to have to wear a COVID face mask would be nice (only half joking). If we were a very big deal I’d love to have all three of our family’s dogs backstage. It turns out that nobody believes I need three therapy dogs. No one needs THAT much emotional support, or so I’ve been told. To be fair, one of my dogs has anxiety issues, and the second dog is his emotional support animal. Which is confusing at restaurants:

Waitress: “Sir, you can’t have dogs in here.”
Me: “It’s ok, he’s my emotional support dog.”
Waitress: “What about the second dog?”
Me: “Oh, that’s the first dog’s emotional support dog… He’s got anxiety.”.
Waitress: “and the third dog?”
Me: “Ummm….”

And we would refuse to perform without at least three bowls of Reese’s Pieces in the dressing room. Our drummer, Ricky Sanders, LOVES them. Always bring Reese’s Pieces to shows for him (kidding, he can’t stand them).

- What are your plans for the next future?
We’ve got a LOT of songs already recorded, scheduled to be released one per month for the next several months. That gives us some runway to work on a longer EP or maybe even an album. We’ve been asked to contribute a song to a major motion picture that will be released in the fall of 2022 and so we’ll spend February working on a few songs hoping one of them will make the grade for the film. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to reveal the name of the movie yet, but we’re so grateful the producers and the director like our songs enough to invite us to write one for it.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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