Punky is a way to describe it, yet that's not exactly right. Poppy is another good word, but it somehow escapes a comprehensive definition of what Love Is All is all about..
Starting out as a poppy outfit called Girlfriendo, Love Is All have gradually turned into a top-rate speed-guitar band that effectively blurs the line between mainstream and indie, their insane speeds too freaky for a pop audience, yet their hooks just too damn irresitable to be filed under the "punk" moniker. Yet this doesn't seem to stop Swedish collective from doing what they do best: kicking ass and taking names. With 2008's A Hundred Things That Keep Me Up at Night having just graced a slew of Albums of the Year lists, we couldn't think of a better time to check in with the group, the lovely vocalist/keyboardist Josephine Olausson happily talking about what makes a good cover, the power of the veto, and not having a regret all these years into the game ...
>>A Hundred Things That Keep Me Up at Night is winding up on a whole bunch of year-end best-of lists for 2008. Given that Nine Times That Same Song was an album that was basically a collection of all your previous singles, what were the creative challenges you guys faced in coming up with a full-on album of all new material?
I think that the thought of making a full length album is sort of intimidating in itself. We have always been (and still are) very a much a song based band, I think. We like to think of every single song as important in itself, not just as a part of an album. There are a handful of songs that we ended up not including on the record simply because we didn't like them well enough. So, the major challenge was basically to write enough songs that we liked enough to put them on a record. And to try and forget that we were actually working on anything full length.
>>This year has also marked your first turn into full-on remix territory, which, I must say, came as a bit of a surprise, as the lo-fi indie-punk sound that you guys have doesn't immediately lend itself over to remixing. What surprised you about the remix project, and what did you learn from these different recontexualizations?
Yes, that came as a bit of a surprise to us as well. I've never really thought of our music as remixable... but our (then) British label Parlophone really kept on pushing the importance of getting our songs on the dance floor. I suppose the biggest surprise was seeing what other people heard in our songs and hearing all these different contexts in which our music could be put in. I'm not sure what we learned from it, but there were definitely some inspiring things in there.
>>Speaking of recontexualizations, you guys have quite the back catalog of cover songs that you break out on occasion. Right now on your MySpace, you have a sludgy, sticcatto cover of Prince's "Darling Nikki", which works in your hands incredibly well. What qualifies a song to be worthy of a Love Is All cover?
Hum, I'm not sure. Basically that someone in the band really likes the song and that we believe that we can do it well in a Love Is All style. The actual cover ep that we did though was made without anyone else in the band having a chance of veto-ing each members choice, (which was really nice for a change as we tend to get super involved in every little choice made.)
>>Do you ever listen to your Girlfriendo recordings at all? How do you feel you've changed/advanced since those days?
I haven't actually listened to them in years... maybe I should. I think of Girlfrendo as very much a different kind of band in so many ways that it's hard to compare the two. I'm proud of having been a part of that group but I am very happy that I am in a different band now. I was very young when we started Girlfrendo. Love Is All is a much more chaotic, more democratic, more creative band for me. I get to add more of myself and we write the songs in such a way that nothing is ever really finished until everyone has put a part of themselves in the music. There is simpy more of everything in LIA which is something that really fits me - both musically and personally.
>>Finally, so far in your career, what's been your biggest regret, and -- conversely -- what's been your biggest accomplishment?
No regrets. And having been able to live on music alone for the past three years is definitely a huge accomplishment that I never though possible.
Visit Love is All's MySpace.