Formed in 2009 in Hartford, CN the McLovins aren’t just dubiously named after a fake ID from ”Superbad”, they’ve long been a buzzing band with remarkable potential. When they released their new EP, People Say they started to deliver on some of that potential. Along with the new EP, the McLovins recently announced that they’ll be playing Bunbury Festival in Cincinnati this year and they’ll also be playing a show at the Gramercy in New York City. We talked with drummer and lyricist Jake Huffman about the band’s most recent adventures, including recording and producing that EP by themselves.
“When we made our last record with Bill Sherman and Mike Novick, we learned an incredible amount about our sound and how producing it a certain way would make the sound that we wanted,” explained Huffman about the band’s work on their self-titled debut. “We felt comfortable moving forward after that. Justin and Jason both went to University of Hartford for music production and technology. So, it was a self-produced endeavor this time around with Justin and Jason. We also got a lot of help from Matt Ultra. He was a professor at University of Hartford. We took what we learned from Novick and Bill Sherman, especially with vocals and drums, and we really used that. “
The band learning from Novick and Sherman contributed to their growth in the studio, the same can be said for the band’s University of Hartford connections. But a big part of what makes this EP so good is how pure it sounds. According to Huffman, the vibe and the feel of that purity was intentional.
“There’s almost no plugins on this record. All the sounds were laid out before we recorded. We let the music speak for itself. We’ve been shaping this music for the past four years while we’ve been on the road. We chose the right drums and the right outboard gear, everything was well thought out and we put a lot of work into it. As an example, after a ten-and-a-half-hour vocal day, I did one more take on a song. I drank a little whiskey and we got what we wanted out of recording rather than trying to go in and fix it.”
The McLovins haven’t released a lot of music for a band that’s been around for almost a decade Instead, they’ve spent a lot of time out on the road. When they were first starting their touring days, they really went after it, but they didn’t start getting ambitious with touring until they were years into the band’s existence.
“When the band first started I was just 14. I couldn’t go on the road and the only thing we were able to do were weekend gigs. All our free time we had just went into high school. When we were finally able to start touring we went wild. We told our booking agent to put us everywhere. For three years we grinded, and we knew that we needed to do that to get to the next step. That’s the best way to advance as a band is just to go out there and play shows. That’s what’s liberating is getting out there and earning your stripes.”
“Now, we need to choose wisely what we do for our next step, so we don’t run out of steam. We want to build what we have. We want to pick the right shows and the right stages, so we can come into the next phase of what we want.”
Next up, Bunbury Festival in Cincinnati in June and getting to play the Gramercy in just a couple of weeks. They’ll play the Gramercy on Friday, April 6th. The Gramercy shows are exciting for Huffman because it’s something he’s always wanted to do.p>“It’s surreal. I’ve always dreamed of a day when we got to this mile marker where we got to play this room. I wish you could see the smile on my face right now when I’m just talking about it. I love it.” – aa