erasing clouds

100 Musicians Answer the Same 10 Questions

Part Eighty-One: Richard Preece of Lovejoy

instigated by dave heaton

Matinee Recordings has released a slew of excellent melancholy-pop recordings, by bands (often influenced by the classically indie-pop UK bands of yore) with a astute grasp on the art of crafting a song. Standing proud among them is Lovejoy, behind such memorable (smart, moving, moody and melodically strong) albums as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (2002) and Everybody Hates Lovejoy (2005), as well as this year's fantastic (more hopeful in sound, and reviewed here) EP Brightness Falls. Richard Preece is the chief musician/songwriter/singer behind Lovejoy. Check out their website, and the Matinee website as well.


What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

Right now my new Gretsch guitar and Vox amp combo are the most exciting things to make music with!

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?

Hmmm...I recorded the last Lovejoy EP nearly a year ago, and although I still find the process of writing and recording very exciting, the fact that the world of music has changed so much in recent years means that for many artists who fall happily or unhappily into the category of 'indie pop' there is an ever decreasing set of interested listeners... That, and the ever present talent level / aspiration to make wonderful records relationship that exists between what I'd like to achieve and what I can actually play on an instrument or sing.

What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, extravaganzas, experiments, top-secret projects, etc).

Very quiet at the moment - Lovejoy is taking a bit of a break, but I'd like to think I'll come back to it at some point...St Famous is a new project - I'm working with Keris from Harper Lee and Andrew who was the singer in Geneva - It's been great for me as I'm playing mostly guitar and its good to be able to focus on just one aspect of the whole sound, whereas in Lovejoy I've been responsible for pretty much everything and in the snowdrops it was mostly me working on the instrumentation. Oh I also worked on sleeve art for Love Dance - a new band from Norway.

What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording?

I played a wedding party in Germany. great fun, and i was honoured to be invited, but it was slightly strange playing my somewhat less than joyful songs to bemused extended family members...

In what ways does the place where you live (or places where you have lived), affect the music you create, or your taste in music?

I'm very much affected by my environment - I live by the sea in an English south coast town - there have been references to where I live on nearly every Lovejoy's such a personal thing that where you are is bound to seep into what you write about.

When was the last time you wrote a song? What can you tell us about it?

I'm working on several songs right now, but the last one I finished was probably "Brightness Falls" (the last CDEP title track), which I was pleased with and played live in Norway about a day later, so I made several mistakes in performing it...but the excitement of finishing a new song that you think has got something special about it is a brilliant feeling.

As you create more music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people...and why do you think that is?

Actually as I get less and less interested in new music, the less inspired I get to write myself. I still want to be astounded by the beauty of something really special every time I hear a new record or band so years of disappointment, punctuated by very occasional treasure finding is a bit dispiriting...

Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener? (Old or new music? Music like yours or different from yours?)

I've been listening to Swedish pop again - Jens Lekman, Club 8... I still listen to some old school indie pop, I've been listening to old Creation bands like Revolving Paint Dream. I'm drawn to The Streets as well right now, although I think it's just a phase...

Name a musician or band, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to. What's one of your all-time favorite recordings by this musician/band?

I think Bob Wratten. He's made some brilliant records and has never really got the recognition he deserves for that. Favourite recording? The So Said Kay 10" in its entirety.

What's the saddest song you've ever heard?

The one that's sticking with me right now is "Broken Heart" by Spriritualized.

To check out the rest of the Q&As, click here.

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