At this years Download Festival we were lucky enough to get some time with London/LA based punk band Love Zombies. Having just completed recording a new album in the hallowed grounds of Abbey Road, Craig Huntley had a chat with the band.
How is the festival experience so far?
It’s awesome, I mean, it’s unusual because it’s not raining and that’s sort of part and parcel of Download but at the same time it’s a very friendly festival. I think the only people who are annoyed are the doom and gloom sort of hard core bands, they don’t like the sunshine much.
You haven’t played yet but are you looking forward to your set?
Yeah we are looking forward to it. We are playing The Dog Tooth Stage and we’ve been in there a few times this weekend, the PA sounded good and the crowd seemed to be having a good time. I think the crowd times it so their favourite bands on the main stage and they venture into the tent to get out of the sun in the meantime, maybe do some illicit things in there, (laughs) which Love Zombies are the best band to do that with.
Are you sticking around the weekend to watch any bands?
We saw The Sick Puppies who we supported on tour on Thursday, who are from Australia via L.A, saw a bit of AFI yesterday, saw Rob Zombie. Half the crowd from Rob Zombie were shouting “fuck off Biffy, fuck off Biffy” because the sound was swirling around from the Main Stage. His light show is incredible and his band are quite funky as well. Aerosmith tonight will be amazing as well.
I saw them here in 2010 and thought that would be the last time…
Well I have a dirty little secret. Do you remember how wet it was that year? I left before Aerosmith came on.
Where did The Love Zombies name come from?
I think it came, uh, well I was hammered at the time. I think it came from Hollis, our lead singer, saying that there was not enough love in the world and everybody going around on their phones like zombies and not interacting enough. Apparently I was sat in the corner and shouted out the name. Hollis kind of smiled and agreed and that’s how the name came about. Nobody’s said it’s a crap name either, at least not to my face!
Who would you say your influences are?
The Clash, The Ramones, Zeppelin….Whisky, haha. Uh, Iggy Pop. Blondie would be an influence for Hollis. She is quite kooky and likes people like Cyndi Lauper and stuff like that. We try to come across like a punk Beatles really.
I can hear the Ramones in the music and Blondie in the vocals especially on tracks like ‘Birthday’.
We are actually doing a Ramones cover today that Rob Zombie did last night but we play it faster! It’s all in the down strokes!
So your latest album, Passionfruit, is out now, it’s been out a little while. Talk to me about the writing and recording of that album?
We actually recorded that in LA because Hollis’ Visa ran out, and we couldn’t get some of the boys over but we were lucky enough to get Alain Johannes who has produced Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Chris Cornell..RIP and all these amazing people. So he fit in Joey Castillo in on drums who was like the best drummer ever. He has recently been out with Zakk Sabbath, Danzig, you name it. So that was insane and brilliant. It’s a brilliant album but I don’t think my guitar is loud enough in the mix. So we came over here and decided to do a live album really quickly and we have the lads on it this time and it’s called No Slow Songs and it’s kind of like a 1-2 punch.
I believe you recorded that live album in the legendary Abbey Road?
We did pre-production at Brooks Studios, Andy Brook we love you, he has worked with The Role Models and a few other bands that we love…yeah completely live…ish. It’s actually got more tracking on it than Be Here Now album by Oasis.
What was it like recording in Abbey Road? When you play a legendary place like Download or Abbey Road, do you feel the ghosts of other bands who have played or recorded in the same space?
I think you pick up on the vibes of a place, you get slightly star struck. It had great energy in there. A lot of great creative energy. We took a couple of tea mugs! We actually recorded it in there on the 50th Anniversary of Sgt.Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band as well. We got to Abbey Road and there were more Beatles fans outside the studio and then we found out the significance.
It’s quite nervous as well because you are on the clock. It strikes 10am and every minute counts. So for that reason there wasn’t a lot of time to rest on our laurels and take it all in. Due to us doing the pre-production elsewhere it helped so we could just get on with it.
The live album is integrated into a Pledge Music campaign as well…
Yep, in this day and age the way music is going developing the fan base for a band like us who are still up and coming, it’s important you know. It’s a symbiotic relationship.
There seems to be a lack of support for albums these days, so bands are doing things like Pledge Music or bring out coloured vinyl to get a fan to support the physical media. Would you agree?
Yeah music fans in general nowadays don’t know what an album is. All they know are playlists or streaming. I recently met a girl who was an actress at a shoot and she said she was a youth production student. I asked her what type of stuff she is doing and she said play listing. I asked her what that is and she said it was putting together playlists for people to collaborate on. I told her that when I grew up that I bought records and she said they were not being taught any of that. So yeah you really do need hard core fans to help record sales.
So just to finish up, with the weather has been good this weekend, what one item is an absolute necessity when you are out on tour?
Beer, iPad and Jack Daniels! Seriously though my guitar and clean underwear!
Thanks Love Zombies, have a great festival!
Love Zombies debut album Passionfruit is available to stream on all streaming platforms. You can find out more information on Love Zombies by following them on Twitter here or check out their Facebook page here.