Sunday, May 10, 2015

10 Questions with The Easy Lovers

The Easy Lovers is a punk band from Norman, OK. The band recently released their debut album Get A Job on Dead Beat Records.

This interview was conducted with Dustin Doyle and Jimmy Ryan via email April 27 – May 7, 2015.

For more information on The Easy Lovers check out the band's Facebook, BandCamp, and ReverbNation pages or pick up the band's record Get A Job on BandCamp, Dead Beat Records, iTunes, and CD Baby.

Dave: How did the band get together?

Dustin: Jimmy, Ryan, and I have been playing together in various bands for... Jesus, 15 years now. This is off to a great start. I feel super old now. I gotta go take my Geritol. And when we weren't in the same band together we were playing in separate bands that would play shows together.

Jimmy: We've all know each other for years. Doyle and I were in a the Festival City Saints and Roman Holiday together before the Easy Lovers. We met Ryan and Dustin when they were in their old bands, The Doozers and Three out of Five. Doyle and Ryan also played in an 80's cover band (don't know how to spell it). Doyle, Ryan, and I tried getting a band together and went through different line ups trying to find the forth band member. Doyle has always been a drummer, but he's always been the main song writer and wanted to get out from behind the drums. None of us played bass, so Doyle sucked it up and became the bass player leaving the guitars to Ryan and I. Punk rock drummers are hard to come by in Norman, besides Doyle, so we called up our buddy Dustin in OKC to see if he was interested. He was in and that's how we started.

Dave: What’s the story behind the name The Easy Lovers?

Dustin: One of the previous bands Ryan and I played in was an 80's tribute band. Ryan is a HUGE Phil Collins fan (but really, who isn't?). Well, okay, no one is as big a fan as Ryan. I don't think anyone else sleeps with a Phil Collins Dakimakura body pillow stuffed with human hair. But anyway, Ryan wanted our tribute band to play Easy Lover. Unfortunately that band ran it's course before we could learn the song, but the idea obviously was still stuck in his mind when he suggested it as our band name years later.

Jimmy: We were struggling to come up with a band name, so we started thinking of terrible songs looking for inspiration. We were drinking beers and naming off bad songs, and Ryan spit out Easy Lover by Phil Collins. We all started cracking up and knew that was a great name. The combination of us being "Easy" guys and the Phil Collins reference was the perfect combination for a great band name.

Dave: For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?

Dustin: I call it "dick and fart jokes set to music." Some people say we sound like a 3-chord pop punk band (Screeching Weasel, Sloppy Seconds) with Johnny Thunders-esque guitar leads and gang Clash-style back up vocals.
Jimmy: It's always been tough for me to describe our sound. We all have loved punk rock for years, but we all have different sub genres that we are more into. I think it's kind of a mesh of pop punk, rock and roll, and power pop, which is definitely a reflection of our individual musical tastes.

Dustin: I really like terrible pop punk. Jimmy listens to a lot of power pop, and Ryan listens to guitar rock stuff like the Hellacopters. No one cares what Testes listens to because we never listen to him.

Dave: You recently released your sophomore full-length Get A Job on BandCamp and Dead Beat Records. How did you get hooked up with Dead Beat? How would you compare the process of releasing this record with your debut?

Dustin: Actually, Get A Job is our debut release. We've been working on it for... sigh... I think 5 years.

Jimmy: I wish!!! We sold our butts to record and press this album and just want to regain some dignity and break even. We're not in this to become rock stars. We just wanna have fun playing rock and roll to people who like rock and roll.

Dustin: Deadbeat was kind enough to distro a few copies for us, but we aren't on their label. We did this release oursleves. I can can safely say it is a huge pain in the ass. I used to make fun of how long it too other bands to finally release their "next upcoming album" and now I am 100% sympathetic to the process. Every single step of the way take 2 to 6 months. And next thing you know it's 5 years later.

Dave: Do you have plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?

Dustin: We're all kinda old now for touring (all over 30) and have talked about how we aren't willing to sleep on the floor of a dirty punk house while on tour, so unless the Hampton Inn wants to sponsor us I don't see any nationwide tours in our near future.

Jimmy: If we want to sell some records, we need to start playing some out of town shows. It's tough when we're all a bunch of 30 something working stiffs who like to drink beer. Coordinating band practice is tough enough. We need to start doing some weekend excursions.

Dustin: The Conservatory is easily out favorite place to play. We've been able to open up for some of our favorite touring bands there.

Dave: Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?

Dustin: Usually I will come to practice with s rough idea for a song (chord structure, a chorus and maybe one verse) and show it to the guys. Sometimes Ryan will write a song, but it's never in 4/4 time cause he can't count to 4 and I really resent him for it. Also, he's like an accountant or something. He should know how to count. Anyway, once we get a rough foundation we'll all tinker with it and rearrange parts until we like it. Ryan writes the lead guitar parts. Jimmy tinkers with backup vocals until he gets something he likes. Testes usually isn't paying any attention to any of what we are doing.

Dave: What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?

Dustin: Is this the part where I sing the praises of the Conservatory? Those guys put a ton of work into a music venue.

Jimmy: Tough one, Punk is dead in Norman. It's definitely picked back up in Tulsa. We should play shows there. OKC has always been great. We've got to open for all our favorite bands that have come through the Conservatory.

Dave: This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?

Dustin: Some of those are pretty broad. I would have to spend all week grinding my donkey brain over it. How about I list off the Top 5 albums that influence my song writing? This list also looks suspiciously similar to the list of albums I listened to the most in high school. I don't think my music taste has evolved at all in 20 years.
1. Screeching Weasel - My Brain Hurts
2. Sloppy Seconds - More Trouble Than They're Worth
3. Rancid - ...And Out Come The Wolves
4. Clash - S/T
5. Ramones - I like all of their stuff. Even the terrible albums from the 80's.

Jimmy: Impossible question. I can't do five of each.
Here's my favorite mix of new and old bands.
The Clash, Rolling Stones, The Biters, The Tranzmitors, Operation Ivy, Little Richard, and The Ramones.
Best album ever: Exile on Main Street, by far. This is the album I've judged almost every girlfriend I've had by. If they didn't like it, I didn't like them.
Movies: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and the original Star Wars trilogy.

Dave: What’s next for the band?

Dustin: We've recorded half of our next album. At the very least I'm hoping we can get that album finished and released before the band implodes. And since the last album took us about 5 years to make I guess that means OKC will be plagued with Easy Lovers until 2020.

Jimmy: We've got 6? more songs recorded and are just waiting for some generous person to put it out for us.

Dave: Any final thoughts?

Dustin: We're playing with the Swingin' Utter at the Conservatory on Tuesday, May 12th. See you there?