interview via telephone 10/24/1995
I just had a dream where Scott Cortez, my brother, & I were sitting in my parents living room watching a national geographic special on kangaroos & heckling it like mystery science theater 3000. the only line I remember, "so, for the kangaroo family love spirals..." & then I said, "downward" & everybody laughed. So anyway, lovesliescrushing is a band built around ethereal vocals & heavily reverbed guitars.
QRD – so how many people are there in the band now?
Scott – Andrew on guitar & Allysa singing.
QRD – & then you making three.
Scott – yeah, & then I think we might in the future incorporate Melissa again into some shows.
QRD – that's the girl from the first album?
Scott – yeah, she moved away & stuff.
QRD – is your sound changing because of that?
Scott – no, it just sounds better. it sounds more like the album, but louder. it's in stereo. it's in stereo now & really loud. just because before I didn't have the correct amplification to get the sound. I could get the sound on tape, but I could never get it out into the air. but now with Andrew's expertise & techno know how we get the sound out there for the kids.
QRD – so Andrew plays guitar & you also play guitar?
Scott – yep & that's it. & Allysa sings.
QRD – did it take you a long time to evolve the sound that you have?
Scott – I don't know. when I first started out I didn't have a drum machine, so I started doing songs without drums. so then when I got to tucson, I got a drum machine & started putting drums down to some of the songs & everything. but then I just felt like it just wasn't fitting at all, that it just kind of sucked. so I just took the drums out & it opened up more tracks anyways. if you're using a four track & you've got a drum machine track that doesn't do anything, you just wasted a track. & I just thought it sounded much better just to not have it. I mean I just liked the way that it sounded & then I realized not many bands are doing that. so I felt that was our sound. just guitar & voice & no drums.
QRD – why did you move in & out of arizona? you were there for about a year?
Scott – no, three years. well, things were getting kind of hard cause we had a kid & the folks lived here, so we decided we needed help & just moved back. & then Melissa & I broke up, so she went to grand rapids & I stayed here, in east lansing. so that's what happened. & then I met Andrew & Allysa when I came back here. & it was just the perfect opportunity for them to become the new addition.
QRD – so you don't have a problem reproducing your songs live any more?
Scott – no, I used to, because I didn't know how to do it. I knew how to make the stuff, but I didn't know how to realize it. but now, now it's easy.
QRD – my friend Pete had a couple questions. #1 how do you make the ethereal wall of noise?
Scott – how do we do it? he wants to know our secret. what should I say, I can't divulge the secret. did you see the A.P. article that had our little list of equipment?
QRD – I saw the Whirlpool with the pedal set up....
Scott – so you've seen the guitar pedal set up. let me see.... it's not like the effects or anything like that. you can't just buy these effects & plug into it & expect to sound like that. there are so many people who use the same kind of stuff that we do, but they won't sound like that because they've never analyzed sounds at all & wanted to push it or experimented with it at all. they just accepted what they got. you know what I mean? we just push it. I fried everything. the four track is fried; the LED meters are gone. the midiverb is fried. all my effects are just pumped. I remember when Andrew tried out my quadraverb it scared him. because the levels were just too high, it was just feedback. but I didn't realize it because I'd never used an amp. but he had an amp. I never used an amp for the first album. it was all just straight to four track. that's why using an amp is like a totally new animal & stuff. that's where Andrew comes in, he's the amp master.
QRD – is your new album ready?
Scott – yeah, it should be out in february.
QRD – so you're already done with it?
Scott – what I'm doing right now is just editing it. all the songs are there, but there's little tiny....
QRD – is it going to be a seventy minute one again?
Scott – seventy-five minutes, the other one's only sixty. but the new one is actually like eighty something, like eighty-nine. so I've edited it down, so it's like seventy-eight now, & I need to edit it down some more. it could be seventy-eight, but there are little tiny sound bites in between that I need to squish down.
QRD – the same way as the last album had the little pieces between the songs?
Scott – yeah, but they're a little more prettier & not as small. they're more abstract.
QRD – is the new album more song oriented?
Scott – no, this is more spacey actually. there are songs there, but it's more spaced out. more classical, more orchestral sounding. the whole album has one sound that just flows through it. so you just put it in & it flows right through.
QRD – Pete's other question was how do you make the chinesee effects like on "teardrop?"
Scott – that's a guitar. that's all. that's the whole fun. the whole point behind lovesliescrushing is just to make you go, "well how the hell did they do that?" it's just simple stuff. we'll probably do that when we play in pittsburgh. we'll do something like that, a little "teardrop" thing. got to do it right in front of them so they can see it. if people know the song like "butterfly" or "teardrop" then they'll be like, "oh, that's how he did it." but it just involves attacking your instrument & not making what you expect from it & to just keep rockin.
QRD – are you interested in doing an extensive live tour then after the album's release?
Scott – oh, let's see. it depends on the money.
QRD – do you want to get lights & stuff?
Scott – we don't need lights. Andrew likes just a big white light kind of set up. I like hiding behind muslin gauze & having images projected. Andrew thought he came up with the idea, David Bowie's huge idea, now Nine Inch Nails does it too. but I like just getting up there & playing. I don't like dancing or posturing at all like some bands.
QRD – no image thing?
Scott – no image. well, the image is that we're little mice people & then all of a sudden we crack a few jokes between songs & all of a sudden we're clamorously loud, then that dies down & we're like, "hi." then it hits you again, sorta like driving down the highway & somebody hits all twenty of their lights on at you.
QRD – here's a probably common question, are Sonic Youth, especially Confusion is Sex, & My Bloody Valentine really influences to you?
Scott – yeah, I think Sonic Youth are an influence because they like to attack their guitars & stuff. but then Sonic Youth is influenced by Glenn Branca who was doing stuff in the seventies & Branca's influenced by John Cage. so it goes back to the oldies, the oldies but goodies. so the Glenn Branca school of guitar is that a guitar doesn't have to sound like a guitar, but it's like a string instrument that can produce all sorts of crazy sounds. & that's where you get the Sonic Youth school which is like a rock-n-roll sorta format. & then My Bloody Valentine is influenced by Sonic Youth. so, there you go, they're all kind of related.
QRD – so are you influenced more by the older school kids?
Scott – see, I like slow modern stuff.... what do you mean by old school?
QRD – like John Cage & Richard Hell....
Scott – yeah, John Cage is big, Brian Eno, Ligeti. the guy who's music was used in 2001 & a little bit in Altered States & The Shining. it's really eerie hauntingly beautiful music. but he's more interested in colors & tones & consonance & dissonance.
QRD – so a lot of the alleged art people & new music people?
Scott – the avant garde.
QRD – another big term for the same people.
Scott – yep, they like pushing it....
QRD – do you have any favorite films?
Scott – Wings of Desire. Henry & June for Andrew. & Camille Claudelle for Allysa.
QRD – what do you think of ufo's & extraterrestrials?
Scott – oh... we'll ask Andrew that.
Andrew – Allysa just asked if that was relevant. we will admit to watching X-Files. I don't know, I've had dreams about ufo's & things. I think it's ridiculous to assume that something like that could never exist. because I've been abducted by aliens, no, I'm just kidding. you know, you want to believe that stuff like that exists, but then you see all the trite -- like I was just in a magazine store the other day & they have all these dumb magazines that are so poorly printed.
QRD – like UFO World?
Andrew – yeah, & I have one issue of UFO Universe that I bought in Mexico when I was a sophomore in high school & it's the same stuff today. it really is. & a little while back they had that thing on tv about the alien corpse or whatever & that was so lame. I'm sorry.
QRD – yeah, it made me sad.
Scott – yeah, I know. because it's obviously not 1940 stock film footage.
QRD – I thought the whole thing was kind of long & drawn out & boring. it reminded me of when they opened Al Capone's vault & nothing was in it.
Andrew – yeah, just a bunch of wine bottles, that was equally disappointing. you want to believe, but then it's so sensationalistic in nature that it just ruins the whole thing.
QRD – do you prefer cats or dogs & why?
Scott – let's see, do we prefer cats or dogs?
Allysa – cats.
Andrew – cats.
Scott – cats. why do we prefer cats, people? they're more like people, they have personalities. part of their brain is like us. the emotional system, the lembtic system? a part of the feline brain is corporeally related if not the same as humans'. I don't know. I don't mind dogs. I like big alaskan huskies & stuff. but I prefer cats & we don't like dumb dogs. tiny dogs are like – what's the point?
QRD – may as well get a cat.
Scott – yeah. & cats, you know, you never hear a cat, except for our cat.
QRD – & you know what else? cats don't smell. like when you go into somebody's house & they have a dog you know.
Scott – see our cat is defying that principal though. we can smell the cat. I don't know what it eats. & the cat's in heat so it's making more noise than a dog & we can smell the cat, so the cat's become a dog.
QRD – that's a dilemma.
Scott – yeah. we have a ferret though.
QRD – have you had any cool dreams lately?
Andrew – okay, this is the first time this has ever happened to me & I've been in music theory & everything. I had this dream the other night & I'm writing this song in the dream. & this is the first time this ever happened, you know sometimes you wake up from a dream & you have a melody or whatever in your dream; but you wake up & the more you think about it, the more it slips away. well, I woke up & I had the lyrics & the main melody in my head & it was really in there. this was really different than anything I'd ever experienced.
QRD – & it stayed?
Andrew – yeah.
QRD – so this song's recorded now?
Andrew – well, we're working on it right now, yeah. but the weird thing is it was like a race to find the key signature. to see where it would fit in because I was so afraid I was going to lose it. but I went to school & everything that day & when I came back it was still there so I sorta let things stick. I remember waking up & telling Allysa, "I just had this dream about this dumb song." & it actually turned out to be kind of interesting. so that's the only good one. I don't remember my dreams that much.
Scott – I don't really recall any cool dreams. whenever I have a sex dream I think that's cool. but that's about it. I've dreamt about music, like whole songs & stuff, like really strange sounds. almost like what Aphex Twin makes. I think I've heard that before I've gone to sleep. then when I listen to his music, like I hear those same sounds. that's probably what he's doing. you see, he doesn't sleep. he just does lucid dreaming. & I think when you get in that state, lucid dreaming, your brain just starts to create really strange electrical signals & you hear very weird sounds. I've heard those kinds of sounds & I like to incorporate them into my music as well.
QRD – are you involved in any side projects? you mentioned a while ago being in one with the guy from Medicine?
Scott – yeah, I've got to give him a call & we'll probably do something.
QRD – will it be a real release or just something....
Scott – oh yeah, it will be a real release. he's talking about finding a label to put it out on. I was like, "oh, okay." so I don't know what that's going to be, probably japanese noise or something like that. just one sheet of noise for seventy-five minutes. I think I'll use the same technique. I'll just say, "let's use our guitars & that's it." we'll see what we can do. maybe it'll be guitar wars. he'll probably come out with the name of it or something like that. but he's got some kind of pull with a big label.
QRD – are you going to play the big festival in chicago this may?
Scott – I really don't know about it. you had that nightmare story about the last one. it makes me kind of leery to do some goth thing. I think the beautiful noise festivals in arizona are the most successful.
QRD – yeah, I wanted to go, but....
Scott – it's just all encompassing, all the tasty stuff. I was willing to go out there to be on the new one.
QRD – there was Super 31 & Alison's Halo....
Scott – I know Alison's Halo real well.
QRD – yeah, they're really fun. I want to hear more of their stuff, but they only have three songs really available.
Scott – they're one of my favorites & they have tons of songs, tons of great songs.
QRD – well, I hear you have tons of great songs.
Scott – oh really? that's crazy. yeah, they're all on tape.
QRD – but not available commercially or whatever? are they going to be on the new album?
Scott – the majority of the songs on the album are old school stuff. they might get released as cassette only demos & stuff.
QRD – is it earlier stuff then?
Scott – yeah.
QRD – oh, I was under the impression that you put out bloweyelashwish & never stopped recording.
Scott – it's both. it's like this, bloweyelashwish was like.... you know how Star Wars came out, but that was actually part four? & then they did part five, part six, & now we got the new jedi shit that's part one, two, & three coming out now. well, that's what happened here. bloweyelashwish was like album two & the new album coming out is album one & album three people think is the second album, but I'm not even finished with that one. so I recorded the first album, then I did bloweyelashwish, then I started recording all this ambient atmospheric guitar stuff. so there's like three albums worth of stuff & the one I released was the middle one, number two, & now we're actually releasing number one, but people think it's the second one. but it actually sounds better than the first album. so it's a good progression; we're getting better. but we went back & remixed the old songs, revamped them, redestroyed them a bit.
QRD – are they new recordings completely then?
Scott – yeah, they're new recordings. the vocals have been redone. I remixed them on a four track, redid the vocals, & redid a guitar line here & there. it's like the same stuff. it's like going back to your old sketches & redoing them. they're new, but they're old. so it's like that, they're n-old. Melissa loved all the old stuff. she said it was spacier & crazier than the stuff we did on bloweyelashwish. & I was like "okay," I didn't know what to do with them. so I like pulled them out of the vault, listened to them, & I was like, "damn, these songs are actually cool." & I was like, "we got to release them." so we did. so that's why we held off on the third album. because that would be a crazy departure, people wouldn't know what to do, people would jump off buildings & stuff. so we decided to go this route. Melissa's all excited about it & everything. & a lot of people in the house are excited about the new album. they like it much better than the first one. I like it much better than the first one. "it's the shit," as Ryan Lum of Love Spirals Downward says. he's the one that's going to be editing it. I gave him the DAT & stuff & he's doing the editing via e-mail & letter. I have to tell him, "this song should be this long & put this song here." it's like editing a movie with the director not there & telling somebody what scenes should go where, that's what I have to do; it's kind of scary. you know the new album's name don't you? it's xuventyn.
QRD – does it mean anything?
Scott – it's like a little name that we came up with. Melissa & I were like waiting for the bus & trying to get the name down. we came up with the name, we'd been sitting on it for a while. we just kind of smish smoshed it together & came up with a name. I like it because it just sounds so characteristic of the sound, the tonality of the album. it's like Andrew says, "it's phonetic onomatopoeia." it sounds like what the album is. "what's the album sound like?" "like xuventyn." it's got the metallic kind of luster to it. it's like a real shiny glassy sounding album. the guitar sounds like glass.
QRD – like when you put water on your finger & wipe it around a glass?
Scott – exactly, that's a xuventyn kind of thing. & then there's the people on the internet who don't know how to pronounce it. which is cool, I like all the pronunciations.
QRD – for a while I mispronounced your nam because I missed one of the s's.
Scott – yeah, everybody does that. everybody says love-lies-crushing instead of loves-lies-crushing.
QRD – I had lovelies-crushing.
Scott – lovelies-crushing? no, that's not it. we're doing pretty good in japan. I think the new album will do much better in japan.
QRD – really? is that what country you're most popular in?
Scott – japan & singapore. it's because they're so into the noise. noise for some reason is big with them. I guess they just don't get enough in the city.
QRD – maybe you should tour there.
Scott – yeah, get paid like a billion yen & it's maybe two hundred dollars. now I like playing live because people don't think we can do it. they think it's just studio wizardry, but it's not. so we want to tour just to show them we can. that it's just guitars, no DAT machines or drum machines or keyboards along with us, just two guitars. I was surprised that it sounded good. I was the one who had to be impressed because I'd been so hard on it for so long because it sucked, but now it sounds good. we're happy.
QRD – do you have an album cover yet?
Scott – no, since it doesn't come out till february we don't have to worry about it until january. because I'm such a stickler for art work. the album cover wasn't supposed to have the name on the cover.
QRD – what does it say on the other album cover anyway?
Scott – oh, those are lyrics & stuff. nearly all the song lyrics on top of each other so you can't read it. there's like one thing you can read, "your eyes immaculate" or something like that. but the new one isn't going to look like that at all. the new one's going to be much prettier. much much prettier, like so many different textures & stuff that we're using. we're going to have so many pictures & stuff on it. the new one we get to have six or eight cards instead of a booklet & our names won't be on any of it. just one of them will have our names & song titles & who we are & stuff. but other than that I don't want anything obstructing the music. we'll have our names in big tacky seventies bubblicious looking little letters & stuff like that. don't you love it though when bands don't have their names on the cover.... we're kind of normal here, we have bizarre taste, but we look nice. I think we look more like serial killers, you know, they look normal. but actually who knows what goes on in their house.
QRD – & hopefully they're interesting.
Scott – yeah... & the scary looking people are just kind of normal.
QRD – well, they probably just do it because it's fun & funny. it's a type of stage show
Scott – yeah, well we don't have a stage show at all. well, we have Allysa when she's looking real cute. we have her & we have Andrew; he's part of the stage show being half-naked & stuff. but if you think about it actually; yeah, we don't have a stage show at all. I think our stage show is the fact that one, we're there. lovesliescrushing enigmatic never plays a show, that's the first part. & two, people trying to figure out where the noise is coming from, they're looking for keyboards & just see Andrew & me playing. so that's part of it, like trying to figure out David Copperfield's magic trick or something like that. so that's what it is.
QRD – maybe if people start to say your show's boring you can cut people up in boxes & stuff.
Scott – oh my god. yeah, I've been trying to figure out what we can do to make our stage show more there. we could do tricks. His Name Is Alive did a nice little stage show when I saw them once. for their stage show they opened up with "Sweet Home Alabama," that's kind of a retarded move, we wouldn't do that. but the second thing they did when they started getting into their songs, their lead singer was just standing there & right when she said her first word, somebody flipped a switch & these christmas lights came on & they were wrapped around her entire body. she was just standing there & all of a sudden these christmas lights appear because it was dark & she's singing this cool song. & it looked kinda hokey, but it was cool. I had to admit it was cool. I'm into christmas tree lights. we might throw out candy. smarties or hard candy.
QRD – maybe you can get customized hard block candy that says lovesliescrushing on it.
Scott -- you're kidding, let me write
this down.... maybe it would be too hokey or we'd get laughed off the planet.
I probably will use that, or I like patches.