Public Radio For Eastern North Carolina 89.3 WTEB New Bern 88.5 WZNB New Bern 91.5 WBJD Atlantic Beach 90.3 WKNS Kinston 88.5 WHYC Swan Quarter 89.9 W210CF Greenville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Will Gold of the band Lovejoy on their EP 'Wake Up & It's Over'

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You hear a song by British rock group Lovejoy, and you might feel shaken from a dream.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CALL ME WHAT YOU LIKE")

LOVEJOY: (Singing) And you can kiss the skin from my lips 'til it makes you feel good. I'm not sure if you want it, not sure if you need me too.

SIMON: "Wake Up & It's Over" is the new EP by Lovejoy. The band was founded by Will Gold and Joe Goldsmith. Will Gold joins us now from Albany, N.Y., where they're on tour. Thanks so much for being with us.

WILL GOLD: Thank you for having me, Scott. It's a pleasure.

SIMON: You wake up and what's over? Give us a hint.

GOLD: (Laughter). It's (laughter) - no, it's I'm a bit of a poet. I like my metaphors. And, you know, I feel like that's what I've tried to do there.

SIMON: Yeah. Some people have observed, as I don't have to tell you, that your music has sort of flavors of 2000 post-punk bands like Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes. What did you hear in those bands that hit home with you?

GOLD: Even in The Strokes, a band from the United States, I heard a lot of British culture. It felt like the sort of grungy, concrete buildings that I've sort of grown up around represented in music, but in a fun dance-y way that I could really get into.

SIMON: As if the music was a part of you? Something like that?

GOLD: Absolutely.

SIMON: Let me ask you about the song "Consequences."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CONSEQUENCES")

LOVEJOY: (Singing) Was it too late to call you? Was I too drunk to know? Do you ever feel like you fell off for about a year? I'd like to have another go.

SIMON: Mr. Gold, it's none of my business, but I don't think this song will do it if you thought it was going to make an apology to someone.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLD: No. I've been grappling with the idea that maybe I should work on my apology skills.

SIMON: Well, I'm sure they'd be flattered to have it result in such a signature song. But this is a song that comes from real-life experience, I guess, for all of us.

GOLD: I guess, yeah. It's almost a tongue-in-cheek look at the kind of mistakes you make when you're a little bit too drunk.

SIMON: That should be a caution, I guess, for all of us, isn't it?

GOLD: Absolutely. Absolutely. Not that I'm one to dispense wisdom, but...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PORTRAIT OF A BLANK SLATE")

LOVEJOY: (Singing) I feel at some point I broke my mind. I'm always searching the silent type. How do you all make it look so easy? You open your hearts up so quickly, it scares me.

SIMON: How does songwriting work with you? Is it a line comes first, a word, a story?

GOLD: Normally, it's the tune first. But I have a very big document that I write of everything I feel and just little lines I come up with, you know, on my walk to and from shops or whatever. I'll come up with a couple lines, and then when I'm really feeling like I'm in my zone to write, I'll pick one of my previously written tunes and put the lyrics over it that I'm feeling at that moment. It's currently 36 pages for this past couple years.

SIMON: And you just keep adding to it and going over it over and over?

GOLD: Absolutely. I've kind of chaptered it in different stages of my life, so I can very easily draw from different periods to get lines from.

SIMON: Let's listen, if we could, a bit to the song "Warsaw."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WARSAW")

LOVEJOY: It won't get better, I assure you. Make no mistake, we're all going to end up in the dirt.

SIMON: It won't get better, I assure you. Make no mistake, we're all going to end up in the dirt.

Well, yes.

GOLD: (Laughter).

SIMON: Yes. But I mean, to quote Shakespeare's Prospero - or paraphrase - you know, life is a dream rounded by sleep, isn't it?

GOLD: Yeah, I'd say so. We're all just stealing moments from the void, I suppose. I guess, Joe in that part - Joe actually wrote that part. But he was there with me as he was writing that section. And I believe what the message he was trying to put across is through the duration of the song, I'm harping on about this person who's essentially moved on from me, and Joe is almost looking at it in a nihilistic way.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WARSAW")

LOVEJOY: (Singing) You're too straight-edged to get it. I do anything you ask of me, that's sure. What for?

SIMON: Well, I mean, you could view it as, you know, we're all going to end up in the dirt. Or you can also view it as this is what makes the time we have here so precious, isn't it?

GOLD: Absolutely. I would like to write a happy song one day. I just - I don't know. I always - I'm always tantalized by the more pessimistic side of the human experience.

SIMON: Yeah. You're on tour in the United States now. What stories do you tell about us when you get back home to Brighton?

GOLD: American audiences are very different to European audiences. The big takeaway I've had is that I felt a lot more like a performer here than I do in Europe. In Europe, it feels like I'm in a big party, and I've been invited, and I'm playing to the room, and the rooms are dancing along with me. Here in America, it's a bit more intimidating. It feels more like I'm on a stage. It feels more like I'm performing to a crowd. This isn't necessarily a good or a bad thing. It's just - it's a difference that I'm getting used to. And it's very interesting because I don't see myself as a performer.

SIMON: Your songs can be heard almost as very short stories about romance, missed connections, quarrels, regrets. Do you hope people take in something from your songs?

GOLD: Absolutely. Yeah. That's a big part of why I write and why I love making music, is to hope to connect to people in any way. It's obviously a lot of letting off steam, you know, getting my thoughts and feelings out off of my brain and onto a page. But it does also come with the added benefit of seeing other people react and being like, oh, OK, I'm not alone.

SIMON: Will Gold of the band Lovejoy. Thank you so much for speaking with us.

GOLD: Thank you for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PORTRAIT OF A BLANK SLATE")

LOVEJOY: (Singing) He told me that much and now he's dead. Told me to kill my indulgences with a sharp blow to the temple. Pick up the phone and call and do everything he says. I could take a plastic camera... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.