One of Merseyside’s newest indie bands, More In Luv, have been growing their discography and fan-base over the last year or so. We had a chat over Zoom with Mike, Danny and Danny L in the studio whilst they were recording new material, discussing the timeline of their friendships and previous projects, their producing process, and the infamous Liverpool music scene.
Hi guys, there’s not a lot of online presence from you. Is this the first interview you’ve done?
Danny L: Yeah, it is.
Are you all there at the moment, Mike, Danny, Joey and Alex?
Danny L: Alex isn’t in the band anymore so we brought in Danny. So, there’s two Danny’s now.
Mike: We had a good friend of ours [Danny] who is a boss bassist, so we got him in.
Did you start the band during lockdown? There wasn’t much of a presence on your social media or Spotify before.
Danny L: We sort of started up a couple of years ago, where we were under a completely different name. We were writing all sorts of different tunes as well. It wasn’t even these four people – we got someone in to play guitar, then we lost a lad on the way. We’ve been writing loads for two years, but we’ve just settled on this line-up now.
Did you release any of that music then?
Danny L: Oh no, that’s all in the archives.
You said the band has been going on for around two years; were you all friends before and just came to each other, or did you meet at school/university?
Mike: Me and Danny have known each other since we were like thirteen/fourteen, something like that.
Danny L: We were just hanging about being weird little rock kids.
Mike: We were always doing little bits of music and that, but we just never worked together on anything.
Danny L: Me and Danny went to ‘uni’ together and college, and had a little band for a while, doing weddings and stuff like that. So, we were all working with each other for ages, and it has just sort of come together like this now. Me and Danny were in a project together a couple of years ago, and I suppose this band sort of came together from the ashes of the old one.
Mike: Yeah, a big pile of projects just sort of died and it has come to this.
I was going to ask if you had played together as band, but as you’ve got a new line-up, you probably haven’t?
Danny L: We’ve got a project now for July 23rd, which will be our first show together [at Jimmy’s]. We were sitting on the songs, and then the first lockdown happened, and it was like, let’s just get the music out because we’re not going to be doing anything else.
Mike: Because we were writing for like, two years, it got to the point where, when we went into the first lockdown, we were just sick and tired of waiting. We may as well just throw a tune out.
Did you record that music before lockdown, or were you just sitting on it and then recorded it during lockdown?
Danny L: Yeah, we were sitting on it, then the lockdown happened, and we were like, let’s just get the tune out, because we weren’t doing anything and we didn’t know how long the lockdown was going to be, or what the plan was.
Mike: Most people didn’t really know what was going on with the industry at that time; people were just guessing. But getting songs out there was probably the best thing to do.
Did you think about doing online shows, or have you done any online gigs?
Mike: We didn’t really see the point; we were growing from essentially nothing in lockdown and we’ve had a bit of a tough climb trying to grow without gigging.
Danny L: It’s been a strange time to come out as a new band. We sort of slept on it, but we’ve had line-up changes, we’ve had lockdown – it’s been a chaotic year, I think. But there’s an end in sight. It’s been nearly a year since we brought that first song out. We’re settled now, the project is settled, we’ve got a settled space to rehearse and record from. We’ve got a bank of work underneath us now and we’ve got the next couple of releases ready. We’re in a good position.
Mike: We’ve got a nice little fanbase as a starting point now to start gigging with.
Are you recording all that new music today, being in the studio?
Danny L: Yeah, we’ve working on that project right now. We finished another song last week. We’re sitting on loads of stuff, but we just want to build up a bank of good songs and slowly just let them out. We put out the EP as four-tracks to sort out the sound.
What studio are you recording at?
Danny L: We’re recording at our space. We’re in the Wirral at the moment. Danny and Joe are from the Wirral, and me and Mike are from Liverpool, we don’t want to say we’re from Liverpool, because if actual scousers go ‘ahh Wirral isn’t Liverpool’ and there’s two people from the Wirral – we just say Merseyside to keep everyone happy.
When you released Local Celebrities you had the producer, Sam Broadbere.
Danny L: Sam was the guy who produced the first five tracks, but since then we’ve been working with a guy called Gareth Nuttall. Everything we’ve done since then has been with Gareth.
Are you sitting in whilst he’s producing and bouncing off ideas with him, or do you leave him to do his thing?
Danny L: So, we produce everything, well the bulk of it, ourselves really. We record everything ourselves, but for Someone Else we just tracked the song in our space. Most of the stuff we’ve done was just lifted off the demo that we’ve already produced. We re-tracked the guitars, the drums and the vocals. Just so we can get it polished and to production level.
Would you say it’s indie-pop that you’re making then? Because I guess you’d have to take a bit more care into how you’re producing all the guitars and stuff as well. It’s sparkly in a way – your music reminds me a lot of Fickle Friends, in the way the guitars are produced.
Mike: Joey spends a lot of time playing with his tones to be fair.
Danny L: Yeah, Joey tells us that we need to focus on getting a good guitar sound, Danny as well is good at sorting all the tones out and stuff like that.
Yeah, you’ve got to have a ‘USP’ I guess.
Danny L: Most of the tracks have a big guitar section. We’re not really a guitar band, but most of the tracks will have a lead line on the guitar that almost sounds ‘synthy’.
Mike: Most of our lead lines will come from a big guitar part.
Danny L: Dangerous has a big guitar part, Maybe All I Wanted – a big guitar part too. Someone Else doesn’t really have a big lead line, but it is all still there.
The Liverpool music scene is so renowned for what it is. You’ve got LIPA for example. Is it something you’ve been engaging with for years and have been working with people from around Liverpool?
Danny L: Me and Danny went to LMA, which is similar to LIPA. That’s where I met Danny. The scene and the city is great. We’re good mates with the lads in RATS. There’s loads of boss bands coming through at the moment, it’s such a good time to be a Scouse musician.
Mike: We’re lucky to come from a city in terms of bands coming from a Grassroots level.
What’s your favourite Grassroots venue that you’ve been going to?
Danny L: I’m a big fan of Phase One, that’s cool. Buyers Club used to be cool, but it’s closed down now (the venue anyway) although the pub is still open. The Zanzibar was boss, that was the Grassroots venue, but that’s closed down now as well.
Mike: There were a couple of little mad ones as well like The Magnet, you’d have some moody nights in there.
Danny: Sound Basement as well.
Danny L: Yeah, Sound Basement, another that’s shut. There were so many cool venues like two years ago. I don’t want to get too political but there’s no funding coming into the cities for things like this.
Mike: The Scouse music scene is in a proper dilemma at the moment where there’s so many little venues closing down.
Danny L: There’s loads popping up though, the [Invisible] Wind Factory has popped up in the last couple years. Phase One could be the new hub, but Zanzibar was always a staple. There’s the O2 Academy as well, I’ve seen some of the best shows in Liverpool there.
That’s always something I’ve found so weird as well, you always see the artists and bands big enough to do O2 Academy sized tours, but they always miss Liverpool.
Mike: There’s been a lot of show announcements this year, but hardly any for Liverpool. I think a lot of people are avoiding Liverpool now.
It must be good though that Liverpool is so self-contained as a ‘Grassroots City’ rather than a stop-off.
Danny L: I think we bring artists through on Grassroots level more, but there’s not a demand for tickets at the bigger venues so they just go to Manchester instead.
Mike: It’s a mad thing though. Liverpool is big grassroots-wise, but we’re renowned across the planet.
Danny L: Matthew Street is drowning every night (was anyway). There were bands in every bar on Matthew Street every night. It is a funny one.
With the music video for ‘Someone Else’, did you direct that yourself and were all the visuals your ideas too?
Danny L: The concept of Someone Else is about someone changing. With the artwork, the sunflower represents change, metaphorically we wanted to go down that route. We also looked at some cool photography shots, Mike found one of a girl that had a projector behind her – we wanted to put our spin on that. We worked with a friend of ours, Matty, who works at Clearway Media – he shot the whole thing directly. We gave him the concept.
Mike: We had a vague idea of where we wanted to go.
Danny L: We trusted him to do a good job with it, and I think he’s done a great job. He’s brought our concept to life.
I was going to say, when I first listened to that single I sort of knew what the video was going to look like, before I even saw it in a way.
Danny L: We didn’t want to go ‘too’ arty – it doesn’t look genuine – but we wanted to have a cool concept to pull it all in. We then got our friend Lou Dobbin, she does fire-breathing and stuff like, so we got her to come be in the video for us.