Band of the Week Q&A: McLovins

Band of the Week Q&A: McLovins
Photo courtesy of McLovins

McLovins is a group of longtime friends Atticus Kelly, Jake Huffman, Justin Berger and Jason Ott who bring a live energy and fun sound to all of their shows. They are returning to Tuscaloosa, one of their favorite places, to bring their funky sound next Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Green Bar. We talked with them over the phone while on a break on their tour to catch up with them before the show. 

Q: How did the band form?

A few of us have been playing together since high school, even younger than that, around 10 years ago. And about six years ago the band formed, and we started touring together three years ago. We just all have similar interests in music and [are] from around the same area and just sort of came together. Also, the group wouldn’t have formed without the University of Hartford. A few of us went there, and that is what kind of brought us together. 

Q: How would you describe your music or sound?

I would say like funky Wilco because our interest right now is in song writing. The goal right now is like a pop-rock thing with lots of 'improv.' It’s very neat.

Q: What other bands or groups influence your music?

Kings of Leon is a big one, Wilco definitely, and we listen to a lot of country and pop music. We get a lot of our influence from the Pop Top 40 Countdown. 

Q: How would you describe the song writing process?

A lot of my lyrics when I write come from a lot of personal things that happen in my life. With a lot of our songs we try to create a feeling or a message for the person listening, to get them to feel the emotion. And we want them to smile and dance, feel kind of like they’re at a party when they’re at the shows.

Q: What are your favorite covers to play?

Well, we love to play "Under the Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Wherever you go in the country, people will sing along to it and love it. We start playing that and people go crazy. It’s amazing. We also had a tour one time where we ended a show by playing "Ophelia" by The Band.

Q: About how many original songs do y’all have?

Probably about 30 or 40 for our road-ready repartee. Maybe about 50 or 60 total if you looked at the master list.

Q: Any particular song a favorite?

We have this one tune, "Great Escape." Every time we play it there’s great energy and everyone smiles. 

Q: What is the craziest thing to happen while touring?

Aw man, where does it start? We tour many, many days out of the year so we experience things on the regular basis. Sometimes it’s hard to pick. It’s hard to rank because there are so many weird things. One time we were staying at this place and our friend had this wild, exotic bird, and it was a marvelous pet but every 10 minutes it would scream bloody murder and wake everyone up. It was the most intense 10 hours we have ever stayed at a place. 

Q: How do y’all feel about coming to Tuscaloosa?

Great. Excited to be back. We played at the Green Bar about eight months ago.

Q: How would you describe the vibe performing for college students?

They are the most fun! Especially in the South because they will party any night of the week. It could be a Wednesday and they’ll come and rage their faces off like it’s Saturday night. That’s why we come down here so much. Tuscaloosa is by far one of our favorite places. Hands down.

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