Interview with Michael Shepard Of


    By: Anthony P. Hanna
    Date: September 29, 2004



Can you describe your sound to people who haven't heard of you?
The music of Lovedrug is a mixture or a blend of two major elements, a sophisticated rock and what some may refer to as Brit Pop.  Essentially it is an Aristocratic Brit pop rock with grander undertones that imply something of a tale to be told.  A musical journey if you will, like a rabbit hole that goes downward into the belly of the beast where few have tread.  Or, the simple's a Radiohead meets Jeff Buckley, yet heavier sort of thing.


So you recently released Pretend You're Alive.   How has the feedback been for it, has it been as embraced as you had hoped?
The reactions we have received from the folks who listen to music.....which is everyone, have been spectacular.  There is a lot of amazing feedback about this record, which to me is honestly a little surprising.  I mean don't get me wrong, I thought it would always do well, but I guess I just didn't realize the kind of reactions it would evoke in people, even music snobs, it's a bit shocking.  Of course, then again, how would I know how anyone would respond?  In short, it's been an amazing ride, and it's only the beginning.


Now you guys were approached by quite a few labels, why did you decide to go with an Indie label instead of a mainstream one?
Simple; at this level of the game (the music biz), it is fundamentally stupid to gamble with your career.  That is, if you wish to have one, and singing with a Major right out of the gate is as big as a gamble as one could take in this climate of the industry.  It only makes sense to build a band like Lovedrug from a grass roots level first, establish an amazing foundation off fans, buzz, sales, relationships and weight, and then when the proverbial "ball" is rolling with enough intensity and beauty, let a Major take over and give it the big push.  That way you just keep rolling and eventually you become what all career oriented artists aspire to become;  a larger than life artistic entity with unlimited resources and the world as your canvas.


What inspires you as you write your songs?
Life and everything that happens in it.  Fairy tales, magical beings from far away places, skin, hip bones.


Please describe the creative process behind the Lovedrug.
A thought is had, a connection is made, the heart adds emotion to what the mind built.  A physical desire to make tangible such a creation is then acquired.  An instrument is needed, for me it is a nearby piano or guitar.  The right environment is a certain prerequisite, high ceilings, wood floors, good tones, strange lurking shadows, beautiful sadness all around.  Small notes begin to flutter down the spine and into the limbs.  A need for exodus is upon thee.  The time has come to get it out, the creature that has now grown within, please get it out, must get it out before, before it's lost, I can't remember, oh fuck.  Wait, there it is.  Oh wait, that's completely different than I was imagining.......oh well, I guess it's still cool = A SONG, and in this case, every song on the Pretend You're Alive record.



"Down Towards The Healing" is my favorite song on the album, can you possibly describe how that song came about?
It was a fleeting thought of rejuvenation and redemption from all that screws us up in this world.  All the things we don't need must be stripped away to achieve any peace of mind.  Love exists at the bottom, I believe.  It's about being slain as a means to rise with strength and love again, and feeling sorry for those you endangered along your journey.  It was also the first song I ever wrote on piano.  I was in my apartment with all the lights out and I just started playing as soft as I could, while I imagined myself floating downward towards some sort of grueling death.  It is rather elementary, but I suppose that works though because the song needed to be fundamentally simple and almost naive to accomplish its goal as a song.  I mean, every song has a goal, you know?


What do you see as the future of Lovedrug?
A band that everyone appreciates and respects, plus, authors of the greatest album of all's not been done yet of course, still working on it.


What are you listening to now?
Modest Mouse, Keane, Blonde Redhead, Soundgarden, Jorane, Sigur Ros, Third Eye Blind, the Solaris soundtrack.



What do you like to do in your spare time?
Bowl and read books, not at the same time of course.


Have you been reading anything lately that has left an impact on you?
Kingdom Of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson.....everyone should read that book, it's amusing but really right on, scary.


Any other comments?
Be well and drink green tea with friends late at night as often as possible, before they turn into pumpkins and lose their luster.







-----Another Lovedrug Article


Lovedrug (homepage)

                                                              | Home |