Herohill vs. Ian Love

It almost reads like a cliché story, or a bad Markie Mark movie. A rocker that gains popularity, experiences troubles with drinking on his rise to the top, before taking a step back and finding who he really is. The trouble with clichés is that it takes away from how hard that journey is for the person on it.

Ian Love has more or less done it all within the Indie rock scene, aside from “avant guard jazz.” His career path really mirrors the path most people take in everyday life. Starting out playing hardcore music in the NY based band, Burn, Love found himself in a new situation and a new crowd. It's not a unique story to hear of a young musician turning to drugs and drink. You hear about them daily, and you always expect these people to end up homeless after an epic VH1, behind-the-music style crash.

This is where Ian differs from the cliché. He chose rehab, and has been sober for almost 8 years. Speninf time traveling and working as a soundman, Ian found a temporary when, along with Gorilla Biscuits and Quicksand member, Walter Schreifels, he formed Rival Schools. Their sound found an audience, and as their popularity grew, so did the size of the venues and the distances they traveled to be there. “Playing in front of big festival crowds was really wild,” he recalls. “We did this whole summer in Europe and two festivals in Japan playing to sometimes 25,000 or 40,0000 people.”

But as Rival Schools moved forward, it became more and more difficult for Ian to release some of the more personal material he was working on with his new band, Cardia. “I had been recording stuff with Cardia in between tours and I really loved doing that,” says Love. “And we got some heavy interest from Sony music but I was signed to island with Rival Schools and the only way I could put out anything other then Rival Schools was to submit it to Island first.”

This hassle led to the choice between “traveling as well as being in a band some my close friends, or starting from scratch with a new band that I got to do all the song-writing.” Ian realized that this was a step he wanted to make and left the band on good terms in. “I had a talk with the guys in Rival Schools and told them that I really had to give this a shot but I would finish out our tour cycle so they could get a new guitar to start for there next record.”

Ian made the leap to working on his own music, playing smaller shows, and he was blessed with another challenge - the birth of his daughter. These changes aren't lost on him either. “My days definitely start a lot earlier then they used to though,” he jokes. “I'm getting up at about 6AM these days. I always used to go to bed around then so that took some getting used too.”

Being apart of this great situation is not something Love takes for granted. “Really though there is no better feeling then when she smiles at me,” he says. “It's a whole new sense of joy that I never experienced with music, drugs or whatever. Also I've had so many amazing experiences being clean and my life is really great, I never thought I would go anywhere or be married and have a baby, so there is a good end to it which is nice I think.”

Starting both a family and a solo career leaves Love creating some of the most personal material he’s ever written. “I did make a decision with this record to make it very personal and write about different experiences I've had,” he comments. “Even with the bio I had to write for this record I put a lot of stuff out there about my life that people didn't really know. It's funny. So many people are like 'I never knew that about you.'”

Love's music is definitely influenced by his life. The music he's “writing, or playing always is a reflection on where I'm at.” Whether it's the more spaced out My Bloody Valentine feel of Rival Schools, or the more personal material Ian has been writing for his acoustic driven solo work, the one thing that hasn't changed is his love of playing music. “At this point, actually for a while now, I just love really enjoy playing,” remarks Love. “Whether it's big crowds or four people. I just played a place in the city a few weeks ago and didn't invite anyone and I had five friends show up. But it was one of my favorite shows.”

With all the experiences he's been through both musically and personally, the fact he finds solace in his music shouldn't be that surprising. “I've experienced everything from 3 month squat tours in Europe, sleeping in a van in the middle of winter to staying in fancy hotels in Japan playing festivals,” he muses. Now he's seen in the local bars, but notes “it all feels pretty comfortable as long as I'm playing.”

Making the transition from traveling to musician to stay at home father is aided by the fact he records and writes in his home studio. The stripped down acoustic material he is writing, lets Ian really only limit himself by his own creativity. “I’m always finding music that fits my life at any particular moment, whether it be aggressive, dark, sad whatever,” says Love. “When I started making this new record I knew I wanted it to be really sparse but full sounding at the same time. I really wanted ever aspect of each instrument to be just as important as the next one.”

Although Ian loves recording at home and playing local shows, that doesn't mean you will only see him playing in Brooklyn. Currently he's, “working on stuff (tours) now.” Luckily, by playing with some of the most popular indie rock bands around, he has lots of options. “I am doing some dates with Jonah (onelinedrawing) in early March,” he mentions. “I'Il be opening for him and playing with him as well. I might go over to the UK with him as well later.” Or, in a tour that would make Rival School fans happy, he and Walter “were talking about doing some show's or a tour together so we'll see what happens with that.”

But he admits he is probably missing out on his main audience. “I've been getting a lot of teenage Christian girls on my my-space page so maybe I should try to hit the Christian music market,” he laughs. After hearing his story (including that he once did a boat cruise tour with the J. Geils band), the Christian market might be the only market Ian Love hasn't touched in the music industry.

Buy his solo album here - http://www.limekilnrecords.com/artists/ianlove/

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