Loveseat! getting more comfortable
Alternative group hitting road after EP release show at Brass Rail on Jan. 12
Local alternative quartet Loveseat! are on the go.
Formed about a year ago, the group has not shied away from breaking the mold. They will celebrate the streaming release of their EP, Let’s Go, with a show at The Brass Rail on Jan. 12 which kicks off a nine-date tour that will take them as far away as Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Along with the EP being on streaming services, the band hopes to have cassettes on hand for the show.
“It’s the songs we’ve been playing for a long time and want to put out on streaming because I feel like our sound is changing a lot as we’re going,” lead singer Mary Mitchener said of the EP, which follows the release of a pair of singles in late 2021. “We just want to capture that as we go.”
The show at the Rail will include The Meat Flowers, who actually held their album release party at the same location with Loveseat! opening on Halloween night.
Loveseat!’s origins go back to Mitchener and the versatile Sam Clay writing songs together before Vic Brown, whom he met in fifth grade, joined the team, along with bassist Ethan Hoff.
“They needed a drummer, and Sam remembered that I drummed,” Brown said of coming on board.
The band was in need of a drummer because even though Clay’s musical career began at 14 years old as a drummer in The B-45s and continues with Uncle Muscle and Hillbilly Casino, he wanted to give the guitar a try.
“Some of the songs we play are ones that I wrote years ago, like pre-pandemic when I was first learning to play guitar and write music,” he said.
Hoff’s introduction to the group came through a friendship with Hoff.
“He’s like one of the first people that I hung around with when I began coming to Fort Wayne,” Mitchener said. “He was always really good at guitar, and I was like, ‘Would you maybe want to try the bass?’ ”
According to Hoff, it was not the transition to bass that weighed on his mind.
“Those first couple gigs I was nervous, but it was more just about performing,” he said. “I wasn’t really used to that. I didn’t think the transition from guitar to bass was difficult, it was just, ‘How do I apply it differently?’ because I’m not just playing lead on guitar, I was more backing.”
It was also the crowds that raised anxiety levels.
“I was still kinda shaking when I went to bed after the first couple shows,” Hoff said.
He wasn’t alone there, as Loveseat! is the first band for everyone outside of Clay, who’s a seasoned vet at this point.
“I still get nervous,” Mitchener said, mentioning she has been able to ditch the sunglasses she wore during the band’s initial performances. “I was not confident on stage early on, but I’m getting more comfortable. It hasn’t been that long, but it does feel different.”
Making own way
If she was nervous early on it, no one would blame her since Loveseat!’s first show was a capacity performance at The Tiger Room on March 25. Since then, they’ve been playing by their own tune, performing inside Slam City Skatepark, at the Allen County Public Library’s Rock the Plaza, at The Garden as part of a Subliminally art show, and on the roof of Don Hall’s Old Gas House to close out the summer season at The Deck.
“We just wanted to play at places that people really don’t play at much,” Mitchener said. “I had always wanted to play at the skate park, and it was like, ‘Well, I have a reason to do it now.’ The Deck was really cool, so we’d like to do that again.”
Along the way, they’ve played in Bloomington and Grand Rapids, but their upcoming tour will be their first extended road trip. To plan the tour, Clay was relied upon, as Mitchener had contacts, but many times it fell on Clay’s experience to lock in dates, such as Cherry Street Tavern in Chattanooga.
“I had actually played there with Hillbilly Casino, and I was like, ‘Well, they fed us and gave us money, so that’s a pretty good start,’ ” he said.
Going through changes
According to Clay, the six-track Let’s Go spans the group’s existence. He really wanted to get it recorded at his home studio, Rockhill Rock House, to capture the band’s sound at this point.
“There’s some songs we’ve been playing for a long time, basically since we got started, all the way to very new,” he said. “The single we released for the album (‘Too Old To Play’), we had pretty much just rehearsed it a week before we recorded it.”
As with any band, the group continues to gel, and Mitchener says that’s why their sound continues to evolve.
“Obviously, it’s going to change. We’re not going to be like we were,” she said.
“We’ve just gotten better,” Brown agreed.
As they continue to get even better, Loveseat! join a talented crop of bands performing across the Summit City.
“Everyone’s doing their own thing,” Clay said. “I think this is the most, or maybe I was just unaware when I was kid, but it seems like this is the most booming that the scene has been.”