Kevin Norris

Interview: Michael Shepard of Lovedrug

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Ohio-based indie-rock outfit, Lovedrug has felt the effects of a rough economy. Two years ago their longtime label, the Militia Group, went bankrupt leaving them without a home and causing their last album, “The Sucker Punch Show,” to not get the proper recognition it deserved. But what might have capsized any other band has only made the quartet stronger. Frontman Michael Shepard recently caught up with us to discuss their three-part EP’s series, their upcoming LP and the positive aspects of being without a label. Lovedrug has a three-part EP series coming out. What made you guys choose to go down that route? Was it because of the short attention span the average music listener has nowadays or more because you guys are currently without a label?

Michael Shepard: Actually neither really. What we wanted to is: We’ve been writing a ton over the course of the last year and we we’re hoping to just get feedback from the fans that have stuck with us through all the years and put some of the demos out there to see what kind of reaction we’d get. Essentially just relying on them [fans] to tell us what songs they want to hear on a record. So are just releasing these EP’s as to kind of get feed back because it’s really just about making a record for them at this point.

SCMT: Are all the EP’s going to be released in a tangible form, or just solely online?

Michael: It’s going to be mostly online and at shows, like we’ll be selling hard copies of the CD’s and you’ll be able to buy it through out website. Within certain time frames you’ll be able to get limited editions in like vinyls. This week actually is the last week you can get the first EP on vinyl. In June we’re going to be selling the second one.

SCMT: So the second EP comes out in June, do you have a release date for the third and final one?

Michael: We’re still working on that one.

SCMT: You are still in the process of recording it?

Michael: We have all the demos recorded but it’s just putting it together, deciding which songs we want out there. We have a lot of great tunes in the arsenal. Right not we’re just deciding which ones to put out there and which ones not to. We want to save some things back and keep a couple secretes for ourselves so when we go to release the final record people are still going to be interested in it.

SCMT: Right after you released your last album, “The Sucker Punch Show,” your long time label the Militia Group folded. What have been both the positives and negatives of being without a label for the past two years?

Michael: Honestly, it’s almost been 100 percent positive for the most part. We really just concentrated on getting back to the foundation of songwriting and again writing songs that we feel are going to be the best for our fan base and that we’re going to enjoy. It feels like a fresh start for us. There at the end of that whole label nonsense there was a lot of stuff going on that both parties weren’t happy about. It was just unfortunate how our last record [“The Sucker Punch Show”] didn’t get pushed because the label didn’t tell us about the fact that they were going bankrupt. There’s nothing we can do about that and that’s fine. We’re just looking forward to moving forward from this point on.

SCMT: Are you currently looking for another label?

Michael: We are currently talking to a few different labels. Right now though, we’re just doing out own thing. If a label comes along and believes in us and wants to get involved we’re not going to say no. It’s just really up to them I guess.

SCMT: Lovedrug recently played at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. How was that, did you guys get to play any of the new songs?

Michael: We did, we played mostly new songs at South by Southwest and we got a great reaction. It was really encouraging. We played three times and actually the last time we played in my opinion was the best at Emo’’ on Saturday night. It was great. It was packed out, they were turning people away at the door and everyone was just singing along. It was like one big party, we had a great time.

SCMT: Besides the EP’s that are coming out, what else is on Lovedrug’s horizon? Any plans for a summer tour?

Michael: We’re going to be very busy actually. Between the EP’s we’re going to do a full headlining tour in June and July and we’re going to be recording this record. We’re going to have a full plate, out there playing shows. A lot is going on with Lovedrug right now.

SCMT: Does the future LP have a projected release date? Where are you guys at with that?

Michael: It’s totally tentative right now; we’re still working with a producer and tweaking our pre production. It’s going to be a little bit but that’s why we’re putting out the EP’s to tie people before we can give them the real thing.

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