Lochaven are putting out a catchy, hook-laden and very heart-on-sleeve brand of alternative rock, with the concept album telling the tale of disenfranchised young misfits looking to right the world’s wrongs. Lochaven has played extensively across the state, with a palpable energy that is mirrored on the band’s first collection.
Learn more about Lochaven in the following All Access interview-
When it comes to your music, what are you most excited about for 2020?
Now that the album is out, we’re looking forward to the summer! New festivals, new places, and maybe even some new music.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Do you find that your band name still represents you and your music today? Where did your name come from?
When we had the first practice with our song “The Promised Land”there was a moment of “oh, this is us.” It’s funny because I think we all feel almost an obligation to share this music with the world. Not because we wanted to be the next big thing, but because it made such a profound impact on our lives and we felt it could help so many others. Lochaven is the name of the road that connected our towns, the road Gabe took everyday to band practice. It’s a humbling piece to remember where we started, and I think it’ll forever represent us.
How do you think your hometown in Michigan has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, why is that?
We’ve all got roots in rock and roll. We grew up listening to some dope rock radio in this area and that has shaped our sound from day one.
What did it feel like finally releasing your debut album, “Change is Upon Us”? Anything surprise you about the recording process? Were there any unexpected challenges?
It felt like a big weight was lifted off our shoulders. There’s something about being able to finally have people listen and say how much it means to them, that is absolutely priceless. We had a blast recording it, we worked all summer up until August and took that whole month to record, it ended up being one of the coolest experiences ever.
How did you go about choosing “Now or Never” to be the lead single of this first collection? Where did the inspiration for this track come from?
This song was like the anthem of the whole album. It has the raw energy that we wanted people to have going into the journey of this album; we wanted to fire people up and appeal to their desire for change, in the same way that we felt and still do feel.
What other songs are you excited for people to hear on this album?
Some band favorites are definitely “Where Are You,” “Calling My Name,” “Kiss of Judas,” “Get Up and Go,” “Satori,” and of course “Change Is Upon Us.”
Generally, how does this group go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately? What is the first step in your music-making process?
Most of the time Gabe will bring a chord progression and vocal melody to practice and we jam it out; it can be a pretty quick process. Other times, songs lie in purgatory for months before they’re finished.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? When you aren’t working on music, do you guys hang out for fun?
Hell yeah we do. This is a family, not a business.
How do you feel that this band has grown through the years? What has remained the same?
Our overall goal has stayed the same, we’ve always wanted to enact change through our music. Our music evolves constantly. Looking at old recordings of song bits it’s amazing how far we’ve come as musicians. Always the student, never the master.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
On stage. No feeling in the world like making somebody smile with your music.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues lately?
One of the biggest things is just the atmosphere. We’ve played shows to five people that have been better than shows to a hundred; it all depends on the atmosphere. We had an absolute blast playing The Pike Room at the Crofoot in December! Always a blast playing The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor!
Do you have any tour dates scheduled for this year yet?
Not tour dates, no. As of right now, our focus remains on continuing to build our following around Metro Detroit and mid-Michigan. That being said, who’s to say what the future will hold…
With all the different social media platforms out there, how do you balance it all? How do you think that social media has impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
Social media can definitely be an outlet for creativity. Whether it be filming episodes of our vlog series, “The Long Road with Lochaven” on YouTube, or making goofy memes and short videos on Twitter, we like to have fun with it. And we definitely try to be as active as we can be without being on there all the time; got to emphasize quantity over quality.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today?
Our country is definitely going through some very necessary growing pains at the moment. When we feel that we have something valuable and unique to share to the conversation, we do so through our music and lyrics. Obviously, music in general has great healing and unifying properties. So whatever small part our music can play in getting us closer to where we need to be as a compassionate, diverse, and thriving society, then all the better.
What musicians have really been inspiring you all since you first started making music? Who would you still love to work with?
Well part of the Lochaven mission has been to carry the rock and roll torch, but to do so in a way that modernizes the sound. So while we are certainly influenced by bands like Led Zeppelin, Journey, and Soundgarden, it would be cool to work with a producer like John Feldmann or Rob Cavallo, you know? Someone who has helped craft some awesome records with some great modern bands.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
At the end of the day, we’d like Lochaven to be a band that represents optimism. We don’t ignore pain and suffering, nor do we bask in it. Lochaven is about confronting hardship and overcoming it.