Artist of the day: The No Loves
The No Loves are a crunchy, heavily compressed, hi-octane punk band that delivers a sonic assault rendering all UV meters helplessly slammed in the red. The aural assailants are. Jim Putney on vocals and guitar, Curtis McCall on guitar, Steve Merkel on bass, and Chuck Wood on drums.
On Friday, the No Loves will release a 12-song LP at the Local 662 in St. Petersburg. The show, with Doll Parts and Hot Mouth, is at 8:30 p.m. We sat down with Putney to talk about the upcoming release.
How long have the No Loves been together?
I’ve been playin’ in bands around here since I was a kid. When I was 17 or 18 I started playing with my best friend. We ended up being in a band together named Pull. We did a seven-inch for Stiff Pole Records in the early ’90s. I (musically) come from the early ’80s late ’70s scene, first wave, all those bands. So, right about ’96 or so, we put the No Loves together.
(Laughs) Yeah, we went from ’96 to ’99, played some decent shoes, opened for New Bomb Turks at the State Theatre. Probably the biggest thing we did back then. Typical stuff: the guys weren’t getting along, so we parted ways around ’99. I ended up putting a band together that would eventually become the Redliners. When that ran its course, we decided to play together again. Ever since 2003, we’ve been back at it. We didn’t even realize we were gonna call it the No Loves. It was just one of those things. We started playing a lot of the old songs, and it seemed really natural to call it the No Loves. The band name already had some recognition — not a lot, granted, but a lot of people in the same circles we hang out in recognize the name, so it was a little easier to slide back into it.
Where do you see the No Loves in the pantheon of the Tampa St. Pete scene?
The funny thing about it is, people that I know outside this music scene, if I tell ’em we’re a punk rock band, that doesn’t really do it justice, because we do take the listener to different places than just that. People have these preconceived ideas of what a punk rock band is. They picture someone shouting and screaming and everything like that. But we are musical. First and foremost, we are a rock and roll band. When you tell somebody I play rock and roll music, we’re at a point in music now where there’s so many sub-genres, that people don’t really know what you mean when you say that. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel necessarily.We fall into the punk rock category, but we can play and hang with other bands you wouldn’t really consider punk rock bands. I look at us as a diverse kind of act that’s rock n roll based. You can call it punk and roll. We can appeal to the hot-rod culture kids that go out to see rockabilly and psychobilly shows. And at the same time, we can play with heavier more traditional hardcore bands and with bands that have more pop sensibilities. Even though our stuff is really heavy, melody is really important to me. I really go out of my way to make things catchy.
Now you’ve taken these ideas into the studio.
Yeah, we finally got around to recording a full-length record. We started in April 2010, at Zen Recording Studios in Pinellas Park. Our attitude was, instead of trying to sell our band to a label based on our demos, we decided to make the record we wanna make, and sell the record to whoever is interested enough to do it. Granted, that means we’re taking the responsibility of spending all the money on it, but doing it our way, and having it sound the way we want it to sound. We always knew all along that if we were happy with it, if we were making the music that we would want to listen to, that there was some label around that would feel the same way. That’s where Stiff Pole comes in, the same label that we put the 7-inch on years and years ago.
It’s come around full circle.
Its unbelievable how time flies by. The older I get, I realize that you have to take your opportunities. You’re only young once. You only live once. It doesn’t bother me one bit how much money we spent. It did go over budget a lot, but we’re happy. Now that we have this release, it gives us ground to stand on for what ever the next thing is. It’s a lifelong journey. We’re not gonna fool ourselves into thinking that putting this record out is suddenly gonna lead to big time success. We’re realistic about it and we try to keep a balance between being ambitious, and doing it for the love of it, the fun of it, the camaraderie of it. To me, the fact that I’m able to do it and play with guys that I enjoy playing with is success for me.
-- Aaron Lepley, tbt*