Of Monsters, Angels, and Rocknroll
An introduction to Lovedrug â€“
Like many great bands, there is something hauntingly spiritual and honest about Lovedrug. The Ohio-based rock band delivers highbrow sound akin to Spiritualized, Sunny Day Real Estate, or Muse, crossed with the pop sensibility and arena grandeur of Queen. A unique crossbreed of art and accessibility, powerful melodies are driven by smartly crafted lyrics of truth, intrigue, love, death, and damn near everything in between.
Only those who have seen the band live can truly understand the growing phenomenon that is Lovedrug. Regardless of how clichÃ© it may sound, Lovedrug live is truly less a show and more an experience. In playing to a variety of audiences (the band has shared the stage w/ Cat Power, Creeper Lagoon, The Killers, Elliot, Twothirtyeight, The Casket Lottery & Noise Ratchet, to name a few), Lovedrug have won over virtually every audience theyâ€™ve met. Formed in June of 2002, Lovedrug is the brainchild of Michael Shepard and Adam Ladd. Both artists of some pedigree, the two friends joined forces in several previous avant-garde projects including the widely respected Kerith Ravine. Rising above the indie-rock contour of Kerith, Shepardâ€™s current vocal melodies breathe a grand soundscape in a tender but bloodcurdling timbre. Laddâ€™s bass in turn securely moors the projectâ€™s course, providing quality arrangement to Shepardâ€™s guitar and piano innovations. Longtime friend but first-time contributor David Owen became Lovedrugâ€™s full-time lead guitarist in July â€™03, bringing his own accomplished creative presence in both writing and performance. Matthew Putman, a phenomenal writing and touring drummer (Ester Drang, Unwed Sailor), completes the bandâ€™s permanent lineup.
Lovedrug In less than 2 years, Lovedrug have gone from start-up to standout on the mid-western rock scene. Lovedrug recorded a self-titled 5-track demo, selling out two pressings within three months of its July â€˜02 release. Such interest led to further preproduction and early â€˜03 saw the band head into the studio with producer Tim Patalan (Sponge, The Fags, Peter Searcy) with astounding results.
Those lucky enough to hear the full-length results frequently give it the nod for â€˜best first record by any band in recent memoryâ€™. Hinting at the full-length to come, the band released the 6-track â€œRocknroll EPâ€? in summer â€˜03 to overwhelming acceptance. Clevelandâ€™s Scene magazine hailed Lovedrug as the #1 band to watch in 2004, describing live favorite Down Towards The Healing as â€œone of the most affecting songs of the year -- local or otherwise.â€? Numerous college and independent radio stations picked up the record for regular airplay, leading to dozens of top rankings coast to coast, from Hartford, to Milwaukee, to Seattle.
Various incarnations of the full-length album, christened â€œPretend Youâ€™re Aliveâ€?, began to cause a stir among insiders and music industry types. A&R reps from major and indies alike began appearing at Lovedrug shows over the summer. By the fall interest in the band had reached a fevered pitch, with a showcase at NYCâ€™s legendry Bitter End fanning the flames. Reps from virtually every significant label system attended the bandâ€™s sold-out CMJ appearance at Donâ€™s Hills in October.
In the â€œsuits on the looseâ€? stage that followed, Lovedrug was approached in earnest by a number of labels. Appreciating the volatility inherent to the music biz, the band carefully weighed offers from both major and indie labels, searching for a reliable partnership that would successfully launch their career while still affording Lovedrug that ever-elusive element of control. In the end Lovedrug spurned conventional wisdom, passing on a major label offer, signing instead with mighty-indie The Militia Group.
Spring 2004 sees Lovedrug preparing for the impending storm, with preparation for the official release of â€œPretend Youâ€™re Aliveâ€? in late summer in full gear. The band made their first trips to the L.A. area in April for Militia Group showcases and will tour with label mates Copeland throughout the spring. Support slots on the Braid tour and headlining appearances in regional strongholds, where excitement for the release of â€œPretendâ€? is immeasurable, will mark the summer. Full tour support slots and a co-bill college tour with Unwed Sailor in the fall will followâ€¦
Michael Shepard â€“ vocals, guitar, piano
David Owen â€“ guitar, vocals
Adam Ladd â€“ bass
Matthew Putman â€“ drums