Interview & Photos by Tricia Hogan
X Lovers - London and Jacob - are from Northern California have been friends and creating music together since they were teenagers. We caught up with them at Terminal 5 in NYC before their set opening for Chelsea Cutler.
AON: I know that you guys have been friends for a long time and have been making music for a long time. How did that all start?
X Lovers: We grew up in a super tiny town in Northern California and our little sisters were actually really close friends and we met through them. I (London) was writing songs at the time and I was like, Jake, you should learn how to drum to my songs. And he did. I vividly remember the first time we ever played music and we had this song called the roof and we played it through. We looked at each other and we were like, yo, we're going to, we're going to be the biggest band in the fucking planet.
AON: Was there a moment, maybe before you guys got signed or maybe it was when you got signed, that you realized maybe I don't have to do a regular nine to five that we could actually do something with music?
X Lovers: We were always super, super driven to be doing music. The second we stopped going to high school, we literally had saved up like $10,000 moved to LA and got this tiny one room apartment. We just learned how to produce and two months into living in LA, we were producing for other artists. Pretty quickly just from working our asses off at that we were supporting ourselves full time through that. And then I think when we signed our record deal, we realized we didn’t have to produce for other people anymore. It's just us, you know, I mean that was a huge, huge moment.
AON: So Jacob, London said that you learned how to play drums just to play his songs. Was that something that you had an interest in before or is that something that you learned to love through making music together?
X Lovers (Jacob): I had an interest and I had one drum lesson and secretly I loved it but never fully took it upon myself. And it was that that pushed me and it was just so exciting. The second we started putting these songs together and then that was all we wanted to do from that on. We just practiced for hours and hours and in an attic, basement, wherever we could.
AON: Is there a certain process that you follow when you are writing music? Is it the same for every song? For every project that you work on?
X Lovers: It's ever changing. Every song was different I think. I think there are things that we don’t do, you know what I mean? We're just not the artists that can get in the studio and make dope shit on the spot. I have to experience something. So there may be two months where I write zero songs. It might be one week where we created the entire EP. I think we've learned to not force ourselves. So something might happen tonight, and it might not even directly inspire me, but two months later I'll be feeling something like, why am I thinking that? I'll write the song. Then after songs written you're like, oh fuck, that’s what that’s about.
AON: Because it comes from such a personal place, do you ever feel nervous about releasing certain songs?
X Lovers: I did and now I don't, even though we've only been really releasing for like nine or 10 months. Our fans are really dope, they understand me. I don't mean to sound cocky or anything but I've seen how much it does help our fan base as well, and I think that's a lot more important than me feeling maybe a little bit nervous. If someone doesn’t like it, thats an opinion. As Taylor Swift says “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”.
AON: You mentioned on Twitter that you have a new EP coming out. Is there anything you can share about that?
X Lovers: Nothing specific, we’re going to be dropping songs really soon. I just think it's a big step forward. Genuinely, I think we just tapped into something different this time - I don't want to put too many expectations out. We wore our hearts on our sleeves and I think it's saying something. This is the first time where I'm like, this is bigger than me. It’s just such an intense experience to be alive right now. I mean there's beautiful things as well, right? But it's like I think that really inspired the entire project whereas like Virgin it was much more personal to my life. The new EP is still personal, but in a more worldly way.
AON: Speaking of the music that you make, is there anyone that really has an influence on your sound? Anyone that when you were growing up you're like, I want to write songs like that person.
X Lovers: I think now we make a big effort to not copy people ever - I hate copying people. We hate referencing shit. But growing up, Green Day and Kanye West were my main influences. I wanted to be Green Day. And I think Kanye West is a fucking genius creator. Those two artists are both so bold and so good at being bold and that’s what we aspire to be.
AON: Is there any album or song that you guys are listening to on repeat right now?
X Lovers: I've been listening to a ton of Billy Joel. New York is one of my favorite cities on the planet and Billy Joel’s music feels like New York.
AON: Let's talk about this tour specifically; about a month ago you guys were playing at Baby's All Right, which is a 300 capacity venue and now you’re at Terminal 5, which is 3,000. What does that feel like in such a short amount of time? Can you even articulate what that feels like?
X Lovers: Fuck, what does that feel like? It feels fucking amazing. Both are really different and cool. Baby’s All Right type venues are sick cause it's so intimate. You can literally see every person and there's something about that that's actually better. But this just feels big.
AON: After this tour is over, what is next for you guys?
X Lovers: EP first and foremost, done and out in the world. Then we'll probably hop on another opening tour and then hopefully do a headline after that. We’re going to be touring most of this year - it’s first year we’ve really been touring and we extremely enjoy it!