Baltimore is chock full of bands and it’s tough to get to them all, but I made it a point to go and see these guys and take fifteen to talk to them as well. Born from the ashes of King Belvedere, Love In Vein was born in 2014 by drummer Johnny Sexx, who brought in J Presley from San Diego, CA to play bass, Todd Zilla on guitars, and Bryce on vocals, and these guys can more than bring it live. Currently in the studio finishing up what will be their first album, yet untitled as this article was written, this four piece was kind enough to sit down and talk to me before their show opening up for LA Guns in late April at the FishHead Cantina in Arbutus, MD.
Shockwave: Thanks for taking the time to speak me guys. For starters, tell me how you guys started out playing. How did the band get together?
Johnny Sexx: Yeah, well we’ve been together a couple of weeks now, right guys?(Laughing). Well, I was in a band prior to this one called King Belvedere and things started to slow down after ten years and a few albums and a whole lot of miles. That was in early 2014 and Love In Vein was originally going to be a side project for me but I just started to really enjoy the new music, working with new people, and the side project became my full time project with me going ‘Yeah, I’m done’ and set up camp here and threw all my eggs in this basket. We, King Belvedere, just weren’t busy enough and I wanted to keep playing drums on a regular basis. This band gave me that opportunity to do that and here we are today. We went through some member changes and in August of 2015, Bryce came in to be our new lead singer and in 2016, Todd joined the band and it’s been the four of us rock solid ever since.
Bryce: I’ve liked the evolution of this band the most. When I started here, I was singing these songs another had wrote but it wasn’t my type of music and we have evolved and grown from that. This band is the perfect thing for me right now in my life.
Tell me the type of music you like to play. Is it glam? Harder rock? Pop rock?
J Presley: It is far from glam. I would say it’s really hard to define our music. When you look at our personal CD collections individually, it’s very different. We all like different stuff. Our music is just a big melting pot of where we all come from and our album which we are shopping around right now to labels reflects this. I’ve heard some country feedback from some people that have heard it and I’ve heard some heavy rock also. It’s a great mix. To describe it, it’s kind of a riff rock. We do stuff that’s fun to play, fun to listen to, and something to make you get off your ass and dance. That’s our biggest thing, to get people up and moving.
Todd Zilla: Some of the songs we collaborated on a lot with one person adding this and another adding that. The songs have come from everywhere and we all chimed in on them.
Is there a main songwriter or do you all have a say?
Todd: A couple of songs have been brought in by one but again, it’s definitely a group thing that we all contributed.
J Presley: We feed off each other and just come up with ideas and go with them, no matter who brings what. We all work well with each other. It’s never just one person’s idea.
Can you tell me a little more about the new album coming?
Johnny: It’s full length, ten songs. I think collectively speaking, there is something on there for everyone. It was put together nine months ago and we went into the studio and did it in eleven weeks. It was a lot of fun to do too. There wasn’t very any moments I can think of where there was any animosity or attitudes toward anything. The experience with doing this album was a nice change of pace for myself personally with doing projects in the past where people’s egos got dented. We all helped each other and got the best out of each other as we recorded it.
J Presley: We are shopping it around right now to labels and putting the finishing touches on the packaging of it. We have a few who are biting, but it will see the light of day real soon. That’s been our goal since we started this band.
Bryce: We did knock it out of the park, not to pat ourselves on the back, but we did. I’m proud of the way it turned out.
Todd: We stayed loose the whole time recording it and it took a life of its own. It was a unique experience to say the least.
Tell me about your live shows and your fans.
J Presley: They feed us the energy to make us do what we do.
Bryce: We play music you can move to, like J said. The more people seeing us and dancing to our music, it makes the experience that much more rewarding and that much more passionate.
Johnny: Sold out shows are awesome. They are an intense drug you can’t explain, but also playing in front of 20-30 people is just as exciting, especially if they are all into your music. You’re performing for the people who came to see you, not bitch about the ones who missed the show.
Are there any touring plans when it does come out?
Johnny: We hope that happens, but things need to line up perfectly for that to happen. Touring means money, time off from work and families, and the pieces need to fall in the right places, but going out and playing for our fans is in our plans. It will be nice to see people face to face that you see on social media and what not.
Love In Vein are a kick ass band to see play live. The whole crowd was super pumped at the LA GUNS show and they put on a great show. I look forward to their new disc coming out in the near future and if you have the chance, go out and check these guys out if you haven’t already. This is one band you need to see.