Check out the interview below!
VM: My name is Veronica Lorraine May. I am (just like my bandmate is) the “everything” player. Coming to a show is like watching musical chairs. We oscillate between guitar, uke and drums. On occasion, when we feel super frisky we play glockenspiel, a cheap target 2-octave keyboard or kazoos…but we have to feel, as I said, super frisky to do so.
LW: We also write songs. Like all the livelong day.
Listening through Breakup Shmakeup, it seems as if “Love Through Our Music” is the perfect song to describe you guys as a band. This album, this song in particular, shows the real potential and passion you both have for wanting to create music. When did you first realize that music was a career you wanted to pursue?
LW: I used to think I was going to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a basketball coach, but eventually realized after a season of coaching that sports should be the hobby and music should be the priority. Nothing has ever filled me up the way music and writing has. Music also makes it possible for me to connect with so many people, and I really think that’s the whole point of existence. It’s not the easiest or most lucrative career path, but it is very rewarding.
VM: I have always had music as a focal point in my life but never knew where it would take me. I started piano at 3 years old, percussion at 12 and guitar at 17. I received my degree at Colorado State University in Neurologic Music Therapy (yes, it is a degree and yes, it is scientifically based). Throughout school my focus was in percussion and I played in symphonic band, orchestra and percussion ensemble. Music has always fed me. Whether it be a 1:1 music therapy session with a child with autism or a show at house of blues screaming my guts out, it is always there. Music allows me to give back and to receive so much. Am I getting off topic? I feel like The Lovebirds project has been the most important one I have been a part of. I have been in 4 other bands but this one feels like my baby.
The title of your latest release is quite personal, from what I understand. Now the reason for this, for those unaware, is that you guys were actually able to move past your differences and end your romantic relationship in order to continue pursuing your musical career. A breakup is always difficult and remaining friends with your significant other is even harder. What is some advice you would give to those who want to remain friends after a romantic relationship?
LW: Give each other as much time and space as you each need to be ok. Be clear about communicating your own needs and respectful of the other person’s needs. Allow yourself to feel every single feeling and remind yourself that time really will make things better. Try to work on letting go whatever “idea” you had of the future and try to be accepting of the present moment. Eat a lot of ice cream. Throw things. Swear loudly in your car. Call your friends. Wear your pajamas to the movies.
VM: Remember why you were with them in the first place. It seems we fall in love with someone, they become our best friend, they make us laugh and make us so happy. When something seems to go sour they become the opposite in an instant. Be kind. Be aware that there are always two sides to a story. Make sure to take some time away and be respectful of that boundary. If you really do want to be friends, it is possible. There will be some hiccups along the road, especially in the beginning, but it gets easier and, in my opinion, it forces you to be a bit better as a person.
A week ago you guys released “Breakup Shmakeup: The Lovebirds Documentary” on YouTube. In the video, Veronica talks about how music plays a major role in survival with her bipolar disorder. I can understand where she’s coming from being that I have an anxiety disorder and my grandfather had Alzheimer’s disease. What I noticed is that for me, music is something that can keep me focused and drown out all the confusion and chaos going on around me. What I noticed with my grandfather was that even though he no longer remembered who any of us were, the second we started playing him music it would bring him back to being himself and he would just start belting out the lyrics. Why do you think music has been a major role in your survival with your disorder?
VM: Music is a healer in so many different ways. Scientifically, music (particularly rhythm) can dramatically improve the gait of a person with Parkinsons. It can help a person with a speech disorder speak with better pacing, prosody, articulation. It can reawaken the mind of a person with 4th-stage dementia. It can give a person going through breast cancer hope and help them process. For me, music is my earth. When i can feel my feet floating from the ground in a state of hypomania I return to my music. When my wheels seem to be spinning out of control I sit with my guitar, close my eyes, breathe, strum. When I’m depressed I try and do the same. Music saves.
Speaking of YouTube, for anyone following your account (TheLVbirds) they would be familiar with your Car-aoke videos. Though quite entertaining, can we expect to see any actual cover videos in the near future?
VM: We were just recently talking about doing some quality video recordings of our own for the inter webs. I most certainly hope we have some covers coming. We really love Haim and I would love to do a cover or two from them…i see 90s RnB in our future.
LW: Now that we’re back from tour, we really want to start focusing on growing our virtual dialogue with our friends and fans to let them know how much we appreciate their support. We wouldn’t be anywhere without their help! Posting more covers on Youtube will be a piece of that pie.
Last month The Lovebirds won the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk contest, which is an amazing achievement as both musicians and songwriters (congrats, by the way!). When it comes to writing songs, do you write based off experiences or just…whatever happens, happens?
VM: I think we write from experience. Whether it is the sun hitting a tree just right that inspires a lyric or a pain inside that I have to put on paper. I don’t think we’ve ever written to please the crowd, though I hope our songs are relatable. More than a standing ovation, we want that one person in the crowd to feel like they aren’t alone because of a Lovebirds song.
LW: The only time we don’t write from experience is if we are hired to write a song for our side project On a Personal Note. People sometimes hire us to write custom songs for weddings, baby showers, anniversaries, etc. These are fun songwriting challenges and we love to help people express themselves to their loved ones in a unique way.
What can we expect next from The Lovebirds?
LW: We’re working toward the goals of supporting national touring acts on a more regular basis and securing music placements in tv/film. Not only because these two avenues are where musicians can find their last honest paychecks, but also because we want to see the world, grow our community, and spread a positive message to as many eyes and ears as possible.
VM: More music! Linds and I have written some really good songs that will be on our next album. I think in the immediate future, you will see us touring more and pushing out more material. Our live show continues to solidify and we are excited. Good things take time and we are more than willing to invest our hearts in this project. We both feel it is our purpose in this life and I don’t know where I would be without my trusty bandmate.
Thank you so much for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
VM: 5 + 5.