Lovelorn, formed from three-fourths of the defunct Philadelphia-based psychedelic shoegazers Creepoid, will play their Savannah debut this coming week.
Creepoid shared a number of special connections with Savannah. They played the first show at CUSSES' No Control house venue years ago. They played Hang Fire numerous occasions — the most memorable perhaps was an opening slot for Ex Hex and King Tuff.
In 2014, they decided to uproot their lives, moving from their native Philadelphia to Savannah. That same year, they released the EP “Wet,” on Savannah’s Graveface Records, which was recorded at Dollhouse Studios in Savannah.
They rented a house and brought singer/songwriter A.M. Rodriguez with them to watch their dogs while they toured, using Savannah as their home base. But the move didn’t last long. Rodriguez stayed behind, becoming a staple of the scene, as the rest of the group headed back up to their home in Philly.
Creepoid called it quits earlier this year, but two members of the group immediately formed Lovelorn in the wake of the band’s death.
Husband/wife rhythm section, Anna Troxell and Patrick Troxell — bass and drums, respectively — and guitarist Petejoe Urban stretch into a new musical direction with Lovelorn, yet still call on the foundation built with Creepoid. Petejoe, a founding member of Creepoid, left the band for a couple of years but returned in late 2016.
The Troxells are now the primary writers and co-fronts for the band. Lovelorn will play their first show in Savannah on Sept. 18 at The Jinx with Hotplate.
Here is Do Savannah’s extended interview with the band, which has been edited for clarity and length:
Do: Did Lovelorn begin right as Creepoid ended?
Patrick: Creepoid decided we weren't going to be a functioning band in Cleveland on the last day of our last tour. It was one of those decisions we came to before we went out on stage that night. We got home from tour, we were sitting on a mountain of songs with Creepoid.
We were planning on doing another record, potentially. When we all went our own separate ways, we took our own material with us. After a couple months went by, we were starting to get prepared for the final Creepoid show. We set up a practice space at Anna and I’s house. With that, it turned into Pete and Anna getting together and working on songs together and working on new material.
I went away on a six-week tour with Plaque Marks. While I was gone, Anna and Pete were jamming away and demoing and writing. When I got back, we were fully functioning as Lovelorn. We were balancing both bands in rehearsal schedules. Once Creepoid ended, we were ready to start letting people know that not all of us are done playing together. This is a different band. It’s not Creepoid.
Do: Were the new Lovelorn songs leftover from Creepoid then?
Patrick: It’s not that they were written for Creepoid, it’s more that Anna wrote some songs and they were her songs. Even after Creepoid ended, she was still working on her songs. It’s our own thing. It’s not like it was reused stuff.
Anna: They were just ideas that were floated and didn’t materialize.
Do: How was it moving out front, Anna? Did you ever consider adding a vocalist?
Anna: No. We never considered it. I was wanting to sing more than I was in Creepoid. I wanted to write more and be responsible for more of the content. I was excited to have more of that responsibility.
Patrick: It was also a weird situation, because Pete was rejoining the band at the time and a lot of the songs in our catalog were songs Pete wasn’t around for at the end of Creepoid. I think it was also refreshing to take a deep breath and be like, this is something you don’t have to worry about. It was a big relief.
Petejoe: Being away from the band, I was still writing music. Drone, loop stuff. The more structured stuff sort of cultivated and was put aside, knowing I couldn’t bring it to Creepoid, but hoping I get the chance to flesh out these ideas in a way that I knew nothing would be compromised. When you’re a band for so long with the same four people and you hit a stride and you know what works, it’s kind of a formula thing. I liked that I don’t have to compromise. It’s all of a collective agreement on what we think is cool.
Do: Was it easy to move into this new project after years of playing together?
Patrick: Yes, definitely. It’s funny, when we had enough material, we went on a weekend trip down to Texas. We went and it was really interesting; we had no music out. We had nothing. We just wanted to go down there and play in front of people and feel out the material. It was so funny. We all toured together forever; that stuff is not the hard part. It was really funny, having a smaller equipment setup is way more efficient, but also way more booming and more productive. It’s really cool to see the test of time take an actual effect on the crew of people. It’s getting easier and tighter, but at the same time, we’re trying brand-new things. It’s a totally new thing. It’s exciting. It’s a lot of fun.
Do: Seems fun! You get to explore new material, but you have the foundation of years of experience together. Seems like such a unique situation.
Patrick: Yeah, definitely. Not a lot of people play in a band together for that many years and start another band immediately after the ending. [Laughs.] Most people would be like, I am sick of you. We were like, OK, what’s next? A lot of people gave us a hard time for not just keeping the thing and calling it Creepoid. But, honestly, we’re not that band. It’s the same people but a different band.
Do: Yeah, and you want to give yourself creative freedom. People would expect Creepoid songs if you kept that moniker. Now that you’re a new band, you’re creatively more free, right?
Patrick: Yeah. I think it’s pretty obvious in our current touring method. We’re not out supporting anyone being on the road. We’re out doing our own thing and playing the towns that we know were always there for us in our other projects. Just trying to start from the ground up.
Do: How much new material do you have? Are you putting together an album?
Patrick: Actually, we have an album’s worth of material. Right now, we have an EP with two home-recorded songs that we had at our recent shows. They went out of print. We’re kind of in this position, we’re in the studio in September, after this tour. We’re really excited. We’ll have a bunch of things coming out over the next few months. We’re being tight-lipped about it now. We’re extremely excited and it’s hard to not tell anyone. [Laughs.]
Anna: Yeah, there will be an album.
Do: Anna, what are some of the things that inspire you when you sit down to write?
Anna: I always wanted to follow my gut more with Creepoid. It always felt like I shouldn’t. I felt like that wasn’t what fit the Creepoid model. I think when I was writing for Creepoid, I quieted that voice a lot. Which tends to be more, I would say, dramatic in this sort of Morrissey delivery, kind of more pop-centered. I didn’t think that was right for Creepoid. So I would sort of, not dismiss it entirely, but tamper it down to what I thought would be suitable for that project.
With this one, I am just really trying to follow my gut and follow what I think is cool and not compromise on it anymore. I think the biggest influence is things that I’ve always found to be cool and interesting, instead of trying to fit it into a mold of what Creepoid was.
Do: It seems in Creepoid, you were always in the shadow of Sean [Miller, Creepoid frontman]?
Anna: One of the beautiful things about being a three-piece is that we’re all super responsible for the song. Pete has to write killer guitar parts for every single song. Pat has to write percussion and he writes a lot of the lyrics himself. I have to come up with a bass line and a lot of the times, a melody and vocals.
There’s not room for sitting this one out. Which kind of happened sometimes in Creepoid. Oh, I am not as important in this song, so I’ll take a backseat. Now each one of us has to step it up for every single song. Which it makes it more exciting. For me, personally, it’s more rewarding. When I have to do more, I get more out of it too.
Petejoe: The creative process of challenging yourself. Before this band, I didn’t really do guitar solo type sh!t, or toe the line between rhythm guitar and lead guitar. I did elements of that in Creepoid and had a thing with that. With this band, it’s more of, I am the guitar player, the only person that can make this happen is me. It’s definitely challenging.
Do: Yeah, I think it’s good to push yourself. If you’re in a band for a long time and playing the same songs, you can get creatively constipated, because you’re not being pushed enough.
Petejoe: That’s a good way to put it.
Anna: No one wanted to play Creepoid songs. As much as I loved those songs and that music, I don’t want to play them anymore. I want to write new stuff and challenge our fans to come with us and keep going. It’s a journey.
Patrick: There’s another side of this band, too. In Creepoid, I always had these one or two songs that I wrote the vocals to and sang. I sang a lot of the backup with Sean. This band, I have a whole different approach to the percussion and I am not playing a traditional drum set. I have way more material in this band. I am actually doing lead vocals. I am shadowing Anna now like she was shadowing Sean in Creepoid.
I am playing a hybrid, electronic stuff and regular drums. It’s a whole new look at it. Coming from a new approach of writing the material like that, having Anna and Pete doing those sessions while I was away and then coming back and saying I am going to totally redo the percussion. I want to make people feel good. Just make it different and closer to the music I was listening to at the time. I am really excited. I am pretty much playing a brand-new instrument.
Do: Yeah, I saw that. You have a completely different drum setup now?
Patrick: I do all live sequencing. I am performing my rhythms and patterns with one hand and I am teasing the beat and actually playing the fills and live cymbals with my other hand. Essentially, I am playing a kit, it’s just a hybrid of stuff put together and a bunch of effects and stuff I am into. I wanted to stretch myself and push myself also with this new project. I was really influenced by a lot of the percussion Sparklehorse would do on his album. I was really into that. I was into the idea of a hybrid setup I could play live, so every PA we play through, it would be the clearest, crispest and loudest. It’s a whole new game for me. I am pumped.