A love letter to The Loveletter
By by tim lara/special to the advocate
Oct. 4, 2010 at 5:04 a.m.
Updated Oct. 6, 2010 at 5:06 a.m.
If this article gets printed according to my timing, it's going to hit close to a weekend. That means most people reading this have their routine picked out: maybe some yard work, lunch with friends, a nice matinee with the kids or shopping at the mall. For the small group of friends I call my band, our routine is pretty rock solid too. It involves waking up at some point, shaking the cobwebs out and meeting at the band house to pack up our gear and head out to the night's adventure. There will be some tension as Danny runs late or is MIA, someone forgets to fill the tank, or buy extra guitar strings, but in true Loveletter fashion, when it's time to get on our second home you call the road . we feel like the luckiest people on earth.
It's been that way for the last two years.
I think about that as we celebrate two years as a band this month. The origin of our band is all over the Internet, it's been told. It doesn't take a history major to know we built it out of heartache with other lost musicians. I can look at the old pictures (when Neal was still doing shows with us). We all looked a lot younger and naive. I looked a lot sadder, heartbroken and lost. They say time heals all wounds. I say it's not just time. I say it's also good friends, and music - your music.
The music started out folky, with strange instruments. It was like a troubled teenager trying to find where it fit with the world. I still enjoy listening to it. It has since grown to a thriving, healthy beast of a band. Sometimes still with a folk element, but fully embracing the indie rock influence the band members come from, it is this music that lets us connect with people all over Texas. While some bands dream of being rock stars and playing huge stages, we have been content to win over people one song at a time. This is a formula that has worked, as we have walked onto stages in clubs, barns, pool halls, house parties, coffee shops and roadhouses, looking out over hostile crowds, and winning them over with a couple of songs about robots, whiskey or unrequited love. We have done this without ever compromising our style and constantly evolving to what we want to be.
Every time we play a show, we know we are lucky to have the chances we get. We know some bands would love to have our schedule. We know we get to share the music we write with people who would otherwise never hear it. Every time we get that honest reaction from a total stranger, we know it's been worth it.
That's what makes us want to keep doing more. After a couple of Texas tours, we are setting our sights for a West Coast tour this summer. It will easily be the hardest trek we have made (and the most fun). Instead of just writing another dozen songs for an album, we are writing a musical and working on having it produced for the stage (while also working on that elusive record that will finally capture our elusive stage presence) as well as another video.
The busy life has helped us in every aspect; professionally, our daytime employers grant us the leeway we need to go out and conquer the world, and musically we have made friends in clubs and stages all over the state. Locally, our bonds with local bands are strong, and it's good to hang out and watch your friends play on a night off. We have watched Victoria's indie music scene continue to thrive the past few years and have been honored to be a part of it.
It's a little strange to be typing this. I thought it would be easier to put into words how much this band has meant and continues to mean to me. I guess typing this and reflecting on it all, I feel a little more mature (at my age it's a wonder it's happened at all). I can still hear Danny's voice a few weeks ago ringing in my head, "We started a band to AVOID responsibility." While that may be true, it doesn't make us any less grateful for the experiences we have had.
I think about that as I look at that band picture we took as a group on our first "real" show. All nervous smiles, before we take the stage. I am clutching a beer in my hand and have a smirk, but my eyes are giving it away. If I had a time machine, I would go back and tell that guy that everything's going to be all right. But then again, maybe I wouldn't. It's the journey that has brought me to this point in the band's life. I wouldn't trade it for anything.