Last Friday, I started my weekend off right with Pancakes & Whiskey at Brooklyn’s lovely Le Barricou. Over the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had and Jameson, I chatted with James Langlois of The Love Ways.
P+W: What brought you guys together? Tell us a little about the background of the Love Ways.
James: The 4 of us went to high school together in Goshen, N.Y. We all went separate ways for college then came back together. We didn’t have a drummer, but we randomly found this guy from England who is now our drummer. So we are basically four high school friends and some dude from England.
P+W: Does the accent get him all the ladies?
James: Well he started out in America, then moved to England so he has this weird hybrid accent.
P+W: But he can pull that card out when he needs to.
James: He definitely does pull that card out to get the ladies.
P+W: Tell us a little about the inspiration behind the name, The Love Ways.
James: We were thinking something poppy, cool and catchy, but then it was at odds with our music. It sounded like we were this five piece Motown dancing group, which we thought was funny. But it contrasts with our music which is darker and rockier. So it seemed like a good move.
P+W: What artists inspire your sound?
James: The Replacements, Cloud Nothings, Dinosaur Jr., and the Strokes.
P+W: So you just released the Vacant Years EP. Great 3 tracks. Tell us the inspiration behind this one.
James: We had a whole backlog of songs and were finally able to get into the studio in New Paltz, with someone we really wanted to work with. Kevin McMahon produced Titus Andronicus, which is one of our favorite bands. It was all recorded in a barn which was a cool vibe and it was much more of an organized process than last time. A lot of the lyrical content is based around my experience with a relationship. It’s an expression of experience, not trying to dwell too much. It’s more about looking forward to the future in a not totally downer way.
P+W: How does your first single “Avalanche Kids” tie into the relationship side of things?
James: It just describes the very quick way that things can just turn on a dime. It snowballed.
P+W: Any relationship advice? Having gone through this experience and having written an album about it.
James: Be in something you really want to be in.
P+W: That’s what she said.
[Brief interuption: Salt-N-Peppa’s “Shoop” plays in the background. A quick dance party ensues]
P+W: What are you looking forward to about this week’s Pancakes & Whiskey show?
James: Infinity Girls and the Rotaries are just awesome bands and we’re so excited to be playing with them! We’ve also never played the Knitting Factory before so we’re just super excited about this. And of course, free whiskey. That says it all right there!
P+W: What are your favorite NYC/Brooklyn venues? Or where would you like to play that you haven’t?
James: Glasslands, Death by Audio, unfortunately they’re done in 2 weeks. We just played Silent Barn which was amazing. Our favorite show was at Matchless. It’s just such a fun place.
P+W: If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
James: Probably trying to be a writer–fiction, a novelist I assume. I write all the lyrics. It would definitely be my main focus.
P+W: And on a current celebrity drama note: Jack White or Dave Grohl?
James: Definitely Dave Grohl
Post interview, James & I hit Williamsburg for some more whiskey, sans pancakes. Between deep discussions on Senses Fail concerts with Kirby, our favorite bartender at Williamsburg’s Jackbar, Harry Potter pinball, and blasting Blink 182, Pancakes & Whiskey and the Love Ways are good friends indeed.
For more info on the Love Ways, check them out here. And be sure to not miss this Friday’s Pancakes & Whiskey show at the Knitting Factory with FREE Four Roses Bourbon to the first 50 people in the door and then will be discounted after! RSVP here.
Article by: Lindsey Gardner
Photos by: Shayne Hanley