by Maddy Siiter
The two members of the alternative-rock band Loop Line may exist long distance between Minneapolis and Arizona, but that doesn’t keep them from continuing to write and release music. I recently caught up with Paul and Luke over email to discuss making music over the Internet and how to avoid music videos looking like jerky commercials.
GMN: Introduce yourselves! Who is who and who plays what?
Paul: Hello, we are Loop Line. We’re actually just two people, Luke and Paul. We both play guitar and sing, and we collaborate on the rhythm section stuff as well. We haven’t really played any shows lately, but if we did, it would probably be me on rhythm guitar, Luke on lead guitar, both of us on vocals, and a couple dudes off the street to play drums and bass.
Luke: It’s just the two of us when we’re recording, so we wear many hats. Our roles used to be more defined; I used to write more of the lyrics while Paul wrote more of the arrangements, but I’d say we have equal input in both those areas now.
GMN: You’re a fairly up and coming band, so how did you get your start?
Paul: We were in a band before this one, and realized that our musical tastes were pretty in line with each other. As more and more music was written for that band, we became writing partners over time. When that band dissolved, we wanted to continue writing music, so we started Loop Line.
GMN: What’s the creative process like over the Internet versus face to face? Has that been the process with your last two EPs?
Paul: Our first LP Tides was some of the stuff left over from our previous band, but we also had individually been writing a lot of new stuff. When we sat down and listened to it all, we noticed some things thematically that could be connected. Around that time, Luke moved to Japan, so we took those demos we had and slowly worked on them by emailing files back and forth. We actually did a lot of work via the now-defunct Google Wave. We had all this stuff documented on Google Wave, and then they shut it down, annihilating the documentation of the recording of that LP. Kind of sad. R.I.P Google Wave. For our EP Wakes, we only had to coordinate four songs, instead of the 21 songs on our LP. It was a much easier process, so we just used email to share notes and files.
Luke: Our process is pretty similar whether we’re working together in the same room or online. It probably takes longer online, but I think the songs end up in the same place they would if we were working together in the same room.
GMN: Was there any music from your childhood/teen years that influenced your sound now? Did you play in bands in high school? (if you are older than high school age..)
Paul: I grew up on classic rock mixed with some pop radio, but there were always bands that my mom played that I was especially fond of: The Cars, The Police, The Outfield, R.E.M., among others. As I got older, I still appreciated the older rock, but got into the 90s rock scene of Weezer, Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, and then got really into the early 2000s rock scene. The Strokes, The Hives, The Vines, White Stripes. After that rock scene cooled down, I took a deep dive into the Beatles and Beach Boys catalogs. That’s when I was really inspired to start writing my own music. I never really had a band in high school. I was a late bloomer musically.
Luke: I was really into punk in high school, but the energy and attitude of those bands have stuck with me more than the sound. Although sometimes I’ll randomly listen to a record I was really into in high school and realize that there is a melody or something that I’ve subconsciously stolen and put into one of our songs. I was in a high school band, but we didn’t play out much, mostly because there was nowhere for us to play.
GMN: Your first single off of your new EP Wakes is “Parts Unknown,” which you released a video for featuring a camping adventure gone wrong. Where did that idea come from?
Paul: I do some work with a film group, and asked if they’d like to help us do a music video for the EP. One of the guys said he had this idea for a campsite that gets wrecked by a sasquatchian monster, and I told him we had a song that might actually work with that. We then worked that idea together with the song, and it just kind of fit. We actually didn’t decide to shoot it like a b-movie until the morning of the shoot, and it’s a good thing we did. I can’t imagine what it would have been had we not made it look like a 70s film. Probably would have just looked like a Jacks Link’s “Messin’ with Sasquatch” commercial.
GMN: Has there been a show that you’ve played that’s been the most memorable so far?
Paul: Well…we’ve played one show, haha. So technically, it is the most memorable show we’ve ever played. It was before we had recorded our first LP. We played songs that didn’t even have lyrics yet, so looking back, it was a very weird thing to do. It was at the Kitty Kat Club in Dinkytown. I think going into some of the songs, I didn’t even know what I was going to sing. Good thing no one was there! Our old band played at THE GARAGE a few times. Our mic stand might still be back there; I think we forgot it.
GMN: Do you have a go-to favorite local band right now?
Luke: Love Lake released one of my favorite records of the last few years (Beachmaster). I don’t know if they’re together any more. We also both love Cesto, which was a band from Rochester, MN that broke up a decade ago. Maybe that reference is a little too local. They should have been huge.