lovelytheband | Q&A

by Ottavia Brey

It’s been a mere three years since singer Mitchy Collins, guitarist Jordan Greenwald, and drummer Sam Price first came together to form their alt-pop group, lovelytheband, and yet, in that time, the band has already achieved undeniable success. Their debut album, finding it hard to smile, soared through the Alternative Album and New Artist Album charts, as did their catchy first single, broken (a fitting title for a song that broke Billboard’s Alternative Longevity Record with 75 weeks on the chart, and six consecutive weeks at #1). 

Following the momentum of their initial achievements, the group recently went on to win the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Award for Best New Rock / Alternative Rock Artist. Wanting to put their platform to good use, the trio released a music video for their current single, maybe, i’m afraid, in support of the Ad Council’s “Beyond I Do” campaign, advocating for LGBTQ rights in all 50 states. They also partnered with the Ally Coalition on various stops of their current “finding it hard to smile” headlining North American tour. To date, they’ve already played at BottleRock and Hangoutfest, and appeared onstage at Coachella with Dillon Francis for a performance of “Change Your Mind,” the track they collaborated on in May.

The band recently took time out of their touring schedule to sit down with Flaunt for an interview, where they spoke candidly about their recent partnerships, the inspiration for their new single, and the message they’re hoping to impart with their music and live shows. 

RAG & BONE   t-shirt,   BURBERRY   pants, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry.   ISABEL MARANT   t-shirt,   ACNE   jeans, and talent’s own accessories.     LEVI’S   shirt, talent’s own pants, talent’s own belt, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry.

RAG & BONE t-shirt, BURBERRY pants, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry. ISABEL MARANT t-shirt, ACNE jeans, and talent’s own accessories. LEVI’S shirt, talent’s own pants, talent’s own belt, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry.

How did you all get together, originally?

Mitchy Collins: Dating apps. No, I’m just kidding. I met Jordan through some friends of ours. Before this, I was starting a band, and then I was, like, “I have a bunch of songs—do you want to do this band with me?” and he was like, “Yeah, I’m down.” Then, Sam we met maybe four or five months later. He was actually at a show, so he was in the crowd. 

Sam Price: I’m the only one in the band to have ever watched the band play once.

MC: I invited him to the show that night. I was given his instagram, he had some friends, and we both wanted him in the band. After that, we had to come to the studio and finish what would be our debut EP, everything i could never say..., and then that evening, July 1st, he called and said, “Yeah, I’m down! Let’s do it!” Then, a week later, we hit the road for our first run of promo stuff, and we’ve been on tour ever since. 

Speaking of your first EP, both your debut album and first single did incredibly well in the charts. Could you talk a bit about getting such a massive reaction to your music in what seems like a relatively short time? 

MC: We’re thankful and blessed, and just happy to be here, doing what we’re doing. This doesn’t happen a lot in this short a time that we’ve been a band, the success we’ve had. We had hopes and aspirations for the band, but everything that’s happened so far has exceeded everything we could have envisioned for us. We’re just taking it day by day, and happy to keep doing it. 

You recently released a music video for your current single, “maybe, i’m afraid” in support of the Ad Council’s “Beyond I Do” campaign. What was that partnership like, and how did it come to be?

MC: We had been wanting to partner with an organization like Beyond I Do for a minute. We’ve always been in support, and the fact that it’s a conversation, still, in this country, and that anyone is anti-LGBTQ, is just bizarre. So, we speak out in support about it a lot, and in speaking to Beyond I Do, we learned a lot of things that were really troubling for us to hear. In 30 states in this country, it’s still legal to discriminate against a member of the LGBTQ community, whether that comes to housing or getting a job. By law, they can decline you for being a member of that group, and that’s crazy. Federally, obviously everybody can get married, but state by state it’s still a thing that people have to fight for, and there are still states that will deny marriage licences. It’s a really sad thing that people that are so insecure in their own way of being think that they have to stifle a whole group of people to make themselves feel better. Just love who you want to love. We thought it was important. We have a platform, and whether we’re helping in a grand way or a baby-step way, we’re happy to be here and to be raising our voices in support of it. 

THE KOOPLES   shirt, and talent’s own glasses.

THE KOOPLES shirt, and talent’s own glasses.

What was the inspiration for the song itself, and for the video that went along with it? 

MC: The song itself came from a place of me being scared of certain good aspects of my life, or things in myself, or people, just being scared to commit, whether that be relationships or opportunities or parts of myself that I just need to own. I knew a handful of people growing up that struggled coming out, being like, “Is this okay? What is my family going to think?” The song took on a new light once we came up with the concept for the video, and we’re happy that we were able to do what we did.

You also partnered with the Ally Coalition. What was that collaboration like?  

MC: We worked with them on a t-shirt for Pride Month. All proceeds go to their charity supporting LGBTQ youth and at-risk youth. We had them come and set up booths with different organizations that they work with on different stops on our tour, which is awesome; everything from, “Hey, how do I come out to my parents?” or pamphlets for at-risk LGBTQ youth in the area, or different ways you can help the community. It was a really special thing that we were happy to partner with and have on our shows and, again, one baby-step at a time will hopefully change the world for the better.

“maybe, i’m afraid” is currently #16 on Alternative Radio. How does it feel to know that that track is doing so well in the charts, and getting that kind of visibility? 

MC: I mean, we’re happy for every radio station that plays any of our songs. We’re just happy that our message is getting out there, and our songs are hopefully helping someone put words to a feeling that they might not have otherwise been able to put words to. 

You recently won the iHeartRadio Music Award for Best New Rock / Alternative Rock Artist. How important are those kind of accolades to you, if at all?

MC: It’s awesome. 

Jordan Greenwald: It’s fun to say. 

MC: It’s fun, and we’re really thankful and humbled that we were in categories with bands like Panic! at the Disco, Twenty One Pilots, and Imagine Dragons, especially being the new band, but I wouldn’t say “important” is the word. I’d say we’re happy, and we’re excited to have them. We get to wake up every day and play songs we love, and call that our job. I mean, we win already, so everything else is just icing on the cake. 

BEAUTIFUL FÜL   jacket,   TODD SNYDER   shirt, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry.

BEAUTIFUL FÜL jacket, TODD SNYDER shirt, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry.

You’re in the middle of your headlining North American tour. How is this tour comparing to the last so far?

MC: It’s awesome. Double the size, which is exciting. Headlining places for the first time, and seeing a lot of people come is exciting and a little bit shocking. I don’t know if that’s the word, but we headlined Atlanta for the first time on this tour, and we’d only ever played there at Music Midtown before, and we sold out the Buckhead Theater, which is, like, 1400 people, which is amazing to us, because, like I said, we’d never headlined there before.

SP: That was the biggest. 

MC: That was the biggest one of the tour. The shows keep getting better, the crowds keep getting bigger. 

SP: We did a nice bump to our production, and the whole live show and everything, just trying to bring more energy.

You also joined Dillon Francis onstage at Coachella. How was that experience?

MC: We put out a song with Dillon Francis, and he was gracious enough to invite us out to play with him at Coachella Weekend 1. We were able to play Change Your Mind, the song we did with him, which was a lot of fun. People ask us, “How was it?” and I was like, “I don’t remember.” I blacked out. I remember walking onstage and I remember walking offstage—that’s it. Zero recollection. 

JG: The atmosphere was pretty indescribable. I mean, for each of us, it was the first time playing in front of 60,000 or 70,000 people. It’s just ridiculous.

SP: I was lucky that Dillon’s team let me have this moment—I was elevated probably 20-25 feet in the air on my own little platform, so I was able to see out, and that is something so visceral that I’ll never forget. 

Do you have any other big festivals coming up?

MC: We just did Bunberry and Bottlerock. Boulevardia we’re playing in Kansas City, and then Summerfest.

ANY OLD IRON   jacket,   BLAKE HYLAND   shirt, and talent’s own jewelry.

ANY OLD IRON jacket, BLAKE HYLAND shirt, and talent’s own jewelry.

You’re heading out on your first headlining tour in the U.K. this fall, with additional stops in Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, and Stockholm. What are you most looking forward to with that tour? 

MC: I’m excited for it to be our own show, and to play longer than thirty minutes. The last show we played there, we opened, so we played thirty-minute sets. Also, now that we’re going back, we’re familiar with the cities and the countries a little bit more, so it’s a little bit less daunting, especially the non-English speaking countries. It’s gonna be cool to be like, “Oh, I’m gonna eat in this place again” or, “Let’s stay in this area again”.

SP: Opening up the city in Google Maps is not as like, “I have no idea what I’m looking at”. At least now I have somewhat of an understanding.

You were on American Idol recently. You mentored some of the contestants, and also got to sing “broken” with one of them. What was it like hearing someone else perform your music, and going through that mentorship process?

MC: Wade [Cota] was cool. Really sweet dude. He brought a very beautiful growl to our song. It was cool to watch him come alive onstage playing with us. I grew up watching that show, and then we got called to be on it. We thought we were just going to play, but the mentor thing was cool - getting to talk to the contestants that we worked with, hearing their story and what their hopes and dreams are to accomplish. It was definitely a cool experience.

SP: Also, like you mentioned, watching the show growing up and then seeing Mitchy mentoring and then being like, “Oh my god, I used to watch so-and-so mentoring someone,” and now it’s like...it’s cool.

MC: And plus, we met Lionel Ritchie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, so we all freaked out.

What’s a song that you can’t stop listening to right now?

SP: Hey, Ma, the new Bon Iver song. If I were to open my Spotify right now, it would have the repeat signal on it.

JG: The new Of Monsters and Men song, Alligator. It’s fire.

MC: Big fan of the new Sasha Sloan song, Thoughts.

What message do you want people to take away from your music and from your live shows?

MC: With our live shows, we like to feel that it’s an inclusive space, a safe space. There’s a lot going on with America right now. We like to feel that our shows can be a place of release for people. If they’re struggling with anything or having troubles in their life, they can come to our shows and just be free, and not have to worry about any other bulshit, and just let go. We’re really proud of that. Our fans are pretty great. There’s random people that come, though, that are not what we’re about, and it’s funny getting emails from them after hearing us speak onstage. But, we like to think that it’s a safe place, and with our music, we hope people can, like I said before, put words to feelings via our songs that maybe they couldn’t before, or find solace in knowing that they’re not alone in certain feelings, and that you’re human and it’s fine to feel things, and it’s fine to be sad, and it’s fine to be depressed, and anxious, and unsure of life, and heartbroken. You know, music helped us a lot—especially myself as a kid, in understanding my emotions and everything else in between—and we can only hope to help someone else in the same way.

RAG & BONE   t-shirt,   BURBERRY   pants, talent’s own shoes, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry.   LEVI’S   shirt, talent’s own belt, talent’s own pants, talent’s own shoes, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry.   ISABEL MARANT   t-shirt,   ACNE     jeans, talent’s own shoes, and talent’s own accessories.

RAG & BONE t-shirt, BURBERRY pants, talent’s own shoes, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry. LEVI’S shirt, talent’s own belt, talent’s own pants, talent’s own shoes, talent’s own glasses, and talent’s own jewelry. ISABEL MARANT t-shirt, ACNE jeans, talent’s own shoes, and talent’s own accessories.

Fri, JUN 28 American Family Insurance Amphitheater Milwaukee, WI

Sat, JUN 29 Golden Triangle District | Main stages at 11th & Acoma Denver, CO

Thu, JUL 11 Mod Club Theatre Toronto, Canada

Sat, JUL 13 Taste of Chicago / Petrillo Music Shell Chicago, IL

Fri, AUG 2 Petco Park San Diego, CA

Sat, AUG 3 Queen Mary Events Park Long Beach, CA

Sun, AUG 4 Petco Park San Diego, CA

Mon, SEP 2 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse, NY

Sat, SEP 28 Tower Theatre Oklahoma City, OK

Sun, SEP 29 THE BLUE NOTE - TABLE RESERVATIONS Columbia, MO

Sat, OCT 19 Shelby Farms Park Memphis, TN

Fri, NOV 8 The Academy, Middle Abbey Street Dublin, Ireland

Sun, NOV 10 Saint Luke's Glasgow, United Kingdom

Mon, NOV 11 Manchester Academy Manchester, United Kingdom

Tue, NOV 12 O2 Academy Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom

Wed, NOV 13 The Garage London, United Kingdom

Fri, NOV 15 LES ETOILES Paris, France

Sat, NOV 16 Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mon, NOV 18 VEGA - Musikkens Hus, Lille VEGA København V, Denmark

Tue, NOV 19 Parkteatret Scene Oslo, Norway

Thu, NOV 21 Fryshuset Stockholm, Sweden

Sun, NOV 24 Knust Hamburg, Germany

Mon, NOV 25 Musik & Frieden (ex Magnet Club) Berlin-altglienicke, Germany

Tue, NOV 26 Club Volta Köln, Germany


Photographed by MNM

Styled by Luca Kingston.

Grooming: Randi Petersen.