Candy Hearts' Mariel Loveland on Touring with New Found Glory: "It's a Dream Come True."
Only together for a little over two years, the New Jersey and New York-based band, Candy Hearts is quickly making a name for themselves in the music scene. A little bit of '90s indie rock mixed in with pop punk, the Candy Hearts sound is just about as addictive as the treats for which they're named. Having just released a brand new EP, The Best Ways to Disappear, produced by New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert, the band hits the road as a supporting act on NFG's Sticks and Stones 10th Anniversary Tour.
One-fourth of Candy Hearts, singer Mariel Loveland, spoke to New Times about being a girl in the punk scene, her Lifetime movie drinking game, and dealing with Hurricane Sandy.
New Times: Congratulations on the release of your new EP. Do you feel differently about the material on this album in comparison to the older ones?
Mariel Loveland: Thank you. Yeah. I feel like the stuff on this album, at least lyrically, is more private, versus the other stuff that I wrote about was more, um, happier content I guess. [Laughs.] It was more stories that I love to share with my friends, and things that I went through with my friends. This album is more about just myself and a little bit more private, I guess I would say.
What made you decide to make that switch in content?
Well, I wrote it at a time home alone a lot. We had just come back, and I had moved out of my mom's house, and I was living with my sister. She's never home cause she works a lot. So, I was at home writing these songs by myself, and after we got back from tour I sort of decided I wanted to finish the record. I spent a lot of time reflecting, and writing these lyrics, which is I guess why it came out this way.
You worked with Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory on the record, how did this all come together? What made you want to work with him?
Well, he's great! I dunno! [Laughs.] We love New Found Glory, and I've loved them forever, since I was younger. So, when he offered to produce our stuff, I was like, "Obviously!" There's nobody else I rather work with. He approached me online, saying he had heard the record in the van, and that he wanted to produce us. And I didn't have any demos at the time, so I just kinda sat on it. But, then I met up with him when they played in New York, he invited us to his show and we went. That was awesome. A few months later, he found out we were going on tour with one of the bands from that show, and we started talking again. I sent him what I had and it just kind of went from there.
And you're going out on tour with them for the Sticks and Stones anniversary, has this all been so surreal for you?
Yes! It's a dream come true. I wonder what it's going to be like. We've never done a tour this big, or played in front of that many people. Maybe once or twice. It's not a usual thing for us. So, I've been trying to think about what it's going to be like and if it'll match up.
Do you guys tour regularly?
We've been touring pretty regularly since September. I know it's only November, but we have the rest of the year planned out. We take little breaks because it isn't the paying the bills, yet. So, hopefully it will be soon.
I know you were doing writing, and into journalism. But, do you ultimately just want to be a full time musician?
Yes. Well, the good thing about that was it allowed me to do this.
On the topic of your writing, last year you wrote a really interesting essay about being a female in the punk scene. Can you tell me a little about that?
It's weird because I feel like girls should be treated just like the guys to an extent. But, there are just some things that people don't realize are different for you even though they see you as one of the guys. Like, if we're in Detroit, and I need to get something from the car, I can't go alone. Stuff like that. Or you might not be able to carry as much as stuff as your bandmates. It's just little things, that make you realize and understand that you have to be treated differently because it is different.
Has there been a backlash toward you for taking that stance?
Yeah. I mean, I remember when that came out, a lot of people emailed me and said I was what was wrong with feminism. People were angry, and some understood. I wrote it so people who normally don't think about those things, boys who don't understand necessarily what it's like, so I tried to write it in a way they would.
In the essay, you mentioned an experience with a producer asking you to take your clothes off. This really happened to you?
Yes. That article was all my experiences, personally. I can't speak for how anyone else has been treated, so I just spoke about what I've gone through. But, yes, absolutely that happened to me. It was infuriating.
Wow. That's really terrible.
Yeah... I cursed the guy out.
On a different note, you've spoke about your love for '90s bands like Jawbreaker. Do you wish you were a band in that decade?
Yes. Oh my God. [Laughs.] I totally wish that. It's all the type of music that I listen to with a few other types mixed in.
What other bands would you credit as being an inspiration to you?
I love the Lemonheads, the Weakerthans, and the Gin Blossoms. I feel like this is really apparent in our music.
Being that you're from New Jersey, how did Hurricane Sandy affect you and your family?
Oh God, it was the worst. It was horrible. When the hurricane hit, we were playing Fest in Florida, it hit the day we were supposed to come home. So, we were driving home, and we had to stop in Virginia for the night because it was raining too hard. The next day, when were dropping people off at their homes in New Jersey, every exit we went off was blocked my a powerline or a tree. It was like driving in a maze. When I finally got back, I couldn't get into the city because they weren't letting anyone in since it was completely flooded. They had to send the national guard in which was crazy. So, I went to go stay with my mom who didn't have power for a while. My apartment was fine, since I live on the fourth floor, but the entire first floor of the building was completely gutted. The entire city was underwater. It was really weird driving into New York City after being in Florida and not seeing any of the lights on or anything. Completely black, it was so weird.
How long was it until you were able to go back?
Well, I still haven't. None of the public transit is running. I was in a hotel with my mom for awhile, and then I just went back out on tour. I haven't seen my bed in so long.
Oh, man. That's horrible. On a lighter note... Do you have any guilty pleasures like reality TV or Twilight?
Oh my god. So many things. Let me think. When I'm home, I watch Lifetime movies all day, literally all day. I even have a Lifetime movie drinking game that nobody wants to play with me because they don't want to watch them with me.
What is the game?
It's really good. You drink every time there is a woman who has a struggle, and if that struggle leads to her meeting other women who have gone through the same struggle, you take another drink. If that struggle leads to a court case or these women speak out, you have to drink again. If the struggle has to do with an abusive man, you drink again. If there is cheerleaders in it, you have to drink. All this stuff really happens in these movies.
Oh, I know. I love a good Lifetime movie. As long as it has Tori Spelling in it.
Yes. They are the best.
I also read that you're a fan of Taylor Swift. . .
I love her. We all love her. Our band loves her.
Are there any pop singers that people would be surprised that you guys like?
Well, we love Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, and even Ke$ha. I really like Bruno Mars a lot.
Did you see the Katy Perry movie?
No. Not yet. I knew if I saw it, it'd make me cry. And when it was in theaters, I didn't want to be that girl crying in the theater to the Katy Perry movie.
What has been the most rewarding part so far about being in the music industry?
I think the most rewarding part is when I hear people tell us or read online, when they say that one of our songs feels like something they're going through. I mean, and this probably sounds totally lame to say, but that's the kind of thing that keeps me making music. Like, I know I'm making music because I'm going through something and it makes me feel a certain way, and it completely validates what I do when I find out that someone is experiencing the same thing.
Do you read a lot of stuff that is written about you guys or do you try to stay away from it?
It really depends. I like to read Facebook and Tumblr and Twitter a lot because I want to be in touch with anyone who wants to speak to us. But, if it something like a video we've done, I try not to watch those because I always feel a little weird about it.
Do you ever deal with negativity from people?
Yes. A lot. I mean, overall, it's positive. But, there are just some people who are absurdly mean. Like, I read somewhere that a person wanted me to get cancer so I would stop singing.
Yup. Like they wanted me to get cancer in my throat, and then die shortly after. So, that happens. It's crazy. My mom was like, "I'm calling up Bridge 9 if you get more comments like this." [Laughs.]
Looking to the future, what's next for the band?
Well, we're definitely going to release a full length probably next year at some point. I started writing a little bit for it when we got back from our last tour. So, we will see what happens. We're not going to rush it. But, I always put a lot of pressure on myself to release something every year.
New Found Glory Sticks and Stones 10 Year Anniversary Tour with Candy Hearts and The Story So Far. Sunday, December 16, at Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25.
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