“I like that you’re broken / broken like me / Maybe that makes a fool” – that’s how lovelytheband begins “broken.” And really, it’s no surprise that the song – released in 2017 as their first single – has become such a hit (it’s been certified platinum and reached the top of multiple Billboard charts). So many of us deal with mental health issues like depression or anxiety, or struggle with insecurities and thoughts of feeling like we’re not good enough; who doesn’t want to find someone that understands just how messed up we are? On their 2018 debut album finding it hard to smile, they’re consistently honest, even when it’s uncomfortable, yet without wallowing in those feelings – and tracks like “maybe, i’m afraid” and “pity party” have the smooth appeal to reach those interested in alternative music, indie rock, or pop.
While they’ve been a band for just over two years (March 14th marked their second anniversary), things are going well for lovelytheband. Following the initial success of “broken,” they’ve released two more singles: “these are my friends” and “maybe, I’m afraid.” They won the iHeartRadio Music Award for Best New Rock/Alternative Artist, and at the end of March, they released “Change Your Mind,” a collaboration with Dillon Francis, whom Collins calls “an animal, he’s so talented and hilarious and [an] all-around good guy.” They were also filmed for the TV show Front and Center, as well as This is the Year, a coming-of-age movie by David Henrie. Oh, and lovelytheband are nominated for two Billboard Awards: Top Rock Artist, and Top Rock Song for “broken.”
Following a recent tour support 5 Seconds of Summer in Europe, lovelytheband will be heading out on their second headlining tour this spring. Substream recently talked to lovelytheband about the Billboard nomination, touring, and talking (and writing) about things that aren’t easy to talk about.
SUBSTREAM: Lovelytheband has had so much going on lately; yesterday, you announced that you’re nominated for two Billboard Awards- Top Rock Artist and Top Rock Song for “broken.” How does it feel to be nominated? You’re up against some pretty crazy names, like Queen.
Mitchy Collins: It’s definitely wild. Things keep happening that we’re like, “Are you sure you have the right band?”. We’re really fortunate, just blessed, and happy to be in good company, but definitely seeing that one that’s in the same ranking up against Queen – [and] all the other acts too, like twenty one pilots and Panic! At The Disco, Imagine Dragons – it’s crazy to see our name in that list.
SUBSTREAM: I bet it feels pretty good. You’re a relatively young band, in that the album has been out not even a year, but you’ve played in some other projects over the years. Has lovelytheband felt any different from the start then things you’ve done in the past?
MC: Yeah, definitely. It’s been… a lot less stressful, I guess.
SUBSTREAM: How so?
MC: I got a good team around me, my best friend’s my manager, it’s a lot easier this time around, a lot less stressful. I made all the mistakes already, and [now I’m] learning from my past and what I did wrong and what I shouldn’t do again. It’s been a lot smoother and working with your friends is always great.
SUBSTREAM: The first single that you released, “broken”, went Platinum and had a lot of success on the charts, and what I’ve found really interesting is that not only did the song do really well but it’s continued to get a lot of attention and people seem to be really grabbing on to it. What do you think it is about either that song in particular or your band in general, that has not only allowed people to grab on quickly but to really keep them interested?
MC: I can’t really speak to that – I’m not our fans, you know, I only make the music – but what I can speak to is… I think that we cover – at least we try to cover – a lot of topics that are sometimes a little bit difficult to talk about, [and] from what we see, is our fans [are] relating to the words and finding solace in the fact that they’re not alone in feeling the way that they’re feeling. We were able to put words to the feelings that maybe they didn’t know how to verbalize. We’re fortunate that we could help in any way. Music was a big part of helping me as a kid, so that’s all we can ask for. As far as “broken”… we’re lucky and very fortunate that it’s become part of a conversation about mental health that’s taken too long to have in this country. It’s finally getting a little bit destigmatized, and the dialogue’s finally starting to happen a little bit. That’s definitely a good thing, because most people deal with it, whether they know it or not.
SUBSTREAM: Definitely, I think it’s pretty widespread – and whether that’s something that’s a diagnosis like depression or bipolar or anxiety, or it’s someone that’s dealing with a lot of insecurities or stress that everyone deals with. Your lyrics are honest but without being super sulky and just like, “I’m gonna cry in my room all day.” You’re pretty honest about a lot of insecurities and anxieties, and vocal about mental health; have you always felt so comfortable in talking about that?
MC: Oh, I’m definitely not comfortable talking about it at all – that’s why I write music.
SUBSTREAM: So writing music is easier than talking about it?
MC: Oh, for sure. A lot of times to the point where – not to be too California, universe-y… this is gonna sound very head-y, but I don’t go in and write a song, they come when they wanna come. When I’m writing words, I never really know what the song’s about until it’s done, because it’s like my mind is flowing and my heart, or my consciousness, whatever, my subconscious, getting out things that need to be gotten out – and then after the song’s done I’m like, “Oh, okay – that’s what this is about.”
SUBSTREAM: I feel like the fact that it’s sometimes really subconscious is almost what allows things to be universal, if that makes sense.
MC: Yeah! I think honesty is the best policy- be yourself, talk about what you need to talk about. Odds are, someone can relate.
SUBSTREAM: Genre-wise, the phrase that I’ve frequently seen to describe your music is “alt-pop,” which is a really cool combination in that you appeal to these “scene kids,” the Hot Topic kids, but you also appeal to people interested in pop music and people interested in indie rock. Growing up and when you first started making music, did you feel like there was any one place that you really belonged in?
MC: I had a pretty stereotypical high school situation – guy in a band, got picked on, whatever. I felt like when I really came into my own was when I discovered bands like Green Day and Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional and went to my first Warped Tour. I was like, “wow, this is a community of people like me.” It was really cool to feel that, and I sense a little bit of that at our shows, with our fans, and interacting with them online. It’s cool to see kids making friends at the shows, making friends because they’re fans of us, and people are trying to go to shows that don’t have buddies to go to a show with so they find other fans online, and they build some friendships out of it; it’s really cool.
SUBSTREAM: You’ve been pretty busy on the road recently; you just toured with 5 Seconds of Summer over in Europe. Can you tell me about what it was like touring with them?
MC: Oh, it was awesome – those are some of my best friends in the whole world, so it was so much fun. Seeing new places [you’ve] never been before with your friends is always the best. Touring with friends is great because it cuts out the whole awkward summer camp thing where [you’re] meeting people and tiptoeing, like, “hey, is it cool if I sit here for lunch?”. It’s just instant good vibes and good hangs.
SUBSTREAM: Right, you already have that dialogue, that bond together.
MC: And their fans are wild, so the shows are awesome. Their fans are so excited about anything that they put their hands on or are affiliated with, and they’re so cool about researching who’s opening and learning the bands, and really indulging themselves in the culture of whatever those guys are in to. It’s awesome. So that was just the icing on the cake – touring with your friends, and the shows were unreal.
SUBSTREAM: That’s super cool. And I’ve definitely been to shows where you get a band and – frequently it’s the bands not like 5 Seconds of Summer, the bands that will appeal to an older, more subdued crowd – sometimes those people, an opener goes on, and they’re like, “alright, when does my favorite band go on” – so it’s cool to see when fans will get really hyped about the openers.
Coming up this spring you have a headlining tour. Your first headlining run was last fall; what did you learn from that first time headlining, and what do you think you’ll do differently this time around? Or will you do anything differently?
MC: We learned how to put on a proper show, which was exciting. It [was] our first time headlining and this time I think we’re going to amp it up, make it the best lovelytheband show yet – new lights, new production, new takes on songs. It’ll be cool.
SUBSTREAM: As we’ve been talking about, you’ve had so many exciting things going on, it’s a busy time for sure with achievement after achievement; but when you have so much going on, how do you stay centered and focused, when there are – at least from an outside perspective – so many things to work on and to be thinking about?
MC: One day at a time, you know. You can’t really do much more than that, just take it one day at a time. [I’m] trying to wrap my head around getting to work on some new music for the next record and… just taking the breaks as they come and enjoying what we’re doing when we’re doing it.
lovelytheband will be on tour this spring, as well as performing at several festivals. A list of all upcoming shows is below; head to their website for tickets.
lovelytheband ‘finding it hard to smile’ Tour Dates:
*Flora Cash and Jagwar Twin will be support for the tour*
~Without Jagwar Twin
=With New Dialogue
April 17 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
April 19 – Vancouver, BC – Imperial
April 20 – Seattle, WA – Neptune
April 23 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
April 24 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep
April 26 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown
April 27 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
April 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
April 30 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe @ Old National Center
May 1 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
May 2 – Toronto, ON – The Mod Club
May 3 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
May 6 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
May 7 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
May 8 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
May 9 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground
May 10 – Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theater
May 11 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
May 13 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
May 15 – Austin, TX – Scoot Inn
May 16 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
May 21 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre
May 22 – San Francisco – August Hall
May 23 – Sacramento – Ace of Spades
May 25 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
May 29 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues =
May 30 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room =
June 19 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues =
June 20 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE~ =
June 21 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theater~ =
June 25 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony =
June 27 – Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection =
lovelytheband summer 2019 Festival Dates:
May 18 – Hangout Festival – Gulf Shores, AL
May 19 – Love Street Music Festival – Houston, TX
May 24 – BottleRock Napa Valley – Napa, CA
May 26 – Neon Desert Music Festival – El Paso, TX
June 2 – Bunbury Music Festival – Cincinatti, OH
June 7 – Tast of Fort Collins – Fort Collins, CO
June 15 – Boulevardia – Kcmo, MO
June 23 – Firefly Music Festival – Dover, DE
June 28 – Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI
June 29 –Westword Music Showcase – Denver, CO
September 2 – New York State Fair – Syracuse, NY