Local Spotlight: Love Sequence

by Logan Lanphere (First Avenue Marketing Intern)

This week, I sat down with the guys of the Minneapolis pop outfit Love Sequence to talk about their goals as a band, their latest EP, and their upcoming show at 7th St Entry on Monday, July 31. They’ll be supporting Early Eyes (you can check out my conversation with them here).

Love Sequence is Bobby Rethwish (vocals, guitar), Marcus Findley (bass), Nolan Sawyer Watts (lead guitar, keys), and Grant Gabriel (drums). Their musical interests range from Michael Jackson and Prince to Rush and King Crimson. Their unique brand of pop has emerged from this diverse range of influences, but it didn’t start that way. The band went “through a few incarnations before we got to Love Sequence. It kind of started with Grant and I, in a progue band,” says Rethwish. Findley adds, “It was the first time we moved into pop music,” when Love Sequence finally formed about two years ago. Watts joined a year later, branching out from his funk-rock roots. He told me, “It’s still funky, but it’s just a different flavor and it did take some convincing (to join a pop band), that’s a fair word.”

Last November, Love Sequence released their debut EP Look At Me, which was recorded in various studios across Minneapolis. With this first effort, the goal was to put out the best five songs they had. Rethwish explains: “we really loved these songs that we felt represented us at the time, so we thought they deserved the full treatment.” Since then, the band has played consistent gigs, aside from a brief hiatus while Findley recovered from wrist surgery. That down-time gave them a bit of space to write new music, and now they have their next few releases planned for the future. They’ll be playing plenty of that new music at their upcoming shows.

It was apparent during our conversation that these guys have put a lot of effort into understanding the potential power of their music. Every note and word is intentional. Says Gabriel: “When I think of our sound, it’s always been like a dream you can’t quite remember.” This sense of ambiguity is something the band has always aspired to create. Rethwish is intentional in the way he approaches writing music: “Everybody’s got this foot in the door with pop music, so that gives me permission to write more exposing and troubling lyrics. Because if you can relate to the sound of it, then I can give you something more interesting. Like in stand-up comedy you can say the most truly offensive things, but if you can make them laugh or (in their case) dance, you can open them up to your neurosis.”

The band’s gigantic-sounding and easily-digestible pop songs allow them to insert heavy lyrics in each song. In Gabriel’s words, “whatever emotion that song is going to make you feel, it makes you feel it so quickly and thoroughly that you can’t hide it. I want our music to almost demand that reaction.” It’s a tall order to capture emotions and put them into words that have the desired impact, but these four talented musicians have taken extreme care in crafting each song to inspire listeners to evaluate themselves and their own emotions.

Love Sequence has played shows with a unique array of bands that are sometimes very different from them, but they’ve found a way to resonate with all kinds of audiences. Says Watt, “I think that it’s fun to have a scene that we have a hard time calling a scene because you do get so much variation, and you learn to appreciate what everyone’s doing when it’s so different.” That’s what the local music culture is about: celebrating our differences and our artistic endeavors with one another.

Love Sequence is a young dream pop band with large-scale ambitions and a sound meant to move you both physically and spiritually. Rethwisch sums it up best: “If you want to dance you can dance. If you want to be existential and think about spirituality, you can do that. If you want to get turned on, you can do that.” Don’t miss their opening sent for Hardcastle and Early Eyes at 7th St Entry July 31. Snag some tickets here!

Footnote: For fun, I asked the guys what they’ve been listening to lately, and Findley exclaimed, “Pinegrove, They’re so fucking good. I love them so much.” Lucky for us, Pinegrove headlines the Entry this October!