Interview || The One With Jacob Rice of Superlove

 Bristol's Superlove have recently released their brand new EP titled "...But For The Moment". A few days before that, we had the chance to chat with singer/bassist Jacob Rice about the anticipated new material and the band's reality during the pandemic.

U: Superlove is about to release your new EP, "...But For The Moment". How are you feeling?
Jacob Rice:
Very excited! This one we wouldn't have done if it weren't for the UK in lockdown. We wouldn't have written this music, we wouldn't have put it out, it wouldn't have existed. We had plans to crack on with some new music, maybe write stuff for an album, and then that [got] thrown out of the window and then we were forced back to our home set up, so we thought "what can we do from our individual houses?". I'm quite lucky to have recording stuff here in my house and Jon also has a similar set up so we can send ideas back and forth, which is really productive. It feels really cool to put something out at what was supposed to be the end of the UK lockdown but something uplifting, something fun and a bit experimental for us. There are songs on the EP that we wouldn't have put out if it weren't for the lockdown and the world being where it is right now. 

I would hope people like what we put together; it feels more to me like a playlist or a bunch of experimentation thrown into an EP. That's what it was supposed to be anyway and that's why it's called "...but for the moment"; we can't give people what we want to right now so we'll just give [them] this instead.

U: I wanted to touch on the experimentation on this EP because the first time I listened to the intro to "btw i adore u" I honestly thought that Spiritbox had hijacked the song. Then the verse came and it was a stark contrast, I loved it. What have been your inspiration sources behind the compositions?
I'm glad you had that reaction because that is one of the best reactions to get. The first time I heard Jon throw these two ideas together I laughed because this was just ridiculous. The influences come straight from people like Charli XCX who me and Jon love so much -her latest album she worked on during the first lockdown is incredible... With the riff I just wanted to write something that was [musically] chromatic, to write something that was heavy and catchy. I don't know where that influence comes from but there's a lot of heavy music out at the moment and I think it's an accumulation of all of that. 

U: I think it's impossible to not ask; what are your inspirations in general as a group?
Again, Charli XCX, The 1975 and people like that on that side of pop... We started this band because of Lower Than Atlantis so they're a massive influence for us, bands like Meshuggah will always be a heavier influence, just a little bit of everything I'd say. And then maybe something like Busted and McFly, who we grew up listening to.

U: (laughs) I didn't see that last part coming. How did the pandemic affect your writing process?

J.R.: The writing has been a bit different because normally either myself or Jon would come up with an idea from home and then we'd send it to each other and work on it from there. But I think being able to meet up and actually be in the room together and look at a screen together and listen to this song together has always been a good thing for us, we can suggest a few things we wouldn't have the time to think more. That affected it quite a lot because I had to wait for Jon's opinion on something I'd written and he'd have to wait for mine. That waiting I think makes me doubt what I may be listening to. To have that was kind of a good thing, kind of a bad thing, but I think it [turned out] to be more experimental.

U: The result is actually very rewarding. You guys are about to release new music while the world is at a critical point. How important is it for you to provide people with art they can relate to and maybe ease what they could be going through?

J.R.: I feel that, instead of writing about what the world is actually going through, just to try and write something to distract people. All our lyrics are very conversational; if people miss in on that face to face conversation we used to have, putting that in a song could be very comforting for people so, instead of dwelling in all the badness that's happening write something positive because it feels when listening to the song, that you can imagine having a conversation. I think a lot of people writing songs would say the same. We just want to write something fun to make someone smile or laugh.

U: And with shows picking up again, you have a tour coming up in August. I'm guessing you're pretty stoked to be playing live again after all this time.
Definitely! I hope it goes ahead because we've had many gigs postponed already (laughs) We toured for a couple of years before releasing our first EP and we had to play most songs on that first EP live because we didn't have a lot of songs out and no one knew them. [That EP] was released last year during the pandemic, to now go on tour, people have heard the songs  and maybe lived with them for a bit. That would be really fun to see, how they go down live because like I said, we were playing them and no one knew them and now to have 8 more songs out by the time we tour, that should be really cool! And to see if our singalong choruses actually resonate live because if they don't, I'll have to rethink a lot of what we've been writing (laughs)

U: What do you miss the most about shows?
I think the half-an-hour or the hour that you get to play and all the talk in between the songs, it's so funny. Instead of promoting something or mumbling down the mic, I like to have a laugh with Jon and just talk as if no one else is there. We would talk to each other through our microphones and a PA system so that's always pretty fun and we always think of little things we could say in-between. It's hilarious when it flops or it just doesn't work, and then I stand there in front of the mic and I'm like "OK, we can move back to the song".

After the show we get to chat to a few people who maybe haven't heard us before, so that's really cool too. Maybe they buy a t-shirt, maybe they buy a CD and that's pretty cool! I didn't grow up going to shows and doing that so it's insane seeing people do that. That, I definitely miss.

U: What is passion for you? How would you define it?

J.R.: I feel that as long as it feels effortless, then that's your passion -or what you're supposed to be doing. Me and Jon have got a lot of similarities when it comes to things we have in common and things we love doing, and we love writing nonsense music together. Since starting this band I've found out that that's where my passion lies. My passion was guitar and casual songwriting, but now I've found out it's production. In five years I might find something else but as long as it feels natural and effortless and you have the best laugh doing it, that's your passion.

U: If Superlove were members of the Spice Girls, what would be your Spice Names?
Jon would be Scatty Spice because he's all over the place. We just got back from a small writing trip together and he just leaves his stuff everywhere -sorry Jon! And you know he's entered in a room because stuff follows him! 
I would probably be Cleanliness Spice because I'm going behind him and picking it all up. 

U: If you could have a one-minute phone conversation with a younger you, what age would you call and what would you tell yourself?
I'd probably go back to when I was two and sing myself a nursery rhyme or something just so my mum could have some sleep or sit down because I was probably very exhausted. So I would calm my baby self (long pause) I could have gone for something musical...

U: We are done! Do you have any final words?
Thank you very much for having me! Just listen to the EP and don't hate us too much because there's not so many guitar songs in there, we're just trying something out, I'm sorry.

Superlove's "...But For The Moment" EP is out now via Rude Records.

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