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ATP! Interview: Mariel Loveland (Candy Hearts)

While catching up with Alter The Press, Mariel Loveland diagnoses her room as a total disaster. “It’s actually shocking… I have two suitcases packed at the moment, one from two tours ago and one from the one we just came back from.” Between taking her band Candy Hearts on the road with pop/rock favorites We Are The In Crowd, recording a highly-anticipated full length, and releasing an enormously catchy new single, it’s no wonder why Loveland is a tad bit behind on her laundry.

Before adventuring on tour with We Are The In Crowd, Loveland knew that the upcoming shows would be drastically different from those that Candy Hearts had played in the past. Regularly finding themselves sharing the stage with pop-punk bands, members of Candy Hearts would often receive negative feedback on their music from the audience. “Of course I love playing pop-punk tours, cause you have that sort of cross-over, but it’s like at every pop-punk show there’s kids who are open to the kind of music we play, and the kids that absolutely can’t stand it.” Thinking back to being on the road with WATIC, Loveland expresses, “It was amazing!” She continues, “Everybody was so receptive and so nice, and it was just really exciting.”

Loveland tells us that writing Candy Hearts’ new album, titled All The Ways You Let Me Down, began as a slow process that involved momentarily shutting out the world. Once more than 20 songs were drafted, the band would come together to rehearse in anticipation of recording with New Found Glory guitarist and production expert Chad Gilbert. “It was great, he has such great ideas, and I think we work really well together,” Loveland recalls of studio time with Gilbert, “I really appreciate that he took us under his wing.” When asked if we will hear any special guests on the record, Loveland excitedly announces that Gilbert’s bandmate Jordan [Pundik] had contributed vocals on a song. She states, “I remember listening to Jordan’s voice growing up, being like, ‘I wish someone would write a song like this about me!’”

Featuring the newly released single “I Miss You,” All The Ways You Let Me Down follows the singer through the complete stages of a relationship from beginning to end. Loveland explains, “It’s like the whole span of being single, finding someone, and then that kind-of falling apart.” She resolves that it doesn’t scare her to share personal stories with strangers but does admit that the situation would be different if the subjects of the lyrics discovered her work. Genuine sincerity can be heard in Loveland’s voice as she tells us that she greatly respects everyone who influenced a song on the record. She’s like a big sister to Candy Hearts fans, turning the trials and tribulations of love into triumph and telling the tale as a guidebook on how handle the best and worst of times.

Among Candy Hearts’ thousands of fans, Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams arguably cheers the loudest for the band’s success. According to the singer, having Williams as a support system is “really surreal and validating,” and Loveland is beyond grateful to have been able to build a friendship with her. Laughing, she tells us about seeing Paramore years ago when the band was just starting out. “The first time I ever went into the city alone was to see a Paramore show, and I had no idea who Paramore was and my friend made me go with her… We ended up getting so lost on the subway, and I had to call my mom to pick us up and my friend didn’t talk to me for three months.” Still laughing, she interjects, “It was an awesome show, by the way.”

Candy Hearts can be found playing select dates on the way to this year’s Bled Fest and travelling to the UK with New Found Glory in the winter, but Loveland has her own ideas when it comes to being questioned about her dream tours. She would love to share a stage with The Weakerthans and The Lemonheads on one trip, and Best Coast, Paramore, and Lemuria on another. Loveland elaborates, calling the latter “a sick girl-power kinda tour.” While daydreaming about the fun they’d have, she envisions another act joining the group on the road. “Taylor Swift can come too, I feel like she should come. I feel like Taylor Swift should be the acoustic opener.”

Loveland knows that part of being a musician means putting herself out there and realizing that not everyone will like what she has to say – or her in general, for that matter. In regards to staying positive, the singer powerfully asserts, “For every person who’s said something mean, there’s a person who tells me that I’ve changed their life or I’ve helped them through something. And that’s really what helps me move forward.”

- Laurel Weber

All The Ways You Let Me Down will be released on June 10th via Violently Happy Records/Bridge Nine Records. A variety of pre-order packages can be found here.

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