“We’ve been working on some stuff, just normal people things,” teased Lovejoy when NME sat down with the band backstage at Reading Festival earlier this year. Rather than downplaying their rockstar credentials, it turns out Lovejoy were giving fans a clue about their brilliant new single ‘Normal People Things’, which came out yesterday (October 6).
“That song is about finding someone who ironically isn’t normal and that rare connection you get where you go ‘oh damn, You’re different but in a good way’,” vocalist Will Gold tells NME for the latest in our In Conversation series. Written on the road and inspired by bands like The Hives, it’s an explosive track that doesn’t hang about. “The length is entirely down to how long the song needs to be,” continues Gold with the band taking an “art first” approach to their music. “If we had more elements we needed to touch on, it would be longer. I like the simplicity of the subject and the punchiness of the outcome,” he explains, wanting the song to make people “want to get up and join in.”
This year, a lot of people have got involved with Lovejoy. The band’s third EP ‘Wake Up & It’s Over’ was released in May and reached Number Five in the Official Album Charts, leading to sold out headline tours across North America and the UK. “It’s validating to see all our hard work come to fruition in a traditional sense,” explains Gold. “Fruition for us was the moment we finished it but to see it adored as much as we put into it, that’s very rewarding.”
He believes the EP has connected with so many because of the honesty of the lyrics. “I’ve always just wanted to make something that I think needs to be in the world. “For instance, I’ve always wanted a punchy, bass-driven song about not understanding where you fit in the whole structure of romance, so we decided to make it ourselves,” with ‘Call Me What You Like’ going on to rack up over 43million Spotify streams in a matter of months.
Lovejoy’s hectic touring schedule means that writing new music this year has been difficult but they’ve still found the time to get some stuff finished. “It’s probably one of my favourite batches of releases we’ve done,” teases Gold.
So, is ‘Normal People Things’ a nice way to underline their most successful year yet, or a hint of what comes next. “I don’t want to cap anything. I like to leave everything open-ended as to what’s going to come next,” says Gold before confirming that there is “potentially” more new music on the way.
Since the band first emerged in 2021, they’ve been asked about their debut album. “Back then, it was ‘no, we’re not ready. We haven’t got our sound’,” Gold says. “Now, the answer is ‘hmmmm’. It has to be done though.”
Bassist Ash Kabuso, speaking via guitarist Joe Goldsmith, adds: “We have a desire to create something which is fuller in terms of a body of work. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do individually and as a band.”
“I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned on this journey is how EPs are absolutely great for finding sound, but they’re not so great at telling stories,” continues Gold. “I would love to tell a story in a four-track burst, but I feel like each track would be about 12 minutes long. An album where I can itemise my thoughts whilst having the boys put their magic over the top is very exciting to me and not stressful at all. It’s a case of when, not if… though the when right now is very undefined.”
Lovejoy released their debut EP ‘Are You Alright?’ in 2021 before they were able to play live. “Our ambitions were to create music that connects with people, makes them want to come out and sing along with us live or shout it in their bedrooms, as I’ve been doing since I was a little kid,” says Gold. The band pull inspiration from Los Campesinos, Arctic Monkeys and Two Door Cinema Club with just a hint of metal, thanks to drummer Mark Boardman.
“We just want to have songs that resonate with people, but I’m starting to think a little bigger,” he explains. “I love the idea of how many people can fit in one room. Is it 2000 capacity, is it 5000, is it 20,000 – where does it stop? That terrifies me, but I’m also very much looking forward to it,” he admits.
Connecting with more people is “a lifelong goal,” according to Gold. “Once you connect with a million people, you’re going to want to connect with another million, and another. Numbers are a reflection of the lives we’ve impacted, and that’s very exciting,” he continues. “We don’t see this band as a set of clear goals defined on a cork board, it’s more a broad feeling of this energy and this love that we want to put out, and what we’re receiving back is monumental.”
Before Gold was the vocalist of Lovejoy, he was known to many as YouTuber and Twitch streamer Wilbur Soot. The band were also forced to exist online for a number of months, thanks to COVID restrictions. “There is always the feeling that I need to prove myself,” says Gold. “There’s always going to be people who don’t know the full story. When I was doing my online streaming, I was still writing songs. I’ve had a solo acoustic career going on since 2019 and I’ve been busking and playing open mic nights since 2017,” he says. “I’ll never want to leave behind the work I did on YouTube and Twitch, but this is where I want to be now.”
The band are speaking to NME backstage at London’s O2 Kentish Town Forum, at the tail end of a sprawling UK headline run. Every gig has seen fans queuing outside the venue for hours before doors open, creating a sense of warmth and community before the band even take to the stage.
Will Gold believes fans are attaching themselves to Lovejoy and other indie rock bands because of the “emotional connection” they have with the music. “We’re heading into a scary world. Although everyone’s much more connected, it’s far harder to find that connection, he continues, quoting the opening like to ‘Call Me What You Like’, “I never was a fan of the Internet”.
“Music is the great communicator. It’s the bridge that binds people back together,” he adds.
Lovejoy’s success comes as interesting, emotionally driven British indie rock is making a comeback, with bands like The Last Dinner Party, English Teacher and Picture Parlour all making waves. “It’s our goal to be part of that conversation,” says Gold. “We are trying to prove ourselves as much as we can. I hope the quality of what we’re putting out is up to the incredibly high standards of those bands.”
So, any hints to what comes next for Lovejoy? “Maybe we can say it later when we’re sober?” asks Goldsmith, as the rest of the band fall into fits of laughter. “We’re not drunk, he’s just heavy handedly [trying to do a thing],” smirks Gold.
Lovejoy’s new single ‘Normal People Things’ is out now.