Livingmore Tout the Power of Positivity: ‘It’s One of the Hardest Things to Find Sometimes’
When asked about their band name, Los Angeles rockers Livingmore are thrown off for a moment. After a pause, they explain it wasn’t really motivational or overly metaphorical—the band’s core members, Alex Moore and Spencer Livingston, simply combined their last names in what felt like the most appealing way. Taking a look at their music and their attitude towards it, however, one gets a different impression.
While snacking on sweets and joking about coffee at Molly's Cupcakes—in Livingston’s own words, “We probably drink way too much coffee”—the duo agree that they’ve found something special with this group.
“I feel like in past projects I've been in, there's always been someone that's been a little bit negative or like, ‘This is never gonna work out!’” Moore explains. “You need to surround yourself with positive people. It seems obvious, but it's one of the hardest things sometimes. But I feel like that's what we found together.”
Moore handles most of Livingmore’s vocals, and a little of its guitar, while Livingston takes the place of lead guitarist and lends his voice to create lush, filled-out harmonies with Moore. Each of their secondary roles comes from a desire to challenge themselves with instruments they’re not as confident with: For Moore, playing guitar is “like taking away your confidence blanket all of a sudden."
"If all I had to do was play guitar, that would be too easy," Livingston adds. “But the point is to challenge yourself."
Living outside of their comfort zones (living more, one might say) hasn’t deterred them. Instead, the duo writes songs collaboratively and practice acoustically until they can play it front-to-back before bringing it to their drummer Mike Schadel, who helps arrange it for a full band. The final element comes from bassist Rodrigo Moreno. “He's like the wild card,” Livingston says, chuckling.
Now, after six months of recording their album on weekends—the only time their friend Brian Rosemeyer could use the studio over at Kingsize Soundlabs for free—Livingmore are ready to release their debut LP, OK to Land, later this year. The group has already geared up for it with several singles, including their latest, “Never Slow Down.” The album was cut from over forty songs that Moore and Livingston had written together, though they admit that the first twenty were dismissed as simply not “the one,” not the right sound. Now, they’ve hit a real groove: "We probably have 30 songs that are newer songs that we haven't recorded yet,” Livingston brags.
Livingmore’s energetic love of collaboration is evident both in how they write and how they perform. Frequently during their July set at Union Pool, Livingston and Moore would play facing at each other with a nearness that recalled the thrashing, dueling guitars of classic rock. Moreno would often join in on the playfulness, making a musical sandwich with Moore in the middle.
Even when they weren’t looking at each other, Moore’s near-country style belting never overpowered Livingston’s smooth harmonies, and her acoustic guitar paired perfectly while allowing Moreno’s bass and Livingston’s electric six-string breathe their own melodies. Meanwhile, Schadel held down the fort in the back as the oldest, most experienced and most unshakable member.
Livingmore's playfulness and optimism sits at the core of who the band is, even in the simplest and silliest of ways. When asked to pick which of the cupcakes in the shop’s display match their album most, Moore and Livingston quickly agree: the “ugly duckling” cupcake in the front, made from a vanilla cake with blue frosting and rainbow sprinkles.
As Moore says, "It's mismatched but goes together with all kinds of things, and you don't know what's going to happen next.”
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