Interview by Rhiannon Levengood
Since the release of their self titled debut EP in 2014, Dear Love has evolved in more ways than one. What was once a group of four is now a duo formed by remaining members singer/songwriter Dave Rideout and drummer Shane Kippel. With a loss of members, comes a change of sound. This new era is reminiscent of the dominant electronic sound playing on mainstream radio but with a unique vibe gone dark.
Last month, Dear Love released the music video for their new single “Sick With The Same Thing.” The track is the first for the pair since beginning this new chapter.
We had the opportunity to chat with Dave about their new direction and the inspiration behind it, including pivotal moments such as touring with Finger Eleven.
How would you describe DEAR LOVE’s new sound? How does it differ from what you’ve created before?
Our first album was written, recorded and performed as a rock band. It was influenced by the artists we grew up listening to in the late 90s and early 2000s, and it was crafted in a style we were all very comfortable playing in. We’re really proud of that EP and the performances we’ve given since its release, but with our new music we felt it was time for a change. For two of our bandmates, new priorities arose and they had to leave the group to pursue those, leaving Shane and I – the singer and drummer – open to many roads forward. Over the years, I’ve become a huge fan of electronic music and had been composing a lot of new sounds at home, so I started crafting something totally fresh and out of our comfort zone. I’ve worked closely with close producer friends of mine to shape the new sound, and I’m really excited to be able to share it in the near future.
Where have you drawn inspiration from for your new music? Any specific artists or personal influences?
Production-wise, we’ve leaned on influences like The Weeknd’s early material, Banks, and Sohn. There are less guitars, and tons more piano and synth these days.
What other duo groups inspire you?
Duo’s are tough to pinpoint. Hmm… I did see SBTRKT when he toured that big record of his a few years ago. Sampha had accompanied him on the road, and just the two of them were on stage. Sampha was on keys and vocals, and SBTRKT was on the drum kit, drum pads, and mixer/computer. When I think about performing our new material in the future, I picture something similar. James Blake toured with two other bandmates in a similar fashion – and his show was fantastic as well.
What do you hope fans take away from your new music?
For me, the most valuable part of the journey so far has been the feedback from fans about how our lyrics have moved them. Words have always been the most important aspect of music for me, so knowing that I was able to connect to people through them is the most I could wish for. That is, after all, why a lot of musicians start writing in the first place; as a search for others who feel the same sorts of emotions we’ve felt.
What have you two discovered about yourselves while creating music and playing shows?
I think we’d both agree that being able to play alongside Finger Eleven left us with a feeling of validation that we’d been seeking our whole lives as musicians. Honing your craft and developing confidence as a musician takes years and years. It’s a tough world to feel like you’ve succeeded in, and you’re always your own worst critic; always wondering if you’re good enough to be doing what you’re doing, or if you’re wasting your time. Opening for Finger Eleven changed a lot of that for me. I grew up listening to these guys and covering their songs, and there I was, performing on the same bill. It gave me a huge boost. Suddenly I felt something I hadn’t ever before – “hey, maybe I am good enough to be taking a swing at this.”
What is your favorite song to perform live?
We’ve not yet performed any of our new material live, but in our former rock format, I really loved playing Stop Me (https://youtu.be/vpopRX9kmdw). It is a fierce, hard rock tune, so the energy in the room when we’d play it was always magnetic.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of this journey so far?
Connecting emotionally with fans through our lyrics and interactions online & performing with bands we used to listen to in our teenage years.
What has been the most challenging aspect so far?
The ‘music industry’ is a little more enigmatic a term than we thought a few years when we started the band together. With the impact of technology on that industry, the old school paradigm has certainly shifted. I’m just not sure anyone really knows what’s moving in to replace it yet. Regardless, we just want to keep making impactful music, so forward we go!
How important is the support system from your family and friends? How does it impact or motivate you? Family and friends have been vital to the growth of Dear Love over the years. They’ve supported us in the studio, at shows – and more importantly, in life in general.
You both have talents elsewhere, Dave with photography and Shane with acting, so who or what inspired you to pursue music? Both of us are driven by our creative urges, and those urges tend to spill over the neat boundaries we give to music, acting, design, photography, etc. Music just happened to be one of the first avenues through which we directed this creativity.
Who was your first ever concert to see live? How does it feel to be on stage as opposed to being in the audience? I’m not sure about Shane (cause he goes to tons and tons of concerts), but the first concert I remember going to was to see the Matthew Good Band. I idolized Matthew Good and his music, and listened to his Beautiful Midnight album constantly when I was younger. I’d end up seeing him live many more times over the years and have always been impressed. That said, I’d 10 times out of 10 prefer to be on stage performing my own music.
Who would you love to see in concert today? I’m still dreaming of the day I get to see Radiohead live.
Who would you two love to tour with? The list would be practically endless. We’d just generally love to make it to a position where we’re able to tour. (So we hope everyone will help us share our music far and wide as it’s released).
Lastly, waffles or pancakes?
Keep up with Dear Love’s journey through their social media accounts: