DO YOU HAVE A
by DJ Mätthew Griffin
Worcester’s Secret Lover is a mysterious foursome. They’re an enigma that recalls the decadent era of Velvet Underground and the paranoia of New York’s no wave scene. The band’s femme fatal, Sally is their siren vocalist; John’s twangy post-punk guitar beckons the Gang of Four; Dave beats the skins; and Lars dreamily looks up to the stars while playing bass. Sitting down with the band and giving them their first interview ever, we chuckle at other’s quirks and try to make sense of things while putting it into words. The band’s seven-song cassette, Secret Lover – Summer Demo, is on heavy rotation for anyone who has seen the band live. For a group of four innocently silly twenty-somethings, they have created something that is not only unique but possibly pure genius.
Noise: What do you guys have going on right now?
Dave: We are going on tour again and we are releasing a record. The tour is from February 1 to the 28. We will be hitting small towns across America and large cities like New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Austin, and Miami. We’ll be touring with White Crime.
Noise: What was last year’s tour like?
Sally: We were on tour for five weeks. We all drove around in this little car. Lars got paid for sex. [laughs]
Lars: I had sex with my ex-girlfriend.Then she gave me $100.
Noise: Who do all of you consider to be the leader of the group, or does the band function more like a workshop?
Dave: Sally writes most of the songs.
Sally: I’m not that good at guitar, so I just write the chords and then John fleshes it out. Lars adds in his bass. We all work on it together.
Noise: Why are some of your songs so dark?
Lars: All the songs are about pretty positive things, but Sally sings them in a way that seems dark.
Sally: I don’t think the songs are dark. I think the songs are more like intense, as much as passionate. The songs are about the mysteries of time and space.
Noise: The first time I saw Secret Lover, you did a cover of Nico’s “Somewhere There’s A Feather.” It was a real tear-jerker. What made you guys decide to cover that song?
John: I had just learned the song on guitar and I played it with Sally and we both really liked it. Then Lars came into the room and played his bass to it and we had our first practice. That night you saw us was also our first show.
Noise: What are you trying to accomplish as a band right now?
Dave: I guess just getting ourselves together—going on tour and recording, making something sincere.
Noise: Do you all find strength with Dave on drums now, with a full drum set, as opposed to when you had Sam, your former drummer, on bongos?
Lars: Dave makes the songs fuller and powerful, and we can do more with him.
Noise: Dave, what do you think about coming in and being the new member of the band?
Dave: I was waiting in the wings for a long time. I was like, “This is really a long plan ahead.” As soon as I saw them, I was like, “I’m going to be the drummer of this band one day.”
Noise: Recently, the band was picked up by a record label…
Lars: Rare Bit Records. They are out of Brattleboro, VT. When we got back from our last U.S. tour, we played for them and they just really liked us and we started recording. Right now the record label is manifesting. We’re like on the boat with them, sailing to a new land.
Noise: The seven-song cassette Secret Lover Summer Demo is up on Bandcamp. What’s next?
Sally: We are recording a cassette right now and it’s going to have 15 songs on it. We will be putting it out on cassette and CD and there’s going to be a record of it, which will be self-released.
Dave: We are also looking at other record labels, considering other offers and higher bids.
Noise: How would you describe the band’s sound?
Sally: We are a sensual-psychedelic happy goth band.
Noise: What are some local bands that you guys like?
Lars: I love that band the Fat Creeps.
Sally: Final Frontiers and the Happy Jawbone Family Band. They’re from Brattleboro.
John: The Downtown Boys.
Noise: Oh yeah, Downtown Boys’ singer, Victoria—she’s nuts! Where does the name Secret Lover come from?
Sally: I guess I made it up.
John: Sally, I remember you told me when you made it up, you thought that it would be cool to be known as “Sally from Secret Lover.”
Sally: Yeah! I had this vision one day that I would be walking down the street and someone would go “Hey look, there’s Sally from Secret Lover!” And I thought that those words sounded really good together. I wanted the band name to be sexy. I think there isn’t enough sexy band names around.
Dave: Music is supposed to be sexy. It’s supposed to encourage people to have sex.
John: Yeah, sex first, music second.
Dave: The best part of life is when you have a secret lover.