Love Out Loud's Dillon Jones on moonlighting as a booking agent & Saturday's album release

Is pop-punk dead? Perhaps, but Twin Cities band Love Out Loud doesn't care. The scene is maturing, yet so is the band's sound. 

Weaving in catchy pop hooks, Catch Me If You Can tells an evolving story of a band in transition from boyhood into adulthood.  With their nose-to-the-grindstone attitude, the band will be releasing their sophomore album with their loyal fans in tow.

Gimme Noise spoke with lead singer Dillon Jones before their CD release show at Station 4 on Saturday.

Band Members:
Dillon Jones - Vocals
Josh Clutter - Guitar
Austin Schwichtenberg - Bass Guitar
Erik Bear - Drums
Jake Johnson - Keys

Gimme Noise: What is the story behind the band name Love Out Loud?

Dillon: We all have the mentality as a band that we got to where we are now through the people who have taken us there. That's a family, and we believe we got here because of the love we show onto everyone we come into contact with. We just believe in the idea that the simple things we can do to show love onto people will come back to affect us in a positive way, and that lifestyle always makes this experience as a band a lot more enjoyable for everyone.

What's the toughest thing about trying to make a break in the pop-rock genre?

The toughest part about trying to break into the pop scene is definitely its lack of opportunity on the way up. Pop dominates the charts right now but at a local level, the ability to grow is much harder because a lot of local venues are dominated by the hardcore scene and indie scene. Minnesota local pop really died out after its huge uprising when bands like Quietdrive, Motion City Soundtrack, and Sing it Loud were in the scene. Touring on bigger packages and just overall trying to break into a higher level in the pop scene is a huge struggle because it's always a roll of the dice. You just have to be in the right place at the right time and meet the right people. Until you get that though, you need to give it your everything and don't just sit around waiting for it to happen.

How did you approach the writing process for Catch Me If You Can, and what was the story that you wanted to tell with the new album?

The story behind the album is progressing. We chose Catch Me If You Can as the album name because we wanted to make this album our first real breakthrough album. We expect big things to come from this album and want to experience this with our family (fans) and make them feel like they are part of something big happening.

Writing our second real album was the scariest time for our band, simply because that second album can really make or break you as a local/regional artist. The album took us just over an entire year of constant writing and choosing only five of about 20 songs to actually go on the album. We had a couple writing sessions where we literally locked ourselves into a place and lived there for a month until we could write some songs we were proud of.  It's easy to put out your first album because you haven't set a bar and there isn't anything you have to beat.

Love Out Loud's Dillon Jones on moonlighting as a booking agent & Saturday's album release

You also have your own booking agency.  How do you handle so many aspects of the music business? 

Being a DIY band isn't an option for a band starting out -- it's the harsh reality. When you first get into the industry you think all these great things are going to happen for you right away. It takes awhile before you realize that nobody wants to do things for you until you can already do it yourself. Labels, agents, and managers can only help you do things better than you could have done alone. That's when you realize that it's going to be a LONG process of trial and error before you actually know what you're doing -- or what half of the industry terminology even means.

I joined the Ambition Agency because nobody was taking our band seriously when the lead singer tries to book the shows and get the tours. It only worked for so long. I like to think of "Dillon Jones, the Booking Agent" as my alias that makes me look way more legit because someone with a business behind them represents the band, not just the lead singer.

Even though you've just released your new album, what's next for the band?  Any plans to tour with the new music?

We have a lot of huge opportunities brewing within Love Out Loud, but we are choosing not to make anything public until we are able to. All I can say now is we are planning a heavy touring schedule on the album for 2012 and really trying to reassess Love Out Loud as more of a brand than a band. It obviously is a "music first" industry, but once you are past that, we want to look more at engaging our family and making them feel part of what we are doing by providing things outside of the music such as videos, unreleased content, free fan offers and more.

What can we expect at the show at Station 4?

The show at Station 4 is going to be unlike any show we have ever performed. We have revamped our light show to make the visual experience much better. We've spent weeks of constant practice making the set as smooth as possible with segues that will keep the crowd completely focused the entire time, and overall just trying to retain that "wow" factor in our set as much as possible. I can confidently say that this will be a show that people will not regret going to because we've never put more work into a show than we have on this one.

Love Out Loud will release Catch Me If You Can on Saturday, February 18, 2012 with Take Cover, Little Time Off, The Picture Perfect and This is Breathing at Station 4.
AA, $10 adv, $12 door, 5:30 pm

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