Before they booked a show, recorded a song or even knew what to call themselves, Brandon Lovelace and his three band mates started writing.
Songs and albums would have to wait. What Lovelace and fellow musicians Matt Toney, Casey Heald and Zach Dumbleton instead penned in December 2007 was an agenda. The action-item accounting was simple organization, but to hear Lovelace describe it, the band's 10-item list of goals soon became an internal invoice, a band manifesto and personal mantra.
"I was in school and just decided that if our goals weren't met by December 2009, I'd move on and stop chasing little kid dreams," he said.
Some of the goals, like "extensive" rehearsals and writing music the members "believed in," were standard pop-rock band fare. Other expectations were specific, lofty even. One by one, the members of Theatre Breaks Loose crossed items off the list.
Don't spend a lot of time coming up with a band name: Check. Spend hours a day commenting, chatting and networking online. Sell out the first concert.
Check and check.
MET OR EXCEEDED
It's been roughly a year since the inaugural show and Lovelace, 21, said the act has met or exceeded each of its 10 hopeful tasks, recently marking "find a booking agent" off the list. In August, the four metro musicians will hit the road for a month-long U.S. tour with Asteria, A Love Like Pi and Gabriel the Marine.
The group will join Austin, Texas indie outfit PlayRadioPlay, Missouri pop-rockers Like Summer and local six-piece For the Atlantic for a 6:30 p.m. show on Wednesday, July 8, at The Conservatory.
In early May, the band released "The Way This Works," a seven-song album of infinitely catchy and poppy rock tunes. The tracks are well-written, meticulously arranged and obviously labored over, most featuring intertwined, dual-vocal melodies marked by the sweet-sounding Toney and Lovelace's edgier voice.
For Lovelace, adding studio sheen while recording was made easier by his job as a youth leader at LifeChurch, 7800 S. Walker, where he leads the Wednesday "Switch" service and fronts the church band. A praise and worship leader doesn't always befit a rock 'n' roll pedigree, but he is quick to share the
gospel behind the success of the Wednesday service.
"They do not mess around when it comes to sound. They have sound guys and hire contract musicians," he said.
The album tracks range from piano-led ballads like "See Me Through," which marks the midpoint of the album, to upbeat, polished pop numbers like "From the Get Go" and the electronica-infused "Slower." Lovelace said the new release marks the first time he or the other members " who all had performed previously with other acts " were thoroughly satisfied with an album effort.
"You end up settling a lot," he said. "I've never been able to have a song come out the way it is in my in my head on a CD. It's a great thing to be able to believe it what you do and actually want to promote it and get behind it."
Theatre Breaks Loose with PlayRadioPlay, Party Like Summer and For the Atlantic perform at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 8 at The Conservatory, 8911 N. Western. "Joe Wertz