The Winehouse Mag

January 21st, 2014
AUX Interview: We Were Lovers

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We Were Lovers become present-tense lovers! (Originally published for AUX TV). 

In 2008, We Were Lovers was a 6 piece band with an indie rock/pop sound. Ash Lamothe and his brother found lead vocalists Elsa Gebremichael, and the original line-up went on to release an EP entitled, The Break-up.  Turns out the CD release party would dually serve as the band’s announcement that they were actually parting ways.

 “There was just a few people in the band that didn’t really want to pursue music more than a hobby and Ash and I did,” explains Gebremichael from her home in Saskatoon. “I remember being really bummed out about it because I was excited about the new project. He [Ash] called me and said that he wanted to continue making music with me. So we started playing music, just the two of us.”

No longer dispersing WWL’s energy amongst many voices, the pair focused on their personal influences: Lamothe, 80s Madonna, the Cure. Gebremichael: Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads, Tears for Fears. And a mutual favourite, the Beatles. Their sound evolved as they found themselves relying more on loops, drum machines and synthesizers.

 “With the lack of members ─ people physically playing the instruments ─ and us layering our own ideas it’s [the music] more concentrated into an electro pop genre. Ash and I were always the main songwriters so I don’t think that’s changed too much but we’re definitely growing and progressing.”

The duo went on to release an eponymous 2010 EP. And fittingly, the pair also became present tense lovers. “Yeah,” laughs Gebremichael. “It’s funny that we became a duo and now we are a couple.”

In 2013 WWL started working on a full length album. “Basically [we] recorded our top 10 favourite songs up-to-date. We had gone two years without making an album…and there were a handful of songs that had never been recorded, songs that we toured with and then we stopped playing because we had new songs that we liked better, so it’s almost like they never existed and I find that really sad so we just wanted to get [those] done and then get on top of writing, recording and releasing.”

Earlier this year, WWL started working on a full length album, the successfully fan-funded new release, Pyramids (the title came to Gebremichael as an epiphany after a night of bowling), a diverse, intertwined mix of genres. The single “Islands”—a fan favourite—has already been used in a popular U.S. magazine’s fashion week video.

Never off the road for long, the pair, known for electric live performances and sexy stage chemistry, can’t wait to take Pyramids to the people.

“Oh, I love it,” says Gebremichael about touring. “It’s amazing to be in a new city almost every day, play to new crowds, do new things, see new things, and meet new people, but the fact that we get to play every night is just so much fun. And it sounds cheesy to say, but it just feels like we were put on earth to do that.”

By Chaka V. Grier

This piece originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of AUX Magazine

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