HT Interview: A Chat With The McLovins

“Once [Page McConnell] walked in, Jason said to me, “How do I know this guy?” said Huffman, still beaming from ear to ear. “It was really loud in there when we were talking before the gig but he asked us some questions about how long we have been playing together. We played “Farmhouse” that night too.”

“He seemed like a real quiet guy. We liked him,” Jeff chimed.

Although they say they would be open to including a piano player of their own in the band, it seems they are content as a trio.

“You just have to see the live show to understand,” said Jake.

An unnamed bowler in the middle of his seventh frame turns to a buddy with a puzzled look on his face when The McLovins take the stage.

“Who are these kids,” he asks received only by a shrug.

Jake and Jason being juniors and Jeff a freshman in high school, his question has surely been asked before.

“I think people have a perception that when they go to a show, it’s awkward to see a younger band. Being young helps. We have an open mind and we are still growing. Our frontal lobe hasn’t fully developed,” said Huffman.

In fact, some frontal lobes were about to explode.

The band opened up with Tokyo Tea, a tasty multi-layered groove, which ventures into the unknown, before picking up where they left off with funky hi-hat, slapping and wah-wah pedal licks. Reggae rooted Milk Toast Man followed, allowing the audience to catch their breath, but not before another roller-coaster jam in Deep Monster Trance, a 13 minute experience of sound featuring up and down guitar runs and momentum filled drumming.

“That’s what so important for our show,” said Howard. “It’s a lot of different sounds and dynamics.” Calling Howard, aka AxLovin, a prodigy would be an accurate statement, but it did not start with music. His former babysitter, Melissa Buzzi who was in attendance recalled her experience with Howard when he was only two years old.

“He knew all the countries, the capitals and the flags,” she says. “He has the capacity to be great at everything.”

“I went through phases where all my interests were focused on one random thing.” said Howard, who met Jake at Rock Camp in Connecticut. “I learned all the flags, [laughs] I couldn’t name any of them now.”

The first of two live premiers and, self-admittedly, their most radio friendly track to date, This Town is a simple and fresh tune. Howard wrote the riff on a sick day from school when he had nothing to do but jam. The lyrics Huffman wrote were inspired by the innkeepers they met during their stay in Vermont the weekend they played at Nectar’s.

They rounded out their set with a solid cover of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army sung by Jason and their second world premiere Beadhead Crystal Bugger, a complex arrangement that took them close to three weeks to learn.

“Actually getting it down isn’t as hard as it seems,” said Huffman. “It is our music. We’ll mess up sometimes, but something really great happens from those mistakes.”

After a Purple Trees encore featuring an Another Brick in the Wall tease and a hammed up rock n’ roll finish, it was time to sign autographs and take pictures with fans while the band’s dads break down the stage.

“We’re the McRoadies I guess,” said Greg Ott, proud father of Jason.

Poised, the boys wear smiles and shake hands with fans and family. At no point when you look at them do you forget how old they are, no matter how mature the music sounds making the live experience even more fascinating. They are a band discovered by fans who want to share their music.

“It always feels good to make other people happy.” said Jeff.

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10 Responses

  1. These guys get ridiculously too much attention. I haven’t seen a single story about Wilco or MMJ for months for example.

  2. What a great article! So well written, I don’t know who this Bob Doda person is, but what a talented writer! He’s definitely going places with his obviously natural gift. Good find HT! As for the McLovin’s, love the name…I’m sure they’re going places too!

  3. Awesome, These guys sound like they are gonna be a good band, it will be great to see them evolve as a band over the next 10-15 years.

    I’d like to see a Jay-Z or a Ke$ha type team up with them for a few songs as a surprise or something.

  4. Wow I can’t wait to see these guys play they are the next Beatles Band right here in the USA. Sometime a sound like these guys produce go right to the TOP. Is Bob there exclusive writer? If not he should be working on there next event. A Star is born I’m not sure if it’s the Mclovin’s or Bob. I think i’ll bring some of my friends up to Greenfield Mass. and see them in person. Well written.

  5. It’s nice to read about young adults having so much ambition and talent! They could be role models for other young rockers who want to make a name for themselves. Can’t wait to hear more about The McLovins!!

  6. Any press or attention that this band gets is deserved. Though they’re still in high school they maintain a regional touring schedule and write a new song every couple weeks. They have a style all their own, they play an electic group of covers, their originals are uniquely their own not fitting easily into any musical genre. So can you see why they manage to garner some interest and excitement?

  7. Wow… great article on an amazingly talented band. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live more than once, and let me tell you, its an unbelievable experience to see kids rocking out like that. I know Jeff, the guitarist very well, and he’s honestly the most humble guy I’ve ever met, and one of my best friends. Keep on rocking guys, you’re incredible.

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