On a quiet Friday afternoon in February at Leroy Street, MILC bumped into Miloco's favourite electro
soulster, Ali Love, in The Toyshop's vocal booth, of all places! I just so happened to have a Dictaphone and a few questions
for Ali in my back pocket - funny how things work like that. We pulled up a chair and a bongo, and Ali gave me the low-down on
his music, rent, and the fact that we have very similar tastes in Converse All-stars. My kind of guy...
MILC: So all your efforts are currently going into launching your solo career, but you've been in several bands previously
including The White Rose Movement. What made you switch your focus to pursuing solo interests?
Ali Love: I just got bored playing bass for people. I've played in loads of bands and done quite a bit of session work,
but I just had enough of all that, and then I had the guts to just do it, so I went solo.
MILC: And how long ago did that whole transformation take place?
Ali: Two and a bit years, I'd say
MILC: And you've been working towards this album ever since?
Ali: Not quite. I reckon work on this has been going on for about a year and a half now. That's when I started writing the
material for the album.
MILC: Making the album over the last year, you've been making considerable use of the various Miloco studios. Tell us
about you've been using each one for?
Ali: General recording all round really, and mixing as well. Nothing too specific at each studio, I just like the vibe of
all the studios, especially up here (The Toyshop). There's a great vibe up here.
MILC: Why do you think that is?
Ali: I don't know really, I just think the building (36 Leroy Street) is well chilled out, and you need a chilled
environment to get creative. That's what studios have to be about, really. I also like the other two studios being there
(The Neve and The Pool), there's other artists kicking about - adds to the good atmosphere.
MILC: So would you say The Toyshop is your favourite out of all of the Miloco studios?
Ali: Yeah, I'd say it's definitely up there. As I say it's the vibe of the place which puts me at my most productive
musically. That's what a studio is for I think.
MILC: Fill us in on the whole situation with the Sony deal and your own label, 'I Love Music'.
Ali: Well I released a single last year called K-hole - bit of a naughty tune really, but quite funny. Anyway I thought I'd
just release it on my label, 'I Love Music'. It was easier that way at the time. Now Sony have got involved so I'll be
releasing stuff on that now. The album will come out on Sony.
MILC: So that's it then is it, for 'I Love Music'?
Ali: No I'd like to get it going properly I guess. Maybe not for the sort of soulful electro stuff I'm doing on this album,
but some dance stuff. I've been making dance music for years. Anyway it's a great name for a label, 'I like music'. I
think so anyway.
MILC: Ever thought of releasing other artists on it, or would it just be your own stuff?
Ali: Haven't really thought about that really, although it could be quite cool. Get a little community cult thing going.
MILC: So you've already told us about you playing bass, but how much of the whole album are you playing yourself? The
word on the street is that you are quite the multi-instrumentalist...
Ali: I am playing quite a lot, not everything though. We've had a few people in playing this and that. But at the end of
the day, I like to play as much as I can, I guess cos I'm a bit of a control freak.
MILC: Control freak?
Ali: Oh completely, but not to the extent that I'll mess something up pointlessly when someone else can play it better!!
MILC: You obviously have a full band for your live setup, how do you go about recapturing the record live, especially when
a lot of the record features programmed beats etc.?
Ali: Yeah live performance is a bit tricky at the moment. I want to recapture the recordings as much as possible which is
hard. Think about the old funk bands from the seventies when you had like at least a 10 piece band with horns and trumpets
and all that. I'd love that for the funky bits in my tunes, but its impossible cos it's too expensive.
MILC: So at the moment the live setup is you plus...
Ali: Just a fairly standard 5-piece set up - bass, keys, drums, guitar, and then me and my guitar. It's fine really.
MILC: Tell us a bit more about the working relationship between you, Steve Dub and Seggs. You've almost all been
attached at the hip since the beginning of recording sessions. Has it been a match made in heaven?
Ali: Yeah it's worked really well, although we're getting pissed off with each other now. Nothing too serious, it's a bit
like when you go on holiday with your mates, or you start living with someone and you sometimes want to kill them.
Ali is then interrupted by some fairly fruity language belting through the wall from the studio
Hahahaha!! See what I mean? It's all good though. You need a bit if that.
MILC: Keeps everyone on their toes I guess?
MILC: Would you say the general sound which has evolved throughout recording owes a lot to Steve and Seggs? How have they
been lending their individual expertise?
Ali: Well Dubby's really good at all the electro stuff and beats and everything. Seggs brings the more rocky vibe to it all, so
it ends up as that Chemical Brothers meets some sort soulful punk band.
MILC: So while we're talking about your whole sound, which is pretty eclectic, and your MySpace page cites influences as
diverse as Prince, Gram Parsons and Hall and Oates. What would you want the masses to think of your music as?
Ali: Aaarrrgghh! Well, it's just my music at the end of the day. I'm not too fussed with thinking up labels and tags and that, and
I'd rather people didn't waste their time thinking up a name for my music. Just listen to it.
MILC: Have you heard of the whole 'Thamesbeat' thing that the press have made up? It's label that the critics are giving to
the whole surge of new London artists in the vein of Jamie T, Lily Allen, Larrikin Love etc. Are you expecting to be cast as
another artist in that whole scene, once the album comes out? How would you feel about that?
Ali: There's a chance I guess. I do live in London but then so do a lot of people. Again I'm not bothered by all that genre stuff.
I actually consider myself an outsider. Think I'd like to stay that way really.
MILC: So about the album then. When can we expect its release?
Ali: Well we're finishing it off now. There was some sort of schedule but haven't seen that for ages!! We'll go for the summer
some time I reckon.
MILC: And are there any tracks that we should especially look forward to?
Ali: I think they're all pretty good really. There's some great cheese on there, and cos I realise it's cheese people can say what
they want and it won't get to me. I think cheese works so much better if the artist realises and understands it's cheesy.
When you get these idiots off X-factor making cheese and thinking they're the best thing ever, it's just like, ' stop taking
yourself so seriously. Your music's shit'. Stay true to yourself, and it will work better for everyone.
MILC: Wise words, so do you think that's growing problem with musicians today?
Ali: Yeah man, why can't people enjoy themselves without thinking they're better than everyone else. They're all told what to
sing anyway. I just realised that I should do the music I want to do. That's how K-hole came about, and it paid off. I've
stuck to thinking like that ever since. The music has so much more meaning when artists do what I do.
MILC: Any ideas on what you might call the record?
Ali: I'm thinking 'On The Rocks' at the moment. It's the name of the punk rock club in East London that I live above. It gives the
area where I live a really punk rock vibe which helps me get into the whole writing process at home. I can write stuff for
hours at home, this morning I was still up at 8:00 writing stuff. I love it there. My flat's only 300 quid a month - bargain!
Bills included as well. It is a complete shit hole though. I just really like being in that area of East London. It's really
happening over there.
MILC: So a bit more about the K-hole single. It tells a story which the press took quite an interest in. Can we assume
that the debauchery of youth is a common Ali Love theme?
Ali: Well yeah to be honest. I like to sing about the things that actually go on in life, if you know what I mean. I haven't gone
all out though. I had to tone it all down a bit so that I could actually walk down the street without everyone incriminating
me for my music!!
MILC: Silly question time: You are stranded on a desert island. What one thing would you make sure you had with you?
Ali: Well that's easy - a really fit woman who's willing to do anything, and that includes climbing palm trees for coconuts.
MILC: Not much of a tree climber yourself then, Ali?
Ali: No she can do it. I'll just stand at the bottom of the tree and watch.
MILC: Last but certainly not least, what else is in store in 2007 for Ali Love? More touring, any summer festivals?
Ali: Definitely some more touring, and I'd be well up for a festival. But just wanting to get recording all done and dusted. Take
one day at a time, that's a great motto to have.
Ali Love was talking to MILC in early 2007.
© MILC@Miloco 2007