The Loved Ones
w/ Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer, Steve Hit Mike
Sat. Jan. 20
9 p.m.
301 King St.

Whether or not they can quit their day jobs and make a living playing music is a benchmark many bands use to determine if they have “made it.” But if that was the true test of a band’s success — or musical worth for that matter — then Philadelphia-based trio The Loved Ones would never measure up.

Singer/guitarist Dave Hause, who is married and has a mortgage back home in Philly, admits his punk trio is not yet paying the bills.

“No, we’re not able to quit [our day jobs],” he says, “and I probably never would, unless it was some kind of mega-stardom or something that really altered your financial set-up. It keeps you balanced, too, to do something other than music. I think a lot of times it keeps your perspective clear when you have something else to do.”

That clear perspective undoubtedly helped Hause, bassist Michael “Spider” Cotterman, and drummer Mike Sneeringer pen one of the best albums of 2006 with Keep Your Heart, released last February on Fat Wreck Chords. It’s 13 tracks of Lucero-meets-catchy-as-hell-punk-rock. To name the highlights of the record would mean listing every single song.

The Loved Ones’ latest marks the first time that Hause has been responsible for writing all of the lyrics and arranging the songs. His prior years spent in hardcore outfits The Curse and Paint It Black afforded him less creative control, but that also meant less stress when it came time to make a new album. Speaking of which, Hause and company have already started focusing on writing new material, with übertentative plans to hit the studio next spring. For The Loved Ones, the new album would be a chance to prove that Keep Your Heart wasn’t just a flash in the pan, and for Hause, it’s an opportunity to exercise some more creativity.

“I’m psyched to make the new record,” Hause declares. “It doesn’t feel like too much pressure, but it’s definitely more than anyone else feels, I assume, just because you have to write 15 or so songs and get them all done and get all of the lyrics in. And you’re putting your heart out there, too, gambling your emotional wherewithal. But it’s cool because the payoff is great: to be able to communicate in that way with people and have people respond to it. That’s the great thing about it.”

Philly-based, organ ‘n’ guitar-driven indie-rock quartet Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer — one of three finalists in the MTV Dew Circuit Breakout Challenge — recently released a split 7″ single with The Loved Ones on ReIgnition Records. Both bands currently share the tour. Local punk/pop quartet Steve Hit Mike open the Cumberland’s gig at 9 p.m.

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