INTERVIEW: FACE-TO-FACE WITH SPANISH LOVE SONGS' DYLAN SCOLUM


I got the lucky opportunity to catch Spanish Love Songs vocalist Dylan Slocum during a break on their early 2022 tour supporting The Wonder Years. Dylan was kind enough to answer some questions that many of us (especially me) have been itching to ask for who knows how long. Our conversation was amazing, and Dylan is a very easy guy to have a conversation with regarding the band and the music they are putting out.


What’s the best part of being on tour with The Wonder Years, Origami Angel, and Save Face? What part of this tour specifically is standing out to you the most?


“The best part is being able to be back out, being in front of people, and getting to play with three other amazing bands who are also bringing that same level of excitement and enthusiasm… The thing that stood out the most is the amount that people have seem to given up on COVID or precautions against it or seem to give a shit about what we’re trying to do to keep safe, which is not the glamorous fun answer, but it’s very surprising to see people yell at our merch person when she asks them to put a mask on to buy merch and it’s like if you don’t want to do the bare minimum to keep bands around then we’re just going to go away. So, it’s a little shocking and it’s been interesting. I’ve gotten into it with a few people about stuff like this and people think I’m being on some sort of high horse or something… I would like to keep doing this and not have to worry about getting sick every time, every night.”


Between now and when you guys first released Brave Faces, how do you think your views on the world and how everything works have changed?


“[chuckles] I don’t think it has very much. I mean everything that is on that album was just pointing to something that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, but nothing’s fundamentally changed other than like maybe I have less faith in people than I did before. Which was fairly low to begin with. But also, I don’t know, it’s great to be living in a time of miracles. You know, the fact that a vaccine exists and that it was developed as quickly as it was, and it went into the world and as many people as it has… It’s weird to be witnessing actual history happening around us… If anything, I’ve just gotten more detached about it. I don’t wanna be that guy that’s pointing his finger and rabbling at people like 'everything’s so f**ked up' like yeah, cool. What about it?... I’ve sought shelter elsewhere internally and with people I care about as opposed to expecting anything to change fundamentally… That’s defeatist as hell but it’s been a weird stretch…”


Between when you guys had written Giant Sings the Blues and Schmaltz, what made you guys want to change that sound from the aggressive kind of punkish thing you had to what you’re doing more now?


“I mean it’s just a national progression of things. Like Giant I don’t even really consider one of our albums. It was mostly songs I had written that Reuben and I quickly arranged, and that Kyle recorded when he joined the band but that was pre-Meredith and pre-Trevor and it was songs that had been written when I was in my early twenties and then we recorded them when I was 26 or 27. And then Schmaltz was its thing but I think it was a case of us still shedding that kind of energy and thinking that that’s where we needed to be, it was the world we knew, I guess… And Brave Faces I think was kind of the culmination of us in that era of that world and I think now we’re getting into territory of what we really like and enjoy, not to say that we’re going to do away with playing rock music, but I think it’s a little more thought out and less aggressive. I don’t know, bands have eras… We still love playing those songs, it’s just not the most fulfilling to write or record and we’re just not really interested, and we’re not going to do anything we’re not interested in…”


(Somewhere around here, Dylan confirmed that the next album is not going to be a showtunes cover album, sadly).


What made you decide to redo all of the Brave Faces Everyone songs for Brave Faces Etc.?


“I mean, we were home, and we knew were going to be doing a tour and we were all scattered, and I hadn’t started working on the new album yet like from just a core song. I like to take breaks from doing stuff and there’s a thing that gets lost in all this and we’ve gotten a few responses like ‘why the hell aren’t you guys making new music? Other bands are making new music’ and I can’t speak to what other bands are doing but we had an album that came out that was then robbed of its cycle because of the pandemic. And I’m not going to go through that again, it’s a waste of energy… It had its life, but it didn’t have the life it could’ve had. It’s a lot of work to just let it end with a whimper… Also, all five of us had to go back to work and not like at some weird, part-time job where we can tour half the time and then cobble together a life. We had to go back to full-time jobs which we all hadn’t had to do in a year or two. It was like “I don’t have time to work on music, I’m working x hours a week, running Patreon and trying to keep this band afloat” so we thought: ‘what can we do? What’s something we can do while working on new songs?’ We started on our Patreon, kind of reimagining songs. I pitched it to the label and the label was like ‘well do you guys want to put out just like a few acoustic songs or this or that’ and I said no that’s dumb, why don’t we just redo the entire album? Which was also a dumb thing to say [chuckles]. We all sat at home and got into our respective hobbies and started experimenting with new things, either right after the album was done or during the album and especially once the pandemic started, so it became a way to bring in some of the stuff that we didn’t get to do the first time around… We wanted to do a reimagined version of the album that nobody else could do but us.”


If someone were to ask you to give them one song off of every album to listen to, what would they be?


“Oh no, this is a tough one. “Concrete” has to be for Giant, which I hate to say because it’s one of the songs that gets us put into a box immediately. But it’s a good song. Schmaltz is “It’s Not Interesting” because that’s the song I hate the least and I think it does the most creative work on that album without it being obvious. If you’ve never heard Brave Faces… Well, for me personally, it’d be “Brave Faces” but that’s like a thesis song so if you haven’t heard the album before that, I don’t know if it makes sense. “Generation Loss”, we’ll go with that, even though it’s a little pop-punk. Off the Etc. versions, TBD on that based on how the next album sounds. But “Dolores” or “Kick”, I’d say. There are moments in both of those songs that I think are benchmarks for what we’ve done as a band and are up there for some of my favorite things I’ve done with the band.”


Be sure to catch Dylan and Spanish Love Songs on their Spring US tour and their early-Summer European run, with the dates available on their site: https://spanishlovesongs.com/pages/tour


Finally, be sure to check out their newest release, Brave Faces Etc., on your preferred streaming platform and take a look at their Patreon if you want to support them directly in exchange for some pretty cool perks: https://www.patreon.com/spanishlovesongs