Interview: ‘Mindless Joy’ With LOSER’s Tim Maxwell

Interview by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer

LOSER have kind of made a whirlwind entrance into our world, having only formed a short time ago. The love for the band is strong and clear to anyone who cares to notice and when you listen to them or see them live, it’s easy to understand why. In my opinion, these guys have just got that certain something required to be a successful band. All of them talented and all of them seemingly on the same page as to where they want the band to go. In fact, it’s funny that they are called LOSER because they are anything but. These guys are winners. Through and through.

I got to chat to frontman, Tim Maxwell recently about the soon to be released debut album, ‘Mindless Joy’ and why 2020 is the ‘year of the LOSER‘.

We’ve got some really exciting things to talk about; it’s all happening for LOSER! First up, let’s talk about the big one; your debut album ‘Mindless Joy’ is out Feb 14 via Domestic La La, I can only imagine how eager you must be for its release?

“Totally! We recorded that back in May last year and it was written well before that also, pretty much straight after our EP. So we’ve been sitting on those songs for a while. I am really eager to release them. It is pretty weird that we already have so much new stuff and we sort of forget about it and then you do interviews like this and it’s like ‘Oh Yeah, that’s right, there’s that little album that we have that nobody’s heard yet!’ *laughs*”

You’ve already answered a bit of my next question, which was to ask about the album, how long have you been working on this masterpiece you’re about to unleash on the world? So it’s been in the works for quite some time?

“Yeah it has been a while. We sort of had another batch of songs that, I don’t know, I think there was about like 20 songs that were sort of floating around at the time. I just wanted to try and find the right style to… to still progress somewhat but not be drastically different. It’s hard to explain, to kind of go from writing like Weezer pop songs to more like big guitar solos, stadium style rock, like Smashing Pumpkins style. We shoot for that in some parts of the album but it’s not all like that all the way through it. It is like our style evolved in that case.”

I can definitely hear different layers there, I can hear a real sort of 90’s grungy, alt rock, punk thing going on but then there are certain tracks that maybe even took me to, sort of a Beatles vibe almost?

“Yeah of course. My parents raised me on really good music. Beatles being one of them. They are the best band in the world so you know, anyone who has got a good ear is going to be influenced by that band. And John Lennon, you know, I have been listening to it for years. All the great artists that you listen to back in the day that you may not have appreciated as much. Now, it is way better. It couldn’t get any better to listen to those artists now and appreciate why they were so big and why they are so good and still influential to this day.”

And I think, for me, a lot of the music my parents listened to, some of it I thought was corny at the time, but now I listen to it and think, ‘wow, this is great!’ Like a new appreciation for some of it?

“Exactly. Yeah for sure. I listen to anything that takes talent *laughs* I listen to a broad range of music but of course it depends if it’s good or not *laughs*”

Yeah, for sure, me too. I think I can respect and appreciate any music. But it definitely has to ‘sing’ something to you personally for you to enjoy it.

“Yeah. Like, most people would be pretty amazed to know that one of the biggest influences on the album was Billie Eilish, so…”

Amazing! How good is it that she just took out number one in the triple j Hottest 100!?

“Yeah that’s amazing. I expected everything that she was going to get, like all the Grammys and everything. The album is incredible. It is weird because I wouldn’t listen to that type of music or some of the influences that are in there, it is a pretty versatile album. But yeah, it is crazy. It has been said a lot, but you know it is pretty much like the Nirvana of this generation. It is a big as that. It may not be the same genre or whatever but it’s the same hype. If we could just talk about that for the rest of the interview, that’d be great *laughs*”

I’d love too, but let’s go back to your new album; it features all of your recently released singles, Out Of Luck, Get It All Out, Golden Things. They are all absolute bangers. I can imagine it would be as hard as picking a favourite child, but do you have a favourite track on the album?

“*laughs* Good question. It sort of changes all the time hey because we’ve had the songs for so long. Erase me is pretty special to me, I think that is one of my favourites. It is just different to the others, people wouldn’t expect a two and a half minute ballad as the third song, but it’s still go the heaviness. It is sort of like you said, a Beatles influence and all that, well that’s the song really.”

Yes, that is where I started hearing it, about track three, I have only recently been sent the album so haven’t had a chance to delve into it too deeply yet. But the few listens through that I have had, I definitely picked that up around there..

“That’s awesome!”

Where did the name LOSER come from? Is it a shout out to Beck’s song by any chance?

“No it is actually not hey. *laughs* I don’t know, it’s actually not that good of a story. We were rehearsing, we were practising the song, Loser or Phase Me; one of the first songs we were jamming. Then we were standing outside of the rehearsal studio and we were like ‘what should we call the band?’ and I was like ‘how about LOSER?’ We looked it up on Spotify and whatever and there were heaps of artists there but I just thought, I don’t care, maybe we put it in capitals or put a dot against it or something. Who cares? There are heaps of bands with the same name. But nobody is actually a huge band called LOSER right now. Like John 5, Marilyn Manson guitarist released an album with a band under the name ‘Loser,’ but that was the last big thing. So I was just like ‘yeah fuck it, let’s just name it that’ and also at the time, when we were a three piece, we were just like three anxious weirdos, so it just made sense.”

So the band has really progressed, you did start off as a three piece and now there’s five. Did it just organically move into a bigger line up or was it something you were seeking out, to add members to the band?

“When I started writing for ‘Mindless Joy’, all the parts where pretty intricate and it needed more layers. I didn’t want to be that band that would be recording as a three piece with all these big dynamics and all these parts that I couldn’t play live. So I was always going to go down that path, some extra guitar to fill it all out and make it more interesting. It is way better for the dynamics. I can focus more on singing in some parts and whatnot, so I am not always doing everything. “

The last time I caught you guys live was at BIGSOUND in Brisbane. What was it like being part of BIGSOUND?

“It was really good. It was the best thing for us I reckon. All the shows were great, we had heaps of fun. We had a great response. All in all, it was a great time.”

It’s so great to see so many music industry people there at BIGSOUND. I was actually standing near James Tidswell watching you at BIGSOUND, now you guys are signed to Domestic La La, which is his label, what’s it like working with him and being part of the Domestic La La family?

“Yeah. It is absolutely incredible. I mean, besides the fact that I am a huge Violent Soho fan and have been from day dot. To work with the guy and speak to him daily, it is a blessing, it’s awesome. He is such a positive guy who is as pumped about our band as we are. So it’s so good to have that behind us, you know what I mean? He is full of energy and positivity all the time. So it is great for us. You know, send him a song and he is so stoked, it’s great. He always has the right input”

One thing I have noticed and something I love about him is that, whenever any of his bands are playing a show, he is always there, front and centre, supporting them.

“Yeah, it’s great. He is always up the front geeing the crowd up and whispering in peoples ears, ‘how good is this!?’ and things like that. He is the sort of guy that you want, you know? I mean, who else does that!? *laughs* Nobody! He is a fucking legend!”

LOSER has been referred to as a bit of a ‘super group’ with a few of you coming from other successful bands, when was that exact moment where the three of you, the initial line up decided to join forces and create LOSER?

“I had the song, Phase Me written…I was playing in bands before that, completely different genres and I wanted to make music were it was more alternative 90’s rock where I was singing again. I sent the song to Craig (Selak) and then he loved it and then shortly after that I sent it to Chris (Cowburn) because I wanted to work with completely different people, because I had been working with the same people in bands for years. So I thought I would try something new and I didn’t think of it as a ‘super group’ or anything like that but obviously when you’ve got three people from other bands, you get labelled as a ‘grunge super group’ and you’re like ‘ugh!’ *laughs* I mean, I was sort of asking for it. It is not like I added the other two people to make it less super group or anything, we are all just humans playing music, there is nothing super about it.”

There is a lot of hype around LOSER right now. It must be an amazing feeling knowing so many people really dig what you are doing?

“Yeah I think it’s incredible because we have been a band less than two years. That’s crazy you know? Sometimes we are thinking ‘oh we haven’t done this or we need to do this’ and then it’s like hold up, we’ve done so much in this short amount of time, it’s incredible. You couldn’t ask for anymore really. We are so lucky to have the first single picked up to get the hype going. Hopefully people hear the album and love it!”

In a recent Facebook post from LOSER, it stated ‘2020, the year for LOSER’s’ – I think it absolutely is! So other than a shiny brand new album, what else can fans expect from LOSER in 2020?

“*laughs* Year of the LOSER! …An album tour and hopefully another single sooner than later. We’ve got some other special stuff planned that I can’t really say, but you are going to hear about it really soon. And other than that, we are going to get another single out this year that is not on ‘Mindless Joy.’ We’ve got plenty of new music and we don’t want to hold back, you know!?”

Yes! Get it out there, share it with the world!

“Exactly. There is nothing worse than if somebody is stoked on your band and then making them wait too long.”

‘Mindless Joy’ is out on February 14 via Domestic La La Records and is sure to be a huge success with both fans and new listeners everywhere. The passion and commitment clearly put into the album from all involved shines through like the warm morning light through my window when I listen to it and I am sure that will be felt by more than just me. Thanks LOSER for sharing your light.

Pre order yourself a copy HERE now.

Since doing this interview, the guys have also released a new single from ‘Mindless Joy,’ Lazy, you can check it out below:

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