Feel the love

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Hey Lover may have immigrated to Portland from Knoxville, Tenn., but to talk to the band’s large collection of local fans one would never know it.

Hey Lover is comprised of husband and wife duo Justin and Terah Beth who have spent the last five years developing a sound that is brilliant in its simplicity. With a punk ethos and an enterprising spirit, the group can run the gambit from slow, noise-filled refrains to driven, indie punk ballads.

On Saturday, July 12, Hey Lover will play at one of the most kick-ass bars in downtown Portland, Kelly’s Olympian (motorcycles, guitars and rock ‘n’ roll–what more could you want?), along with opening acts The Swallows and Swim Swam Swum.

The Vanguard was able to able to catch up with the duo via e-mail earlier this week and seized the opportunity to toss them a few questions.

Richard Oxley: Where are you guys from, how did you meet?Terah Beth: We met when Justin moved to my high school in Tennessee. We went to play air hockey. Justin beat me and I got him in my famous headlock. I think he was smitten then, but he won’t admit it. He says I scared him.

RO: Where does the name “Hey Lover” come from? TB: It is too personal to share, but Hey Lover is not a band, it is a spirit. Plus, it’s an LL Cool J hit, which makes it pretty cool.

RO: How did the band start up? TB: A friend of ours moved back to Knoxville and needed a place to store all of his gear, so all at once we found ourselves with a room full of musical instruments. We thought “fuck it, let’s start a band” and we learned to play.

RO: Does being a duo present any challenges or benefits as opposed to being a three or four-member band? TB: It’s easier to get together for practice and touring becomes much more simple. We went to Europe to tour and only took a guitar, snare (stuffed with clothes), bass pedal and cymbals. We were able to travel by train and bus, crash on peoples’ couches and borrow other bands’ equipment.

RO: In your own words, describe your sound. TB: Raw and simple … hopefully.

RO: If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one sandwich, what would it be? TB: An extra wet vagina sandwich with tartar sauce.

RO: What bands do you listen to/are influenced by? TB: Cafeteria Dance Fever, The Bugs, Furtips, The Cure, Flaming Lips, Modern Lovers, Randy Newman, The Ramones, Dylan, Cash, The Zombies, Neil Young, Nirvana, Pixies, Pulp, T-Rex, Velvet Underground, et cetera.

RO: What CDs are in your CD player right now? TB: Royal Trux.

RO: Being from Portland, could you comment on the local music scene, your thoughts? TB: The independence is nice. Most of the venues support the local scene. A lot of house shows, dive bars. It’s simple to get shows starting out. A lot of small record labels like Hovercraft.

Hey Lover, The Swallows and Swim Swam SwumKelly’s OlympianSaturday, July 12, 10 p.m.No Cover, 21+

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