Dane Allen Discusses Loyals' Debut Album: "If It Makes You Feel Something, Then I Think We Did Our Job"
This month, Nashville pop trio Loyals celebrated the release of their self-titled debut full-length album, which is filled to the brim with sparkling, lush instrumentals and incredibly personal lyricism. A stunning blend of synth pop, R&B and alternative rock, Loyals' new release establishes the band as an artist to watch in 2018, and there's no questioning why. Each track on the album is not only a hit, but they all have depth, from the bright "Skyline," which touches on young love to the uplifting "Alright" and emotional "Don't Let Me Let You Down." Vocalist Dane Allen says it perfectly: if this album makes you feel something, then they've done their job.
Having just wrapped up tour dates with Emery and As Cities Burn, Loyals have their sights set on touring throughout the rest of 2018 and maybe even writing some more new music. Get to know the band, who are sure to find a special place in your heart, and listen to their new album now below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
The Prelude Press: Can you tell us a little bit about Loyals for any readers who might not be familiar?
Dane Allen [guitar/vocals]: We’re a pop/alternative band from Nashville, TN signed with Tooth & Nail Records. We’ve been a band writing and performing for around 4 years now, and we just released our first album.
You guys have been friends since you were teenagers - do you feel that it affects the way you guys write together? What’s the dynamic like?
Our writing process is pretty formulaic. I’ll write a song and demo it out. If Gomez and Evan like it, then we eventually get together at Gomez’s studio and put all three of our brains on the song to flesh out musical parts and ideas. We’ve been friends for a very long time, and we’ve kind of found a groove—been doing it this way for years.
What goals did you guys have in mind for Loyals when you were first starting out? How do you feel those have changed or evolved as you’ve grown?
We had been in other rock bands together growing up so that genre was pretty embedded in us, but we all knew that we wanted to do something a little different for Loyals. The pop sound just felt natural. I think a lot of our early demos came across way more pop or indie-feeling than anything. It wasn’t until production that we actually started to lean into guitars and drums a little more. I think that’s my favorite part about our music—that we can make a pop record that has the different flavors we love on each song. Rock, soul, R&B, blues, alternative—all genres we love and can’t help but infuse into our music.
You also just released your debut full-length album this month! What did you set out to accomplish when you first started working on those songs?
We just wanted to be true to who we were and the music we love. Our songs are about life and all it’s little nuances. I think that is pretty therapeutic to us. There’s a lot of cleaned-up, pretty sounding kind of lyrics on our record, but there’s also a deeper, more vulnerable aspect to a lot of our songs. Life is never all sunshine and rainbows. I think, lyrically, we wanted to create something that highlights the good times and the bad that everyone experiences. Like I said on the music… we just wanted to do our best to make something that reflects the music that we all love. Synths, bass, guitars, drums, harmonies—we just want all of those things to support the song and serve it in the best way possible. I think our writing and demoing process helps us to get those more innate and definitive qualities onto the songs in the early stages while we have time to sit with them before production where you have to really hustle to get recording done.
There are some albums that really capture a moment in time, and I feel like this one is one of them. What did these songs mean for you when you guys were writing and recording?
A whole hell of a lot. I know we just put this record out, but some of these songs date back to 2014 with the latest one, “Hold On”, being written just last year. A whole bunch of life happened within that timeframe, and that’s exactly what I wanted to write about. There was a lot to be thankful for, but there was also a lot to be hurt and angry about. All of those emotions are on this record, and I hope that 10 years from now I’ll be able to listen to it and be transported right back to this era to feel all of this again—good and bad.
Were there any challenges you came across when you were working on the album? If so, how did you overcome them?
There have been many hurdles for us all to jump over the past few years. I think the bond we all three share is something we’ve been able to fall back on. Legal battles, heartbreak, money problems, etc… We’ve got each other’s back, and that’s something we take very seriously not only in our band but with our friends as well. If you’re with us, then you know you’ll be taken care of.
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from the album?
We want our music to hit home with people. If it makes you feel something, then I think we did our job. We want this first record and future records to be something that people can still still relate with and love even when they’re old and Loyals isn’t around anymore.
With the album out now, do you guys have any plans to hit the road soon? What’s next for Loyals?
We just wrapped a tour with Emery and As Cities Burn. There are talks of another tour soon. Beyond that, we’ll continue to write new songs.
Do you have any other big plans or goals for 2018?
We want to tour as much as possible. It’s been really cool so far seeing the response to our live show, even with us being a pop band on a hardcore tour. Crowds have been really warm and accepting to us. We can’t wait to hit the road again.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Keep in touch with us on social media! It’s been a blast getting to know our listeners/fans lately. @LOYALSband on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.