I got to sit down with the very fun and talented duo of Alex Moore and Spencer Livingston from the indie-rock band Livingmore during their first time performing on the East Coast. The LA-based band performed at Union Pool in Brooklyn on July 12th during their three-day stint in New York. Moore and Livingston, with drummer Mike Schadel and bassist Rodrigo Moreno, put on a memorable show in the very intimate Union Pool performance room.
Moore was a force to be reckoned with, tapping into her element on the tight-knit stage. On songs that did not require her acoustic guitar skills, she made sure to emit her energy throughout the room. With clean, captivating vocals, and melodies to match, it was hard not to be impressed by Livingmore’s live sound. Not all bands are able to match the sound they produce on their studio versions, but the skilled Livingmore did just that and more during their Union Pool performance.
Livingston and Moore are interested in creating music with simple sounds that draw listeners in. Their focus is on producing balanced music between the melodies and lyrics. This can be experienced best with their song “Gone Too Fast,” which has a continuous g-chord throughout. The duo is interested in challenging themselves when writing and composing music. I discussed how they went about bringing this song to fruition with them in the interview below.
Livingmore Discusses Their Music with Some Q&A
Where did you guys come up with the name “Livingmore”?
Alex: My last name is Moore and Spencer’s is Livingston. Livingmore
Spencer: But it actually has a double meaning as well, and we like the positive meaning behind it.
How did the band form?
Alex: We met through mutual friends. I was doing solo music and my drummer at the time played in a band with him, and I kind of knew about his music and we went to each other’s shows. I needed a guitar player at the time and he’d pop up.
Spencer: And I just kept popping up.
Alex: Then we tried writing together and made a lot of songs.
What artists/bands have influenced your musical development and sound?
Spencer: It’s weird, I don’t necessarily think we really sound like anything that we listen to. Maybe we do though. But we both like The Kinks a lot, The Beatles obviously.
Alex: Obviously. We like Wilco. And I like Garbage a lot, we just went to their concert. Belle and Sebastian. Things with really good melodies and a nostalgic quality to it, I tend to listen in on.
Spencer: Yeah and there are other bands that are local that we’re into like Autolux. They’re definitely a big one for me soundscape-wise, guitar-wise.
What’s the process like for creating music between the two of you?
Spencer: Half of the time she’ll write a song, or I’ll write a song separately, usually with acoustic guitar. Sometimes I’ll write a song and bring it to her and she’ll write a bridge for it, or vice versa. And some occasions I’ll play guitar and she’ll sing freestyle over top of it, whatever she hears.
So you guys like to start with melody?
Spencer: Yeah, usually melody comes first. At least for me.
Alex: Or sometimes at the same time, lyrics and melody.
Are there any recurrent themes in your songs? I noticed a lot of animal references like “Cocoon”, “Little Bird”, “Counting Sheep”.
Spencer: There are a lot of animal references.
Alex: It wasn’t on purpose but now that you said that, that’s true. I guess we just kind of like metaphors in general and symbolism.
Spencer: I feel like she’s the one who puts the animals in songs. I don’t think I’ve ever put an animal in a song, it’s all Alex.
What’s in store for your upcoming album “Ok to Land”? And when should we expect to hear that?
Alex: I’m pretty sure it’s coming out late August.
Spencer: We have a couple more music videos that we’re going to release first.
Alex: We have one for “Gone Too Fast” coming up that my brother Dillon is doing for us again. He did our “Really Mean It” video that had all this animation and stuff. But we’re going to have ten songs on this album.
Spencer: We recorded thirteen, but I think the album flows better with the ten we picked.
Alex: What I gained from it is that we’re in a new chapter in our lives and there’s an optimistic, hopeful theme throughout the album.
What’s the first song you two worked on together and how has that evolved into what your latest single “Never Slow Down” is?
Alex: The first one we worked on was “Counting Sheep”. It’s different because at the time it was just us, there wasn’t a full band. So at first it was just acoustic because we were trying to get the songs out there.
Spencer: We played for about two years, just acoustic
Alex: There’s most of an upbeat, rock, band kind of feel to it. Well I feel like we found a lot of our sound with songs like “Really Mean It” and we’ve carried that into what we’re doing it.
Spencer: Forever evolving.
Describe your sound in two words?
Alex: Haha, I would say one of them would be imaginative. And the other, upbeat.
Do you do anything outside of music that contributes to your songwriting?
Alex: It’s funny cause now I’m realizing like, “I should have a more balanced lifestyle probably”. I feel like music is my most scheduled thing. We’re kind of obsessed with music and doing things for the band. I’m definitely not the kind of person that’s like, “Let me wake up and do yoga at this time, and meet people for lunch at 2.”
Spencer: We do stuff outdoors, hiking. I like cooking.
Alex: Seeing friends.
Spencer: Having a beer.
Alex: Haha yeah, basically eating and drinking are my hobbies.
What artists are you guys listening to right now?
Spencer: We’ve been obsessed with “Sergeant Pepper Remastered”. It’s amazing, Ringo’s drums sound huge. George Martens who produced that album originally, his son went in and totally remixed and remastered everything. It sounds like an album that was recorded like this year.
Alex: And The Kills, I love The Kills.
Spencer: Yeah we saw them recently. Modest Mouse too.
Do you have a favorite song to perform?
Alex: Right now mine is “Really Mean It” because I like the energy it brings as far as my movements on stage
Spencer: I like playing “Gone Too Fast”
I saw that you guys picked just a G-chord for “Gone Too Fast”, what inspired that?
Spencer: It was definitely intentional. I wanted to write a song that was simple. I was watching this documentary, “Concert for Bangladesh” with George Harrison. There’s a whole part in the beginning with Indian music. Most of those songs are mantras and they start with one note that drones the whole time, and then there are things that happen around that. A lot of Irish music does that too, bagpipe music. It’s really hypnotic.
Alex: It’s kind of a challenge, where to take it.
Spencer: I wanted to see how much was possible with one chord.
What’s the most bizarre thing that’s happened to you on stage?
Alex: I mean we’ve gotten electrocuted a few times. There was this one show in LA, in the beginning of us performing, and we were doing sound check.
Spencer: We both touched the mic at the same time—
Alex: I was like “What’s going oooooon” and looked over at him and he’s like “Ahhhhh”. It was like 100 degrees.
Do you guys have any superstitious behavior before performing?
Alex: I do vocal warm-ups and they’re the same every time.
Spencer: I don’t really. I like to have a little silent time. It’s very rare that you actually get that.
Alex: I don’t like to put hats on the bed. I don’t know, my family always said that it was bad luck to put hats on the bed.
Spencer: It’s not really a before show thing, more of an everyday thing.
Getting to sit down with Moore and Livingston was an awesome experience, and I would love to talk with them again the next time they perform in New York. I’m excited to see what their upcoming album “Ok to Land” has to offer. You can check out latest from them on their WEBSITE.