Lawyer Returns to Rock Roots
~ Emily McLean
Written for Utah Stories May 2015
“Who is Karl Strange?” touted posters around town and flooded social media prior to the February 13th album release and debut show of The Love§trange. Even after chatting with frontman Karl Strange, it remains a bit of a mystery. He admits to music entering his life a “Very, very, very long time ago.”
In his younger years Karl wanted to take life “seriously,” and quit his band to go to college and later became a lawyer. “I didn’t know that you could be in a real band in Utah.” He knew of cover bands, but at the time there wasn’t a known scene to get anywhere. Fast forward a couple decades to bands like Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons breaking big out of Provo, which inspired Karl to reenter the music scene.
Like many before him, Karl searched the classifieds seeking just the right musicians to collaborate with. Second generation drummer Matt Blunt grew up wanting to be like his hero, his dad. Karl reached out to Matt and together they formed The Love§trange, adding Devin Powell and Chad Reynolds. Regarding the band name, Karl explains, “When love happened to me, I thought it was so familiar, yet so foreign.”
The Love§trange isn’t going for perfection. “We let loose with our quirks and flaws, and don’t try to cover them up,” touts Karl. Many of the songs on the album are the first or second take. He adds, “The band’s messages are about flaws and acceptance, not judgement.”
The audience at their April 11th show certainly was accepting of the unique lo-fi sound The Love§trange offers. “To be able to invoke emotion in people is very fulfilling, it’s never one sided,” explains Matt. Completely authentic and true to themselves in every way, The Love§trange is a breath of fresh air infused with nostalgia of early rock ‘n’ roll.
Influences include David Bowie, The Cars, Mott the Hoople, and The Toadies. “History repeats itself, we haven’t learned from our past so we repeat it.” says Matt in reference to the cyclical nature of music. The Love§trange has been favorably compared to bands like The Strokes, The Flaming Lips, Lou Reed and Pavement.
Those are big shoes to fill, but The Love§trange paves their own way. Their passion drives them to move forward and take the leap of faith required to make it in the music industry. “Our dreams are bigger than we’re willing to admit,” explains Karl. Matt adds, “I can’t do anything halfway.”
The odd pairing of a web designer/developer and a patent trademark attorney by day forming an Art Rock band by night is surprisingly harmonious. “Our polarizing views actually make us better.” tells Matt. Listening to their debut album “I Liked It, No I Didn’t” only confirms that they’re on to something beautiful.
With the philosophy that it is truly our differences and flaws that bring us together; to really discover “Who is Karl Strange?” Begin by looking within yourself.
The Love§trange will be performing at The Timpanogos Music Festival July 25th FREE