Hailing from Spartanburg, South Carolina, brothers, Landon Rojas, Cade Rojas, along with childhood friend, Cameron Smith formed the band, LOVELY WORLD in 2015. The three founding members have been close friends since elementary school, jamming new school rock with the best of the ’70s. Recently joined by bassist Michael Gilbert, Lovely World’s lineup is now complete. After recording a new album in 2019 and touring in 2020, the band was shut down when Covid hit, but that’s not stopping these talented young musicians. They have used their downtime to write and record some brilliant new material and with the release of their new EP, Heart in a Cage, on October 2nd, 2020, they continue their march toward world domination.
We caught up with band member, Landon Rojas at the Grove in Los Angeles recently and asked him to tell us why it’s a Lovely World.
Tell us about your band. Where does the name, Lovely World come from?
We came up with the name after overhearing a sarcastic remark from a certain girl at my college. She said something about it being a “lovely day” and I kind of thought, hmm, lovely world is probably what she actually means, and then it dawned on me that it might make a great band name. When I ran it past the band we all agreed that Lovely World was perfect for us.
So I take it you’re an optimist.
Absolutely. You have to be.
What made you get into music?
When I was 13 my parents got me a guitar for Christmas and I instantly fell in love with it. Around the same time, my younger brother, Cade started to play drums, and then our buddy, Cameron also decided to learn guitar. After jamming for a couple of years, with just the three of us, we decided to get serious and form a band. Michael Gilbert joined us about a year ago he became the final piece of the puzzle.
What was your sound like in those early days?
Truth be told we didn’t really have a sound. We played music we loved and practiced hard. Really devoted ourselves. After a certain point, it all started to come together.
Any early influences?
You know, it was never a specific group. Our taste and our interest pretty much changed every month. That said, Led Zeppelin and Jeff Buckley did have an influence on us, and listening to Oasis, definitely made us a fan of big choruses.
Was being from the south a factor?
Yes, I would say it has definitely shaped our approach to music, and to life in general really. People are pretty genuine here. They don’t tolerate bullshit. After visiting New York and LA for the first time, we’ve realized how important our environment has been to our growth as musicians and as people. It’s always about the truth for us. Theatrics are cool, but for Lovely World, it’s about the music.
When did you figure out you could make a living doing this?
Probably when we started writing our own songs. It was an awakening that was hard to ignore. Suddenly we couldn’t see ourselves doing anything else. We decided to put all our focus and energy into making good music becoming a great band and hustling shows.
Where was your first paid gig?
At a little southern bar called Boiling Springs Ale House. I’m pretty sure we messed up at least half the songs but it ended up being a great night for us and it totally inspired us to want to do more. The people who owned the venue were also really cool, so that really helped to inspire us.
You guys were pretty young. Was there ever an issue with your family, or people tell you that you were dreaming?
Not really. Our family has been very supportive since we started. But we do come from a town of working-class people who can sometimes be cynical.
How do you handle that?
We try not let it affect us. Our band is a very tight unit and we support each other and keep pushing forward. As we all know, life is short so why not do what you love?
What’s it like working with your brother, Cade? Do you guys see eye to eye?
Most of the time. Can’t say we don’t argue once in a while but it’s always about something stupid and we’re over it within a couple of minutes.
How did you meet your manager, Vicky Hamilton?
We attended this music conference in Memphis last year and she approached us after our set. We hit it off right away and we started working together pretty soon after that. Vicky is amazing. She’s helped guide Guns ‘N Roses back in the day and got them their first record deal on Geffen. She’s also worked with legends like Mötley Crüe and Poison. She understands the business and we’re very happy she believes in us as much as we believe in her.
How are you guys handling this crazy Covid situation? Must be hard having to stop playing live.
It really sucks not being able to play live, but at the same time, it’s allowing us to work on new material and discover more of what we’re capable of.
I’ve seen some of your videos on YouTube. They’re really clever and creative. Who put those together for you?
A fantastic videographer called, Ridge Beck. We went to high school with Ridge and we’ve always had a strong creative connection.
You’re most recent release, Don’t Lay Me Down, is getting great traction on Spotify.
Yeah, it’s really nice to see so many people connecting with that track. We’re very grateful.
What do you have as a follow-up?
We’ve actually got a bunch of new tunes in the works and we’ll be releasing an EP called Heart In A Cage on October 2nd.
Can you tell us about it?
Its a collection of four tracks we recorded in LA with the amazing Rick Parker. We already released Edge of Time, Compromise, and Don’t Lay Me Down as singles; however, since they represent a true moment for the band, we decided to release them again side by side as an EP. We’ve added a bonus track called Bones that turned out really well and we were lucky enough to convince the famous surrealist artist, Ron English to create some cover art us. He’s done work for the Dandy Warhol’s as well as Slash and Pearl Jam among many others. We’re very excited for Heart in a Cage to drop on October 2nd.
Congratulations, Landon. We’ll be looking out for it. Wishing you and the boys much success.
For more info on this band visit: Lovely World Music