By Leslie Krouse
First things first, STOP reading this, open up another tab on your computer and check out: youtube.com/theludovideothing episode 13 “Love Me Dead” toothbrush video, I can wait. Pretty hilarious; I can understand them being named “Bands to watch 2007” by Alternative Press. After seeing this video I had to know more. So I got Tim Ferrell on the phone. It’s pretty fucking cool what I learned about these 5 guys. Andrew Volpe (vocals, guitar), Tim Ferrell (guitar, vocals), Tim Convy (Moog synthesizer, keyboards, vocals), Marshall Fanciullo (bass), and Matt Palermo (drums, vocals) – they came together in bits and pieces in 2003, Five dudes, 900 sq ft flat in Tulsa, “Craptastic” according to Andrew. They blasted out their first self titled album in 14 days, toured the country like madmen, then realized some help would be nice, that’s when Producer Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Train, Faith No More), and Island Records came into the picture in spring of 2007. After 8 culturally awakening weeks in Los Angles “their healthiest, most ten-toed music baby yet”, that’s when “You’re Awful, I Love you” was born. Back out on the road after such a distastefully long hiatus, Ludo is kicking ass (not literally) and taking e-mail addresses (literally), delivering the same face-melting, sing-along, power-explosion rock show for which they’ve become mildly recognizable in certain small demographic pockets of the middle third of the United States. And as they re-embark on this mission, they rededicate themselves to their motto, vowing to continue to “entertain people without making them dumber.” “Except this time, we’re doing it for all the wrong reasons”. I sat down with Tim Convy to find out more.
RIS: Let’s start with “The Ludo Video Thing”, these are a series of episodic videos that range from getting to know the band, to videos like the toothbrush video, “Love Me Dead”, and “The Car Salesman” were do you get the ideas for videos like these?
TC: We took a lot of the footage while we were in the studio recording our new album. The Car Salesman and some of the other spoofs are actual people we know, we just wanted to do “a day in the life” of these characters and they are “Characters”. The toothbrush video we actually turned Andrews parent’s bathroom into a studio, and every time someone would come over we would throw them inside, give them a toothbrush and tell them to start singing, including the parents. We also had a lot of our fans send in clips of themselves in the bathroom singing into their toothbrushes. It was a lot of fun.
RIS: How was working with legendary producer Matt Wallace, and what did you think of L.A.?
TC: Awesome, I can only say great things about him, he is the nicest person, and he is definitely good at what he does. Matt settled any disagreements by pointing at his platinum record and saying “Recognize”, he did listen to what we had to say. I didn’t get to see much of L.A. I can tell you what our apartment to the studio looked like, we did get out a couple of nights it was very cool. Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
RIS: You have done a lot of touring on your own, how do you see this up-coming tour being any different than the past?
TC: In the past us 5 guys did everything from passing out flyers, mailing t-shirts, arranging interviews, booking tours, e-mailing venues, myspacing fans, fixing equipment, calling promoters, maintaining the van, preparing tax returns, designing merch, updating the website, and anything else you could imagine a band not doing, we hardly even had energy to play shows anymore. It’s funny, we sold out a show with about a 1000 people in St. Louis were we’re from, and then went to the west coast, they had to cancel the show due to no ticket sales, it’s hard to promote yourself nationally. Now we can focus on the stuff we want to do, have a little consistency, and just play.
RIS: Your songs seem to be a little on the warped side of relationships. Who writes them, who do you, get your inspiration from, and do they need to see a psychologist?
TC: Andrew writes most of the songs. We like to have themes, tell a story, almost like a good horror film. We have all levels of relationships, not just break-ups, in some warped way they are love songs. We draw a lot of our inspiration from people like Chuck Berry (he’s from St. Louis too); he tells stories and introduces characters in his songs like we try to. We all know Andrew needs to be committed.
RIS: If you could have your dream tour, what would you like to do, and who would you like to play with?
TC: Well, we like doing themed shows like Halloween, and we just did A Very Ludo Christmas, so we have been talking about an Abraham Lincoln or a Rise from the Dead show, it sounds weird but it could be fun. I know we would like to tour with Weezer someday. Marshall the base player is from San Diego and his dream was to play the Belly Up Tavern, and he is going to have that dream come true on March 22, since the rest of us are from St. Louis we have pretty much played the venues we wanted to play growing up.