Love/Hate guitarist Jon E. Love talks touring with Dio, reunion shows, early history and much more

Love/Hate was always one of those bands that burned so bright you knew there would be an inevitable crash and burn.

From the moment 'Blackout In The Red Room' hit MTV, any stoner/metal kid worth his salt was well aware of the group and well on their way to blasting their album and songs like 'Rock Queen' and 'Hell, Ca.' louder than God. The guys had a nice run of worldwide touring during their run on Columbia Records and kept on producing albums on an indie level but members began coming and going. Vocalist Jizzy Pearl began a series of stints as L.A.’s most called upon replacement vocalist for acts like RATT and L.A. Guns as well as authoring some real good books and rants on Metal Sludge. As we all know, anything worth a shit comes back around and so it is with Love/Hate. I was recently able to talk to guitarist Jon Love about the band’s illustrious past and their upcoming tourdates ( including both local dates with Jon and a run of European dates which will include ace replacement players Robbie Crane , Keri Kelli and Matt Starr)

Legendary Rock Interviews: Love/Hate had its roots in the band Dataclan which was very different and electronica influenced. How different was that music from what was going on in the L.A. scene at that point and was it difficult operating that far out of the traditional strip metal scene goin on then?

Jon E. Love: At the time of Dataclan we were using early gear in the pioneer age of midi. We had one of the first Linn drums and one of the first midi capable OB-8's and Dx7's and were running them with an old Atari Commodore. Pretty archaic compared to the technology today. When we upgraded to the Linn 9000 we lost the Atari and ran the 9000 as the host sequencer. Joey even had a kit of Simmons synth drums and would play along with the programmed beats. We were influenced by a lot of the early 80's British bands at the time, like Duran Duran, Thompson Twins, Depeche Mode, music that was danceable and image conscious. We were trying to get chicks to like us because our mantra was 'If we can get girls to our shows than the guys will follow.' I listened to some old Dataclan recordings the other day and just laughed. We were pretty sappy and in my eyes inferior to the bands we admired. But we were woodshedding and leaning how to rock even in those days. One thing the machines did was force us to play in time. You can’t be off tempo with a machine dictating the lock so there was never an argument that ' hey you sped up in the chorus'

LRI: It’s been said that Ian Astbury and the Cult was a real influence on your singer Jizzy and the band in general in the beginning. The Cult was definitely another band that struggled with its fair share of drug and alcohol demons. Nikki Sixx has often said that a lot of his early issues had to do with following the same fate as his idols. Were there early warning signs that chemicals would be an issue for L/H well before getting a record deal?

Jon: The Cult's Love album was such an impact on us that we practically changed direction overnight. The power and strong songwriting skills just made us realize that we were nowhere close to being contenders of mass success and that the reliance on machines to enhance our live sound was actually zapping us of the immediacy and energy of the songs. We started really focusing on playing our instruments better and focusing on song composition. As far as drugs are concerned, each individual has to go through their own cycle of learning the consequences of abusing mind-altering drugs. What could start out as a harmless social experience can turn into severe addiction in the blink of an eye. For some they never get the chance to get out'


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Kalvin Joo
Camelot Music
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