Ben Leuner (photographer),
Jonah Bayer (writer)
The title of The Loved Ones' latest full-length, Build & Burn, has a special meaning for the band's frontman, Dave Hause. "I'm a partner in a small contracting company, and I try to maintain that while playing music," Hause explains while taking a break from a house-remodeling project near his home base of Philadelphia. "It's a lot of work, but it's also really rewarding; both aspects of my life have their challenges, but they also have their rewards."
Hause knows a thing or two about paying his dues. He got his start as a roadie for New Jersey punk legends The Bouncing Souls and started The Loved Ones in 2003 as his own chance to step into the spotlight. Since then the band have toured with everyone from ska acts like Catch 22 to rock revivalists like The Hold Steady, and they've grown from a melodic punk band into a Springsteen-inspired rock outfit. After releasing two full-lengths, The Loved Ones just released the EP Distractions, which is a collection of previously unreleased recordings plus covers by songwriters like Billy Bragg, Bruce Springsteen, and Joe Strummer.
"We felt that the only reason these songs didn't make it onto the records was because they didn't fit thematically, so we thought it'd be cool to put this out to tide things over until our next release," Hause explains, adding that the EP showcases the diversity of the band's influences. "I remember buying a Tori Amos record and a Youth of Today record in the same purchase when I was growing up," he continues. "There's so much that music has to offer, and to box yourself into one thing means that you'd really be missing out on a lot."
Hause was an early convert to tattoo culture and had both of his arms done by the time he was in his early 20s. And every time the band completes a new album, he has the urge to get inked. "I got a tattoo last year of a match on one hand and a nail on the other to commemorate getting Build & Burn finished, but I haven't gotten a tattoo in a while," he explains. "I have a long list of tattoos that I need to get done—I just haven't had time to get around to doing them yet."