The question “Who is Karl Strange?” boomed from posters plastered around town, and flooded social media prior to February 13th, the album release and debut show date of The Love§trange. Even after chatting with front-man Karl Strange, the answer remains a minor mystery, but he did share that music entered his life a “very, very, very long time ago.”
In his youth, Karl wanted to take life “seriously,” and quit his band to go to college. He later became a lawyer. “I didn’t know that you could be in a real band in Utah,” he admits. He knew of cover bands, but at the time there wasn’t a known scene he could access. Fast forward a couple of decades, and break through Provo bands such as Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons inspired Karl to re-enter the music scene.
Karl searched the classifieds seeking just the right musicians with whom to collaborate. 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’s name, Karl explains, “When love happened to me, I thought it was so familiar, yet so foreign.”
The Love§trange isn’t striving for perfection. “We let loose with our quirks and flaws, and don’t try to cover them up.” Karl confesses that many of the album’s songs are the first or second take. “The band’s messages are about flaws and acceptance, not judgment.”
The audience at their April 11th show was definitely appreciating the unique lo-fi sound that 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, The Love§trange is a breath of fresh air infused with early rock ‘n’ roll nostalgia. Influences include David Bowie, The Cars, Mott the Hoople and The Toadies. “History repeats itself,” says Matt in reference to the cyclical nature of music. “We haven’t learned from our past, so we repeat it.” The Love§trange has been favorably compared to bands such as The Strokes, The Flaming Lips, Lou Reed and Pavement.
Those are big shoes to fill, but The Love§trange is cobbling together their own way. 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 by-day web designer/developer and patent trademark attorney transformed into an Art Rock band by night is surprisingly harmonious. “Our polarizing views actually make us better,” Matt adds. Listening to their debut album “I Liked It, No I Didn’t” confirms that they’re onto something beautiful.
Adopting 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 Timpanogas Music Festival on July 25, 2015