UTG INTERVIEW: Lovesucker Discuss Debut EP and Gypsy Soul


“People can spot bullshit and being real is worth its weight in bone and blood.”

Charlotte, North Carolina duo, Lovesucker, have more passion for their work than most musicians I’ve come across. Crystal Crosby and Zoltan Von Bury are creating what they please, as they please, and the results are inspiring.

We had the chance to speak with the two about their growing career and mission as Lovesucker, as well as their gypsy soul tag and future plans, so read through below and get the scoop from two unique souls with a true fervor for their art.

Where does the name Lovesucker come from? It almost reminds me of like an ’80s hair metal band, but you guys are clearly not that.

ZVB: It was a name I had hung on to for a while, trying to find the right vehicle to attach it to. When Crystal and I hooked up to do this, it seemed like a good fit for our ’70s funk-influenced ideas.

And how did the two of you join forces originally to start this project?

ZVB: We had been friends for years. Crystal was living in Long Beach so we would keep up with each other via email, Facebook, etc. I had a bunch of songs I was working on between tours from another band I was in, and reached out to Crystal to see if she knew any singer that would be into these ideas. When she responded that she had just moved back to Charlotte a few weeks earlier, we immediately sync’d up to discuss new music ideas – started writing together a week later and the rest is history.

As musicians, where have you drawn inspiration and influence from over the years that you feel has helped shape your sound and the style you’ve taken on?

CC: Great suffering and great love, indeed. Life and her lessons, however powerful or precious, holds its own influence, and what a mother she is, understand? Zoltan and myself have endured and transcended countless challenges and gifts that have certainly colored our natures somewhat dark, while as good people, we pull from the light, always seeking to inspire and illuminate others. To place two expansive people into any one vein would greatly underestimate us as a collective. Regardless of genres, which we are both incredibly thick with (Zoltan’s musical knowledge is awe-inspiring), our sound and style has been shaped by any and all who move us, to feel something, to want more! We’re Lovesucker, baby, that’s what we do!

I’m not sure if you coined the term ‘Gypsy Soul’ but I’ve certainly never heard it before. Can you tell me what that genre or style entails specifically for you?

CC: We are nothing if not authentic and hauntingly intense in our sometimes relentless way, but it’s literally a coined term simply embodying both our music like liquid, how it bleeds out into its own melodic territory, like a watercolor image when the pigment hits the paper…it moves, it’s unbridled, impossible to hold or contain, and yet there’s a restraint, a withholding that keeps you in a moment with us if you are willing to come along for the ride. My transient, nomadic life for the past several years hasn’t been stable or secure and as gypsies roam about the land, therein freedom is discovered. And let’s touch on soul, shall we? What is it if not freedom? This is who we are. We are moved, always trusting The Universe will hold us, and The Ravens will always guide us good; we are fluid and we are free!

How would you describe your debut EP overall to someone who’s not yet listened to it? In terms of sound, style, lyricism.

CC: Lyrically, there’s nothing contrived or clean about our songs. Zoltan conveyed to me in the beginning, when I was hesitant to draw from my own history, people can spot bullshit and being real is worth its weight in bone and blood. He encouraged me to tell the truth and created a musical canvas on which to explore and exploit that space. I give the Lovesucker fans everything I’ve got in me, as cryptic or as descript as my gut will allow. Hopefully within that unfolding, they themselves are left moved. My greatest desire for Lovesucker is that we be known for evoking a feeling, for stirring something inside.

We’re both being influenced by an expansive library of decades and genres, offering up elements familiar and yet impossible to truly define without referencing our “East Coast Indie Rock meets West Coast Gypsy Soul.” It’s why we had to create the tag. There is no other way to truly describe it.

I was curious- the track order of the EP is in the reverse order on Bandcamp of what it is on your website. Is there a reason for that? Do you think the order in which the songs are listened to affects the flow of the EP at all?

ZVB: Not sure why the order is different on Bandcamp. Surely not intentional. I think it has something to do with how you load them into the player. The order on the EP is the way we wanted it to lay out. Gotta get that Bandcamp thing tweaked.

You released a new video for “Guns and Gasoline” earlier this month. What can you tell me about the ideas that went into the video in relation to the song?

CC: As a self-proclaimed feral child of sorts, I’ve always looked to The Universe to guide me – in particular, Ravens hold a lot of spiritual and primal weight with me. They will always find themselves somewhere in Lovesucker’s message, and my love of tarot has been with me as an adolescent, always seeking something from anywhere I can. The shimmer of the skull is the draw to those things which lure you and can lead to your unraveling. “Guns and Gasoline” is a woman trying to save another when the devastation of a destructive love at its end has shell-shocked and capsized you. All you know to do is run to the sanctuary of a stronger soul, a stabilizer to soothe and steady you as you lose your mind behind unspeakable and unfathomable loss. It’s about how terrifying it can be and how grace gets you through it.

Your videos seem to all have kind of a similar aesthetic and consistency. Do you guys make your own videos or do you have someone that helps you out with those?

CC: With the knowledge of the song itself, I give total trust to Zoltan as that is his new found playground. I trust him completely and choose to have very little input in the building of those.

ZVB: It is new terrain for me, trying my best to capture the song’s feel and vibe. Many more to do!

The EP’s been out for nearly 5 months now. Have you been working on new material and do you have any kind of window planned for when you expect to release your next effort?

ZVB: We are finishing up recording the second EP in April; hope to have that released by mid-summer. We are on track for this!

What do you expect your next release to sound like in comparison to your debut? Are there any aspects of your music you’d like to expand on or change or anything new you guys would like to explore?

CC: Having gotten the debut EP up under us, with all the overwhelmingly supportive and positive feedback from critics and fans from the states as far as to Australia and now Japan, we feel a strong desire to carve deeper into the sandstone trails of our West Coast sway. There are songs that have been cultivating themselves but with so much momentum this first EP is generating, we are already backlogged on new material. Zoltan’s infinity for high end guitars, along with the magic he conjures up between his boards, tracks, and kickdrums are laying ground for a deeper Gypsy soul connection to our smoldering past.

As Zoltan has been known to say, “All killer, no filler.” Our only Lovesucker law for any cut on any of our EPs, past present and future, is this: if a song won’t get it done in the backseat, it doesn’t make the record.

And apart from what we’ve already discussed, what do you have in store for the rest of 2015? Any big plans or goals you hope to achieve?

CC: To keep the Lovesucker love coming and to give more than we will ever get in return. Thank you, Ravens, and thank you!

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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