Candy Hearts. Glitterbomb.

“People were saying I was dangerous to women.”

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Candy Hearts. Glitterbomb.
An interview with Mariel Loveland and John Clifford.

There’s a conversation about glitter.

Mariel Loveland is debating whether she’s overdone it with the glitter, or if her makeup is still too subtle before touring guitarist Sulene Van Der Walt draws attention to her golden top. There’s laughter and a plea from bassist John Clifford to keep any more glitz outside, for the sake of the mince pies. This dorm room conversation is far removed from the real world bustle happening outside the door.

It’s the final night of New Found Glory’s Pop Punk’s Not Dead UK tour. Twelve shows in fifteen days with a lineup that sits like a condensed Warped Tour and reads like a whose who of the genre. New Found Glory, The Story So Far, State Champs, Only Rivals and Candy Hearts. While the knee-jerk reaction to the show will revolve around the headliners and an appearance by Paramore’s Hayley Williams on the seminal ‘My Friends Over You’, the whisperings surrounding Candy Hearts first visit to the UK quickly swell into deafening roars.

Starting life as a musical outlet for Mariel Loveland while she was at college, Candy Heart’s history is a quiet one. Acoustic guitars, demo tapes and 2011’s full length album, “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy’ swim in charm, but lack the remarkable bite to ever truly escape campus. However, a six track EP released in 2012 changed all that. ‘The Best Ways To Disappear’ sees Mariel come into her own. Joined by John Clifford on bass, Matthew Ferraro on drums and Chad Gilbert producing the whole affair, it set the pace for the heartbreak glamour of 2014’s ‘All The Ways You Let Me Down’. An album that reflects on new experiences and examines, despite the laughter, if they were all good. An album about responsibility and becoming a real adult. A triumph of melody and defiance.

“I really want people to listen to the lyrics,” says Mariel. “People assume all the songs are about boys but I think what’s special about our record is that not all the songs are love songs. A lot of them are about personal struggle,” she continues.

“I think Mariel just tried to be as honest as possible with everything she did. As a friend I know exactly what the songs are about and I respect that. A lot of people don’t write about how they really feel and she 100% does,” concludes John.

‘All The Ways You Let Me Down’ is the delicate touch between gleeful musical optimism and midnight lyricalism.10784884_1515104702106504_1272339982_n

“I do like really dark music, I love Brand New, but that’s not the kind of music I hear in my head when I go to write,” admits Mariel. “I think of the things that make me upset when I’m writing lyrics, but I never write when I’m upset. I don’t do anything when I’m really sad,” she carries on before concluding, “It’s not intentional, that’s just the way I write.”

“I realised how things could change so quickly,” Mariel sings on ‘Top of Our Lungs’, the joyous conclusion to ‘All The Ways You Let Me Down’. An idea that 2014 tested. From a handful of dates on The Warped Tour, a stint that’s been deservedly upgraded to include every date for the 2015 event, to the controversy surrounding Mariel’s light-hearted insight into being the only girl in her band, Candy Hearts have had a rollercoaster year.

“People were saying I was dangerous to young woman. Dangerous? I’m standing in my pajamas crying because of the reaction. Those girls are so mean. They harassed me for weeks after I wrote that article and it was just supposed to be fun. If you’re the wrong kind of feminist, they turn on you in a second and that’s so weird to me. It allows men to mistreat you, because we’re mistreating ourselves. There are a lot of people who think there’s a right way to be a feminist and that isolate a lot of other people. It’s just not right,” Mariel explains.

“It’s made me want to speak up a lot less,” she confesses, “Although, I don’t know if I will. I have a blabbermouth.”

“It’s a New Jersey thing,” John smirks, much to Mariel’s grinning annoyance.

“There aren’t many girls in the scene but there are definitely starting to be more which is wonderful and amazing. Tonight Alive and We Are The In Crowd are killing it right now and I love them, so it’s cool to be part of that. To be part of a scene that’s growing,” Mariel gushes.

“The only thing I ever speak up about is being a girl in a band because I want to encourage others to play guitar and be in a band. A lot of young girls come up to me at shows and tell me they’re afraid, that they don’t know how to start a band and that no one will take them seriously. For that reason I do want to encourage girls to pursue what they want to pursue in life, regardless of if they feel like it’s right for a woman to do or not,” she challenges.

“The funny thing about (making it) is that we’ve passed that point eighteen times over,” Mariel admits.

“Every since I first picked up a guitar at 15 years old, I was like ‘If I was just to do that, that’s enough for me. I’ve made it.’ But when I reached that point, it didn’t feel I’d made it yet, so there’s another thing. There will never be a point where we’ll have made it, in my mind but I’m super happy for where we are, and so thankful. I’m genuinely psyched on it because we’ve made it eighteen times over in my childhood mind.

There’s a conversation about glitter. It’s about the natural, intelligent light shining onto the world of pop punk. It’s about that annoyingly playful stubbornness. It’s about Candy Hearts and how they sparkle so.

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~ by justdip on 17/01/2015.

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