The Daily Bruin (UC Irvine)
March 31, 1992
"Live finds life outside of MTV"
by Lisa Rebuck
The Pennsylvania quartet and MTV buzz band Live returned to Southern California recently with the "MTV 120 Minutes" tour. The tour, presented by Hyundai, also features BAD II, PIL and Blind Melon, and was held at UCI's Crawford Hall last week.
The MTV 120 Minutes Tour is the first major tour that Live has done. In the past few months, the band has played short promotional tours and at conventions. But Live, whose oldest member is 21, isn't overwhelmed by touring with such notable performers as Johnny Lydon and Mick Jones.
"We don't get to hang out with PIL a lot because they stick to themselves," says drummer Chad Gracey. "I've gotten to meet the guitar player (John McGeoh) but haven't been able to sit down and talk with Johnny yet. But Mick Jones is really nice, and we get along real well with Blind Melon."
The entire band really enjoys touring, Gracey says, but he admits that being on the road is hectic and demanding as well. Live was signed because of the impressive cohesiveness and orchestration of their live shows, so the band is well-suited to touring.
Live has been together with the same four members for six years. "We all went to school together and met in sixth grade," says Gracey. "We started the band in eighth grade."
While the band started out playing cover tunes at dances, the members soon graduated to writing originals and playing occasional gigs at local halls.
"I guess it is happening fast," says Gracey regarding the success they've had since the release of their first album. "But to us it seems like a normal progression 'case we've been in (the band) so long."
Live's debut album, "Mental Jewelry," has, in fact, recently been named album of the week in Germany. The band plans to tour through most of Europe in May to support the album and may perhaps head over to Japan later in the year.
Talking Heads keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison produced "Mental Jewelry," which was recorded in less than 30 days at engineer David Vartanian's Milwaukee studios. The band seems to have enjoyed working with both men.
"What (Harrison) did with the band was kind of laid back," comments Gracey. "He let us do our own thing, (but) mainly helped us with the arrangements and suggested some effects."
With all their MTV airplay, touring and international success, Gracey claims the band hasn't changed much, that they now only have a larger and more diverse audience.
"We're not like rock stars or anything," he says. "It's still the four of us and we play the music we always have. We just want to have fun and play our music. Our music is the most important thing."