Fast Romantics want to add some positive vibes to your day. More specifically, the Toronto-via-Calgary modern-rock band want to share your feel-good stories, be they big or small, as part of their recently unveiled Get Loved project.
According to the band, which features Matthew Angus (vocals/guitars), Kirty (multi-instrumentalist/vocals), Jeffrey Lewis (bass), Kevin Black (guitars/vocals), Nick McKinlay (drums) and Lisa Lorenz (keys), Get Loved is a pay-it-forward social campaign designed to magnify positive stories. Armed with the #getloved hashtag, a Get Loved website built to collect good stories, and a vibrant, colourful music video for Fast Romantics’ accompanying, “Get Loved” song, the band hope to create a “perpetual love machine” that will provide some measure of relief to the constant negative things people see and hear on social media every day.
The song "Get Loved" comes from American Love, the band's third full-length, which came out in April.
Samaritanmag spoke to Fast Romantics main songwriter Matthew Angus between stops on the band’s current cross-Canada tour to find out why they’re doing this, what they hope people will get out of the Get Loved experiment, and how getting robbed in Vancouver started the whole campaign.
What is the Get Loved campaign about?
I think it was a response to our song “Get Loved” that we put out at the same time, which was a feeling of letting go of worldly things and letting go of all the darkness in the world and all the selfish, narcissistic elements of living a modern life and just embracing love and good stuff and simple stuff.
We thought about trying to put something into the world along with the song, so we came up with this concept, this online thing, a pay it forward kind of thing.
Everybody just hopefully tells stories about things that restored their faith in humanity. It could be people or things that happened to them. The idea was really simple, we just wanted people to start posting things through social media or video or text with a hashtag and hopefully it catches on and we get a little bit of a good vibes thing into the internet.
Basically it’s just a call to action where we wanted to put it out into the world and maybe turn up the volume on the positivity side of thing online.
Looking for positive stories every day and being deep in it, how does it impact the band?
It’s been really nice for us. Selfishly, it’s been nice more than anything because someone will tweets something at us or tell us in person. A lot of the engagements have been people coming up to us at shows going, “I got one…” It’s too bad we can’t retweet someone coming up to our face, but yeah. After a long drive and you sweat it out at a show it’s really nice to hear someone say, “Guess what happened to me when I was in Europe last year and I lost my passport? This person took me under their wing until I was able to recover it.” It’s a nice bonus that we didn’t expect.
What are some of the stories that haven’t reached the internet?
One that really hit me is someone told me the other day about this older guy, a retired guy, and he literally goes into nurseries in hospitals where babies have suddenly lost their mothers and he just sits with them. Orphans. That one blew my mind. That’s a good one that comes to mind right now.
Your video for “Get Loved” has some outlandish sequences. What was the messiest scene to film?
The messiest scene to shoot was probably the ketchup and mustard lovemaking scene. That went on for quite awhile and the poor two people involved had to wash up after every shot. It was very intense.
The journey of making this video was really interesting because we wanted it to reflect the song and the concept of Get Loved, but we also didn’t want it to be preachy in any way. In the end we came up with a set of rules for making it and one of those rules was it has to be something that you wouldn’t actually see someone doing in real life. And it also has to be more of a feeling than a thought.
Ketchup and mustard (getting poured on a romantic couple), we really loved the idea of visceral, palpable things, things that let you know you’re alive, things that represent feelings and sensations versus engagements that are more intellectual.
Was there a eureka moment, a reason why you started the Get Loved project?
Yeah, it was in Vancouver on our last tour we had our whole van stolen. Someone hot-wired it and it had all our gear in it and they just took off. We were on our way to a radio station to do a performance. The lovely people at the radio station still put us on air and we read the license plate and an hour later this lady who was just driving an hour outside of town posted on Facebook and tagged us in a picture of our van driving in front of her car and said, “I think this your van. I’ve called the cops.” And a few minutes later there’s another photo of our van cornered, surrounded by cops, with the doors open.
The next day, anonymously, people started returning all our gear to us. And it was through all these crazy events over 36 hours that three or four different good Samaritans helped us get all our gear back as well as the van, including police officers. It was this beautiful culmination of people coming together to help us.
We also had all these people online going, “Can I ship you my guitar?” People offering to just send us cash. Which we didn’t accept, but it was just this incredible showing of people coming together to help this band in distress and it just made us realize that holy shit, these people do good things and people just do these things off-the-cuff. They sacrifice themselves and take risks and give their time to help other people. That was definitely the catalyst and it stewed in our heads for several months and when this song was going to come out we kind of realized it would be a fun thing to try to do.
What do you hope people get out of this?
Just a sprinkling of joy in an otherwise tough environment right now. And the dream is that this becomes an ongoing thing, a perpetual love machine that gives people a little pause when they scroll through a feed full of drama and complaining and concern and sometimes worse than that. And they can stop for a second and say, despite all of that trouble the world also has some wonderful, amazing, spectacular, outstanding people out there doing some amazing things.
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