The Beautiful Mistakes Present Love’s Never Wasted
The Beautiful Mistakes Present Love’s Never Wasted
We are based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The music scene for local rock bands doing original music is tough. There are big venues that support touring acts and there are small venues that support a lot of singer songwriter acts. We need more places where people go to listen to local rock, indie, Americana, Blues or other original acts. The Covid pandemic didn’t help. Pittsburgh lost a couple key places that featured local music or often had local openers for touring bands.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the EP title Love’s Never Wasted?
Much of the music I write comes from a place of catharsis. Songwriting and personal growth have always gone hand-in-hand for me. Writing a song is not only a release of creativity, but of emotions bubbling under the surface that I didn’t know were there. You’re going to hear that in many of these songs. Love’s Never Wasted is a line from my song “Be Here With You” and is one of the things I’ve learned in my current relationship. A lot of times one goes into a relationship thinking that if things don’t work out, then all the time, energy, and love, were wasted. My partner has taught me the opposite of that. Love in particular is never wasted no matter what happens, especially when you give it with your whole heart without fear. Live with your heart open. Many of the songs on the EP at their core are about doing that.
Select two songs from Love’s Never Wasted and what inspired the lyrics.
“Leaving Soon” is a song I wrote back in my 20’s. It was probably the first really good song I ever wrote and I decided to resurrect it after finding an old recording. It was originally written after a bad breakup when I was really heartbroken. I was lonely and in that headspace of thinking, ‘I’ll never do that again.’ I decided to rewrite it from a fresh perspective of being in a brokenhearted place, yet knowing it was time to leave a relationship behind. And, in a very real sense, literally get out of the house where you feel sorry for yourself and get back into the world. So the lyrics got an upgrade and went from being called “All Alone in My Room” to “Leaving Soon.”
I wrote “Burn it Down” during the social unrest after the murder of George Floyd. I was reading a book called See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur. I believe much of the division we have in the United States right now comes from not listening to each other’s stories. We choose sides. We don’t listen. We turn people ‘on the other side’ into monsters. It’s heartbreaking. Two ideas I pulled into the song from that book are that love is not only kind and tender, but it’s fierce and bloody too, and that if we keep our hearts open wide and listen to other people, we have a chance of seeing the humanity in each other again.
What is the musical background on Maevon Gumble, the co-vocalist on the song Burn It Down?
Maevon (they/them) is a talented local acoustic singer-songwriter who I’ve known for a long time. I have tremendous respect for their talent, music, and art. When I wrote “Burn it Down” I knew the lyrics needed more than just a solo voice. Maevon’s musical passion and voice were the perfect match to really bring out the depth and meaning of the song. I don’t just mean their voice as in ‘how their voice sounds’, but also their ability to express their life experience in everything they sing. You can especially hear this in the chorus when they sing the line “broken into a thousand pieces”. They came up with that melodic higher counterpoint on the spot, and that type of musical collaboration is what I love.
Maevon is currently working on a full-length album of original material. They are a licensed music therapist who have their own practice, “Becoming Through Sound”. In their own words, they offer “a collaborative space for fostering ways of living that bring you healing, joy, and peace.”
What could one expect from a live The Beautiful Mistakes show?
Expect to be surprised with both the music and the vibe we bring to a live performance. Our songs are not what you would expect to hear from ‘white guys playing rock’ at a bar. Over and over, people who have never heard us before come up and say “I really liked that song, who wrote that?” And it makes me smile to tell them everything they heard was original. Our music takes interesting twists and turns. The lyrics are heartfelt, relatable, and sometimes funny. We also take pride in being a well-rehearsed and tight band who have fun playing with each other. We exceed expectations and turn heads when playing in front of people who haven’t heard us before.
If The Beautiful Mistakes could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
We are all about bands who believe in collaboration as a way for everyone to be heard and as a way for everyone to be lifted up (including the audience) . We’d love to play with other bands who support this same kind of thing. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the whole popularity hierarchy of ‘openers and headliners’ be transformed into something more collaborative and respectful of all artists putting themselves out there? For example, if you’ve ever seen Brandi Carlisle bring out the “opening artists” on stage to perform with her during her set you would see the respect and love they all show each other and be so amazed by the quality of music that’s created as a result. That right there is the kind of vibe we’d like to be a part of.
Would you like to tour in support of Love’s Never Wasted?
We love playing our music, and if we had opportunities to play more often and in front of more people, hell yes!
Prior to The Beautiful Mistakes, what other bands or projects were you involved with?
I had a long hiatus from songwriting and doing music and returned to it in late 2014. The Beautiful Mistakes is the first collaboration to come out of my transformation back into being a musician. I spent 4 years writing new songs, busking in downtown Pittsburgh, and breaking into the open mic scene here. This helped me find my voice and build confidence in who I am. I decided to take it up a level and collaborate with others, inviting musicians (and friends) I’d met along the way to play my songs. Being in a band again after so long has changed the way I see myself. For really the first time in my life I’m calling myself a musician, a singer, and songwriter.
Are you currently involved with any other bands or projects outside of The Beautiful Mistakes?
This year I’m pushing myself to write a song a week which is not only producing some interesting new material for the band, but it’s also opening up opportunities to work with new artists. There are other collaborations in the works that will be coming in the near future.
What’s up next for The Beautiful Mistakes?
We’re super excited about upcoming live performances all over Pittsburgh and are already working on our third album. There are changes in the band that have me excited. We have a fantastic new drummer and some other new members to help fill out our sound. One of the things I love about making music with other people is that everyone has unique talent and experience, and you never know what’s going to happen when you bring those energies into a room. My favorite thing (after songwriting) is facilitating those energies during a rehearsal, where we take something raw and unfinished and create something quite amazing.
Any final words of wisdom?
Any chance you have to experience or create art, do it. Always ‘go to the show’.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
The Beautiful Mistakes on Bandcamp