Candy Hearts Mariel Loveland Interview

By Nicole Hanratty
Posted January 3, 2013

Don’t be fooled by their name, Candy Hearts music is anything but a simple message delivered on a sugary heart. This band’s pop punk songs are laced with irony and social observations about life, love and the battle between common sense and emotion.

Traces of punk-like angst mirror honest introspective observations by lead singer and lyricist from New Jersey Mariel Loveland as she navigates life. Candy Hearts “Anything” delivers a prime example of her curt yet poignant poetic lines (Candy Hearts “Ripped Up Jeans and Silly Dreams” album). Mariel sings, “I can be anything I want, so why am I not anything to you?” The artist delivers with one line a bridge between self-awareness and despair that every single person struggles with at some point in life offering a bit of solace in the knowledge that no one is alone is struggling through life. Which is exactly her goal.

Mariel said, “I really feel connected to charities like To Write Love on Her Arms promoting teen self-love and anti-bullying because I know how it feels to be in that situation and it’s the worst and it makes me feel upset when I go online and I read all of these stories about these kids who have been bullied. I think that’s actually a huge inspiration behind why I play music… I’m always honest because if people hear one of my songs and feel that maybe they felt the same way, maybe they’ll feel a little bit better and they don’t have to feel so lonely.”

We chatted on the phone for about 30 minutes covering a range of topics from her personal music inspirations–New Found Glory and Bright Eyes–and how she got started in music, to what we can look forward to from Candy Hearts in 2013. Mariel’s sweet disposition is disarming and draws you in as she allows you to see her vulnerability and humility in such a way that makes you feel comfortable enough to open up and share your own.

Watch Candy Hearts Mariel Loveland “Understatement” (New Found Glory) on YouTube Music Videos

Straight away, I couldn’t wait to tell Mariel the story about where I was when I heard Candy Hearts “Bad Idea” on the radio…”I was sitting in the Hollywood Improv the other night with a famous comedian and his manager. I nearly came out of my skin with excitement when I heard “Bad Idea” on the radio and I’m at this bar yelling, ‘That’s Candy Hearts!’” “That’s so cool,” Mariel replies.

And while she was thrilled to hear that her song was on the radio, what I told her next elicited an even greater amount of excitement. “I was so sure of myself but then one of the guys I was with used their phone and Shazamed it and said, ‘That is Candy Hearts!’ It was so exciting!” Mariel was in disbelief, “I was on Shazam?” And I got to be the one to break the news to her that she had made it to the big time, “You’re on Shazam.” “I had no idea, that’s so cool,” Mariel said with the kind of disbelief in her voice that bands on the brink of success experience as they skyrocket up the charts that is absolutely priceless.

We jumped right into the kind of conversation that I could have engaged in for hours. Mariel Loveland is smart, witty and genuine. I asked the most obvious question first, “So Candy Hearts on the radio in Los Angeles. What’s that like for you?” “I’ve always wanted that,” she shared. “It’s so weird to me when my friends call me and are like, “Hey, I heard you playing in the 7-Eleven.” I’ve never heard it, I guess, so it’s like it never happened. My friends tell me that it’s happening and I’m like ‘yeah sure, sure it is.’ I feel like if I were there and it was happening, I’d probably freak out.” We both laughed.

I read her an excerpt from the album review we ran in November of 2012: “‘Bad Idea’ starts off the EP with a line that hooks you from the first note…the voice of Mariel Loveland sells the catchy melody and it’s near impossible not to sing along ‘You’re a bad idea and I know it.'” I went on to tell Mariel, “Even the first opening line, “I took the long way home and I’m not sure why,” is a brilliant opening line and I think it hooks your listener straightaway.” Then I asked her to tell me about what inspired that song.

“Well first, thank you. That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said,” she told me and I was struck by the sincerity and affection in her voice. She explained that she was sitting on some pieces of a song for a long time and usually writes sitting in her apartment. Then she explained, “I happened to be sitting around thinking about why this certain person wasn’t calling me back and why all of my friends were like, ‘just forget it.’ This is not a good person for you or for anyone. (laughs) I went out with my friends and after we went out I felt really lonely and weird. I walked around my block and wrote the first part of that song and then I went home and I finished it.”

One of the stand out lines in “Bad Idea” is “my heart won’t listen to my brain.” I admitted to Mariel that it happens to me all the time and asked her to give me an example of when her heart didn’t listen to her brain. Her response made us both laugh, “Oh Geez, it happens to me all of the time. Pretty much I just end up doing what I want to do even if I don’t want to do it. You know what I mean?” “Yes, I do,” I told her and we laughed a little more.

“When someone’s ignoring you or you’re just not hearing from them as much, you feel like they owe you. I guess no one really owes you anything but when you feel like you at least you deserve to be treated a little nicer by someone but then you finally speak up for yourself and then immediately apologize even though you’re not sorry or you should hate somebody but you don’t. Just kind of like that,” she shared.

What she said hit a chord. I admitted five minutes into a phone conversation with Mariel Loveland–who made me feel so disarmed–that I’ve given the “he’s a bad idea” advice to a girlfriend who didn’t listen to me and I’ve been on the receiving end of the “he’s a bad idea” advice which I disregarded. And I know it. Mariel laughed, “I never follow my own advice ever. I feel you.”

So how did Mariel who plays guitar and harmonica, is learning the keyboards and had a short stint with the French horn in her high school marching band which she called “on the verge of passable and really bad” get started with music? Her parents played her the Beatles, Alanis Morissette and Greenday. But she said, “I think it was really when I first heard New Found Glory on the radio that I really fell in love with music. From finding out what New Found Glory was, I got deeper and deeper into more indie rock stuff. I started loving Bright Eyes and when I heard that somebody could have a band basically by themselves and have a real band, I decided to just pick up the guitar and try to write songs because I feel like it didn’t really need other people to do that. Since then I’ve just been writing.” Mariel also attributed her experience in the choir, joining the poetry club, being the editor of her high school magazine and the intense poetry / writing classes she took in school to helping her with song writing. “I did a lot of writing which I think is really what made me want to write songs because I was so used to the poetry format when there are things I wanted to say and I felt if I could put them to music they might mean more and it was more of a challenge.”

Of course, I couldn’t let Mariel go before I asked her, “If you had to pick one song title, any existing song in the entire world to describe your personality, what would it be?” “A song title?” she asked. “That’s really good. I would say maybe Reconstruction Site by The Weakerthans just because I always feel like I’m working on myself and things.” She may think she has work to do, but it seems to me that Mariel Loveland has it all worked out…


“I think people can expect to see a lot more of us in a lot of different cities, especially places that we haven’t been yet before. I think people can expect to hear some new music.”- M.L.

Genre of books:
“My favorite book is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. I really like that book even though it’s really old, I feel like I relate a lot to the feelings that he has in it even though it’s complicated to read. I really love James Joyce. I took a class on him and made it my life’s goal to read Ulysses which I did and it was very difficult, but I’m still proud of myself.”

Flavor of ice cream:
“Hands down, green tea ice cream is my favorite and apricot.”

Favorite venue or place to perform:
“I think my favorite venue is in Brooklyn called Suburbia because all my friends was there and I just always have a good time when I go.”

Favorite movie of all time:
“Wow, that’s really hard. I really like horror movies a lot, but I feel like once you watch them a couple of times you don’t want to watch them anymore because you know what happens and it’s not scary.”

Favorite brand of jeans:
“Yes. I believe they’re 1969’s skinny legging jeans from GAP.”

Sixpence None the Richer

You’re mad or angry, having a bad day?
“I listen to Jawbreaker”

Hanging out with friends?
“When hanging out with friends I listen to New Found Glory.”

You’re having the best day ever?
“The best day ever? Hmm…I guess it depends. If I’m having the best day ever and I’m super awake, then I listen to the The Weakerthans and if I’m having the best day ever and I’m tired, I’ll listen to the Lemonheads.

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