An Interview with Litvar
Written by Mia Lin on May 12, 2021
The year is 2008 and you’re in the computer room updating your Myspace Profile and AIM messaging your friends. Your computer dings, telling you that your crush is now online, and your heart skips a beat. On their latest album, “The Greatest Movie of All Time,” Connecticut-based band Litvar captures this feeling and so many more. With a mix of nostalgia and futurism, love and heartbreak,and goofiness and depth, Joe Lemieux (he/him) and Rex Thurstan (he/they) give listeners a glimpse into their world through the lens of the digital era. Find the new album here and see what they have to say below!
1.) Tell us something about yourselves.
– Joe: My name is Joe, I wear hand me down shoes from my 14 year old brother and Ben and Jerry’s half baked is my favorite ice cream.
– Rex: My name is Rex and I drink too much coffee for how tired I am right now.
2.) Where are you from and how did you start making music together?
– Joe: I met Rex at a local Connecticut show in late 2019, we had an immediate connection and I knew I needed to start writing music with them as soon as I could. Before Covid hit we were playing various local shows together, but once we got put in lockdown we put all our efforts into recording the best project we could.
– Rex: I’m from Tolland County in CT, and I met Joe in our own respective groups at a show in 2019. We immediately clicked as people and have this innate comfortability to make music and be productive together. We also have an ability to make each other laugh with ease which I love very much.
3.) It’s the one year anniversary of your album Hi I’m Andy, based on a “2008 love story.” Tell us that story and what it means to you.
– Joe: The story of ‘Andy and Beverly’ meeting, falling in love, and that love inevitably falling apart has been told forever, and will continue to be told forever, and I’m so glad we were able to put our own spin on it, and use our music as a vessel for it.
– Rex: It’s quite tongue and cheek, but trust me when I say I meant the narrative as genuinely as possible. I wanted it to feel nostalgic and comforting. Like an escape, or a way to kind of time travel. I was in desperate need of a time machine when I started writing the concept with Joe, I figured I wasn’t alone.
4.) What was the process of making the album like?
– Joe: There was so much conceptual work put into each and every song. There’s this magic I felt in the studio with Rex, where we just kept wanting to push each other further and bring out the best in each other in each track.
– Rex: For a lot of it, I would wake up really early, and just make some sort of demo, and Joe would tip toe in eventually and we’d spend the rest of day finalizing the song. But some things we made very late in the night. For example, “Autopoet”.
5.) How does 2000s culture influence your music and how did you get into it?
– Joe: The 2000’s were incredibly formative for us, more than anything the music from the era was what got me and Rex to connect instantly. They saw the last song I was listening to on my phone was by Snow Patrol and we were off to the races from there.
– Rex: I have been moved by Coldplay, Sigur Ros, Snow Patrol, and Arcade Fire since I was really little, it was my go-to music. So the second I had the ability to make music I have been practicing to make this Litvar album basically all up until I met Joe. It felt like I had been waiting for this band.
6.) How do you feel growing up in the internet age has influenced you and your music?
– Joe: I think it’s been interesting as we’ve attempted to grow in the world of COVID, where that personal connection at shows is completely lost. Trying to get ourselves out there in a fully digital world has been challenging, but the connections we’ve made have been so incredible.
– Rex: While there are a lot of amazing things the internet has allowed us to do with music, I feel it’s influenced things in multiple ways. Not only good, unfortunately. But on the bright side, we were able to see fit to create a nostalgic piece and connect so many people on the subject. So it’s pretty beautiful over all. I just miss when we could be “away”.
7.) Who are some of your musical influences?
– Joe: I grew up on classic rock, so The Police, Elvis Costello, Jimi Hendrix, but as I grew up I fell in love with STRFKR, Bad Bad Hats, Twenty one Pilots, and Hippo Campus. Drumming wise John Bonham, Josh Dun and Stewart Copeland are my big three.
– Rex: Morrissey, he’s a dickhead but disregarding that his music is great. I also really have taken a liking to Harry Styles this year, along with Phoebe Bridgers and Alex Turner’s large selection of work. Lots of Brit-pop.
8.) Arctic Monkeys or The Strokes??
– Joe: Tough one, but gonna have to be The Strokes for me.
– Rex: Arctic Monkeys, can’t beat Alex Turner’s lyrics. Sorry, Julian.
9.) Rex, what made you so fashionable? -Rex
– Rex: F a s h i o n i s t a P O W E R S
10.) Plug your projects and anything coming up!
– Joe & Rex: Our debut album just released physically, you can get the vinyl and other cool stuff online now. We’re excited to be playing socially distant shows as much as we can, and working on our follow up album, which if I reveal any more information about, I will be in big trouble. That being said it’s been a crazy year since we’ve got this band out in the world, but every single person we’ve met along the way has been so incredible, and it’s just been an absolutely life changing experience. And shoutout to Mia for being dope. Youth culture baby.