An Interview with The Loved Ones: Keep Your Heart

This past spring, The Loved Ones briefly returned for two special nights in Asbury Park as well as their home base in Philadelphia. Highly regarded as an underrated gem of the East Coast, there’s no question that this group touched the hearts of many throughout their career, and have also won over countless, devoted fans in the Asbury Park music scene.

Around the time when The Loved Ones announced that they were going to come back for another ride, this time to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their anthemic debut, Keep Your Heart, I felt like it was only a matter of time until they made their return to New Jersey once they announced dates in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington D.C.

Needless to say, our prayers were finally answered as The Loved Ones also revealed that they will be sharing the stage with their longtime friends, The Bouncing Souls, for their final run of Home For The Holidays shows at The Stone Pony. Known to be one of the many groups to perform at the first annual Home For The Holidays back in 2007, The Loved Ones frontman Dave Hause conveyed that it’s an honor to be a part of the first one, and to be asked to come back and play the last hurrah.
Right around the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the honor of speaking with Hause, and discussed the opportunity to close out the final date of Home For The Holidays, as well as The Loved Ones’ upcoming winter tour, commemorating Keep Your Heart. Along with the Keep Your Heart dates lined up in February, Hause also shared with me some details on his latest musical endeavors, and his plans to release a forthcoming third solo record next year.

A few weeks back, The Loved Ones were listed as one of the supporting acts for this year’s Home For The Holidays. Considering your history with the city of Asbury Park, what are you looking forward to the most about these shows?

            Well this one’s bittersweet—it’s the last one, I don’t know if you knew that. So, I am just honored to be a part of the first one, and we will be a part of the last one. It’s been a really cool thing to be at every year. I always feel like I always have a family of origin that I spend Christmas with every year, and then we get to go down to Asbury and hang out with my other family, you know? So, it’ll have that kind of feel. And when they asked us to do the last one, there was only one answer. It’s been such a huge part of my life.

I’ve worked with [The Souls] them for a couple of years and then made Build And Burn, that second Loved Ones record with [Bouncing Souls guitarist] Pete Steinkopf and [Bouncing Souls bassist] Bryan Kienlen. Pete and I made Resolutions, my first solo record. We’ve been making music and traveling together for so many years, of course the Home For The Holidays celebrations is the place where we really feel like we have our own little corner of the world carved out, you know?

Obviously, The Bouncing Souls were a really important band for me growing up, and I’ve been going to Home For The Holidays for the last five years. What are some of your favorite memories from attending or playing Home For The Holidays?

            I think it’s just great that the opening bands change every night, so you get to see so many people, and so many friends have played it. I think my favorite one was probably two or three years ago. I didn’t play it, and The Loved Ones didn’t play it; I think we may have played one “surprise” song, but I was just there for the week just hanging out, and staying at Kienlen’s, and we were juicing and drinking and just making the fun, making the hang, and getting to see everyone. That was the culmination for me—it was a couple of years ago just “being there” and not playing, and I was just getting to spend the time with different friends.

In terms of musical memories, I really liked the one year Peterson was spinning the wheel or whatever it was… what was it, a bingo machine? That was really cool—the band was in good shape. The first year that [drummer] George Rebelo played with The Souls I thought was really cool because that was the first I’d seen them with him. But when [former drummer] Michael McDermott left, and George from Hot Water Music joined the band, it was great to see them with that new blood in the mix; that was really cool.

I loved seeing The Explosion come back the one year and play a show; that was great. I always love seeing Ernie Parada from Black Train Jack and Grey Area and The Arsons do his thing. He always brings a new element to the table, and always has great stories of New York hardcore and stuff like that. There’s been too many to count man, so many great bands.

Next year, The Loved Ones are also playing multiple dates to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Keep Your Heart. Would you consider your set at Home For The Holidays this year as a part of the Keep Your Heart tour? Or will this be something different that the Keep Your Heart shows?

            No, it will be totally different. We’re going to play… actually, with the Keep Your Heart shows, we’re not going to do much, so maybe, not doing anything. There’s really no plans really, we’re going to ride it and see what happens.

            After that, it’s pretty much all that The Loved Ones all have on the calendar for a good, long while, if maybe not forever. Those shows are already up and selling, and they have a good amount of interest and people are excited about it [those February ones]. And they are all themed around the anniversary of Keep Your Heart. So, I think it’s best to do the Home For The Holidays show a little differently. Especially because we wrote and recorded Build And Burn, the second record with Pete and Bryan. So, think we’ll do a little more of that material, and maybe do some more oddball kind of stuff and make that distinction.

We were also talking about right now adding a secret show the day after the Home For The Holidays on the East Coast somewhere, so we may do that. In which case, I think it will be the last time that people will see that material for quite a while because we’re going to be much more focused in February on the first record and the songs that we made around that time. So, it will be a very different show in December than you’ll see in February.

Right. You guys actually played the Asbury Lanes back in the spring. Did you feel like it was only a matter of time until there would be a lot of anticipation for The Loved Ones to return to Asbury once you announced the Keep Your Heart dates?

            Well, you know how this stuff works—you plan out pretty far in advance, so we knew we were doing Home For The Holidays a while ago. You just gotta keep it quiet so that The Souls can make their announcements properly. We knew that we were playing Asbury, and that’s why we didn’t book our own show at The Pony. So yeah, we knew that going in, and that’s why we’re playing New York, and Philly, and D.C., and Boston as our four East Coast shows [for the Keep Your Heart tour].

Loved Ones aside, tell me a little bit about what else you have been up to musically lately. For a while, I’ve been listening to Devour on a constant loop. Have you been working on any new material or plan to do any solo gigs in the coming year?

            Yeah, the Record Store Day EP [Home Alone] that came out in the spring came out properly on Spotify and iTunes and stuff like that. So, that’s out—those are old songs from the Devour recordings. I’m working on my third solo record; that’s my focus at this point, and then I have a lot of other side projects.

I’ve been working with a band called The All Brights out here. It’s sort of a little bit of an art project kind of band, and I’m in the band called The Falcon out of Chicago with the guys from Alkaline Trio and The Lawrence Arms. We finished up a record that comes out in the early part of next year.

So, there’s been some side project stuff, but you know, I’ve just been busy writing the third record. I’m trying to pick the songs properly for that, bunker down, and get them finished and recorded. And for most of 2016, I’ll be working on the touring for that record. You’re always sort of volleying your travel time and your time spent writing and recording—like, that’s kind of the agenda or whatever to make the schedule. So right now, I’m just compiling songs and recording them and getting them finished, and next year, I’ll be touring quite a bit on this material that has been getting worked on for the last couple of months.

Definitely sounds exciting. I’ll look forward to hearing more about it once full details for the new record are released.

            Yeah, me too, man. I’m excited to see how it all comes out. There’s some songs that I’m really, really proud of how they’re shaping up. Once it’s done, I’ll be happy to get out on the road and this time, bring a band with me solo. It will really bring the songs from these three records in a way that they were sort of imagined, and it will be a really exciting thing for me to do. So I’m fired up.

Now, the holiday season will come and go quickly. On one final note: have you thought about any personal milestones that you’d like to accomplish, or have any resolutions in mind for the New Year?

            Nothing specific, just getting this record done. I’ve sort of gotten to a point thankfully where I’ve been able to make music and travel, and those are the two things that I’ve always wanted to do ever since I was a kid. You know, at this point, I’ve kind of hit that goal, and so the new sets of goals become like, you know… seeing through your artistic vision, and seeing through what it is that you’d like to say and making those songs as good as you can make them, or as interesting as you can make them.

Those are like, the small goals, but no, I didn’t make any of those weird bucket list things where it’s like, “I want to go skydiving this year.” None of that stuff comes to mind. I’m pretty galvanized and electrified by music and that’s what I like to spend my time doing and thinking about. You know, recording, writing, and playing shows is what really gets my rocks off, if you know what I mean (laughs).


The Loved Ones will be supporting The Bouncing Souls at their ninth annual Home For The Holidays at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Dec. 28, and will also be playing at St. Vitus in Brooklyn on Dec. 29. This upcoming February, The Loved Ones are hitting the road once again to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Keep Your Heart. These shows will take place at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan on Feb. 19 and at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Feb. 20. For more information, go to