Candy Hearts' Mariel Loveland Talks New Album, Feminism & New Found Glory Tattoos

Jonathan Weiner

About a decade ago, Mariel Loveland fell in love with a pop-punk band on the radio, although she wasn't sure which one it was. Internet research told her it was New Found Glory, and soon after, 2002's "Sticks and Stones" became the first album she ever purchased. 

Fast-forward to 2014, and New Found Glory guitarist/scene superhero Chad Gilbert has produced the brand new album from Candy Hearts, the charmingly catchy New York/New Jersey-based pop-punk band that Loveland now fronts. Loveland is one of those cool types who isn't easily starstruck, but she and the rest of Candy Hearts have certainly shared some moments with Gilbert while working on "All the Ways You Let Me Down," due out on June 10.

"Our drummer Matt Ferraro has a really big New Found Glory tattoo. They met him for the first time and Chad was like, 'Yo bro, you should get that removed,'" Loveland says with a laugh.

Candy Hearts are signed to Gilbert's Violently Happy Records, which is an imprint on Bridge 9, a Boston-based indie best known for its hardcore bands. Candy Hearts' infectious pop-rock isn't exactly for the tough guys, but then again, Gilbert's imprint is named after his favorite Bjork song, so who cares about genres, anyway?

More pop-punk:

"[Gilbert and I] both understand what this band is supposed to be -- we have the same vision for it," Loveland says. "He really knows how to make the best, hookiest parts of a song stand out."

There are plenty of those moments on Candy Hearts' sophomore effort, "All the Ways You Let Me Down," an energetic album one might liken to Best Coast gone pop-punk. Loveland's lyrics are plainspoken, unfiltered post-collegiate life -- the sort of lyrics that challenge her acquaintances to name the weekend hangout or love interest in question.

"I have had somebody in the past find out a song was about them, because it was so obvious," Loveand remembers. "We were at Skate and Surf last year and his band was playing and my band was playing. He was watching our set and I was like, 'Ah crap, I have to play this and he's gonna know.' He definitely knew because all of his friends were laughing. It was pretty funny, actually."

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She's learning to live with the haters, too. Earlier this month, Loveland penned an online manifesto titled "How to Survive Being the Only Girl in a Band," which brought her plenty of pats on the back, but unfortunately, comment-section vitriol as well.

"I was just talking about how I operate in my life with the particular people in my band and the way that we work," Loveland assures, as some nitpicked her take on gender roles. In reality, the guitarist/singer is comfortable in her views ("Actual feminism is just thinking that men and women should be equal") and keen to riff on the double-standards female musicians face in appearance, performance, and behavior on tour.

"The dude on tour is the classic rock star stereotype of doing a lot of drugs, drinking a lot and banging a lot of chicks. But if you take that stereotype and apply it to a girl, it seems so much more tragic," Loveland says, assuring "our band doesn't operate that way."

With the support of New Found Glory other vocal fans like Paramore's Hayley Williams, Candy Hearts have plenty in their corner to help fight the good fight. The group is currently touring North America and will head overseas for European dates this fall, with select shows opening for -- you guessed it -- New Found Glory.


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