By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
Although Henderson was unwavering when it came to Elster's role, he did make a few concessions. He told Love.45's members that he'd watched Brad Arnold, 3 Doors Down's frontman, and producer Rick Parashar almost come to blows over a change in one of 3 Doors' songs; he said he never wanted to see anything like that again. He told them to pick their battles, and if they felt strongly about something, he urged them to speak up.
The bandmates' unselfish devotion to each other as well as their chemistry with Henderson and Ott has paid off with Love.45, the foursome's most focused and melodic album to date. Listening to the earlier releases, you can track the evolution of the band. Back in 1998, Day Glo was a disjointed musical mad lib that lacked continuity. Over the course of the next two records -- a self-titled effort in 1999 and 2002's Larger Than Life -- the group developed an aggro-pop sheen that was spit-shined to perfection by the SessionsEP. Like Butch Walker extracting the DNA of Robin Zander, Chad Kroeger, Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades and injecting it into the amniotic fluid of a reformed Marvelous 3, Love.45 has bio-engineered a new incarnation of power pop on Love.45.
In six years, the act has risen from obscurity to become a headliner. Its members might tell you they've just been lucky. But the truth is, Love.45 made its own luck through an ironclad work ethic. Even now, when the musicians stand on the brink of what could be a major breakthrough, they see it as just another step up. They're not taking anything for granted. Despite how often they play, they still rehearse three times a week and get butterflies before every show.
And that's not about to change. Asked if they'll start touring in a posh bus, they respond with a resounding no. "Why start off in debt?" wonders Elster. Besides, they all agree that compared with Trinidad's truck, even a twelve-passenger van will be paradise.
More than anything, they're looking forward to sharing the love, hoping they can cast a light on Denver's music scene.
"There's a shit-ton of great bands and songwriters here, and I'm a fan of a lot of them," says Elster. "Even if we only have moderate success, hopefully it will be enough to turn some heads and get people to realize the unbelievable amount of talent that we have in this town."
And in this town, even those who'd have a hard time picking the guys out of a lineup will be pulling for Love.45.