Q&A with sixties Pop Music influenced trio Love Bubble - dreamy, nostalgic, whimsical music from Asheville, NC.

"Unrest due to the control white male politicians had/have, hatred, discrimination, the Vietnam war, racism, assassinations, pollution…"

Love Bubble: Peace, Love & Music

“I Live for Love and Music” is a lyric from the stunning 3rd track entitled “Harmony,” on Love Bubble’s debut record, Love Revolution (2021). It’s a phrase that articulates the soul of the founding members of Love Bubble. Three award-winning singers/musicians/songwriters from Asheville, NC serendipitously came together in the spring of 2019 and discovered their shared desire to bring more love into the world through music. Voices that blended from the first note, it was that inspiring sound that kick-started this collaborative collection of tuneful, delectable, charming, romantic, humorous and uplifting original songs. Hank’s (Bones) prowess as a singer, guitarist and songwriter were irresistible to Miss Paula (Hanke) and Miss Peggy (Ratusz), not to mention his ample supply of wit and merriment. It was love at first sight. Love Revolution was recorded at Hank’s house in his tiki lounge the old fashion way – no drum machines, no computers, no auto tune.                                         (Photo: Love Bubble)

Combining their esthetic, work ethic while creating the brilliant vocal arrangements on this album, was a labor of love indeed. Playing to each other’s strengths was the key to defining their overall approach and sound. Hank’s previously and recently penned songs make up the crux of the record as 9 of the 13 songs are his creations. Two songs were written by Ratusz and one co-written by Hanke and Bones. The only non-original song is the bonus track written by Sonny Bono, re-arranged by Love Bubble. Paula’s sweet flute, banjulele and ukulele playing, fill holes in lovely and colorful ways, while Hank aptly bears the brunt of the instrumentation throughout the record. What you’ll hear throughout every personal and positive track, is the unique sensibility the trio embodies; their fervent spirit is evident. From the first track “Love Bubble” (their theme song) to the last, “Love Revolution” (their mission) a groovy and nostalgically-new vocal ensemble is born. Love Bubble’s new album exhibits the human touch in all it’s warm and inviting splendor.

Interview by Michael Limnios          Special Thanks: Billy James (Glass Onyon PR)

How has the Rock Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

Hanks Bones: That can be summed up in one word: Love. Everything we’ve accomplished in this “love” music project stems from our shared desire to spread more love through music.

How do you describe the Love Bubble sound, music philosophy and songbook? Where does your creative drive come from?

Paula Hanke: The Love Bubble sound is nostalgic and modern at the same time. Because the world is more polarized than ever before in history, fans of all ages become fans because they yearn for positivity in tone, feel, melody and lyrics. Our songs are positive in tone, cheerful, catchy and poetic. Love is the driving force behind Love Bubble.

Why do you think that the Pop Psychedelia of the 1960’s music continues to generate such a devoted following?

Hanks Bones: Because it’s real music – the songs aren’t one-note drones nor are they 1000 note jazz rants or 12-minute self-indulgent jams. Songs from the 60’s have harmony and backing vocals that don’t compete with the message. The songs of the 60’s capture what that era was struggling with collectively, from neighborhoods to towns, cities, states and regions. The song writers and the instrumentalists and singers were writing as if their lives depended on it. The songs were and still are as personal as they were and are universal. Schmaltzy tunes from the Lovin’ Spoonful, the Beatles, The Mama’s and the Papa’s, Peter Paul & Mary, Petula Clark and Dione Warwick were needed every bit as much as serious-message songs from The Youngbloods, The Turtles, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. There aren’t many “popular” modern groups, who capture the collective feeling of what the nation is currently going through. And the nation and the world are sadly still struggling with the same issues as we were in the Psychedelic 60’s and then some.

"The Love Bubble sound is nostalgic and modern at the same time. Because the world is more polarized than ever before in history, fans of all ages become fans because they yearn for positivity in tone, feel, melody and lyrics. Our songs are positive in tone, cheerful, catchy and poetic. Love is the driving force behind Love Bubble." (Photo: Love Bubble)

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future?

Peggy Ratusz: With few exceptions, and there certainly are some exceptions, there aren’t many households name / famous modern pop music makers writing intelligent lyrics or even playful and happy lyrics that are sincere or even all that clever. We hope the music makers of tomorrow will continue to rely on real people playing real instruments like in modern and traditional “Americana” and “Roots” (Blues, Pop/Jazz, Pop, classic Rock n’ Roll, Beatles, Old School funk & R&B, Swing and Standards from the 20’s-60’s, Bluegrass & Classic Country & Western) music that we as individuals and collectively are most drawn to.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Peggy Ratusz: Gender Equity (Female/LBGTQ+/Male) on radio stations, festivals and live concerts of all sizes and kinds around the world.

What were the reasons that made the 60s to be the center of Psychedelic Folk/Pop researches and experiments?

Peggy Ratusz: Unrest due to the control white male politicians had/have, hatred, discrimination, the Vietnam war, racism, assassinations, pollution….

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

Paula Hanke: Collaboration is as difficult as it is beautiful and all of it is worth it if the basic chemistry is there. Listening is the most important part of music. Honesty is essential. Accountability is the key.

"That can be summed up in one word: Love. Everything we’ve accomplished in this “love” music project stems from our shared desire to spread more love through music. (Photo: Love Bubble)

What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want to affect people?

Paula Hanke: Right now? We want to affect people with love and with this group in particular, it’s a win every performance!

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

Peggy Ratusz: You mean, where would I like to go for a whole day and why? At dawn, I’d paddle in a canoe with my sweetheart, my dog or alone, down a clean, clear, slow flowing river, that’s surrounded by lush green and smooth rocky banks, with snow capped mountains in the distance. We’d or I’d pull over mid-morning to munch on juicy pears, cheese, bread and nuts, pull out my journal and write whatever comes into my head. Then around 1 or 2pm, rejoin the river, stopping to fish or swim and about an hour before sunset, stop again along the banks for a grassy nap. Waking up, I would, or we would, gather firewood and light a fire to cook and feast on bass or trout from the day's catch, fresh potatoes fried on our Coleman stove with fresh spices, onions, garlic and greens from the local farmers market we packed for the trip. After sunset, I or we set up a tent and our sleeping bags by the full moon's light, for a star lit slumber into the night. Here’s hoping that the “why” is blatantly obvious.

Paula Hanke: The year 2222… the Love Bubble ‘love bubble’ is floating around planet earth taking a tour of the future… we are zig-zagging over magical mountains and colorful meadows, lush green forests and clean, clear lakes and oceans… mmm, the air is fragrant and fresh! We float down and land on a large, flat pink quartz crystal, at the edge of a small lake, massive waterfalls surround us! Hank, immediately takes a dive in the cool water, Peggy starts to forage for delicious fruits in the nearby orchard, and Paula meditates on the crystal, taking in the soft vibrations. Before long, we all gather on the warm crystal surface and start humming one note together, Peggy starts a melody, Paula goes high and Hank drops low in a beautiful harmonic lullaby. The earth is well, and thriving, and we are happy!

We jump back into the bubble and float over several continents. The bubble drops down to visit several unique cities that grab our attention. The first is futuristic… both short and tall jagged buildings… each balcony has it’s own space vehicle pad, like the Jetsons! The sound of the city is almost silent even as countless hovering vehicles filled with neighborly citizens manage to successfully zig-zag to their destinations with order and a sense of peace. We don’t hear talking, or shouting as communication seems to be telepathic, but each unique being radiates their own unique tone…we sense that there is joy and cooperation between the inhabitants of this city and we are happy and satisfied that all is working well for planet earth… the love bubble continues on to it’s next adventure!

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