An Interview With Best Ex

October 8, 2019

Best Ex is here with "Bad Love"! The angsty lyrics and modern production of the single instantly draws listeners in. The song speaks about bad decision-making, resulting in 'bad love.' Vocalist, Mariel Loveland, has put her story on the line to help others that can identify with her experiences. She mentioned, "Honestly, my entire life, I've wondered who the heck is the type of person that drinks cocktails at hotels in Manhattan. Yet, I somehow found myself there, stirring the ice in my $20 cocktail and thinking about why I'm always following the type of love that I know is going to hurt me.” 


Photo by: Thomas Loizeau 


GMAT: Introduce yourself to the GMAT readers!

BE: Hello! I'm Mariel. I'm a singer/songwriter, band front lady, cat mama and severe coffee addict.

GMAT: Was there a specific instance that lead you to shift your focus from your former band, Candy Hearts, to the arrival of Best Ex?

BE: I'm definitely not the same person I was when I was 19 years old and started Candy Hearts. The music fans expected us to make didn't really reflect the way I was feeling or the sounds I heard in my head, at least not for the last few years. I like so many different kinds of artists that it gets really hard for me to stay in one lane because I want my music to sound like the stuff I love and it doesn't always work together. I obviously still love '90s punk and alt like Jawbreaker and the Weakerthans, but I think there's so many interesting sounds in modern pop that I wanted to explore. I also felt a bit boxed in being in a band that was considered pop punk, especially in a genre that was so male dominated and in so many ways toxic for women. It was really lonely, if I'm being honest. I think when it comes down to it, I had a lot of anxieties tied to Candy Hearts -- be it a result of constantly being the only girl around or having started it when I was a much more timid, insecure teenager. I'm not going to lie: I'm clearly not as tough as I thought, and those bad vibes started to really bother me, so I wanted to do something that felt more positive.

GMAT: What are you most excited about regarding your new musical venture?

BE: Honestly, I know every artist says this. I know I've said this in the past, but I think the songs I have coming up are the best I've ever done. They were so meticulously crafted over so long. Instead of just coming up with a melody and slapping some power chords under it, we really thought about each and every single sound. It took hours just to pick drum sounds alone, and I think it really shows. I'm just so, so happy.

GMAT: How did you come up with your band name, "Best Ex"?

BE: Honestly, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a lot of tumultuous experiences in love. I'm not stupid to think I haven't ever been labeled "the crazy ex." If you date a person who has crazy exes, it's a pretty safe bet that you're eventually going to be dubbed the next "crazy ex." In a way, I liked the idea of existing in spite of your heartbreaks and in spite of the things people have labeled you as. I felt like it really stood out to me -- the idea of being the best of the collection of things someone didn't want and threw out in the trash. There's some power in that.

GMAT: What is your writing process like?

BE: Erratic! Sometimes I'll come up with a lyrical idea and write it down, but most times I wait for a melody shoot down from the heavens and pop into my brain. Sometimes, I'm not that lucky and need to try to spark inspiration by playing some chords and taking a lot of long walks or trips on public transit staring out the window. Or driving. A huge portion of the unreleased songs I'm sitting on were composed while singing in traffic. On "Bad Love," I think both me and our producer Andy Tongren (who plays in this cool band called Young Rising Sons) were feeling the same vibes. I came up with the lyrics and melody, sent him over a voice note and he helped me nail down the vibe we wanted. It came out even better than I could have envisioned, in my not very humble opinion.

GMAT: What would you like your fans to take away from "Bad Love"?

BE: I think my takeaway would be to not indulge your vices, especially if those vices are falling in love with the wrong people. It's so fun though, isn't it?


Stream "Bad Love" here!


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