By Steven M. Housman
Life Is Good For LFO
Life is Good is LFO’s sophomore album. Their first album in 1999 spawned two huge hit singles; the double platinum “Summer Girls” which went to number three and “Girl On TV” went gold and peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Their last hit single from Life Is Good entitled “Every Other Time” was the highest debuting single when it bowed on the charts a couple of years ago. LFO is ready to make their mark once again.
I had the opportunity to sit down with lead singer Rich Cronin and ask him a few questions about the group, the “competition” of other boy bands and their sudden rise to fame that began just a few years ago.
Do you generally enjoy the process of promoting a new album?
Yes, I executive produced and we wrote the entire album. It’s 100% our work and we’re promoting our own ideas. Anytime you’re out there promoting what you love, it’s very exciting.
Do you prefer collaborating on songwriting or do you prefer writing solo?
More often than not I prefer to write separately unless I’m writing with the right person. It can be very cool if the vibe is right.
How old were you when you started performing?
I was 14.
Whose songs did you cover back then?
Back then I would cover all rap songs.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
New Edition, Bell Biv Devoe, The Beastie Boys, Slick Rick, and RUN-DMC.
Who do you enjoy listening to you now?
I really like Blink-182. My favorite group is The Lemonheads. I love Wyclef Jean and Method Man. I just love Hip-Hop. I also like a lot of melodic rock too.
Do you ever feel any competitiveness with the other “so-called” boy bands?
I don’t even think about those dudes man. I respect them but I don’t see myself at all doing what they do. ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys have sold ungodly amount of records and what they’ve done is cool and it’s manufactured right. What I’m doing is writing songs that are off the beaten path, I’m doing my own thing. I’m trying to carve my own niche. Either people like me and like my group or they hate me. Obviously, I’d rather more people like me than hate me but I’m definitely doing it my own way and that’s a conscious decision I made. The fact that people throw us in that boy group category is cool. We came out of the same management, we were put in that boat and now it’s up to us to get out of it. It’s not a boat we want to be in. We’re not complaining, we just hope in time our music will speak for itself. There is no competitive feelings, we just want to be successful at what we do.
Everybody knows that Clive Davis is a legend. When did he become aware of your talent?
That was in January ’99. We auditioned for him in San Diego and he kind of like what he saw. We cut two songs for him and he sat with those. It wasn’t going to be a long-term sign. We were going to do an album in about a year and as timing would have it, the end of May-early June a demo I did called “Summer Girls” got into the right hands at a radio station in D.C. It wasn’t even a mixed record, it was done in a basement and they just started killing it on the air. It just so happened that a morning show guy from New York gave it to his girlfriend in D.C. and investigated it all the way back to the person who had the last remaining copy in the world. He started playing it on his morning show and it blew up in New York. It became a huge song in New York and D.C. so Clive said “listen, we’re still in negotiations, we haven’t even signed yet. We’re not gonna have a year for this album you’ve got a hit song so you’ve got a month to pull it together.” We put it together. The single sold two and a half million copies. Then we had another really big hit with “Girl On TV” but it was impossible to match the success of “Summer Girls.”
It became more than a hit record, it became a massive phenomenon. It was nuts. This song became beyond huge. It went to number three but would have easily been number one for a very long time, but it didn’t get a lot of daytime airplay, it mostly got nighttime airplay which doesn’t count as much for the charts. If it got ten percent of the airplay Christina Aguilera got during the day it would have been out there forever. It sat in the number one sales position for a ridiculous amount of weeks. Way over “La Vida Loca.” Nobody could mess with our song. Then the second single was the number two selling record in the country. That was a huge success for me. My first album ever having these two gigantic singles both going top ten. Wow dude, when would I have ever expected this? With the last single, radio was very kind to us.
Is there anything specific you would like to tell your fans?
I just want people to know we write our own songs, we always have. We write them from our hearts. They are all from personal experience. Any support that fans give us is very much appreciated. This does not jade us at all. We want to be doing this forever. We want to grow, we want to escalate, we want to rise and we can’t do it without them. Everytime our fans request our songs, it means the world to us. We just want people to know that they do matter and we do appreciate them and we hope they appreciate our music.
© 2005 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.