Back in 2008, three young musicians posted a video of themselves absolutely shredding one of Phish’s more complex tunes, “You Enjoy Myself” (YEM). The video received widespread attention in the jam scene, particularly fueled by a post that appeared on Phantasy Tour. Having surfaced around the time that the movie Superbad came out, the teenage sensations gained the title “The McLovins“, which has since stuck.
“We first uploaded the YEM video on Sunday, November 30th, 2008,” explains drummer Jake Huffman. “We had just recorded it and I was so excited that right after practice was over I cut the video and uploaded it to YouTube. The next morning I had about a thousand new emails and my phone wouldn’t really turn on. By the time I got to school in the morning (I was in 10th grade) the video had gone viral though a phish fan website (Phantasy Tour) and it had well over 10,000 views. Through that video, we received a bunch of inquiries to play across the country, and because our parents were cool they let us play all over the Northeast.”
“We set off from that point with good momentum,” Jake continues, “and soon found ourselves playing big events like Gathering of the Vibes and Nateva Music Festival, always bumping into people mentioning the YEM video as their first introduction to our band.”
Nearly a decade later, the band continues to strategically use digital media as a driving force for their content.
“With the YEM video,” bassist Jason Ott adds, “we started off with one camera and literally overnight we realized the potential, and how many people we could reach to hear our music. It motivated us to figure out new way to produce content.”
“The goal has always been to connect with fans,” explains Jake, “so that when they come to our shows they feel like they already know us. Whether that’s with cover tunes, originals, van sessions, or a video from tour shot on the side of the road, we always find that fans are most engaged with us as a band when we are pushing ourselves to create original content in the band’s collective voice.”
“In the past few years we have branched out from just putting out music videos and have started creating content that reflects our personality as well as our music,” continues keyboardist Atticus Kelly. “For instance, the #AtticusFacts manifests our collective sense of humor, and also serve to give a personal touch for each show, city by city.”
“I think it’s important to try and communicate with all people on social media so they know we are listening,” concludes guitarist Justin Berger.
Enjoy this video for a new tune called “No Limit,” and be sure to catch the McLovins Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at American Beauty NYC on 12/17 (get tickets here).