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Loverboy’s Mike Reno talks new music, playing live and obsessive fans

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Loverboy’s Mike Reno talks new music, playing live and obsessive fans (Photo courtesy of Loverboy)

After nearly four decades as a band, Loverboy lead singer Mike Reno says the group is taking a DIY approach to getting their music to fans. Instead of relying on record companies, Loverboy is releasing a new song each month for free through their website. The latest is “Stop the Rain” and it’s accompanied by a fan-produced video that is out of this world. Mike Reno checked in last week to discuss the present, past and future of Loverboy. 

TME: The new single “Stop the Rain” sounds like it could have come from one of your classic 80’s albums. What is the story behind this song?

Reno: We have a lot of songs that we recorded but couldn’t find a home for and we’re starting to put them out now. It’s a song that we’re very proud of and we’re doing something new with our music. Instead of putting out a new album, we’re putting out a new song every month on our website – www.Loverboyband.com. You can get it for free, enjoy it and come see us in concert.

TME: The video for the song features the members of Loverboy getting beamed aboard a UFO. Apparently, aliens have good taste in music.

Reno: We held this video contest and it was fun to see what some of our fans came up with. You know, we’ve done the million dollar videos in Hollywood with the best directors and we decided to just have fun and do something tongue-in-cheek. You can imagine there were some weird and wacky videos submitted but we liked this one because it was a little more mainstream but also creative. Last week, we met the guy who produced it (David Napolillo), in Texas, and we gave him an autographed Fender guitar. He and his family came backstage at the concert and it was a joyful experience.

TME: It seems like with all of the changes in the music business, you’ve put together a new business model to get your music out there. Have you moved away from the tradition of recording and selling albums and CDs?

Reno: The record companies have let us all down. They don’t know what to do anymore and people seem to just want to do things on their computers so we put together an official Loverboy flash drive containing everything we’ve ever done. It has all of the TV shows we did in the early days, all of the promo videos, tour magazines, newspaper articles and every album we’ve ever recorded. It’s a $10 item and you can watch it and listen for days. For people who prefer CDs, we have those too.

TME: I’ve heard you say that some nights are better than others. When Loverboy is performing, what constitutes a good night for the band?

Reno: Mike, I don’t want to sound like we’re too full of ourselves but every night is a good night. It’s just that some nights are magical. If we’re all exactly on the same wavelength, it makes for a magical night. We’re five guys standing on stage playing everything you hear. There’s nothing pre-recorded. Some nights, there’s magic in the air and it happens about every seventh show. You can’t predict it. You just hang on and enjoy the ride.

TME: The band has some very dedicated fans that have been there from the beginning. Have you ever had fans who crossed the line and took that fandom a little too far? 

Reno: The coolest interactions with fans are when we’ll just have a discussion, maybe sign an autograph, take a photo, meet their family – that kind of thing. We’re a public band and that kind of thing is great. We love our fans. There were a few instances in the early days where things got a little out of hand. We had some people who were stalking us. They would come to every show, stand behind the stage and try to vibe us out with weird stuff. One night in my hotel room, I went to take a shower, closed the shower curtain and saw they had written their name and number in lipstick. That was a little freaky. You can imagine there was some very weird stuff that happened.

TME: Do you have special plans for the band’s 40th anniversary in 2019?

Reno: Maybe we’ll take a run at old Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We’ll have to see. 

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