Pop band Love at 20 mixes ’90s Brit, modern indie rock

Neha Aziz

From the ashes of the band Clap Clap emerges a new band called Love at 20. Austinites Mike Groener, Louis Lemuz, Mark Toohey, Amber Zook and Scott Clapsaddle make up the group of pop rockers.

In the band’s debut LP, Time to Begin, Love at 20 front man Groener explains the highs and lows of being a local musician.

“Musicians today are really lucky,” Groener said. “There are limited barriers to entering the online music market, and any artist can get their material on iTunes. So essentially, the process after recording was to get great artwork, then find an online aggregator to submit to as many online retailers as possible. I’ve considered in-store distribution as well, but MP3s are greener and have less waste. It was safe to say Pandora was my main objective. It was a complicated process actually, but was worth it.”

Though Groener had a plan in mind to gain popularity, he found it difficult to find listeners who were interested in his band’s genre.

“However, I did have a problem getting people to listen to the record. It is a straightforward record, so to some, I felt it may have been a big stretch to go from indie dance to pop rock,” Groener said. “I would consider that the biggest challenge. There is a whole niche of pop music that is essentially neglected by grassroots media. Since we are on the cusp of that heavily covered genre, we just make it in. But for other more rock bands, they can’t get the time of day.”

Love at 20 describes its style as a combination of ‘90s Brit rock and modern indie rock.

“A lot of people refuse to follow a pop structure or stay within the confines of writing a hook-and-verse melody,” Groener said. “In that respect, I would say the style is pop-centered with rock guitar support. It reminds me of U2, Muse, Catherine Wheel and Depeche Mode at times — all of which I hear because they influence me, but to other people it may be a completely different set of bands.”

Even though Love at 20 does not have much touring experience, the ambitious band has high hopes about what its future entails.

“My goals are to record a few double A-side singles, and play some afterparties for Austin City Limits and Fun Fun Fun Fest. Long term, and if my fate will have it, perform an ACL show,” Groener said. “That’s actually one of my dreams; I can make it happen if I focus. It may just take some time.”

WHAT: Love at 20 with Freshmillions and Superlitebike
WHERE: The Parish, 214-C E. Sixth St.
WHEN: Saturday at 9 p.m.