Interview – Loren Israel

Loren Israel has had an exciting career within the music industry, having worked in a variety of different positions with a whole host of different bands/artists. We decided to have a chat with Loren to find out more about his life and career – read on below to find out more!

By Jane Howkins

You’ve had a fantastic career, having worked alongside many different bands and artists in your time in the music industry. What would you say have been your main highlights of your career so far?

Well since I left Capitol Records I developed, produced and looked after such bands as Jimmy Eat World Plain White T’s, Neon Trees, and The Unlikely Candidates and all have achieved Billboard #1 hit songs. Overall, my nearly 200 clients have grossed over $60 million.

In addition to developing bands to Platinum status, I have also been credited with helping discover and mentor former musicians-turned-producers like Tim Pagnotta, Ian Kirkpatrick, and Ariel Rechtshaid.  Producers who have gone on to work with many of today’s most successful artists. 

You’ve worked with a wide range of musicians over the years. Who have been your favourite bands/artists to work with?

A very good question but like a father… They’re all my favorites. 

Are there any acts you would like to work with in the future that you haven’t got round to working with yet?

I would love to work with Oliver Tree, Peach Tree Rascals and 100 Gecs.

What sort of music are you into, and what have you been listening to recently that you can recommend?

I like all kinds of music and I’ve been listening to a lot of Spanish language music lately.

We hear that you used to be in a band when you were younger, and supported bands like Bad Religion on tour. How was it supporting a young Bad Religion? Do you still make music like that?

Yes, I started playing music at an early age. I’m LA native, and was in bands from the age of 15 through my mid 20’s. I wrote songs, played guitar and had the privilege to open for acts like Bad Religion, Dramarama and Soul Asylum. Having lived the musician’s life for a decade here in LA, I eventually made the difficult decision to step away from music and go to college.

One of the positions you have held in your musical career is as an A&R man, which sounds like quite an interesting job. What artists/bands have been the most exciting for you to discover and work with?

I can only tell you this: It is not important or exciting to ARRIVE at the destination, it is much more exciting to enjoy GETTING there.

You’ve also made a bit of a name of yourself as a producer. How does that compare to your work in A&R, and what are your favourite artists/bands that you’ve worked with in that capacity?

After leaving my band while in college, I began organizing shows and producing records for other artists. I also became a mentor to many artists and bands who wanted to achieve the success that my band had achieved. Eventually, this led to a gig with Capitol Records, but I continued to produce records and develop artists on my own outside the label. I’ve always had knack for spotting and developing talent and that led to a full-time position as an A&R Executive with Capitol Records. Throughout my years at Capitol, I honed my skills in finding talent and developing the unique voices in bands. I was instrumental in securing talented bands like Less Than Jake and Jimmy Eat World to the label. But I soon decided that life as a music executive was too passive. I wanted to actively develop bands and produce records So in 2001, I started my own company which develops emerging artists at the grassroots level. 

You also offer consulting and songwriting services. How does that part of your career compare to the other aspects? Do you find it rewarding?

It is by far the most fun and rewarding thing I do.

How has the pandemic affected your work? Has it hindered you much?

I always keep very busy. We just scored a Billboard #1 with Novacaine by The Unlikely Candidates so my phone rings off the hook. I can’t produce all the wonderful artists that submit but I totally appreciate the love and the look. Other than that, I’m at home with my 5 year old, cooking for my wife and making the hits.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up in the near future? 

I will let you know…