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2ŁØT aims for higher self with 'Shot in The Dark'

Rudy Love Jr. of the band 2ŁØT says that writing music is good for yourself. And others.

2ŁØT’s debut single, “Shot in The Dark,” arrives May 19 on major digital streaming platforms and foretells a full-length album from the band, which is scheduled to arrive later this year.

The group brings together Rudy Love Jr. (Rudy Love & The Encore) with Sage Judd, Chase Koch, Omar M. Jahwar II (II) and Robert Trusko.

Judd and Love recently visited the KMUW studios to talk about the single and the band’s mission and history.

The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Interview Highlights

What inspired you to form a band? 

Rudy Love Jr.: I like to think of myself as band curious. I’ve always been in bands that allow you to do your own thing. I like projects that allow you to be yourself with a group of people because my favorite thing is collaboration. This helps me do that. It felt like a natural step.

Sage Judd: I enjoy being in bands and doing my own thing. There’s something about being in bands that have a focused aesthetic. It’s fun to write for a vessel that’s pointed in a certain direction.

RL: We met when we were all in rocky places in our lives. I’d just lost [my father], our drummer had just lost his father. Chase, our guitarist, had just gone through a divorce. We were all in transitional periods. We found that music was healing. We thought, “What if we could use that to do some good?” The idea of social change and music sounded like a good idea. That stoked the fire a bit.

I was talking with a songwriter yesterday and he said that one of the things about making music is that it’s a way to make himself feel better. 

RL: Yeah.

If he’s looking at the world and seeing garbage everywhere, writing a song is sometimes a way of elevating the soul and the mind and the spirit. Is that where you’re coming at with this? 

SJ: Absolutely. My brain tends to run 5,000 miles an hour with bummer thoughts. The thing I like about music so much is that it’s mentally immersive. When I sit down to play at the piano that takes too much to also … I can’t multitask enough to freak out and play piano at the same time. [Laughs.]

RL: I feel that way exactly. It’s the only thing that could get you through something like a loss -- both listening to music and playing it. As a musician, when you’re listening to it, you’re sort of playing in your mind anyway. That process I would say … it’s healing, it’s good for you, and if you do it right, it’s good for others. But it’s mostly a selfish endeavor. [Laughs.] It takes the monkey mind, I guess they call it, and focuses it on something. When you’re working with a band it’s a language. I think Sage said it best yesterday, he said, “Music is like speech. A novel is good. A conversation is something else. A conversation is beautiful.”

Let’s get back to the social change part of the equation. 

RL: We talked about trying to do things with a purpose for a cause. At the time there was four of us, and we said, “What are four things we really care about?” We talked about criminal justice reform, we talked about freedom of expression, combating and removing the stigma of mental illness and healing from addiction, and extreme poverty. We thought that if we teamed up with organizations that were already [working in those areas] we could team up with them, swoop in and say, “Hey, we’re gonna play some music in celebration of people who are already doing this.” Sounded like the right thing to do.

A question I don’t usually ask is where a band got its name. Usually the answer is, “Well, that’s what stuck.” But I have to ask now because it seems like this one has some greater significance. 

RL: 2ŁØT stands for the second law of thermodynamics. We intentionally cross it out because the idea is that if we can resist it, if you can resist entropy, that decay, that corruption, that eventual demise then you …. Sage, help me out.

SJ: We met out of random chance while everybody was kind of majorly struggling in their own thing. It just seemed an appropriate thing to be striving for, the resisting decay, the entropy, as Rudy was saying, and just trying to come out on the other end of that with something positive through mindfulness and personal effort.

RL: And community. And having people who challenge you but also hold you up.

Tell me about your first single, “Shot in the Dark.” 

RL: What we wrote that about specifically was aiming for your higher self. Given a second chance, if you had it, you’d go all the way, a Hail Mary pass. “I’m going to try my hardest to connect to someone.” It’s inspired by feeling the need to always need to strive for your higher self. To be better and do better for the people around you.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.