The Submarines

Working as solo artists in Boston, the two members of the band, John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard, were introduced through a mutual friend. Dragonetti and Hazard formed a romantic and musical partnership, then took their show to Europe. The relationship lasted for four years, but ended in the fall of 2004 when the pair moved to L.A. After the break-up, both Hazard and Dragonetti continued writing songs, and because Hazard still recorded her music in Dragonetti’s home studio, the pair quickly discovered the songs they had written were about each other and their sadness in having broken up. They decided to work on a few songs together and eventually got back together. The new songs were mastered for the couple as a wedding present, and those tracks eventually became their first album. Declare a New State!, The Submarines’ first album was released in 2006 on the Nettwerk label. Their next album, Honeysuckle Weeks, launched the Subs into the global slipstream, as their songs appeared everywhere — from television (Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy) and film (Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist) to multiple spots for Apple’s iPhone — and it wasn’t long before The Subs took their show on the road. The band toured North America and Europe extensively, sharing a stage with the likes of The Morning Benders, Aimee Mann and Brazilian Girls. When they were done, they returned to their bungalow in the foothills of Eagle Rock, California, and to their home studio (a converted two-car garage). With Blake a more confident singer, and John — a veteran home recorder under his Jackdrag alias — becoming even more technically proficient via a steady flow of film and TV work, they were set on pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone. For their third album at first, things progressed slowly, and for the most part, separately. With Blake at writing in Paris and John workin out some ideas in Texas with Spoon drummer, Jim Eno. It proved to be an important part of the process to do this separate work, to let ideas grow independently. Writing sessions doubled as therapy sessions, and when it came time to mix the album, there was consensus that an outsider (John O’Mahony, who’s worked with Metric and Coldplay) was needed to jump in and finish things off. O’Mahony’s fresh ears and perspective brought even more dimension to the songs. For an album that was admittedly hard to make, LOVE NOTES/LETTER BOMBS is disarmingly easy to listen to. “At this point in our lives,” adds Blake, “it would be impossible to try to extract being in a band together from everything else. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.”