loote travis barker
[Photo by: Loote/Alex K. Justice, Travis Barker/Jeremy Deputat]

Synth-pop duo Loote take you on a creepy and twisted carnival adventure in their brand-new music video “Sex With My Ex,” which they are exclusively premiering with AltPress. 

Loote, comprising Jackson Foote and Emma Lov, teamed up with blink-182’s Travis Barker and L.A.-based production trio Captain Cuts to create the emo-synth track. Listeners can also hear Home Alone’s raw vocals intertwined with Lov’s unique, bright voice to craft the song.

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The track is one of five original songs that appear on the duo’s 2020 EP, heart eyes. Within the year, Loote also plan to share a brand-new album. AltPress caught up with the duo on their wild ride of a music video and their classic-rock influences. Check out the full interview and Loote’s “Sex With My Ex” video below. 

In your new music video, you use creepy clowns and creatures as well as vibrant festival animations to share your story. What inspired the music video concept?

JACKSON FOOTE: We wanted to create something different from any of the prior visuals we’ve done. One thing we try to do with a lot of our songs is have the tracks and mood strike a contrast to the lyrics. Our fans call a lot of our songs “cry jams” because the lyrics paint difficult situations with love surrounding love, while the tracks still make you want to dance. “Sex With My Ex” is very much that. The track is hype. The lyrics are very uncompromising and jarring. We wanted the music video to be a reflection of that. On one hand, you have an amusement park with rides, games and roller coasters. On another hand, you have the monsters chasing you everywhere you go. The song is supposed to be conflicted and honest. The video is meant to be a symbolic reflection of that. 

You worked with blink-182’s Travis Barker, Captain Cuts, who have remixed a lot of emo tracks and Home Alone. How did this collaboration come about? Why did you think this was the best combination of artists to bring this track to life? 

FOOTE: The collab started when Home Alone sang us the hook. Not a lot of people know this because he’s such a new artist, but he is the lead vocalist on the song. A couple of days after he sang us the hook, we sang it to Captain Cuts at the end of a writing session, and they loved it. We hammered out a lot of the track and put a reference down in a couple of hours. Next week, Home Alone came through Captain Cuts’ place and cut the vocal. They had never met before, but as soon as he laid the hook in, everybody’s eyes lit up in the room. Once the track was getting close to done, we sent it to Travis just in case he liked it. He DM’d us a couple of days later and said he loved it and he was down. That was a good day.

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EMMA LOV: It’s the funniest combo of people, but it works so well, in my humble opinion anyway. I think it works, mainly, because it was so damn fun to make, from the very beginning. We were just messing around, and with that much talent in a room, it was inevitable that we were gonna get some emo seedling out of it. I wasn’t even on it originally. I just loved the song so much, and I wanted to be a part of it in any capacity. So we wrote and cut a verse with me on it, and it fit. 

I mentioned adding Travis to the record in a meeting under the assumption that it would probably never happen. Two weeks later, we heard from his management that he liked the song and wanted to collab. I’m not even kidding. I still get little butterflies even typing that because it’s insane, and I’m so happy. 

In your Spotify bio, Emma, you mention you’re a fan of classic rock and emo. How do these musical influences play into Loote? Do you hope to work with more alternative artists in the future?

LOV: I was exposed to classic rock at a very young age and [was] immediately drawn to the theatricality of it. I love how over the top and emotional rock is. Also, as it turns out, I was a huge Broadway kid. I basically grew up on musical soundtracks and Kiss with some Led Zeppelin, Queen and Green Day peppered in. I’d steal my dad’s Walkman, pop a CD in and study it on the school bus. I was a weird kid, and I thought of these voices as friends. I tried to picture them and mimic them. 

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I’m not entirely sure how it influences me in one specific way. It’s just a general sense of, “This needs to come from the innermost part of me,” and the only way I know how to convey that is the way I deliver a line or a melody. I’m all over the place. Jackson reins me in. As for other artists, I would love to work with so many people. It’s hard to narrow it down, but at the top is definitely Brendon Urie

“Sex With My Ex” has a chorus that lays out the song’s narrative pretty clearly. Did any personal experiences help influence the lyrics? What do you hope listeners take away from the track?

FOOTE: I think at some point or another, almost everybody has walked back through old doors and realized people change and feelings change. The reason we make our “cry jams” is because we hope they take some of the edge off difficult situations and all types of heartache. I would say that’s what I hope people take away from this song. It might hurt right at this moment, but it’s not all that bad.

LOV: Truly, this song is fun as hell to sing, and it’s so cathartic for me. It’s about becoming undone, being on the edge of a difficult situation and saying, “Fuck it. I’m gonna dance.”

What else can fans expect from Loote in 2020?

FOOTE: Well, three months ago we would have said, “Our first headline tour is selling out.” But now we say, a fucking album!