Hi Lucas, thanks for joining us again at On The Side Music. How have things been since the release of your first single ‘Ronnie’?
Hi guys, things have been pretty busy since the release of Ronnie.. Melbourne opened up a bit more after the song came out so it’s been a lot of time back in my studio working with a bunch of different artists which has been awesome. I’ve been writing some more stuff and now have another bunch of tracks that I’ve got to figure out what to do with!
You describe your music as power-pop, who are your favourite power-pop acts and why?
My favourite power-pop artists/band would be: Cheap Trick– the kings of heavy/interesting/hooky/fun pop songs.. Their first three or so albums are masterpieces in my eyes. Big Star – Classic, slightly twangy & groovy pop perfection. These guys are the power pop poster-boys and for good reason, their music is just beautiful. The Posies – these guys kill me.. Frosting On The Beater is one of my all time favourite albums, in fact the early 90’s was an absolutely amazing renaissance of guitar heavy power pop/rock: Weezer/Teenage Fanclub/Supergrass/Red Kross/Jellyfish/Matthew Sweet/Enuff Z’Nuff/The Lemonheads.. I could go on.
Your new single ‘It’s True’ is about self-loathing, however, the tempo of the song is upbeat, is there a reason you’ve created it that way?
I guess I like the bittersweet! Ronnie is pretty similar in that respect. The idea of taking a dark concept and making it feel a little more upbeat due to some catchy melodies/harmonies is cool to me.. but I often can’t help writing fairly melodious stuff so whether I’m writing a grim reality check or a slice of sunshine it tends to end up quite poppy anyway.
‘Bad Business’ is due to come out at the end of this month, how long was this album in the making?
Well we started rehearsing the songs early 2019 I reckon, with main band recordings happening in September 2019. We then did guitar and vocal overdubs/final recording touches over the months leading into 2020. I think mixing was completed around April 2020 just as the Covid craziness was firing up and then the final mastering touches were done. And I guess the songs were written over the course of 2018/19? Wow, so much has happened in that time period.. the world is a different place.. It really seems like forever ago now.
You have some incredibly talented musicians playing on the album, tell us about the recording process?
It was so much fun, plenty of laughs, beers and stories.. We recorded at my studio over a week or thereabouts in September 2019. We generally tracked the drums, bass and my rhythm guitar first. We recorded to tape so the take had to be spot on (as editing tape or even dropping in is a pita) and I’m sure we had a few attempts before we got in the groove. Guys like Ash Naylor & Bill McDonald are ultimate pro’s and watching them create parts and convey musical ideas is something special. Brett ‘Wolfie’ Wolfenden on drums is another killer player and I reckon he’s Australia’s best rock drummer. My old mate Warren Booth played a lot of bass on the album too and he always nails a super solid groove. We didn’t labour over the recording of the songs too much, we went with the right vibe as I wanted this album to be somewhat loose, rockn’roll and as they say ‘perfectly imperfect’..
We love that you’ve included an instrumental track on the album. There must be a specific track/artist that has inspired you to include this on your album. What is your favourite instrumental track/artist? Why?
‘A New Career In A New Town’ from David Bowie’s Low album is pretty darn good but my fave may just be ‘Maggot Brain’ on Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain album, Eddie Hazel was a god and I can’t believe this was done in one take! it features some of the most beautiful face melting guitar work you are likely to hear in my opinion (shout out to the live version of Maggot Brain on One Nation Under A Groove.. Michael Hampton on lead guitar does Eddie’s version justice).
We’d love to see and hear the new music live, are there any shows coming up in 2021?
No plans at this stage.. Midnight Drags was always more of a ‘studio band’ rather than a touring one. Plus it’s super hard trying to pry professional musicians away from their (usually better paid) live touring schedule! We will see what happens in the future though.. You never know.