Tony Lucca (2015)
'My Confession: Catching Up with Tony Lucca'
Tony Lucca, from Waterford, Michigan is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and once actor. After starting his career on the Mickey Mouse Club when it was cancelled he went to LA for a brief career as an actor. Then he decided to become a full-time musician instead. He has since released ten (10) studio albums - So Satisfied (1997), Strong Words, Softly Spoken (re-issued 1999), Shotgun (2004), Canyon Songs (2006), Come Around Again (2008), Rendezvous With the Angels (2010), TFDI – When I Stop Running (collaboration with Jay Nash and Matt Duke) (2011), Solo (2 versions: 15 track CD; 11 track digital MP3) (2011), Under the Influence (2011), and the just-released brand new self-titled tenth album, Tony Lucca - along with nine (9) EPs.
Having come 3rd in the second season of the American reality talent show, The Voice (2012), Lucca released a six song EP 'With The Whole World Watching' in mid-2013. Lucca then toured extensively following the release, including six dates on the Honda Civic Tour opening for Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5.
Whilst knee deep into his 2015 tour, I recently caught up with the man himself, Tony Lucca - and I first wondered, being that his brand new album is self-titled, and that it had taken him nine albums to make that choice, why was now the right time for him to have done this? "It felt like I had finally arrived at a sound that was as much "me" as anything I could ever hope to put my name on. In the end, that's what I did. As well, it felt like a "starting over" point for me. I figured if anyone was ever curious what my "sound" was, this is a fine introduction."
You've openly said that for this this album that you wanted to make a "live-sounding record." So do you think you completely accomplished that with Tony Lucca? "I do. I think you can easily imagine me and my band barreling through these tunes either in the studio or on stage. I'm proud to say that the live show sounds damn near identical to the record and that's something I'm pretty stoked about."
Being that is the case, how would you describe the comparisons between this new release and, say, Canyon Songs or even Come Around Again? "Canyon Songs was a very organic sounding record. The material was rather eclectic and so we had to approach each song accordingly. The new record is sort of a follow up to Come Around Again in that I approached them in a similar fashion. I think the songs are just stronger this time around, more cohesive."
Tony Lucca was actually funded by a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, one that hit its funding goal inside just 30 hours, so that must have made you smile "It certainly did. It was a very surreal experience. Dreamlike. Hands down one of the most encouraging milestones of my career."
So, being that you got more money than required for the actual making of this album, where does all the rest of the donations go within the project? "well, there's never any shortage of ways to spend money when it comes to making a record. I feel you have to be careful when asking for money and so we erred on the side of asking for a more conservative amount. However, when it comes to things like artwork and packaging, it's nice to have the extra resources to go all out and make it look real nice. "well-funded", if you will."
It seems Kickstarter is a fashionable thing to do for bands/artists these days, that don't have a label behind them to invest in them, etc. So, is Kickstarter something that you embraced immediately as an idea for this 8th album, or did you have to be encouraged by someone to undertake such a public project? "Yeah, I had been on the fence about it for a long time. After much discussion with other friends/artists who had had some success with the platform, I realized that it's not so much about the money as it is tapping into a very unique dynamic with fans. Through the reward incentives on this project, I have gotten to know my fans in a way that I never could have fathomed years ago. It really was a fulfilling experience, the album aside."
Please tell us more about the cover art for Tony Lucca as in a darkened style akin to sepia tone, it looks rather sombre; and yet the tracks are far from it "I wanted something timeless, classic. sepia seems to capture that. I wanted it to look and feel heavy. solid. to me the songs, be them more uplifting or contemplative, are a bit darker in a way. I think the cover reflects that."
Tell us more about where your thought process was for these three new songs from Tony Lucca:
1) 'Old Girl' - ""I swam the seven seas, and now you're saying there's eight." This is a song about the countless flaming hoops that labels tend to make their artists jump through. It's ultimately a song about my disdain for the old guard of the music business. In fact, that was the original title, 'Old Guard.' 'Girl' just personalizes it a bit."
2) 'Never Make It Out Alive' - ""You got a soft spot inside a rigid frame" the working title for this song was 'So I Married A Cougar'. It's a playful take on the sexual, sensual and predatory nature of the 'cougar' type."
3) 'Smoke 'Em' - ""Don't give up on love, it's bound to turn up again" It's a song about downtime and the contemplations that ensue while we wait for whatever's next. That usually entails some form of Love or another."
Reflecting back to your debut album, So Satisfied, how has your voice changed in the past 17 years? "Oh man. so much! I've learned so much about my instrument over the past several years. When I first got started, I was trying to emulate my various heroes as opposed to simply letting their influence reveal itself in time. I'd say I approach my songs much more honestly, vocally AND lyrically."
You seem to be a Tweeter, so with regard Facebook and Twitter, are you a social media guru, perhaps? "I wouldn't say guru, but I do work hard at staying out in front of social media and all of it's shifts and changes, often a fool's errand. But suffice it to say, it is an indispensable part of the indie artist career path and it isn't going away anytime soon."
Now, as we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, please reveal a little something juicy re: a behind-the-scenes memory of your time spent as a member of the early-90's revitalization of The Mickey Mouse Club, alongside Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera! "It was really just your basic deviant high school behavior. The occasional hazing of the younger cast mates and plenty of truth or dare. But I'm not throwing anyone under the bus here!"
And following that train of an "exclusive reveal," please tell us something equally as juicy from behind-the-scenes about your time spent on The Voice in 2012! "We got to hear the first three singles from Maroon 5's Overexposed record before they were released. We sat there with Adam as he personally walked us through the songs and their inspirations. Though not something I would describe as "juicy" it certainly was an unforgettable experience and one that opened my eyes to what goes into making pop records."
When we last spoke you told me that the car The Voice had "given you" for coming 3rd in the show that year was a Kia Sorrento in titanium silver - and that you still hadn't received it! Well, two years on, did it actually arrive, have you driven it, or did you simply never receive it and got cash instead?! "No, we got it and it's awesome!"
Finally, is there anything about Tony Lucca, the person, that you would like to make sure the world knows? "Well, maybe that like most artists I know, I'm both fueled and humbled by feedback and encouragement, the by-product of which is a hard and fast sense of gratitude. That's not to say that I make music simply to appease others, but without that connection, that sense of purpose and mutual appreciation, the whole song and dance can get extremely lonely and nothing if not entirely unfulfilling."
"I would like people to know just how thankful I am for their support. Even someone who's maybe never heard my music before but might've sat there and read this interview, start to finish, ya know? Thank you for that."
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED CD from Tony Lucca, just answer this question about, well, Tony Lucca: In 1995, after the cancellation of the Mickey Mouse Club, Lucca moved to Los Angeles to begin an acting career ... where he lived with a fellow Mickey Mouse Club castmate AND his girlfriend at the time. So, who was the lucky lady?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win an AUTOGRAPHED CD from Tony Lucca himself! Just send us an e:mail here before July 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: SIGNED TONY LUCCA CDs to: firstname.lastname@example.org