Luca Brasi, the Tasmanian band known for its Godfather-inspired name and being the ‘nice guys’ of the Australian music industry, are set to release their fourth album, Stay, this Friday, June 22. Veterans in the Australian music industry, Luca Brasi formed in 2009 and have been rocking local and international stages ever since.
BYO had a chance to talk to lead singer Tyler Richardson ahead of their upcoming August Australian tour, about sleeping on kitchen floors, tour life and how they’ve grown up over the years.
BYO: You’ve just announced a new tour! Will this tour be much different from any other you’ve done before?
TYLER: There’s a whole bunch of venues that we haven’t played before which is really cool! It’s really good to tour with new bands, like Tiny Moving Parts, because they haven’t been to Australia before. We’re also taking out Eliza and the Delusional’s, who are so nice, and it’s great to be in a position to take out bands that are cool and our friends.
BYO: Do you get to spend much time with the supporting acts on tour?
TYLER: It’s usually a bit hard. We’re lucky with Tiny Moving Parts because they’re part of our package, so they’ll travel everywhere with us and stay with us and stuff; so that’s always cool. But otherwise it’s kinda hard with different flights and accommodation and stuff; but we always try to get a few good nights in together.
BYO: What’s life like on the road for Luca Brasi, do you guys enjoy touring more than recording?
TYLER: We love being on tour. Out of all of this, it’s definitely our favourite thing to do. We kind of go a bit crazy in the studio. I think we get a little bit over it and wish we were playing shows. Touring is the ultimate part of all this, and we’re so thankful we get to go out all the time and meet great bands and play different venues; it’s really cool. Everything is such a bonus to us.
BYO: Any funny tour stories?
TYLER: One time, we were leading a show at the Hordern Pavilion, I think we were doing a show with Violent Soho. This one comes to mind because I was in the back of a van and I opened the door to yell at the boys, and Danny was driving, and he hit a speed bump and the door slammed. It nearly cut my head off, and broke my hand. It was pretty heavy. But otherwise, they’re all kind of dumb stuff. There’s also the usual stories of being overseas and not knowing where you are or what’s supposed to be happening, of being lost and confused, and staying at strange, lovely people’s houses, and trying to deal with that. People are so kind and they let you into their house, but then you find out that they don’t have any bedding or a place to sleep, so you end up sleeping on the kitchen floor; but it’s all a part of it.
BYO: Do you have a lot of friends overseas that you stay with or are they fans?
TYLER: There’s a lot of places on websites like Bandshare and Bandflats and stuff, where people put their houses up, and so in exchange for a place to stay you give them tickets to shows and things like that. Because we’re such a relatively small band overseas, it’s just such a better way to travel. You get to meet people, save a bunch of money, and get experiences that you just wouldn’t get if you just stayed in hotels all the time like we do in Australia. But overseas we get awesome offers from people letting you stay and just being so kind to you. You get to go to restaurants and pubs that you just wouldn’t go to unless you knew people who lived there.
BYO: Your new album is set to be released in 10 days, how is Stay different to the rest of your albums?
TYLER: This one is our fourth record, so we feel like we’ve actually found a point in our sound and the way we want to sound that we’re a lot happier than we have been before. It’s a kind of reflective album, we’re getting older, have a lot more life experiences happening and we’re still trying to remain a touring band and I’ve done my best to reflect on that stuff a lot more. There’s a lot of themes about growing up and dealing with life and where we’re at now. It’s definitely the most reflective album, and definitely the most melodic too. We’ve spent a lot of time working on melodies and refining the sound, and we’ve spent a lot more time in studios too. So, there’s a lot more work around production value as well.
BYO: What inspires the lyrics and songs you write; is it personal experiences or something else?
TYLER: Writing songs for me has been a way to almost write a journal. Everything in our songs is always very personal from me. It’s all pretty reflective of my life and it’s a good way for me to deal with the stuff I have going on.
BYO: When writing, does everyone have a part to do or is it very collaborative?
TYLER: Tom, our guitar player, writes the bulk of the actual music itself and then brings it to the band, which is when it becomes collaborative. There’s a couple of songs that Pat wrote too, musically, it’s a split between those two musically, and then it comes to the band to break stuff down and fix what the other boys have issues with, and bring our own issues to the table and work on it as a group like that.
BYO: What was it like making the Let It Slip music video? Who came up with the idea for it?
TYLER: I’m a teacher at a high school, in my day job, and my mate Neil Rogers works for Canon, and they do a project where they go around schools in Australia and mentor kids and get them behind the camera. His idea was to have the kids write the brief and direct the video, which was really cool. The kids had input into it, and they were a bit part of how it went; it was a lot of fun.
BYO: How do you juggle being in a band and working in a school?
TYLER: It’s super difficult. I’m really lucky because I have a super respectful school, who really respect what I do and they back me really hard. We’re all really lucky that we have jobs that allow us to go and do things. We all have jobs that we probably shouldn’t be out on tour all the time, but they manage to look after us and they let us do all these things which is really cool. It’s hard to juggle, but we always manage to find a way to make it balance as we’ve gotten bigger.
BYO: Who would be Luca Brasi’s main musical influences?
TYLER: Early days when were just starting out we just wanted to sound like bands like Hot Water Music and Polar Bear Club and bands like that from America that we were just obsessed with. That was our early goal. Later on it kinda melded into more melodic stuff, influenced by melodies on guitars and different tunings. We’re really influenced by early Aussie bands like A Death In The Family.
BYO: What inspired you to start Luca Brasi?
TYLER: Basically, we were all in different bands in high school, and then we split away and didn’t really continue on with it. And then Tom and I happened to be living in the same city, in Launceston in Tassie, and we decided to just play guitar, with no end goal. After that, a lot of our mates, who were in the band for the first record, were just like ‘oh I play the drums’ and ‘oh I play guitar too, can I join?’ and it was like yeah, let’s do that. We never had any goals to be a band and then all of a sudden, we had a record and a label and we were playing shows. It’s crazy to think that without any plans or hope it just all happened!
BYO: What made you choose the name Luca Brasi? Is it a Godfather reference?
TYLER: We were in Launceston’s worst nightclub at about daylight, and we were like let’s call this band something. I loved the Godfather book, and the others liked the Godfather movie, and I was like “Let’s call ourselves … Luca Brasi” and that was it, and then we were stuck with that name. For a long time people didn’t know what it was or how to say it, but I think we’ve got it now.
BYO: It’ll educate people and make them watch the movie at least!
TYLER: If anyone reads the book or watches the movie because of it, I’ll be stoked.