“We never actually meant for any of this to happen.”
That pretty much summed up everything when Music Feeds’ Jade Kennedy caught up with Luca Brasi’s lead vocalist Tyler Richardson to discuss their latest record, Stay, their upcoming tour and their seemingly overnight success story.
For starters, the fact that ‘Let It Slip ‘was the band’s first single from their fourth studio album, and also happens to be the album’s opening track, was never intentional.
“That actually happened quite by accident,” Richardson said.
“We thought it made a good single because it was quite catchy and had a good hook to it, so we released it as the first single.
“But then when we put all the songs together it actually made the most sense as the first track as well because it does kind of ease into the sound we’ve gone with on this record, it’s a good indication of where we went with this album stylistically because it is a little bit different from what we’ve done before. So it was an accident – a happy accident.”
Working once again with Jimmy Balderston at Ghostnote Studios in Adelaide and Nic White, the group nabbed Darren Cordeaux from Kisschasy to co-produce. Richardson said Cordeaux’s influence could definitely be felt in the mix.
“We worked with the same guy (Balderston) who produced the last album from Adelaide, he came over and worked with us in Tasmania for about a month, then our drummer went and tracked drums at his studio because he’s a drummer himself and has this crazy good setup over there,” he said.
“But working with Darren from Kisschasy was really different and really good, actually, he had some really great input and the way he worked some of the tracks was just a completely different way of thinking, you know, an outside perspective on the songs that I never would have thought of that just gave them this whole new lease on life.”
Cordeaux, who is now based in Los Angeles, worked on the tracks remotely. Richardson said the internet had definitely changed the way the band wrote music together.
“With this record – with all of our music now, really – we all wrote bits and pieces and shared them over the internet via whatever file sharing service and added things here and there,” he said.
“The internet is the best invention for things like that – like, it definitely has its downsides… I mean, I’ve even written songs about it… but in this day and age you don’t even need to see your band mates to write songs together, which is amazing.”
For Richardson, his personal favourite track on the album is ‘Collisions’, because, “it turned out exactly the way it was intended to.”
“Sometimes you write something and the meaning just gets lost in translation somehow, or the end result just doesn’t sound the way you want it to,” he said.
“’Collisions’ is the first song in a long time I’m actually really proud of; it says the right message in the right way but it also sounds the way I wanted it to.
“So far everyone I’ve spoken to about it agrees with the message as well, which is amazing too. Writing is definitely a personal thing and a way to get things off my chest, but it’s amazing when it really connects with other people’s stories as well.”
Although Stay is the band’s fourth studio album, they didn’t see mainstream or chart success until two years ago, with the release of If This Is All We’re Going To Be.
“Yeah, it’s weird, hey– I’m not sure what happened,” Richardson laughed.
“Maybe we just stopped writing songs that are shit? Or maybe people just realised that not all of our songs are shit? I don’t really know what it is, but for a lot of people this is only our second record because they don’t know our back catalogue.
“I mean, whatever it is we’ll take it, the response lately has been amazing, but yeah it is kind of funny.”
That response has included selling out dates on their upcoming album tour, almost as soon as the shows went on sale, and seeing hundreds of fans crammed onto streets around record stores on their run of promotional in-store appearances.
“We played at a record store in Launceston and there were half as many people again outside the store who couldn’t even get inside, it was crazy,” Richardson said.
Not a bad homecoming for a band who not so long ago had to pack up the van and trek to the mainland for any chance of playing a decent weekend of shows.
“It’s been challenging,” he said.
“For a lot of bands in Sydney or Melbourne they can duck down to the local and play good support shows or fill a decent weekend of gigs no worries, but for us it’s always been an exercise and an expense because we’d most likely have to travel to Melbourne with a carload of gear to do shows.
“It can get tiresome and expensive and I think some bands give up for that reason.”
Far from giving up, though, Richardson is now at the point of having to step further back from his day job as a high school teacher. He said the school – featured in the video clip for ‘Let It Slip’ – had been more than accommodating of his music ambitions thus far, but it was looking like he would need to step back more.
“That’s kind of what the latest single, ‘Clothes I Slept In’, is all about,” he said.
“The story is basically about having a work life and home life and touring life and keeping everything in balance.
“I’m lucking in that I have a really supportive family and girlfriend and my work is really supportive in letting me tour and have time off and they’re flexible when I need time for band things during school time, which hasn’t been too often yet but it’s getting more frequent so… it’s looking like I might need to re-evaluate and maybe take a step back soon.”
So how did some of the nicest guys in Australian rock end up being named after a character in The Godfather? Again – it was an accident.
“None of us had really been in bands before we got together,” Richardson said.
“We just got together and started playing music, then we were getting booked for shows and we needed something to call ourselves, and we’d all enjoyed the Godfather books and movies so Luca Brasi made sense at the time.
“We didn’t really think ahead, though… so now it’s just something we’re kind of stuck with.”
From here, the guys are planning a series of festival appearances and overseas shows. As for a regional tour?
“How did you know?” Richardson said enticingly.
“We can’t announce anything yet but – where are you? North Queensland? Yeah, there might be something there… stay tuned.”
Luca Brasi’s new album Stay is out now. Catch them touring it around the country this August and playing at the first-ever FKA Festival this October.