Luca Brasi On Violent Behaviour At Gigs: “Enough Is Enough”

Music can be a powerful entity. Finding a band that you connect with beyond simply listening to their music can be a really defining moment. Seeking out bands who take the time to engage with the world around them, and that reflect your personal views is powerful. But some bands, in particular, take this one step further by remaining unperturbed at the forefront. Advocating for not only their individual concerns and beliefs but choosing to speak out in support of minority groups that exist in their fanbase. Luca Brasi, to me, are one of those bands.

Music Feeds took the time to chat with frontman Tyler Richardson about their latest album, calling out pit behaviour, and of course, when Luca Brasi will be gracing our ears with some killer new tunes.

“Growing up music was kind of everything to me”, says Luca Brasi frontman Tyler Richardson, adding that he sees music as a mechanism for fostering a real sense of community, particularly for those actively searching to find their place in the world. “Realising the thing that attracts you to music is the same as what attracts a lot of other similar people, you sort of start revolving in the same circles. For me as well, I’ve then been lucky enough to be able to play in a band. Music just kind of rules everything I’ve ever done in my life. I’m just so happy and lucky to be in a band playing music, I love it”.

At times it does seem as though the punk kids from Tassie exploded onto the scene from nowhere, suddenly wowing crowds and selling out shows across both Australia and the world. But there’s actually an extensive back catalogue to which the boys can boast a tidy collection of tunes. But of course, it was really their latest record If This Is All We’re Going To Be which has really got punters jumping in unison to ‘the hits’. This has almost given the band that second rush of the euphoria that comes with a successful debut album.

“It kind of feels like that to us. It’s the first record where a lot of people really sort of backed us, really hard. I mean, we were playing a lot of great shows and getting a lot of support before the album came out, but If This Is All We’re Going To Be was the one that really took off for us. We had an album before that called Extended Family which was only ten songs, and just four of us who’d never been in a band together before.

“We just went and wrote ten songs and recorded them with no view to do anything with them. But we were lucky enough that Poison City picked it up and loved it, and put it out and all of a sudden we were sort of thrown into being a band. We started playing shows semi-regularly, but then we started working on the second record with the view to improving on what we did the first time around.”

Richardson is an extremely down to earth, level-headed artist and honestly, just an all round nice guy. He’s genuinely stoked at the opportunities he and his band have worked hard to achieve. But there is one issue in particular that the Luca Brasi frontman is incredibly passionate about, something that unfortunately has proceeded to dominate the live music scene as of late for all the wrong reasons. Intolerable pit behaviour.

For a long time now, there have been countless reports of not only violent behaviour but also instances of sexual assault occurring in the pit at music gigs. Over the last few years many bands have started to become vocal about these issues, calling on punters to look out for each other, and hammering home the importance of wanting fans and gig goers to feel safe at a show, wherever they choose to stand.

Bands like Camp Cope, High Tension and the Hard Aches utilise their time on stage to advocate for the safety of each and every punter at their gigs. They are emphasising a strict no tolerance approach to unsafe and often predatory pit behaviour particularly targeted towards female fans. Luca Brasi are also right there at the forefront of this particular issue.

“We’ve always done our best to kind of make our music feel the way that we feel about music – if that makes sense. It’s such an awesome and amazing experience. To be in a band is an absolute privilege and to have people care that much and spend their money and time to come and see you play is awesome,” says Richardson. “But the fact that people can influence that and be a reason for that time to be good or bad it just really sucks that it can go the other way. That their idea of fun is harming someone else whilst they’re participating in your concert, it’s such a horrible realisation.

“We only really became aware of it on the album tour playing the bigger venues I guess. We were finally made aware of what was actually happening a lot more in the pit and unfortunately we were ignorant enough to not realise what was going on. To finally find out I mean, it’s assault basically, it’s 100% what it is. It’s just such a shocking thing and honestly the worst feeling in the world to realise that at our show this could be happening.

“[As a band] we really just decided that enough’s enough you know. People shouldn’t have to put up with that behaviour at a show. Shows are meant to be for everyone and be inclusive and to have people feel excluded or be assaulted… It’s just such a horrible feeling and not what we’re about.”

Realising that this environment has meant select groups of fans have started to exclude themselves from going to shows, has propelled bands like Luca Brasi further forward to advocate for safer and more inclusive spaces.

But back to the music. Still reeling from the success of their latest record and associated album tour, when will we hear new music from the Tassie outfit?

“We just got home from touring since about June really, so throughout Australia, Europe and the UK. We’ve got a couple of months until Laneway kicks off, so we’re trying to use this time to start writing a new record and get this thing knuckled down and start working on it as best we can”.

Chatting to Tyler Richardson is a reminder to me of why, as music fans, we find so much joy in going to see the bands we love play live. Why we wait on the edge of our seats both so ready and so impatient for new music. Because these bands that we love are so much more than just simply what is circulating through the radio waves around us. It’s about fostering a sense of community and connection through music, reminding us to look out for each other, be kind to one another, and just have a really flipping awesome time.

Luca Brasi are playing Laneway Festival, Unify, and Party in the Paddock Festivals.

Laneway Festival 2017

Thursday, 26th January

Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (16+)

Tickets: Laneway Festival

Laneway Festival 2017

Saturday, 28th January

Footscray Community Arts Centre And The River’s Edge, Melbourne

Tickets: Laneway Festival

Laneway Festival 2017

Friday, 3rd February

Hart’s Mill, Port Adelaide (16+)

Tickets: Laneway Festival

Laneway Festival 2017

Saturday, 4th February

Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney

Tickets: Laneway Festival

Laneway Festival 2017

Sunday, 5th February

Esplanade Reserve and West End, Fremantle

Tickets: Laneway Festival

Unify Gathering 2017

Friday, 13th January – Sunday, 15th January (18+)

Tarwin Meadows, Gippsland, Victoria

Tickets: Unify Gathering

Party In The Paddock 2017

Friday, 10th — Saturday, 11th February

Burns Creek, Tasmania

Tickets: Oztix

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