1. Growing Up
I grew up in a house of music where records were always playing and instruments were kept within arm’s reach. My father, Steve Lucas, was the lead singer of the Australian punk band X. Though my own music couldn’t be more different, I learned a lot from Dad – about emotion, and delivery. I never heard him sing a song without meaning it. Growing up watching him taught me the most important thing in music is to put your whole heart and soul into every song. I’ve taken a lot from the DIY punk ethos too. When I was 17, I started recording my own music in my bedroom, and with Devotional we still record and release our music independently.
As a songwriter, I am inspired mainly by other songwriters. I love Joni Mitchell for her angel’s voice and for being the godmother of confessional songwriting; Lou Reed for teaching me of love and ambivalence; the Dirty Three for encompassing all the chaos and beauty in the world in a way that is uniquely Australian. Stevie Nicks for her poetry, Karen Carpenter for her sincerity, Mazzy Star… The list could go on! All my favourite artists offer up both great courage and great vulnerability. I think that is the common thread connecting all the people I admire.
3. Your Band
We’ve recently established a new lineup, featuring Ben James (ex-Talons, Songs) on drums and Robert Irish (our former drummer) on guitar. Being in a three-piece means that every part is crucial, and there’s nothing to hide behind. This gives our music an element of rawness, and means that space plays a big part in our songs. It is about the contrast between restraint and letting go.
4. The Music You Make
The music we make is dreamy and slow-burning. An American blog recently described our songs as “lullabies for grown-ups”, which I think is fairly accurate. At the heart of it, they’re love songs. I draw a lot from classic images – the ocean, highways, the landscape and the moon, dreams. I like these images because they evoke a lot with only a few words, and leave the songs open for interpretation.
With our live shows, we try to evoke a particular mood, and make each performance a special event. I want people to feel something when they come to a Devotional show. I want to carry them away.
5. Music, Right Here, Right Now
On Thursday November 28, we’ll be headlining Goodgod Small Club and sharing the stage with two of our favourite bands in Sydney – Terza Madre and Daisy MT. Terza Madre are an eight-piece supergroup featuring members of Psychonanny and the Babyshakers, Songs, Regular John, Quaoub and more. They play Italian pop songs from the ’60s and ’70s in the original Italian, and their live shows are extravagant and spellbinding. Daisy MT is the former violinist from Sydney group Bridezilla, and her solo music is beautiful and haunting. There is a lot of diversity in the Sydney music scene, you just need to know where to look for it.
Photography by Eiko Bravo (http://cargocollective.com/eikobravo