Luca Brasi bass player and all round legend Tyler Richardson had just received news his band had scored the lucrative ‘Feature Album’ spot on triple j as we’re talking about touring and writing new material.
“I busted my fingers up for this Community Cup training session for football,” he explains. “I’ve been a little down and out and then I got this fucking email – this is so sick. We’re not at the same level as some of those bands [who’ve had Feature Albums prior], but you look at the list of feature albums recently and it’s like, ‘Holy shit!’. To have Luca Brasi tacked on the end of that, it’s insane. We never, ever in a million years, expected that could happen.”
Today, the band releases their third studio album, If This is All We’re Going to Be, and off initial listens – the material is definitely some of Luca Brasi’s best. Oozing with passion and that rapid melodic punk fire that has made the Tassie natives one of the most beloved touring bands at the minute, If This is All We’re Going to Be is an album you’d definitely see them being proud of. And as Richardson tells me about the process behind the scenes of the album, it’s obvious that this is the case.
Now the boys all live in the same state, Richardson says the Luca Brasi band dynamic has gotten tighter exponentially.
“It’s the first time we’ve been able to work properly as a band and work on songs, rather than just rehearse something on tour.” he says. “It really was the first time we had the chance to be together to write the songs, rather than piece them together. We didn’t know any other way, we just figured that’s how it was for us to write songs. Then, we had the chance to get together three times a week to write and it was like, ‘Holy shit! How did we ever write a song before this?’ We didn’t realise how bad it was.”
Balancing songwriting and recording (plus touring), with work and study also played into how Luca Brasi were being challenged as a band prior to the making of this new album. One of the hardest touring Australian bands going at the moment, the band somehow found time to book and feature at their own festival as well throw down some impressive festival and headline dates of their own last year – commitments that understandably take their toll.
“It was so gnarly.” Richardson agrees. “It was really hard, because we were away so much and then you’d get home and be like, ‘Fuck we’ve got to go rehearse tomorrow and keep writing,’ – instead of getting home from work and going straight to rehearsals, I’d just want to have a minute to breathe for a bit. I guess it’s all part of it; to try and keep the schedule we want to keep, release-wise and tour-wise, it’s what bands have to do. It’s just the added stuff for us; we’re still working and studying in between it, without the luxury of having the downtime to chill and write.”
“I always talk about wanting a bit of downtime,” he continues, laughing. “[But] we’ve had six weeks off and we’ve all gone completely insane already! When you’re so used to being in a band like that, you’re craving it and when you have time off, all you want is to be doing it again. It feels weird.”
The downtime is coming to an end pretty soon though, with Luca Brasi about to enter preparation for their national run of tour dates with old mates, The Smith Street Band. With a new album under their belts, these shows are looking to be the perfect opportunity for Luca Brasi to flourish further as a live band and develop upon some intense sounds captured in studio, in some great venues.
“Basically, from when we start the tour with Smith Street, the rest of the year is booked up already.” Richardson says of the band’s year ahead. “It’s been booked up for the last few months. We never had plans like that until now, so there’s some absolutely awesome stuff coming up that is just on the cusp of being let out, it’s going to be a sick year.”
“We’ve been friends with those guys for so long,” he says of The Smith Street Band. “Watching them blossom and grow and do what they do now and take it in their stride? They’re the same legends they always were. It shows you don’t have to be an asshole to be a popular musician!”
With these shows lined up, how does Richardson feel the band is performing as a live unit? The dynamic within the group as a collective of writers and musicians has obviously grown, but as a live band?
“I think we definitely, because we’re all living in the same state, feel like a tighter unit than we ever were.” he music. “I mean, all that time going out [on the road], you learn a lot of stuff you don’t realise you’ve learned. Someone was asking me questions about touring tips and I had a million things – I didn’t realise I knew that stuff until I started saying it. It’s stuff you innately pick up and you just end up doing it as a group. I mean, we didn’t all feel like that, the first time we were out on the road.”
“It feels like there’s a bigger plan behind everything we do now,” he adds. “There’s a bigger team working with us too. It’s a lot better thought out as well, rather than, ‘Holy shit – we forgot to get a hire car. We didn’t do this, we didn’t do that…’ I mean, I don’t understand how we did anything before! It seems like it feels like less fun now we’ve put work at it, but now it’s like, ‘How did we even make anything happen?’ There’s a bit more structure behind it now.”
“Every now and again, I’m like, ‘Oh man, we’re not those idiot kids anymore who didn’t care if no one was at the show, because we’re partying,’ but at the same time, it feels a lot better to have things going better as well.”
If This is All We’re Going to Be is out now.
Catch Luca Brasi on the road with The Smith Street Band, Joelistics and the Jess Locke Band through June!
June 3rd | Metro Theatre, SYDNEY
June 4th | Max Watt’s, BRISBANE
June 10th | Capitol, PERTH
June 11th | The Gov, ADELAIDE
June 17th | Max Watt’s, MELBOURNE