Lucky Delucci were formed a few years ago and have been slowly making their mark ever since. They have released an EP ‘Young in Summer’ and were recently part of the excellent ‘12 Days of Christmas’ compilation on Bubblewrap Records. We tracked down Joseph from the band to find out more about what makes this band so special.
Lucky Delucci is a great name for a band. Where did the name come from?
Oh, thank you very much, that’s very kind. We were asked to play a number of gigs after handing out a few demos a few years back and we really couldn’t decide what to call ourselves. I came across Lucky Delucci whilst searching online for something completely unrelated – and I’m sure I read that he was a pretty undervalued and un-recognised gangster in 1930’s Chicago who not many people knew existed. But since then I can’t find any more info on him... so don’t quote me on that! We liked the ring to it anyway, and it’s sort of stuck.
How did you meet each other and start making music?
I slowly started to write songs for what would become Lucky Delucci around 2006 back home in the Rhondda and began to practice them with Sarah and a few other old music friends from school. Then I saw Rich play in another band when I’d moved to Cardiff and asked him to join in early 2008 when we needed a new drummer and wanted things to start properly. And we’ve all been really close friends since then. Clare is Rich’s girlfriend and joined in earlier this year while we were experimenting with other instruments and musicians. Mark and Rich are lifelong pals from Caernarfon and he came in on bass and vocals in the summer, and here we are.
What music has influenced you?
Tough question. It’s hard to say exactly what influences our songs in particular. It’s probably loosely a combination of some 60’s pop, some folk, more modern experimental stuff and most things through recent decades with plenty of melody, harmony and interesting arrangements. We’re always trying to develop and never consciously attempt to be like anything, so it’s inevitably a combination of lots of sounds we’ve been exposed to, but not anything in particular. That probably doesn’t answer your question tho, sorry.
How do you go about writing material? Is it a group effort?
Josef writes the songs and everybody adds their own touches to them along the way. When we’ve got new material, we tend to practice separately as a vocal unit, then as a musical section, then as a drum and percussion section before going in to practice the whole thing as a band. It gives everyone a good opportunity to develop parts and be comfortable with what’s added to the overall song.
What is different about being a band in Wales as opposed to elsewhere in the UK?
There’s a huge diversity of music in Wales. I think that’s the most striking thing and what makes it pretty special. It’s not limited to genre or language and there’s a real depth of interesting musicians, bands and ideas around.
You seem to have lots of connections with bands like Little My and The School. Is there a ‘fence collective’ (King Creosote, Player Piano etc) developing in Cardiff?
There’s definitely a healthy, supportive DIY ethos in Cardiff, but it’s never been a conscious effort from us to be part of a ‘collective’, it’s just kind of turned out that way. Rich does drum for all three bands and I stepped in to play guitar for the School for a few months this year. But it’s more about us all being interested in music and people supporting each other than a collective or scene of some sort. It’d be pretty pretentious to decide to consciously set up or be part of your own little scene. There’s something quite elitist about that.
You have a song on myspace called ‘December 1986’. What happened in December 1986?
Yes that’s one of our newer songs, we tend to finish our sets with it these days. A number of things happened in December 1986; Elie Weisel won the nobel peace prize; Courtney Walsh took 5 for 1 in 4.3 overs against Sri Lanka (what a spell!); President Duvalier fled Haiti.... but the song is essentially about loss, and it was my first experience of loss as a young child. Sorry to lower the mood.
You appear on the ‘12 days of Christmas’ compilation where you were given 31 days to write and record a song for the album. How did you go about this without falling into the usual Christmas song pitfalls and clichés?
Well we really didn’t want to write a traditional Christmas song. We were quite conscious of that. It was based on a riff that Rich came up with a while back, that sounded quite traditionally Jewish which lead to a totally different song. We’d never really used it so we decided to change the lyrics and make it our contribution to the album. We recorded it live with the help of Rhys Ap Hywel on drums. Most of the backing parts were made up in the studio. Kris Jenkins (who we’ve been recording with) guests on cigar box on it too. It was done in one afternoon and really good fun! It’s a pretty diverse compilation album and we’re happy to be part of it.
What can we expect from a Lucky Delucci gig?
Coconuts. Tall people. Mild erotica. Lots of singing. Unkempt beards. Dresses. Welsh accents. Jumpers. English accents. Wind chimes..... I think that’s everything..... yep that’s everything. I said mild erotica didn’t I? You should come and watch. But you’re a grown man, you don’t need me to tell you what to do.
What are your plans for gigs and recording in 2010?
12th March Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff