One of last year’s most critically-acclaimed breakout albums, Wildewoman, by Brooklyn based Lucius, was a refreshing throwback to 70’s soul mixed with a modern indie pop gloss. The first thing that strikes you when listening to Lucius is the might and attitude of the two lead vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, who create powerful harmonies that seem to be falling from the sky. They are accompanied by the talented Dan Molad on drums and guitarists Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri who create the retro-infused sound that provides the root for Jess and Holly’s vocals to soar.
Lucius’ modern take on classic ideas is refreshing in today’s music landscape. It speaks to their talents as artists to take tried and true musical ingredients and come out with a completely unique result.
We did a quick Q and A with Lucius’ guitarist Peter Lalish. Check it out below. We also are sharing a new track from Lucius called “Genevieve”, which you can find below as well.
– How did you come to find yourselves in Lucius? Is there an origin story?
I used to play with Danny in another band. We both work on a lot of records together, he’s a producer and I’m a session guitarist. So he called and asked if I wanted to play a little on a record he was working on. I didn’t really know Jess and Holly that well at that point but the music was great and I got a chance to contribute a little to the EP. Months later we did a little more recording and then months after that I joined them on a trip to SXSW and sat in on a couple songs. Apparently on the way back to NYC I joined the band. I don’t have any recollection of this.
– Your new album Wildewoman got some serious love from critics and the masses alike. Was that expected as you are crafting it, or has it been a pleasant surprise?
We had a great time recording this record, we are all so happy with it still after all this time it’s been finished and we love playing the songs live. After that everything else is left up to the audience. We’ve been so happy and surprised at the praise it’s gotten from both people we admire and from complete strangers that we encounter on the road. We didn’t have any expectations when recording the full length, only to make a record that we would be happy with.
– What was the creative process behind Wildewoman? I’ve seen some in-studio videos and it seems like a pretty fun atmosphere.
We love to be in the studio. Danny is a producer and he and Jess run a studio in Brooklyn called Sounds Like A Fire, so before starting to tour we spent a lot of time working on demos or working on our record. We all love to live in the studio for days on end. It’s fun to shut the rest of the world out and just work late into the night. I think we all feel quite at home in that atmosphere.
– Lucius has a unique set up, having two female lead singers with an all male backing band. Was there any difficulty in everyone finding their role in the team?
No, not really. There wasn’t really any talk about the set up for the live show with the instrumentation or who is singing what part. We just got together and found each others strengths naturally. Andy is sort of the glue between having a really, really strong voice that blends well with the girls and being a great instrumentalist that matches his drums well with Danny and his guitar playing with mine. As far as boys vs. girl battles – we have them ALL the time.
– Lucius is renowned for having a throwback, retro vibe. Is that something that was by design?
A lot of stuff in this band has some sort of thought put into it beforehand, wether it’s what the stage show looks like or the live videos that we release (thanks to the very talented Alex Munroe). We enjoy being a band that not only has a strong sonic presence but also a visual one. It’s important to us to put on a show and create a mood. However only so much of that it pre-meditated. I know with the women that they love strong vibrant colors from the 60’s and really striking black and white contrasting visuals ala French fashion in the 50’s and 60’s. But at a certain point it’s just what has influenced us in our lives and what inspires us in the moment.
– Across the board, who are some of Lucius’ biggest musical influences?
I think strong vocalists throughout time. Mary Ford, Roy Orbison, Harry Nillson, The Beatles, Sam Cooke, David Bowie, Radiohead. And a lot of great, creative producers, George Martin, Phil Spector, Joe Meek, Richard Swift, Mike Mogis, Nigel Godrich.
– How do you find new music these days? Anything you’ve been enjoying lately that you’d recommend?
If I were to make an “Off The Top Of My Head Mixtape” it would most certainly include: Luke Temple, Josh Mease, Yellowbirds, Caveman, Emily King, Doe Paoro, The Belle Brigade, Pure Bathing Culture. Driving in the car for upwards of 10 hours every day really exposes everyone’s true musical tastes pretty quickly – guilty pleasures included. For me, personally I’ve been rocking anything that Chris Cohen has been a part of. Cryptacize, The Curtains and his most recent self-titled record “Overgrown Path”. The new Cate le Bon record is amazing. I’m on a big PJ Harvey kick which lead me to a bunch of great John Parish records too. That being said, I love metal and it’s not always the thing that everyone wants to hear in the car when they are trying to sleep or read. But I’ve been rocking a ton of Death and Cryptopsy in my headphones these days.