It’s a beautiful time for Tasmania’s favourite sons Luca Brasi. With their fourth album Stay freshly released and a huge Australian tour coming up, we spoke with the band about the power of positivity, getting older and the changing face of punk.
Let’s start this interview off with a REALLY tough one. Where on the timeline did ‘Play Gravy’ go from minor inconvenience to beloved meme?
I honestly don’t know when it happened but we were definitely on the verge of becoming Alien Ant Farm or Smash Mouth somehow. Still forever stoked we did that song and the response we received on it, definitely could have gone the total other way. Knowing that PK himself enjoyed it helps me sleep at night.
A quick reference to it pops up in the ‘Let It Slip’ video. On the note of the video, it takes place in a school hall. How’d the clip come together, and what’s the link?
A couple of legend kids came up with that one and brought the sign in for the filming. Total legends. I work at a high school teaching woodwork and our good mate Neal works for the Canon Collective and came in for some workshops at school. Turns out they ended up writing a treatment for the clip and ended up directing and filming it as the culmination. So much fun, such good energy.
You’ve noted that the band ethos is to ‘pay it forward’ and spread positivity. Why is taking this attitude so important to you?
I think we just are so collectively stoked that anyone cares about the band. We were so lucky to have mates in bands from here and from the mainland who took us in and looked after us, so we always want to make sure we do just that. It’s a total privilege to do this stuff and if kids in bands coming up realise anyone can do it, then awesome.
Music is a vehicle for social change. Your songs have helped people to feel included and uplifted. How does it feel to know that has made a difference in the lives and communities of others?
It’s just crazy, the support, messages and love we’ve received over the years and even the crazy amount in the last week, is just humbling. Music has always been there for us and it’s incredible to feel a part of that on the other end.
There’s a driving theme of reflection and acceptance to Stay. Was this album written with that thought in mind, or did you notice the idea come to light as you worked through the record?
It kinda came through out the process, I guess it is just exactly what I had on my mind when writing the lyrics. I guess things weigh on you consciously and sub-consciously and that’s what has shone through. Writing is how I get thoughts out and process things in life and I’m so thankful for the release.
To a listener, there’s a reoccurring idea of growing older and becoming okay with the good, bad and in-between elements of life. Was making this record a cathartic process, and helpful for you to understand it on a personal level?
Absolutely, at the time I guess I was just pouring out what was happening in my life and how I was dealing with it all internally. The result is this album, and listening back it helps me process it even further and just put all those things into boxes. I don’t do particularly well with being mindful or de-stressing, that anxiety is eased a lot by being in this band.
The Stay tour is fast approaching, hitting up iconic venues around the country. Any location / expereince you’re particularly looking forward to?
To think about the rooms we get to do now is pretty wild. Super stoked to play these songs live for everyone Excited as always to play in Tassie, as we rarely do anymore, Launnie is always a special thing for us and that’s going to be a highlight for us.
I really admire the work of Callum Preston, so it was pretty sweet to see him bring some of the Stay vision to life. How did that creative collaboration come about?
Callum is the best. He does the most amazing stuff and is always working on something so awesome. When we began to speak about the themes and the nostalgic nature of the album, he jumped on it immediately and came up with some concepts we just loved. I loved the idea of a one word title for impact and to do something we have never done or considered before, I feel like it makes it a strong statement and I love the result. We are proud of the record and wanted to come out strong with the art and title.
You’ve been prominent supporters of the #iItTakesONe campaign established by Camp Cope. As a band of men, occupying a space which is undergoing huge change in terms of safe inclusive spaces and a shift away from hyper masculinity, what do you feel your responsibility is?
I feel like the onus needs to come off women, Camp Cope are responsible for so much of making this a thing, they work tirelessly and cop so much flak. It’s men, and especially men who have any sort of platform, who need to speak out and not be scared or worry about the fallout (from men). Our responsibility is to not let the conversation die, and become partners with the women who spearhead the movement.
Stay by Luca Brasi is out now. They’ll be hitting the road in August to celebrate.
Sat 11 August – Club 54, Launceston
Fri 17 August – The Triffid, Brisbane
Sat 18 August – Manning Bar, Sydney
Wed 22 August – Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Thur 23 August – The Gov, Adelaide
Fri 24 August – The Croxton, Melbourne