Lucille Furs are a “baroque pop” band from Chicago. Their debut self-titled album was released a few months ago.
Would you tell us a few words about your background; who you are and how you first got interested in music?
Firstly, all of us have been playing and performing music since we were children and, generally, we are all self-taught musicians. Brendan (drums) was in a band with his father; Constantine (keys) with his uncle; and Nick (lead guitar) and Patrick (bass) were involved in a music project early on. Trevor (vocal, guitar) also comes from a musical home and he is the only member not from Chicago.
Who’s in Lucille Furs and what do you all play? Have you all made any changes to the lineup since you started or is this the original lineup?
Lucille Furs consists of Trevor Pritchett (vocals, guitar, keys), Constantine Hastalis (keys), Patrick Tsotsos (bass), Nick Dehmlow (guitar) and Brendan Peleo-Lazar (drums). Initially, this band was conceptualized by Patrick, as the rest of us had been in musical projects in Chicago. At first, Constantine was not a member but since he was already a friend (and through our progression as a band), we decided to add him to the line-up on Mellotron and organ.
When and how did you all originally meet?
Patrick and Nick had already been discussing a musical endeavor together, but Patrick met Brendan in college before a chance meeting with Trevor at an ex-DYI spot in Chicago called Wally World. Constantine had already been a mutual friend of Nick and Brendan’s after they too had met years prior.
What are some of your influences?
Since this is a music magazine, let’s keep it to that! It’s really no secret that we harness our sound from classic bands/records of the 60s and early 70s such as: the Kinks, the Byrds, the Rolling Stones, The Turtles- and we like to dig deep into our record collections for the Mascots, Nirvana (UK), the Motions, and Rockin’ Horse. Mostly though, we find contemporary bands to help push us to achieve new sounds and textures. Some of the ones we’ve been listening to [lately] include; Diane Coffee, Juniore, Charles Bradley, Allah-La’s, Arctic Monkeys, Jack White… but we also love and obsess over STAX, Motown, James Brown and many other R’n’B and soul groups from the 60s and 70s.
Can you share details how your latest album was recorded and released?
Since our earliest inception, we found sound and cohesion by recording live, together, in a room directly to 1/2” & 2” tape, just like our favorite bands did. We recorded at two different studios, a home set-up called 7 Levels and Treehouse Records - which has become the capital creative music hub of Chicago bands…everyone is always there recording and hanging out! We self-released our record last September and physically distributed it to record stores in the US and Paris.
What’s the songwriting process like?
The songwriting process and production are very democratic for Lucille Furs. Normally, Trevor or Patrick will bring in anything from a single riff to a completed song for the rest of the band to put our own spin on. Sometimes a pairing of us will meet separately to craft and direct the song into fruition. Lyrics are very important to the band and much time is spent on detailing personal experiences, or crafting third-person perspectives into each song.
What kind of process do you have with mastering material for the release? How about “Baby Blaise” / “In Saṃsāra”?
The single was recorded and mixed at 7 Levels by Neil Candelora with some additional mixing and tracking by Barrett Guzaldo at Treehouse. It was then mastered for vinyl and released by The Minimal Beat/TMB Limited in Chicago. The S/T album was mastered by Brian Zieske for vinyl and, overall, it was a smooth process.
Who is behind the artwork?
We commissioned John Zabawa, a close friend and collaborator of the band, to paint the album cover. He directs and designs our merchandise and co-wrote our new single!
Who are some of your personal favorite bands that you’ve had a chance to play with over the past few years?
A few that come to mind include Mild High Club, Whitney, Diane Coffee, Post Animal, and Creation Factory.
What are some future plans?
Currently, we are finishing our second LP and are planning a tour in March 2018 that includes SXSW festival in Austin, TX. We are hoping to have the new album out sometime this summer. We never really stopped recording after the first album, so just like bands way back when, an album a year sounds good to us! We would really like to make it back to Europe this year, as well.
Let’s end this interview with some of your favourite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?
Some new bands we have been listening to are Juniore, Allah-La’s, Blackfoot Gypsies, Nude Party, Cosmonauts, Temples, Triptides and Babe Rainbow.
- Klemen Breznikar
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