Scott Lucas has been putting out records with Local H since 1995 and began releasing music with his other band Scott Lucas and The Married Men in 2010, including their second full-length album “Blood Half Moon” which came out last year (along with Local H’s politically inspired “Hallelujah! I’m a Bum”). Thus far, 2013 has found Scott recuperating from a vocal cord injury sustained from an incident on tour while also readying the release of new music from Married Men and preparing for new tourdates. Scott Lucas and The Married Men’s “Cruel Summer” EP came out last month and Scott answered a few of our questions about it and everything else going on, read on…
Legendary Rock Interviews: Thanks for talking to us Scott. For those who are unaware, you were involved in a mugging incident in Russia this past February that caused you a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. How difficult was your recovery and how are you feeling?
Scott Lucas: Pretty difficult, actually. I’m still not all the way there. I’m getting there, but it’s been a much slower process than I would’ve liked. All of the vocals on the EP were recorded very early on in the healing process. It was really hard but we had to in order to make our deadline. I wince every time I hear those screams at the end of “Cruel Summer”.
LRI: Local H released an album last year and so did Married Men. Does it feel completely normal pulling double duty in both bands since you’ve been doing it for a while at this point ?
Scott: Not necessarily normal – no. It was more a matter of timing, really. For some reason, I just happened to be running on parallel tracks last year –musically speaking. I never meant for the records to come out so close together. I would probably never do that again, but given the subject matter of the Local H record, we had to get that one out in time for the election.
LRI: Was there ever any hesitation on your part in terms of how your longtime, old school fans would accept the differences in material between Local H and Married Men?
Scott: Maybe. I’m still not sure how most of them feel about it. I’m not so sure they’re telling me the truth.
LRI: Your last Married Men album was much different from your first and the new ep is again, pretty different from both of those releases in many respects. Is that inherent ability to change directions part of what attracted you to this style and band to begin with?
Scott: I liked the idea of starting this band in a very specific place. Which is to say, a very restrained and hushed place. The first album was really just a starting point and every release has sort of flowered out from that. The touring and the live shows from each record seem to really inform the next. We’ve been touring a lot as a four piece and becoming more guitar heavy lately, so who knows what that spells for the next record? But, yeah – I love this band’s ability to change and adapt.
LRI: The new track on the EP ” Never Better” is an experiment in sonics that sort of reflects something you’ve done throughout your career but also takes it to a whole other level. It goes beyond just the high/low pop dynamics bands like Cheap Trick and Local H are so known for. How did the song evolve and do you see the next full length going down similar avenues?
Scott: I don’t really see that track as being all that different, but you’re not the first person to say that. So, maybe I’m wrong. But it was originally recorded as an acoustic track for “Blood Half Moon”, but it wasn’t that good and the album was long enough already. It wasn’t until I brought it to the band that it really became something special. I think it’s a great track.
LRI: Its an understatement to say covers can be fun for bands but I was pretty excited to hear the title track “Cruel Summer”. That song really captures a moment in time from the MTV era. What did you initially like about the Bananarama version and what do you like most about the Married Men version?
Scott: I mean, Bananarama’s version is bouncy and all – but it’s a pretty melancholy tune. There’s some darkness in that song and we just tried to tease it out a little more. We decided to take that cool synth riff and give it a Crazy Horse spin. That was the initial idea.
LRI: That is not the only cover on the EP. My favorite track on it is the cover of “Coward Of The County”, made famous by the illustrious Kenny Rogers. The obvious, non thinkers choice would be “The Gambler” but you chose to tackle a true classic which has remained fairly untouched. Did that song resonate with you as a younger kid?
Scott: I love that it tells a story and begins and ends with the same line, which I believe is the textbook definition of a ballad. And you wanna talk about dark? It’s a number one country-pop song about a gang-rape. Fuck. And Kenny sings the shit out of it.
LRI: People who have paid attention to your social media posts or your videos for Married Men know that you are a big movie fan. How much do you think non-musical influences have crept into your actual music over the years?
Scott: I don’t know. I remember “Pack Up The Cats” being directly influenced by the arc of “Goodfellas”. I’ve always been open to any influences – and not just from movies. Some of the biggest influences are just from the people I’ve been lucky enough to know.
LRI: The Married Men clips have included homages to “Vampyr” and “The Shining”. Do you find that being involved in the creation of videos can be just as much fun as music and was it always that way dating back to the Island Records years?
Scott: We did a lot of videos with Phil Harder back in those days, and I got along really well with him. He would always let me convince him to sneak in little homages to Scorsese or Hitchcock in our videos. I remember while shooting “All The Kids”, he came up to me and said, “So, what’s the Scorsese shot in this one?” And I actually had one ready to go!
LRI: Thanks again for taking some time out for this Scott. What do you see in terms of your schedule and commitments for the rest of 2013 and the upcoming new year?
Scott: Touring and Writing….