We had the pleasure of sitting down with Tony Lucca at his gig in Atlanta, GA to discuss his career, his time on The Mickey Mouse Club, and his future. Here’s what he had to say:
After you finished doing The Mickey Mouse Club, how did your career take shape?
T.Lucca: Well, there were a lot of people that were working down there that were from Los Angeles, like the crew and the various producers and people that were involved in making the show. So I got to know a lot of those people and make relationships with them. After talking to some of them it was obvious that I needed to get out to L.A. and see what I could get into.
I had a lot of people that were willing to represent me, management, agents, the whole nine. It was kind of an obvious choice. I decided to go out to L.A. and I moved when I was 19. I started auditioning for commercials and TV and film. I got a couple of national commercials then pretty much jumped right onto the Malibu Shores NBC series.
From that of course, you go from being in the general auditioning populous of L.A. to the list of working actors that get called in on auditions a little sooner or they go right to producers or you get requested to come in and read for projects. So, from that I got a couple of independent films and a movie of the week. I didn’t realize but that was my friend Ron. So, yeah, after a couple of those, basically the momentum kind of wore out, and I got back to not really enjoying the auditioning actor life. It’s not very fulfilling. It’s very difficult, you have to really be cool with rejection, and I am to a good degree. It wasn’t a matter of having my confidence shaken it was just a daily dose of bad news that I just didn’t really want to deal with anymore. So, I decided to go back to what I initially loved as a kid and what sort of got me on the Mickey Mouse Club to begin with, and that was my music. So I started playing the guitar again and writing songs and I decided that I had more to say and felt more fulfilled artistically as a singer/song writer than I would as some pin up poster child for some, you know, television series or a good blockbuster movie.
I still love the craft of acting and the collaborative process of film and television but I would certainly prefer to go back after solidifying myself as a music artist, and that is where my energy lies.
Is that something you might do one day?
T.Lucca: Yeah, I mean, you know, if I were to, or once I achieve a certain amount of accolade and prominence as an artist to where having an appearance in a movie would be something that people would sort of chat about or maybe a significant cameo or something. But to try and go back and audition for shows that might strain my effort to make music full time, not gonna happen, no.
Understandable. So now that you’ve done a number of albums. Tell me how the latest EP is different from the other ones.
T.Lucca: Well, the last EP that I did, EP being like a 5 song thing, is the acoustic one and that’s something that people have been telling me that I should do and asking me to do for a number of years, and that’s just me and the guitar, to break it down and to tell it how it is. I didn’t set out to make a record when I made that recording, I was just at a studio, checking out the studio, and the microphones and the acoustic in the room. We just recorded a hand full of songs and it turned out to be a nice listen. So, we made it an EP.
But that was just sort of in the mean time of my full-length which I just finished making and have put out now.
That’s my fifth full-length album. It’s called Come Around Again and is definitely a step in another direction for me. It’s sort of going back to my original roots of being in a garage band and turning the volume up and playing the electric guitar and rocking out. It’s a big rock and roll record and it’s got a lot of classic element to it, but it’s definitely not what my fans are used to, so we’ll see how it fares with them. I ended up making a lot of new fans that’s for sure. So, instead of going on tour by myself with an acoustic guitar, I’m actually out with a band and we are rocking it out. So, yeah I’m real happy with it and proud of the record. I’m real excited to be out on the road with a band, and turning it up.
Now I’ve been obsessed with the song New York City for a while. And what I loved about that was that you told a story in a way that I haven’t heard in a long time. So I guess I have a two part question here. Are you still doing that on the new record? And also, how does that storytelling process work with you and your music? How does it come to be?
T.Lucca: Um, yeah, I mean, you know, being a singer/song writer at heart, all of my songs have a similar sort of pattern and structure. Some, I guess I would say are a little bit more esoteric. They are a little more loftier poetically speaking and the lyrics are a little more unique and not so deliberate and literal. But, they all sort of tell a story in a sense. But a lot of time, you know, it’s just like, you know I was talking out loud to myself once while I was in New York city in February and I just said “it’s freezing and it’s February, I’m in New York City”. Like I was standing on the corner and I was saying that out loud, so I just kind of kept saying that as I was walking and I went back to the apartment and wrote it out. “The True Story,” a similar thing, you know I just kinda started from the beginning and made it to the present day and you tell the truth and it often sounds stranger than fiction.
Very cool. Now is there a song that seems like the most personal to you that you are most a fan of yourself?
T.Lucca: Yeah, on the new record there are a couple of them, but the song “Close Enough” was also on the EP as well. Now I’m real proud of that, because I wrote that while we were working on the new album instead of like a lot of the songs on the album I’ve had for years, and I was just waiting for the right record to put them on. “Close Enough” I actually wrote while we were working on the album. It really came together in a solid way and it sounds really strong. It’s a political tune. It’s about social conscience and I’m proud of that, not because I want to be patted on the back for stepping on some soap box or preaching and getting all political in an election year. You know whether it’s an election year or not, things are getting kinda crazy and it seems like for a while people have been detached from the effects, or the cause and the effects of why things are the way they are. And I was really able to shed light on a number of things on both sides of the political aisle and just to sort of say something about the things that are going on, and try to evoke some sense of awareness in people to sort of start thinking about it. I’m not gonna tell you how to think or what to do about it, but a lot of people have been in the dark, myself included, for a long time and it felt really good to put something on the record that had that element in it.
What’s the craziest fan experience you’ve ever had?
T.Lucca: Hmmm. I’ve had a lot of crazy fan experiences. I had a fan once send me a gift care package of a lot of crazy stuff. I had a fan send me a ticket to go see Brian Adams at Madison Square Gardens when I was still living in Michigan and only 15. I was like, now how’s that gonna work? They basically said, you can come to New York and I’ll take you to see Brian Adams.
Did you go?
T.Lucca: I didn’t. I had to send the ticket back. I was bummed out. I just wasn’t able to get out there.
I had a fan once show up to my apartment when I was working on the TV show and I was roommates with some of my co-stars from the show and she thought we were running some kind of fan club, and I had to sort of steer her in the other direction and, let her know that just wasn’t happening. It turns out that she got all embarrassed and made some erroneous claims to how we had treated her, and her father got involved with the producers of the TV show. Some threats were made and the producers thought that they should put security on us, and get us a security detail. It was real crazy. We were only 17 and 18 years old and we were like, “what, what’s going on?”
Now when you are on the road, what do you do to pass the time? Do you have any television show you watch, or what do you do?
T.Lucca: I don’t know. I don’t really. My wife and I will watch a movie every now and then, but for the most part, I don’t know, it sounds kinda crazy, but just spending time together. A lot of times we’re apart, so when we do get to hang out, we just kinda like to hang out. I love to cook, and I’m really good at doing laundry and I always seem to be doing laundry. But, as far as hobbies go, I have a little vinyl collection and I go record shopping occasionally. I was going to go to art college when I was young, so every once and a while I’ll pull out some paper and various mediums and throw some ideas down.
Do you like drawing or painting?
T.Lucca: Drawing. I’m not much of a painter, but yeah, drawing, pen and ink, pointillism. That kind of stuff.
And my last question. What’s next for you? What on your schedule for now?
T.Lucca: Um, I go home for a little bit, and then I do a little west coast tour with some other friend of mine Keaton Simons and Curtis Peoples and we are gonna do some west coast dates. Then I’m gonna chill out for a little while, maybe set something up for the holidays, but I’ve had a lot of success with licensing my songs to a lot of television shows and films and so that’s kinda my focus when I get back home. That’s sort of like an office job. You know, you’ve got to take meetings, you have to present the music to people, you have to send and receive a lot of e-mails, and so I do that, but I’m actually anxious to get back to writing. Now that the last album is done it sort of frees up the creative channels and…
Ready to start it all over again.
T.Lucca: Yeah. Ready to start writing some new things, and getting some new ideas down and it’s been a while so I’m excited to do that.
Interview By: Emma Loggins