INTERVIEW: St Lucia
After an all conquering world tour, ST LUCIA is headed back to Australia for the upcoming Parklife tour. Find out what’s in store as Mikayla sits down with the man himself. For those who don’t know you that well, what three words describe St Lucia?
Sometimes-Progressive Summer Nostalgia
You’ve already been to Australia, are you excited to come back? What are you most looking forward to?
I’m SUPER excited to come back. It’s probably one of the main things I’ve been looking forward to this year. I’m mainly looking forward to having some time off to spend on the beach, and getting to finally try some Melbourne coffee, which all my friends from Melbourne talk about constantly. Obviously, I’m looking forward to playing Parklife and seeing all these amazing other acts that we’re sharing the bill with.
Classical music and opera is far from your amazing electronic pop. How did you move through the genres and now base your debut album on something so far from your original training?
Well, I was into 80s pop music way before I was studying classical music. My mom tells me I was singing along to Lionel Riche, Phil Collins and Michael Jackson before I could talk. So, I suppose I’ve just come full circle, but just brought some of the other influences I picked up along the way. It did take me a while to bring everything together though. We all need our angsty teenage years where we forget about the beauty of pop, and then rediscover it.
I am a true fan. I liked your Facebook page when it was under 1000 likes. Checking back recently you’re at 12,000 plus! What’s the best part of the fame?
I really wish that having 12 000 Facebook likes meant that I was famous. I guess my work is just a bit more well-known than it was before. The best part is just seeing something that I created in a little studio when no one was interested suddenly and actually very quickly being appreciated by so many people. It’s amazing to me that that can happen. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to tell you that the best part of fame is that I can walk in any shop I want and get anything for free, but unfortunately I’m not there yet…;-)
I am a big fan of your EP! It’s lush, bittersweet and jingley. What inspired the sounds and lyrics of your EP? Do you write all your own stuff? Favourite song from the piece and why please?
Oh, thanks! It’s inspired by a lot of things that might not make sense together at first listen/glance. I’ll just run through a few random things. I LOVE the films of Hayao Miyazaki, and his attention to detail and eye for beauty and strangeness definitely influenced my music a lot. I also love artists that do something that doesn’t necessarily fit easily into a scene or aesthetic. One of my favorite artists of the last few years is Luke Steele. I loved what he was doing with The Sleepy Jackson, because it was this beautiful lush pop music that was slightly out-there, and it felt like something completely out of time. I knew it would only be a matter of time before he would do something world conquering, and along came Empire of the Sun. In terms of sounds, I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m influenced by parts of the 80s sound. I love Fleetwood Mac, but I also love a lot of more progressive music, like this band Jaga Jazzist from Norway, or Mew from Denmark. I do pretty much write all my own stuff, but if I hit a wall I’ll call a friend that I trust, like Paul Hammer from Savoir Adore who co-wrote one of the songs on the upcoming album, or Patricia by girlfriend, or someone else.
My favorite song from the EP at the moment is probably ‘Closer Than This’, but it fluctuates. ‘Closer Than This’ is probably my favorite because I finished it last, and very quickly. It was done in two days from start to finish.
What’s the weirdest thing that has happened on tour?
Nothing really crazy has happened to us yet, but there are a few funny stories. One, for example, happened when we were in Paris for our first show. Afterwards we went out to this bar called Silencio, and at the end of the night we went outside and got into a cab to go to our hotel. We told the cab driver where we were going, and he told us ‘you know the minimum charge is 15 Euros’, to which we agreed. He then proceeded to drive to the end of the block, turn left, and we were at our destination.
What can we expect from your debut album released later in the year? How long has it been in the making and what was the coolest part about recording it?
I’m just in the last week of finishing it off right now, and at the moment it seems like it’s going to be a trip through a summers day and night, but it’s very possible that that could all change in the last minute. It’s been in the making, I suppose, since the start of the making of the EP, which is close to 3 and a half or 4 years now, because some songs from the EP will be on it. The coolest part, for me, is always coming up with new songs. That initial feeling of inspiration and when that idea is filled with so much potential. If you come to the end of that process and the song feels even better than when you came up with it, you know you’ve done a great job, but it doesn’t always end that way.
St Lucia playing Parklife 2012, visit www.parklife.com.au for tickets and info
Words by Mikayla Couch