“Well I guess it’s me.. as the songwriter, but it’s also the fine musical folk who helped me make this record,” Lucas of Midnight Drags tells Eat This Music at the top of our Q&A. “Ash Naylor, Brett Wolfenden, Warren Booth and Bill McDonald (along with Sefi Carmel who arranged the string parts) all played their musical roles and helped create the ‘Midnight Drags’ sound.”
“I’ve always loved, written & played music.. I think it chose me? Plus I’m not good at anything else.” — Lucas from Midnight Drags
“It feels like a lifetime ago since the songs were written and a decade ago since they were recorded so to finally have them out in the world is a trip,” Lucas expresses on the release of their new album. “The world certainly does feel different to when we started the process.. oh wait.”
Midnight Drags’ ‘Bad Business’ is a bunch of musical stories about regret, fear, sadness & illness but also hope. It is Lucas, but it’s not and it represents a highly creative period tinged with melancholy, depression and elation. Musically Lucas is really proud of this collection of songs and sounds, it’s a pretty broad brand of ‘rock’ music that has its own unique aesthetic and vibe.
This 9-track album does represent what Lucas wanted to say as Midnight Drags. However, when he first starts writing a song, he is not really thinking about albums or concepts too much but as you start getting a bunch of songs together that will be part of the album, from there, you can then start to form a coherent theme and maybe start writing more towards that theme.
“I had 3 or 4 songs that- turned into 11 and next thing you know you have an album,” Lucas says. “The 11 songs eventually got whittles back to 9 songs and I feel that the album flows along nicely with these tracks.”
“I love writing songs and when the muse is talking you gotta listen, these tracks came together pretty easily as far as basic chords/melodies and lyrics go which isn’t always the case,” Lucas continues. “I’ve laboured over certain songs, sometimes songs can hang around for years until completion.”
The songs were written over a period before Lucas got the band together to rehearse, but they were bare bones at the time. It was then down to fleshing out the arrangements and parts. Midnight Drags jammed the songs and figured out what to add and what to remove. Plenty of times the band’s initial arrangements needed to be reigned in a little with some ‘trimming of the fat’ ie: Lucas’ 5 minute fuzz guitar solo.
The songs in this album are stories of Lucas’ own life mixed with tales and memories of people that he koews, mixed with lives about made up people: “I love characters in songs and this album certainly has it’s share,” Lucas tells Eat This Music. “How much of me and my life is in this album? A lot.”
“Im going to pick the last song on the album ‘Alright’, it’s a song of hope and kind of feels like an antithesis to the rest of the album. — Lucas from Midnight Drags
“It also meanders along nicely and had a cool Rhodes solo (courtesy of Daniel Frankel),” Lucas adds.
Lucas would love listeners to think they just heard crackin’ rock tune(s) and it bugs them the rest of the day because they cant get it out of their heads when hearing this record. If the songs resonates with someone, then that is great: “…we all get down on ourselves sometimes and can feel unworthy,” Lucas adds.
“I’m working on a bunch of tracks for a comedy album with actor/comedian Stephen Curry,” Lucas reveals on what he has coming up this year. “We are writing some of the dumbest songs you could imagine, seriously. We wanted to create some funny songs that were musically challenging and interesting and we think we have some pretty good material.”
Lucas and Stephen co-wrote a couple tracks with Reuben Styles (of Peking Duk) which was so much fun, he assures, as Reuben’s sense of humour is as stupid as theirs, maybe even stupider. “Me and Steve also have an album of kids songs that we hope to put out at some stage also,” Lucas adds.
“Better than 2020 I hope,” Lucas says on his 2021 prospects. “Hopefully I can get this comedy album (& kids album) out into the world at some stage.” Although, Lucas wants to make more Midnight Drags stuff, do some more co-writes and basically just spend time in the studio creating, working with cool artists and making sweet music.