You may remember this man from countless episodes of the
MMC, but you may not know that he has also released a DVD, four
EPs and six albums, including his latest, "Come Around Again."
Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Lucca for an
interview. With a little bit of laughter and a lot of wisdom, I listened
to a musician I look up to talk about his music, the venues, on-the-road
hobbies and, of course, his exploits on the "Mickey Mouse Club."
DB: Tony, thank you again for calling.
TL: Oh yeah, no problem, man.
DB: Howís your day going so far?
TL: Not so bad. The rain season has begun
here in L.A. Itís usually very welcome, though weíre getting a pretty good
dumping now. Now, you guys are in Arizona correct?
DB: We are-- Gilbert, actually. Itís not so
bad here, currently 68 degrees and overcast. I had a couple of questions
for you; figured weíd get this on the road.
TL: Sure, sure.
DB: Now the last time we saw you, you were
performing at the Paisley Violin with Keaton Simons and Curtis Peoples.
What was it like to spend time on the road with them?
TL: Those guys are fantastic, man. Curtis is
truly remarkable. He is definitely one of the hardest working people out
there, and the last couple of years that weíve been touring together has
really been because of his diligence. Heís the one who puts most of those
interviews together and he asks if I am available and I let him know what
days I am available and he glues it all together. I do very little work
when it comes to touring, but Curtis is really just a great dude. Heís
extremely likable with a great sense of humor. Heís real heads-up, which I
respect. Keatonís great as well, you know, heís extremely optimistic,
which you canít say enough about on a day-to-day basis when youíre on the
road. He makes getting up and going all the easier when everyone is kind
of having to do it.
DB: What are you doing when you have spare
time and arenít performing?
TL: I really like to wander around the cities weíre in when we tour. You
know, check out the museums and that sort of thing. When I am home, oddly
enough you spend your free time mapping out your next tour and where you
are performing. You spend a lot of time e-mailing and communicating,
handling the business side of things. Preferably I would be writing and
recording, which I do a great amount of as well when I am not touring or
performing. I have to admit I really love cheap hotel rooms-- there is
something so inspiring about the really dingy roadside motel room.
DB: Does it ever get to a point where the
road feels more like home than your actual home?
TL: (laughs) Thatís a great question. I guess
the road has grown to be really familiar. There is a great pace to it that
I am very comfortable with. You get used to it quickly. Getting four or
five hours of sleep a night, two meals a day, and a lot of time in the car
is something you learn. I mean after a while you just want to come home
and decompress. Itís very easy doing what we do from city to city. Itís
not like we are sitting in board rooms, we are socially interacting with
people who enjoy music and, specifically, our music. Itís like a paid
vacation, it really is.
DB: It was announced that next February you
will be going on tour with Sara Bareilles. Tell me a little about
that, are you excited?
TL: I am pretty doggone excited, man. Yeah, I
am really excited in that Sara is fantastic and I am really excited for
her and all of her recent success. Sheís made some huge strides, so I am
interested in tapping into her fan base and introducing myself. Hopefully
I will be able to share some fans. Yeah, I am looking forward to that
tour, I get to be in each city for a couple of days which is rare.
DB: Youíre going to tour around the cities
then, I take it?
TL: Yeah, exactly. This will be kind of the
perfect tour for me. Itís going to be an exciting run.
DB: Alright. Now, when I searched your name
on Yutube, I found a lot of living room shows with Ernie Halter and a few
other talented musicians. How would you compare those living room shows to
performing in a venue?
TL: The living room shows are great. I really
dig the house concert thing. Iíve only done a few of those shows, but itís
really cool. It really is the essence of the craft right there in your
face. It doesnít get anymore intimate, I mean they can smell when you ate
for dinner, you know? To be honest, I actually get more nervous playing
for 12 people than I do for a full venue. I think it is much more
DB: (laughing) Right, right. Now is there a
venue that you play that really strikes you as ďhomeĒ?
TL: Well yea, there is a small list that is
growing. Itís a great thing to have a few venues that you feel
comfortable. The Hotel Cafť in L.A. is my actual home venue, but it isnít
my favorite to play. People come and go and you need to do something fresh
in order for anyone to find a reason to stay. Itís more transient. The
Bitter End in New York really makes me feel welcome. The owners are just
wonderful and even my fans are comfortable there.
DB: What about San Diego shows? Perhaps
TL: Yeah. That place has recently found
itself on the list and that coffee shop has a lot of interesting people
too. Lou, the guy who runs it, really gets into his work and it is so
great to see someone whoís so passionate about what they do.
DB: I know that everyone is asking you about
the "Mickey Mouse Club," but Iíve got to take my turn at it. How has it
affected your career and choices to date?
TL: Itís funny. Due to the post-Mouse Club
success of some of my castmates, they have really tainted the reputation.
Basically it was different for me than it was for some of my other popular
castmates. It was high school for me, so I was really just coming into my
own. I was as fantastic boot camp experience for what the industry could
be. I learned a lot and I am really proud of it.
DB: Musicians in todayís society seem to find
their way into acting, but actors donít really get welcomed into music. So
now that you are an establish musician, do you think about going back into
TL: Yeah, I definitely do. I guess it would
be more in a smaller scope, perhaps a supporting role or a cameo
appearance. I got out of it because I was being typecast a lot and I
didnít want to have to fear losing a certain image. I wouldnít act just to
sell more records though.
DB: So which do you like more thanÖ acting or
TL: There is no question, really. I like
acting and the collaborative process involved, but I feel like I got
invited to a party and was never asked to leave. I know actors, especially
out here in Hollywood, who are as hungry or thirsty for that creative
process as I am to get in front of people and play my guitar. I would
definitely have to say I prefer performing.
DB: Tell me a little bit about your latest
album "Come Around Again." What are some of your influences that spawned
it and what would you hope your listeners take away from it?
TL: I listen to a lot of classic rock and
soul, Motown is just kind of in the water, so to speak. This record is one
that Iíve wanted to make for a long time. Itís much more rock and roll. I
would say it has a fat, warm sound and is the kind of record that you
listen to once, but still want to go back and revisit time and time again.
It has a lot of layers to it.
DB: Describe the effort for someone who has
never heard it.
TL: Itís like a really heavy duty tool box.
Great guitar rhythms and sounds that are very rich and beefy.
DB: Is there a song in your current
repertoire that you would call your favorite?
TL: Usually it is the song I have written
most recent. I just wrote a song the other week called ďLike LoveĒ that is
really powerful, emphasizing that there is a painful side of love. Just
when you think you know love, something disappoints you or hurts you
simply because you love so much.
DB: How do you feel you have progressed as a
TL: I feel like I have really grown into
what Iíve already known, which is ďless is more.Ē I used to write songs
that were no less than four minutes going on forever and I thought every
note of which was indispensable. Iíve really become a big fan of the
Beatles and I am really learning what they did and how they did it. It is
a really fine art to the craft that I feel like I am really coming into.
DB: Who produced this album?
TL: Myself and a good friend, Mike Vizcarra.
DB: Are there any other musicians or song
riters who have contributed to this album?
TL: Yes, actually quite a bit for the first
time. Normally I have one or two, but I had quite a few on this album.
Brian Wright, who is a brilliant wordsmith wrote several songs, Joe
Firstman, and Mike Vizcarra.
In 30 short minutes, Lucca left me hungry to hear his new album, with
songs like ďMelancholy CollarĒ and ďGiviní It All way.Ē For a complete
listing of Tony Lucca's tour schedule, or other information, visit