We’ve been massive fans of Alexander Luck for a while now, it’s not hard to tell. The melody-master is able to craft scintillating soundscapes from all corners of music, beckoning nuance as far as the eye can see.
Upon releasing his debut solo album The New Deep, the New Zealand local took some time to run us through his favourite tracks, the beauties of isolation, and his recent return to the stylings of Bob Dylan.
Kiwi treasure and mastermind behind the band Wet Bandits, Alexander Luck talks us through the creative process behind his debut solo album The New Deep.
HAPPY: Hey Alex, how’s it going? Where do you find yourself today?
ALEX: Hello, fine thank you! I’m still yet to find myself, especially today but I think I’m getting close.
HAPPY: Congratulations on this debut solo album! How does it feel having out there in the world?
ALEX: Thank you. It feels good to have it out and about! It’s been a little while since I’d released anything and lockdown gave me the perfect time to hide away and work on a little something personal. It’s nice to have it out in the world to breathe a bit of fresh air.
HAPPY: Could you tell us a bit about your favourite track on The New Deep?
ALEX: My favourite is Thursday on the Surface. I like the melancholic mood and its a bit of a return to my acoustic roots. It started as a very mellow lounge jam, my brother Brad on the lead guitar and my good friend Brendon on Ableton. From there I re-wrote and arranged it a bunch, but ended up using most of what we did and recorded that day. A nice lesson to just let a song be what it’ll be (or already was) and embrace it for that.
HAPPY: There are so many different genres incorporated in your music. Do you feel like your sound is always evolving? Or do you feel like you’ve settled on something concrete?
ALEX: I hope it’s always evolving! That’s the main thing I enjoy I guess, always learning or chasing something new sounding or different, and not having to settle on anything in particular. I go through phases of finding little pockets of a sound or genre that I like and try and make it my own, but otherwise I just keep writing and exploring new ideas and try not to get caught anywhere too long.
HAPPY: You’ve released a few singles over the past year, did you approach the writing/recording of these tracks differently at all to past material?
ALEX: Yes and no. Each song is always a little bit different but I’m growing more fond of writing whole songs acoustically again, which is good for the soul. I’d become quite used to having a MacBook at hand and writing ideas or making beats or half songs while avoiding the full confrontation of songwriting I think. I’m enjoying getting in touch with that again.
HAPPY: Geographically speaking, where has music taken you and when borders open up again, where do you hope it can?
ALEX: I would love to go everywhere, as vague as that is! At the moment since the world has shut down I’ve set my sights on seeing a bit more of NZ. I’ve just put solar panels on my van and set it up with a little studio, so I’m thinking I’ll hit the road and explore for a bit. I’d love to get over to Australia next year and do something musical, and eventually get over to Europe again. I did a brief stint in Brussels and London last year, I just need to work on my organisation skills a wee bit.
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HAPPY: What’s the best part of creating strictly for a solo project and what do you miss most about the band?
ALEX: I like that there are no boundaries or genre confines for a solo project, even if those boundaries/confines are in my own head. I made and wrote Wet Bandit’s music always with a live band in mind, and it’s nice to remove that barrier in the studio/in general I guess
HAPPY: What’s playing on your iso-rotation these days?
ALEX: I’ve been listening to a heap of Phoebe Bridgers, she’s pretty incredible. I’ve been diving into a bit more Blur, Bloc Party, and getting back in touch with Bob Dylan. I’m also quite fond of jumping into the random depths of Spotify and letting it do its thing. There’s so much music out there and it’s all so discoverable
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
Check out The New Deep below: