Lux Trevis‘ debut EP Deep Diving is a plunge into home-made funk and groove. There’s a carefully handled nuance to each song, each sound hand-crafted with love from his bedroom.
From composing, recording, and mixing every instrument on the EP to playing flute for prominent local funk trio Breizers, Lux Trevis (Lucas) is quickly showing the world what he’s made of in a pure, natural, free-form way.
Sydney multi-instrumentalist Lux Trevis is a pure artist. With his toes dipped in various projects around Sydney he is quickly coming an accomplished improviser.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
LUCAS: Yo, I am doing great thanks! I have been mostly kicking back with my mates on the beaches, trying to surf, skate, jam and have as much fun as I can. Been playing and going to gigs on the weekends as well which has been sick, whenever I go and see a band I bring an instrument and quite often I end up jamming with them haha. Apart from that on my own time just to keeping in touch with nature, learning how to play my instruments, messing around with the loop pedal and eventually recording some music.
HAPPY: We’ve loved ‘Diving Deep’! How does it feel sending it out to the world?
LUCAS: Thank you really glad you guys enjoyed it!! I actually love it as well (: Tried to make Diving Deep as groovy and smooth as I could, which makes it easy on the ears and open for different groups of people to relate to. It can be music to dance, chill or even fill out the background. I’ve been sharing it on my day-to-day life with people I connect with and my mates that enjoy what I do. Also the people I know from when I lived in Brazil seem to like it and have been sharing it over there which is mad.
HAPPY: Tell us a bit about your musical upbringing, you seem to draw on a multitude of influences, like Samba, psych and jazz?
LUCAS: I grew up in a musical family in Brazil surrounded by samba, bossa nova, reggae and hip-hop. From a young age I always loved playing percussion and getting groovy, the syncopated rhythms were always fun and definitely influenced a lot on my playing. When I was around 12 I got deep into 90s hip-hop and started producing beats, which later on led me to where hip-hop came from. I started listening a lot to funk (The JB’s, The Crusaders), blues (Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf) and jazz (John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery) and incorporating that instrumentation into my beats. Apart from that I always loved psych rock, grew up listening to Jimi and The Doors and I also love jam bands like Khruangbin, Naxatras, Cymande and WITCH.
HAPPY: As a prolific multi-instrumentalist is it easy to favour some instruments over others? How do you accommodate all of the varying textures?
LUCAS: To be honest I love them all so much that it is hard to choose one haha. I love learning different instruments because it helps me to observe music with a wider perspective, seeing how each instrument adds its own flavour and how they all play different roles in a song. I feel like the more I learn about one instrument, the more it teaches me how to play other instruments. For example, after I started playing bass, I stopped playing the root notes on my flute, guitar and sax solos as much as I used to because the bass is there holding it, that helped me to learn how to harmonize and create more colourful sounds.
HAPPY: When did the decision come to play solo live shows instead of with a band?
Back in the day I didn’t really have anyone to jam with so I got myself a loop pedal. I absolutely loved the idea of jamming with myself and then slowly started building on my collection of toys. I got a SP-404 drum machine, bass and heaps of different percussion to get solid loops going and then a sax, flute and guitar to solo on top. I also love playing with bands, I am always open to jam with other people and hopefully one day a group of mates that I love playing with will organically come together and start a band, but either way I want to keep going with my solo gigs.
HAPPY: Tell us a bit about your relationship with nature and music? How do they relate?
LUCAS: When out in nature there is creative energy flowing everywhere. The colours of the flowers, waves in the ocean, patterns of the clouds and sounds of the birds are always inspiring me to be creative and unique. This beauty of creation makes me really happy and helps me to accept myself as who I am, helping me to express my emotions into music. I have actually learnt a lot from hanging by myself in the bush, and probably the most important lesson I learnt was to live in the now and not worry about the past or future. When you get out your mind and experience the now you become one, everything flows in its natural way and there is nothing holding you back. For me that is the key to true music improvisation (not playing licks that you have up your sleeve), I need to be fully there feeling the music and flowing with the waves of sound.
HAPPY: What is the purpose of music for you?
LUCAS: For me music is the funnest way to bring people together. When everyone is dancing, having fun and jamming there is no judgement, people are free to be creative and unique and for me that is beautiful. It helps people to be more compassionate and accepting, and spread love and happiness. I love music so much like it’s actually ridiculous haha, it brings so much light and fun into my life, and to be honest what I want to do with it is bring smiles, peace and love into other people’s lives as well.
HAPPY: Was there some divine, breakthrough moment when music, life and purpose all come together and made sense to you?
LUCAS: After I finished my EP I went for a sick surf and then to a beautiful headland in Avalon to chill and reflect on it. I ended up having a moment of unconditional love for life. Everything just felt so perfect, I was just there, didn’t need anything or anyone, I was just loving that moment. I felt that music is the best way for me to inspire people to feel love and enlighten themselves, I always knew that music was what I was meant to be doing, but after that moment I was just like yeah that’s it! When I was up on the headland I wrote this on my little book: ‘Diving Deep is an art reflection of unconditional love for the Universe’. While recording and producing this EP I went through a journey of inner healing, facing my deepest insecurities and fears. The focus of this journey was to be able to get out of my mind, accept myself where I am now and be able to fully experience the present moment. I found that what’s beyond the mind is love, it is inside me and it has always been, I was just blocking it with my thoughts. Now I feel one with this existence, all I need is already here. I humbly acknowledge the Sun, the Moon, the Plants and the Ocean for showing me the path to the light, and show gratitude and love for any other forms of consciousness that helped me and inspired me throughout this journey.’
HAPPY: You’ve been seen around town busking in manly and playing flute for prominent Sydney funk-rockers Breizers, how important is collaboration and improvisation to you?
I absolutely love busking, it is so raw and such a good way to connect with people. I play every 2nd Sunday (1st,15th and 29th of September are next) at the Markets at the Corso in Manly if anyone wants to come around and have a chat. Improvising is the funnest part of playing music for me and it is mostly what I am about when playing live. After I get my loop going I try and go on an improvisation journey, feeling what I am playing and having my instrument as an extension of myself. Playing with the Breizers has been sick, none of us would’ve imagined that a flute would complement their sound on the way it did. I met them at Mona pub one night and ended up having a good chat to John, he said that they were playing that night and I asked to come up and jam. After hearing me play a bit of flute on the smokies the legends let me go up and play a song with them, and from then it just kept on going. It is so cool to me because it happened so organically, we never even really talked about it. We are just going with it and seeing where it goes, but hopefully it will keep on working. Collabs are super important for me, I feed so much of other people and quite often it inspires me to have more fun and be more creative with my solos.
HAPPY: What’s next for Lux Trevis? Any other exciting plans in the works?
LUCAS: I try and not think too far ahead of me, but if anyone wants to keep in touch and see where I am playing and stuff give us a follow on Instagram @luxtrevis. I will definitely keep on learning my instruments, playing gigs and put some tracks out soon. Apart from that just try to keep having fun, improving myself as a human and a as muso and making the most out of my life.