Words by Henry Sawbridge
Last Thursday I had the opportunity to chat with up-and-coming producer Luca Lush before he graced Cable Kidz at Fat Controller. Cracking a beer back stage we chatted all things music and the current state of EDM.
So for those playing at home, tell us a little about yourself. Who is Luca Lush?
Oh man, I didn't think you were gonna hit me with the broad based ones like e-harmony questions straight up!
Yeah I want name, age, social security number everything! Nah just give us the general background, like where you live, etc.
Oh like where do I live? I live in Los Angeles, California. Umm, I'm 23 and yeah...
Alright, ok we can work on that. Well then let's jump straight into some music questions then. I've noticed you like to remix. How do you go about choosing what song next gets the Luca Lush treatment? Are they all tracks you enjoy or tracks you feel need that little something extra?
Yeah usually I enjoy the track, I kinda have to ‘cause I'm gonna end up playing it a lot you know? It's usually I mean if it's a bootleg thing, I'm looking for a section where I have just the vocals and maybe some melodic content, because then if it, I mean if you don't have that, you're locked into a certain groove that's within the track, where as if you do have that you can take the hook out of context and kind of work around it. But yeah I guess it's just stuff that generally works live already usually, like ‘Antidote’ is a great example of that. Either that or something that I really miss and wanted to bring back, like some of the more throwback things I've done or just things that I really liked or enjoyed when I was younger and wanted to play again, but you can't just play the O.G. and have it slap in a lot of cases.
From my standpoint you’re rising to the near top in the hard to define world of the future/trap... That kinda whole thing that's going on. What’s your take on the scene? Do you try to fit the mold and make something you know the audience will respond well to, something like the ‘Work’ and ‘Cinema’ remixes I guess? Or are you always hoping to break new ground with each release?
Uhh good question, I kinda go back and forth, it's a constant oscillation between those two trains of thought you know because you do wanna, I don't want to say ‘cater’ but you do want to think about your audience and where your music is going to be played, and by whom. But that being said I do kinda just do my own thing.
A lot of the time, I'll make a lot of tracks that might not necessarily work that well in the club and I don't even play it out much. You know if I have a hard ticket sale kinda show, you know that’s when I can sort of play everything and it's a more indicative thing. But you know if you're playing a peak hour set at a club and not everyone there is there just for you, they're there because they're going out to party and they wanna hear certain music. You know that's the case where like the 'Cinema' remix and things like that are a bit more pertinent and like useful, but I still love doing that stuff too. It's just two sides of me. But yeah the future bass/future trap all that, the whole scene you know I think the biggest thing is just being a very active part of the community and like not being a dick [laughs] is probably the most important thing actually.
Yeah cool, so I'll take you back to what you've just said about being aware of your audience... So you've just recently released your ‘Cinema’ remix, did you know this remix would garner this kind of response?
You know, it's crazy how much support I got on that particular one, but that is a very DJ-friendly track, some of my other tracks, you know they obviously work in the club but some of them aren't like... you know my 'Antidote' flip is like four songs in one. You know a lot of the other things I'll flip, I mean I don't usually flip tempo, but I'll flip like D-patterns and stuff like that. So if you're just like skimming shit you know as a local DJ and you get hit with that bullshit you're probably like “wow fuck Luca, fuck that guy, he’s flexing too hard” [both laughing] uhh but the 'cinema' remix is much friendlier song structure wise.
Yeah I mean I've already heard DJs go from the OG to your remix with a huge response...
Yeah exactly, it works well.
So where do you draw inspiration from musically? Might be a bit harder for remixes when there is a framework to build off and what-not, but explain that process.
Umm definitely you keep up with everyone, you keep up with sounds, you incorporate those sounds into your own pallet and like you take little bits from here and there but I mean I think it’s also very important to listen to stuff that nobody else is listening to in your circle you know... You need to have certain influences that no one else can say, or at least a very small portion can say, “Oh I know this kind of sound”, you know even the more aggressive portions of my music juxtapose well with my more cute shit... like I have metal background, so you know.
Oh shit are we going all ‘Sonny’ From First to Last on this?
[laughs] Oh you know I wasn't killin' it like Skrillex was, like From First to Last was all like when I was in middle school and high school..
That scene stage that everyone seemed to adopt at that point...
Exactly, exactly, but that's definitely a big impact on my formative years and you know a lot of math-rock and jazz oriented stuff, very shreddy sort of musical upbringing.
Am I detecting a bit of musical background yourself?
Oh no man I'm self taught, like I couldn't even differentiate tones when I started, but that's what I hate you know people are always like, “oh you just gotta be born with it blah blah”, and I'm like, “nah dude”, and I'm not saying like I'm the best or that I don't... I still have so much to learn and that's great, it's a great mentality to have. But yeah you can definitely teach yourself. I taught myself from YouTube tutorials, forums and just literally twisting every fucking knob and pushing every fucking button on every synth, on every parameter in FL Studio. That's the best way to figure shit out.
Ok last question here man... what do you do when you’re not 'work, work, work, work', working .. And any plans for the rest of the tour?
[laughs] Oh man that track.. I can't, well I guess the hobby has become the jobby...
Getting paid to do something you love must be pretty alright?
Nah I mean, uh I just ‘tweet’ now? [laughs] I mean like it's a comedic release for me, you know like I have an audience, I don't take myself as seriously as some people do in the EDM circle, I mean it is, you're entertaining people, which is great. It's a privilege not a right you know.
Listen to more Luca Lush on his SoundCloud profile here.