Just one day after experiencing an amazing show by Local H at Mercury Lounge, I had the honor of meeting the legendary Scott Lucas one-on-one to talk about the upcoming Scott Lucas and The Married Men album, Blood Half Moon.
Over some beers the rock star and I went track by track, a question for each song on the album.
Here is what went down…
IMM: Why was “Lover the Lullaby” picked to start the record?
Scott Lucas: It’s like putting together a set-list. It was the first song that we written that was in a minor key. Every other song on the first EP was major keys. It was also the first song of the new batch of songs that we written. We kind of wanted to start the record by saying this is going to be different. It has spaghetti western feel. It seems like the perfect way to start the record. You could sort of see the credits going up.
IMM: Describe the title track in one word: (track #2 – “Blood Half Moons”)
SL: I always wanted to write a beautiful song. It’s my favorite on the record. I always loved that song “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young. That was where the bar was set, I was shooting for that. That song came fairly early on but it was the last one to be finished. The lyrics took a long time. I ended up going to the dessert, driving around and came back with all the lyrics written.
IMM: What were the influences behind this song? (track #3 – “Steady Gaze”)
SL: First wrote it in a shower and it sounded like “Bobby McGee.” It was very peppy and brought to band and we straightened it out. Someone told me it sounded like the Beach Boys.
IMM: The harmony is pretty awesome, how do you keep your voice so smooth? (track #4 – “There You Are”)
SL: Sometimes it’s tough. But I think it helps the grain (screaming and yelling). The older I get the more I like my voice. It’s got better with the screaming and the shouting. With the harmonies, that was definitely the bass player Tom. I wanted three-part harmony. My guitar player Pete and I each took a harmony. He’s a master of harmony, Tom is.
IMM: What does “old worries” mean to you? (track #5)
SL: The song starts to talk about young worries. Young worries are things that you think when you’re younger that are the end of the world. If I don’t get with this girl, my life is going to end. By the end of the song, it talks about old worries, like I’m going to die alone. It never ends until we’re dead.
IMM: “Out of the Boat” – what comes to mind? (track #6)
SL: It’s the longest song on the record, and it’s purposely epic. I kind of new it was going to be long; I wanted this epic type of song. We like to jam and I wanted the song to really showcase that.
IMM: Why did you choose to have an upbeat, almost positive spin to such things as cancer and od-ing? (track #7 – Heavy Lidded Love)
SL: It’s comparing love to drugs. It’s pretty much a love song but not the kind of love song you’re used to hearing all the time. Mostly every song on the record you can tie to mortality. There’s taking moments, and enjoying life. We’re all going to die.
You think it’s too poppy so you put these dark lyrics in there to undercut that. Just to have those two sides together it makes it more poignant. It makes it work.
IMM: Why did you choose to cover “Ain’t No Grave”? (track #8)
SL: We done a show celebrating Johnny Cash’s birthday. We picked “Jackson” and “Daddy Sang Bass” and “Ain’t No Grave.” I heard it on the radio a year before and it scared the shit out of me. It was like hearing Johnny Cash talk from beyond the grave. It was almost like he recorded it and then died. It shook me up and then we started doing and playing it live. It got such a reaction; we kept it in the set. I was wondering should we cover it? Johnny Cash kind of put this to bed. We were like fuck it, let’s do it. It was daunting; I just wanted to get across the mark hearing his version left on us. You can’t fucking touch Johnny Cash, we weren’t trying to. It felt like it might be too soon. It’s a great song (Cash’s version) but you should check out the original. We wouldn’t have arrived (covering it) without hearing Johnny Cash’s version.
Blood Half Moon is out on June 5th.