Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Casual End Mile, Sydney


Current band rollcall?
At the moment it's all just me (Madelaine Lucas), live and recorded.

A Casual End Mile has been around since ...
February this year in a public sense, when I started played my first show. But I’ve been using the name for my collection of home recordings I’ve collected on and off for a year or so.

Let's play Six Degrees of A Casual End Mile. What are some interesting musical links you could come up with?
My dad, Steve Lucas, was/is the front man of the Australian band X. A lot of people have asked me how you’re supposed to rebel as teenager when your father is a punk rock musician. I guess I did it by making acoustic folk music.

In terms of the local music scene, I recently I played an FBi fundraiser show with Daisy M. Tulley (Bridezilla). Her music is inspiring and beautiful and makes me want to cry sometimes ... Even when she throws in the occasional ‘motherfucker’.

I've also played shows with And Then To Bed, and medieval music maestro Jack Colwell, who has also done a wonderful job setting me up with shows this year.

First song ever written?
I wish I could remember, but I was always making up little songs when I was younger. I’m sure it was awful! I think the first I put under the name of A Casual End Mile was called Too Little, Too Late. It was a three-chord country song that went for about two minutes.

Music making for you began when ...
I traded ballet for trumpet lessons when I was eight.

Most unusual sound/instrument you've used in your music?
Unintentionally, the noise of my little brothers creating chaos in the hallway outside my bedroom got trapped in a love song.

Strangest gig you've ever played?
I think every gig is strange in its own way. The first show I played this year was on a farm, on Valentine’s Day, and it rained the entire weekend. During my set, all this smoke appeared and I thought I was going to be electrocuted ... but it turned out that it was just a secret smoke machine, self-activating.

The gig I played at the Bridge Hotel in April was also strange, because it was my first in Sydney playing a lot of new stuff, and I was introduced by a comedian with a very bizarre sense of humour, which became quite awkward considering the intimate atmosphere of the evening.

Do you pin up images when recording to help inspire your songs?
Not really. My inspiration comes mostly from subconscious pickings of things that I have felt, or seen or read or heard about. If anything, I’m more likely to be inspired by beautiful combinations of words in books or poems, rather than pictures.

Unlikeliest thing to influence your music?
I think I am influenced by pretty standard stuff – loving, breathing, heartache, death, boredom, the weather. I suppose I am inspired by a lot of different genres of music though, and listen to folk music less than bands like Pavement or Animal Collective at the moment.

Most unconventional topic you've covered in your lyrics?

If you had to offer any of your lyrics as love advice (or life advice), you would offer ...
“Let me be your woman”!

Most useful lyrics you've heard in a song?
Maybe the lyrics in More Adventurous by Rilo Kiley, in terms of poignant advice. I also like the sentiment, "Someday, we’ll be dignified and old", from the Modern Lovers – there’s something comforting there. I guess any lyrics are useful if they can relate, or mean something to another person.

Do you think the town you live in affects your music in any way?
Definitely. Cities have souls, and things like the weather, buildings and people are definitely things that influence me. I love Sydney, with its beautiful cityscape, and the scene of creative people which expands all the time, but I would like to live somewhere else for awhile and see what I would come up with in a completely different environment.

You would love to record with ...
An entire symphony orchestra! Even though it would be incredibly difficult, I think it could be amazing.

Favourite person you have recorded with ...
I just did some home recordings with the lovely Ms. Pia May (Bridezilla). It’s been nice to record in someone else’s bedroom for a change, and it’s amazing how much just one other person can bring to a song, and make it come alive. Plus, our music dates always involve a lot of tea and caramel crowns.

Outside of A Casual End Mile, you spend your time ...
With my friends, running around the town, staying up too late, working in a kid's bookstore, drinking tea, talking ... And sometimes going to uni.

Next for you is ...
Recording another new project which I’m really excited about, and hopefully more A Casual End Mile gigs soon to keep me out of trouble!

If record stores had to come up with a new genre name to file your music under, it would be called ...

Sometimes you hear a singer for the first time and your heart forgets itself entirely. Unskipped beats pile up, waiting for you to remember to unpause, but music has a funny way of playing cardiac traffic cop - it takes a while for everything to return to normal.

It's rare to single out a moment like that, but when I first pulled A Casual End Mile's demo from the weekly mountain of CDs, it was like that completely. Madelaine Lucas' voice is the kind that rewires your memory. Like Hope Sandoval, her words are quiet and spellbinding, able to make the most unadorned songs sound dreamy. A Casual End Mile is one to keep listening to, pay attention here.

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