photo: alberto gonzalez
styling: obe santos
makeup: judy jacomino

The PEEP-MASTER Interviews Luca Laserra

PM:  Fans have been watching and waiting for the new album; what can we expect?

LL:  I have been feverishly working on the new album.  I'm eager and excited to unleash my new album and share it.  It's been a true labor of love. I've put in blood and sweat, as well as tears, to this album and I hope it shows.  It's really a new extension of me.  I like to say it is innocence bleeding into decadence with no apologies.  There is definitely something for everyone with the new record.  It's a slight departure from 'Adrenaline' my first record.  I feel that the sound is of a more mature me expressing an adult point of view.  Yes, a progressive-house beat with pop sensibilities.

PM:  Did you write all the songs yourself?

LL:  Yes, I wrote every song on this new album.  Writing for me is very emotional, and cathartic.  I love the idea of channeling a point of view through the power of words and melody.  I see it as a creative freedom, whether it is autobiographical, or living through another's hardships, or celebrations.  I feel that it comes naturally to me.

PM:  This sounds very personal and unguarded; what was the end result?

LL:  17 unapologetic dance tracks.  The songs sort of bleed into one another and tell a story--one which is about celebrating life, humor, love, and sort of getting through the bull-shit one encounters daily.

PM:  And the mood throughout?

LL:  Sexy! Fun! Playful! Hard!

PM:  Hard? How?

LL:  Throughout my life, I have had many doors slammed in my face, and even now it still happens--perhaps less than before.  Does that make me change my mind, or, do I have a change of heart in doing what I do? No!  I remain relentless in anything I do.  I live my life as my own, and believe that no one has the power to control my happiness, or destiny. Only I can do this!  I'm not interested in pleasing everyone nor would I want to try.  Those certain individuals who understand me and get what I do: that is the ultimate gratification.  The others that won't, well, they can piss off . . .

PM:  Who helped with the album?

LL:  I worked with an amazing producer, Josh Riptide, who understood my vision and ran with it.  It was not an easy process and I am certain Josh can say that he may have wanted to ring my neck once or twice.  I know that when someone is passionate and is determined to share a particular vision, things can sometimes get heated.  In my case, I am stubborn and meticulous, and sometimes this gets me in trouble.  Yet I would change nothing about myself, or the album.

PM:  Are you satisfied with the results on the album?

LL:  With the new album, I felt much more secure and confident as I moved into a whole new dimension.  I explored different sounds, wrote lyrics and melodies differently, and I was more at ease while doing so.  Initially, while preparing the concept, I wrote the lyrics for nearly 35 songs and then pieced them together to create the perfect synergy with the music and the image.  Many times I struggled internally as I searched for what was perfect for me.  I guess making this record was sort of therapeutic . . .

PM:  Therapeutic; how so?

LL:  Whenever I write a song, it is also a soul-search.  In the process I visit demons; I am forced to face my individual reality.  I think writing is very therapeutic.  It allows you to become a better version of yourself, and it allows an individual to visit aspects which otherwise are ignored or avoided.  Writing, and music, saves me a lot on therapy bills, which could be good.

PM:  Any songs that you're particularly proud of?

LL:  I have several favorite tracks, one of which is 'Up All Night;' this, written as an ode to love.  i think that many listeners can relate to this song.  It's about feeling something that has been suppressed for a long time, and can no longer be restrained.  It's a very special song to me.

PM:  Perfection and sexy may seem contradictory, yet some of the photos released suggest that you may have successfully married the two.  What was the idea behind the images?

LL:  I worked with a great team to capture the essence of the look seen on the new album.  Obe, my stylist for the shoot, provided me with an inspiration board of ideas.  We wanted color, a certain edginess, and sensuality with a modern twist.  We wanted each image to provide a narrative central to the theme; and in the end that is exactly what we got, and I am proud and thrilled.

PM:  As a musician, in contrast to an actor, how hard is it to portray sensuality on a photo shoot?

LL:  Creating music is like making a movie; you have a script and a story line.  There's a lead role which you inhabit from the beginning to the end, and in between there's a climax.  When I prepare myself to record a song or do a photo shoot, I get in character to portray whatever it is that I want to evoke through imagery, or music.  Sometimes it just expressing a mood, and other times it's an extension of an alter ego that is brought to life and shared.  It may also mean that you must dig deep to create 'reality' from fantasy or imagination, or, learning to live vicariously though another's point of view.  Maybe a distorted reality, nevertheless, it is real while being experienced. 

PM:  Recent photos show a moody, sensual being; what was the mental fantasy that propelled the image?  Are there certain characters that you repeatedly turn to in order to fuel your imagination?

LL:  I am always attracted to mystery; and characters of some ambiguity or fluidity.  I think that in some ways they tend to be an extension of a myself, perhaps an alter-ego.  In the particular photos that you speak of, I strove for a sexual undertone which reflects my decadent side--that mysterious and dangerous vibe that permeates my music, and life.  And with the hyper-colored shots I wanted to project innocence: something joyous, wondrous, an almost child-like trust and delight (at the world).

PM:  Could be dangerous; what happens when innocence collides with decadence?

LL:  Magic happens!!  I think that there is something almost cathartic in merging innocence and decadence, and then watching it bleed into something new and unexpected.  As a child you are often told 'don't do this' or 'don't do that,' yet the curiosity is overwhelming.  Sometimes you discover that whatever one thought is bad can turn out to be good, and infectious.  This can play a great synergy in your fantasy and reality.  With this album I had a clear vision of what I wanted; an 'un-interruption,' so most of the tracks bleed into one another.  I tell a story in which the I've unlocked the doors to my sanctuary and listeners are invited in to observe and experience my dreams.  Unapologetically, I am here to transport the audience to a 75 minute long fantasy.  It's my dance dance where I show my skills at being progressive, and hard, and sultry.  This place is where I've been for the past year, and I wanted to share it . . .

PM:  What artists inspire you to keep pushing boundaries?  Artists who seem to hit the mark, and maintain it?

LL:  I am inspired by so many; the list could almost be endless.  Yet some who stand out for sheer artistry and inspiration are Nina Simone, Sade, and Frank Ocean; they share this incredible force and power to move with the power of just words.  Madonna, Frank Sinatra, and Coldplay continue to evoke a degree of craftsmanship immeasurable.  My tastes are eclectic and I get inspiration from many genres; if I am moved and provoked, I submit (to the power of the music).  Thankfully, this happens again and again . . .

PM:  When do we get to hear the new tracks?

LL:  The album is slated for release at the beginning of summer with a tour scheduled for the fall.  Some of my older tracks can be heard on my FB page, instagram or at soundcloud.  And if you dare, catch my live show . . .


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