By ERIC SCHELKOPF
Chicago band The Luck of Eden Hall needs your help to go back to the United Kingdom.
The band earlier this month launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the upcoming tour. Prior to the tour, the band plans to record a live album at a chateau in the north of France.
I had the chance to talk to The Luck of Eden Hall frontman Greg Curvey about the band's latest activities.
Q - Great talking to you. This is your third Kickstarter campaign. Does the fact that people are willing to fund the band's projects give you additional gratification that people really believe in what the band is doing? Do you think Kickstarter is a good tool in this ever-changing music industry?
Oh, Kickstarter is a fabulous tool and one of the main ways The Luck of Eden Hall generates income to invest in our big projects. We treat these campaigns as a mass sale of stocked items and make pre-orders available for our new albums.
It’s a great way to generate excitement about our current and future opportunities and rile up our fans. I’m incredibly honored that folks are willing to trust us enough to invest in music they haven’t even heard.
Q - You guys are headed back to Europe. I understand that your 2013 European tour was very successful. What do you like about touring in Europe? How are the audiences different than those in the United States?
The United Kingdom seems to have taken us under their [collective] wing. I suppose it has to do with the labels we work with, both of which are located in Europe, and it could be the prog and British influences in our music, as well.
When we we’re there in 2013, I was really floored to see people in the audiences singing to our songs. I'd like to get involved with a label here in the states too, because it would help expand our audience at home.
We use Bandcamp, CD Baby and other outlets to great success, but as the saying goes, "Together Everyone Achieves More" and labels help get your name out there, do their own advertising and other useful things for a band like us.
Once we establish our name brand and have a larger fan base that might be different, but I have seen the positive results that working with indie labels has done for us with European audiences, and it’s great.
Q - The band recently released the single, "The Happine$$ Vending Machine," and will soon be releasing its next album, "The Acceleration of Time." What should people expect from the new album?
I think both songs on that 7” [single] represent the new album very well. It’s more of our popped psychedelic rock and rollisms with a wonderful pinch of prog throw in.
I’d say it's a blended array of melody, rock, atmosphere, pop and feedback fueled by the anxiety of one’s eminent expiration date. Or something like that.
Q - Tell me a little about the writing process. Do the lyrics come before the music, or vice versa? Does each band member bring ideas to the table?
When I write a song, the music is always first. Then I spend a while trying to write lyrics to fit the mood.
Sometimes I sing a scratch vocal track when recording a demo and keep the train of thought nonsense for phrasing. I pretty much compose all of the main parts then let the rest of the band work in their individual stylings.
In past years, a lot of my lyrics were inspired by my daughter, but lately, I’ve found that I enjoy writing lyrics more if I stick with a theme, like the songs on our last album, "Victoria Moon." [Co-founder] Mark [Lofgren] and I decided to try that again for the new album, "The Acceleration of Time," so that all of the songs that we bring to the plate will fit together, and possibly even accentuate a short story, to be included in the album.
Q - It seems like the band is juggling many projects these days. The "Moochie Kalala Detectives Club" television show on WTTW11 features the band's music. How did you get connected to the show? Do you see the show as another outlet to introduce people to your music?
A couple of years ago I composed all of the music for a movie that Kelli and Estlin at Dreaming Tree Films were working on called "The Stream," starring Rainn Wilson and some other folks. Last summer, it showed at CANNES in France and was picked up by Cinedigm for distribution.
At that time, the producers had also been working on episodes for a new science- themed kid’s TV show and happened to be big fans of The Luck of Eden Hall; they asked if they could use our music in the show. So, I reworked some of our tracks and composed a theme song.
It’s definitely a great outlet for folks to hear our music and I learned some scientific facts from watching each episode myself. It’s very cool to see Estlin's different interpretations of how my music can be used and I love the show!
Q - Last year marked the 25th anniversary of The Luck of Eden Hall. How do you think the band's music has evolved over the years? Where do you see the band going in the future?
Time is a funny thing. Rock and Roll has matured, grown old and died.
When I was young, music fads were constantly evolving. Back then, some new and exciting sound or clothing style would come along and you would see its influence spread through pop culture like heat lightning.
Now all of the barriers have been broken. Alternative has become mainstream, elevator music has become hip, and for the last two decades it seems that anything goes, which has allowed us to work within the same realm of musical purgatory without really being in or out of fashion.
With the release of "Victoria Moon," we came full circle. Back to the beginning.
If you pop in our "Under The Sea" cassette from 1992 you’ll see what I mean. We have evolved as The Luck of Eden Hall.
The sounds we make are classic, in the rock sense, but the music we create isn’t. It’s not wholly progressive, but we can have our moments.
I create music that resonates with something deep in my '70s Michigan boy psyche. Chances are, if you grew up the the Midwest, it will resonate with you too.