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Luca Brasi are Tasmanians at large

There's no separation between stuff that can be seen as political and music. That's what music’s always been about.”

Over the past few years, Luca Brasi has become a name as synonymous with Tasmania as Cascade, Blundstone, and MONA. For Tyler Richardson, Patrick Marshall, Thomas Busby and Danny Flood, the band’s intentional association with their home state began when they were mocked on the mainland for being Tasmanian.

“Tassie wasn't cool ten years ago, and now it’s cool,” Richardson says. “Our big thing was always like, ‘Let's take it the other way and have fun with it and say, “Fuck yeah, we’re from Tassie.”' Everything has Tassie all over it.”

By everything, Richardson even means his body. He has a tattoo of a scar on his left shoulder; a nod to the frequent joke amongst Tasmanians about having to get their second head removed. Luca Brasi’s love of the Apple Isle is clearly reciprocal, with cricketing legend David Boon and former premier David Bartlett among their fans.

“People from Tasmania are so proud of Tasmanian people doing anything so it feels like if we’re winning a bit, then Tassie’s winning a bit,” Richardson says.

Over two years in the making, Luca Brasi’s latest offering Stay explores the highs and lows of growing up, a theme that’s unsurprising given the album’s production coincided with some big life changes in the band.While Richardson began a career in teaching, Flood and Marshall became fathers.

Richardson says lyrically the record is about “trying to come to terms with what is expected of you and what you're actually doing and if that actually matters, and trying to process that at the same time and see what actually is going to work for you and make you feel like you've achieved something.

“When you get to 30, there's a million things it seems like you're supposed to have done,” he says. “I probably think more than I should about that sort of stuff, but I think everyone probably does.”

It’s this honesty and relatability that has contributed to Luca Brasi’s success. “Over the weekend we met a bunch of people who said that this music’s helped them get through a hard time and that's insane to us. We never thought we’d impact on anyone's life like that,” Marshall says.

While Stay is the most lyrically vulnerable of Luca Brasi’s releases, Richardson admits he was initially scared to lay his emotions bare to his bandmates.

“Before the last album I’d probably be a little bit hesitant to write certain stuff and show certain things to people, but now that you’ve done it a couple of times you realise that it's a safe space,” he says.

Wanting to add a different dynamic to the record, Marshall suggested bringing Darren Cordeux from Kisschasy on board to co-produce Stay. “What we really wanted from this record was to work really hard on those hooks, make the choruses as big as we could,” Marshall says. “We’re always working towards that anyway, but he’d throw in little tiny ideas which might not sound like much, but when you put it in the context of the song, it makes the whole song a hundred times better.”

Grateful for the friends and experiences that music has given them, Luca Brasi agree that if the band were to end tomorrow, they’d be happy with all they’ve achieved. “It’s more than we ever thought we would’ve done,” Flood says.

“I was sitting down with our manager when we first got him on board and he said, ‘I have a bit of a pipe dream of selling out the Corner Hotel,’ and I was like ‘Have another beer Kelly, whatever.’ To do that was a huge thing. Anything from there and anything before that is just a bonus.”

Not ones to shy away from expressing their opinions, the band are all for using their platform to talk about causes they strongly believe in. “I feel like there's no separation between stuff that can be seen as political and music. That's what music’s always been about,” Richardson says.

After publically calling out a punter who groped two female crowd members at one of their shows in 2016, Luca Brasi were among the early supporters of Camp Cope’s It Takes One campaign. Richardson says ensuring safety at gigs is something everyone in the music industry needs to be mindful of, an attitude that he hopes will continue to bleed out into other sections of society.

“It's so easy for these things to get put on the back burner. A big part of the duty of musicians and of people that aren’t musicians is to keep ensuring it's at the forefront.

“People that aren't talking about it, who are musos afraid of getting called a fuckwit on the internet, maybe they should check themselves a bit,” he says. “It's going to suck if it just falls to Camp Cope talking about it forever and that's it.”

Luca Brasi’s fourth album Stay is out now via Cooking Vinyl Australia. They’ll take over The Croxton Bandroom on Friday August 24.