Contact: Jill Mango - Jill Mango Media, [email protected] gomedia.com
Local H’s Scott Lucas, a singer who is both salty and sweet, initially scoffed at the idea of playing As Good as Dead in its entirety on a tour celebrating its 20th anniversary. But he eventually came around, and the band—with original drummer Joe Daniels and newer drummer Ryan Harding in tow––is reliving the record’s four modern-rock radio hits, including “High-Fivin’ MF” and “Bound for the Floor.”
What makes you a better singer today than you were when you started?
When I listen to old recordings, I sound like a child. My voice has gotten fuller, and I prefer the way it sounds now. I prefer Robert Plant’s voice when he got older and it matured into this thing that sounds like a man.
What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a singer?
The way I sing, not losing my voice is the biggest one. I got mugged and choked in Russia [after a show in 2013], that was the scariest time. It was a long night, and I was walking somewhere I shouldn’t have been walking … and it was Russia. I got back home after waiting about a week or so, still nothing [happening with my voice]. I had a show at South By Southwest, and it was impossible to get through. This is how I make my living. [The voice is] a fragile thing.
Have you had any formal vocal coaching? If so, what effect did it have?
There was a time when I lost my voice when we were on tour with Stone Temple Pilots and were going to play Madison Square Garden. That was the first time I lost my voice. I was worried I wasn’t going to have the chance to play that place again. I saw a guy who gave me tips and scales and pointers on how to warm up for the show.
How do you warm up your vocal cords before a performance?
I usually take a few minutes to stretch out my voice and get the junk out of there.
What are your diet do’s and don’ts (alcohol, caffeine, weed, etc.)?
The best thing for me is water and whiskey. Beer doesn’t help. Tequila doesn’t help. It’s gotta be whiskey. If I’m feeling a little rough through a show, I’ll take a couple of swigs, and it’ll keep me going. You want to keep your vocal cords wet. There’s something about whiskey that warms the vocal chords.
How do you shake out any stage jitters, or cope with red light fever?
You can still get nervous before shows, and that’s fine. I don’t think that’s a huge problem.
How do you calm yourself and focus? Do you meditate before a performance?
Haha, no. Usually the thing that helps me the most is going out there and setting my shit up, the pedals and everything. I get the sense then and there of what the room is like, go backstage, take a piss and go [on]. That’s the ritual.
What are a few of your favorite all-time recordings or performances by other singers, and why?
Anything that Mark Lanegan sings is pretty amazing. Red Red Meat’s Tim Rutili is pretty great. Nick Cave. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Maybe the best recording ever is Little Richard’s cover of “Brown Sugar.” It’s on this covers record he made and is just incredible. He’s hitting the takes so hard and going into the red. He kills it.
Are you loyal to specific types and brands of microphones and in-ear monitors? If so, which ones?
I like Shure mics, the 58s, and we carry them around. I would be thrown off my game if I weren’t able to sing with that microphone. I’ve been using it maybe forever. I don’t use monitors. It seems like it’s unusual; I just haven’t gotten around to it. I only recently started using earplugs. I realized that I couldn’t fucking hear anymore and always have the TV on too loud. It’s something I should do but just ruins [the show] for me, so it’s very tough. •