Hailing from Arizona, the quartet known as Luxxe are looking to make 2015 their year. With their new single "Cello" available now and plans for an album slowly coming together, they took some time out to have this EXCLUSIVE chat with our staff writer Rebecca about influences, Warped Tour, and future ambitions.
PW: Please introduce yourselves, if you would.
Seth Smades: I’m Seth, I sing and play guitar. I’m joined in the band by Devon Quartullo who plays drums, Nullin Hasan, who plays flute and keyboards and, finally, Tracy Hadded, who plays electric and stand-up bass.
PW: How do you all know each other?
Seth: Devon, Nullin, and myself all met in high school around 2008. We later met Tracy in 2014 through one of my friends.
PW: What would you say each of you brings to the band?
Nullin: I think we bring a great mix to the band. Tracy is classically trained, Devon likes his funk and indie rock, Seth has his folk and pop influences, and I’m more hip-hop and reggae. When we combine all those elements, it helps to create the atmosphere which is the foundation for the unique sounds you will hear on our EP.
PW: Who were your influences growing up and have they changed much over the years?
Tracy: My influences consist of mainly composers from the classical/romantic era. However, what really got me into music were film scores. The music of John Williams and the soundtrack of the Harry Potter movies were a huge influence. Over the years, I’ve started listening to more alternative and progressive rock--some examples being Muse, Modest Mouse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Opeth, and many more.
Nullin: I would say my past influences include a lot of reggae--Black Uhuru’s Red was the first tape that I found in my parents closet that I used to listen to all the time. Bob Marley and The Wailers, of course. Sublime, Passafire, and the Expendables. I still like reggae, but also listen to a lot of different stuff now. I like electronic music and hip hop. I like Crystal Castles, Disclosure, Thievery Corporation, Kendrick Lamar. I also like some more jazz and funk including Soulive, Snarky Puppy, and Robert Glasper.
Devon: In my younger days I listened to James Brown, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Hives, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, and The Raconteurs. Now you can find me following people like Bruno Mars, Timbaland, Ryan Tedder, and New Politics.
Seth: As a child, I grew up listening to Motown, Muse, Led Zeppelin, and Phil Collins. When I got a bit older, I gravitated more towards bands like One Republic, The Lumineers, and Walk the Moon.
PW: Do those influences play a big part in the music you create?
Seth: Yes, you can hear some of these influences in our EP.
PW: You're one of very few bands, if any, who has a flutist among their line-up. What do you think that uniqueness gives you in terms of standing out against your other artistic counterparts?
Tracy: I think it gives us an entertaining upper hand, given you hardly see flutists in these times. It really adds a certain flare you don’t see at shows anymore.
PW: How did you win your spot at the Arizona Warped Tour show? Any favourite memories from the show?
Devon: We had a lot of support from fans and hours of interacting with people and cyber networking. A really cool thing happened right when we got there. As we were waiting to get checked in, I turned to a girl in the line and asked how long she’d been waiting, she said “since last night." I was shocked, and then she said she actually knew who we were and was there to see us play on the Vans Warped Tour stage. All of us were amazed!
PW: Tell me about your EP, One.
Seth: It’s a concept EP, All of the songs are certain events pertaining to love that have happened in my life.
PW: What and/or who influences your songwriting?
Seth: Real events, and people in my life.
PW: Do you have a favourite song on the EP?
Seth: “Say That You Want Me To.”
Devon: “Love Me.”
PW: Are there any plans to begin work on an album?
Seth: Yes, we are starting shortly and will be working vigorously on it.
PW: What are your touring plans this summer and for the rest of the year?
Nullin: We’re going to be heading up toward Nevada for a mini tour starting August 6th and the rest of the year is up in the air.
PW: What can fans expect to see at a show of yours?
Tracy: Expect to see a professional, interactive show with an up close and personal feel. Lots of high energy, dancing, and creating a lasting memory.
PW: Would you like to play in Europe and the UK in the near future?
Seth: Absolutely, it’s definitely a goal of ours.
PW: If you could play any venue, anywhere in the world, which would it be and why?
Seth: Wembley Stadium would be our first choice. It would be an honor to play on a stage where so many of our idols have played.
PW: How has social media helped you in terms of introducing you to a new, wider fanbase?
Devon: It has been very helpful to interact one-on-one and get to know our fan base personally. It’s always fun to meet new fans and hear their feedback. We take a lot of time to give the appreciation back that was given to us.
PW: What else is in store for you?
Nullin: We have our EP release August 28th, which we are all very excited about. We’ll also be working on our full length album, and planning on touring nationally after it’s finished.
PW: Finally then, for those who want to find out more about you and your music, what should they do and where should they go?
Seth: The best way to keep up dated about us is on our Facebook, as we post regular updates and have links to our music and all our show dates to come as well. If you would like to talk to us, we'd love to hear what you have to say, so go ahead and shoot us a message on Twitter.
You can check out Luxxe's new single "Cello" on SoundCloud, where it is also available as a free download for a limited time.