Musician Tony Lucca is keeping busy these days, following up the heat of his recent run on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ with a national tour that brings him to Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley tonight. The veteran singer/songwriter, who placed third as a member of Team Adam in the show’s second season, says the exposure from the hit reality competition has changed the game for him after a long career that has encompassed touring, writing, producing and recording. “It’s all been fantastic,” he told quadrust.com by phone late last week from a tour stop in the Northwest. “To say it had the desired effect is kinda putting it lightly.”
That kind of exposure brings with it a new type of public recognition that Lucca is still getting used to. “Trips to the airport these days are pretty interesting,” he said with a laugh. “Lots of recognition on the street, but moreso professionally, in the career side. The numbers all increased exponentially, from ticket sales, to promoters and talent buyers being a little more willing to up the ante on deals we get in place. The fan base is growing in really cool ways.”
Lucca is grateful not only for the exposure he received from ‘The Voice,’ but for the quality of the exposure, which he feels helps set him apart. “Because ‘The Voice’ showcases your story, your family life, I find a lot of encouragement and feedback I get pertains to my family and that I’m a family man, that I have two kids and a beautiful wife. People seem to really respond to that,” he observed. “It’s not like I just appeared on the scene as some rock star heartthrob sex tape celebrity du jour. It’s a much more respectable tip of the hat from people that applaud my effort across the board.”
The entertainer has nothing but praise for Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine, who coached him on the show and also recently signed him to a deal with his label, 222 Records. “I can’t say enough about Adam,” Lucca enthused. “He’s everything I imagined he would be in terms of a coach and a person, and an artist. He’s very clear with his suggestions, his criticisms and compliments. He’s very direct. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him.”
Lucca also spoke highly of coaches Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton, but admits he is puzzled by the negativity he received on the show from Christina Aguilera, with whom he appeared as a child on the Mickey Mouse Club in a cast that also included Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. “We all have our means of identifying and claiming our pride, foolish or otherwise,” he observed cautiously. “And I think unfortunately for her, sometimes it just really gets in the way of what she really wants to say and how she wants to be portrayed.
“Oddly enough, I think in terms of the voice and the world of stage production and stage presentation, I think she may honestly have the most to offer of the four of them. But I think she’s sort of etched out a persona for herself that just isn’t as flattering as she is intelligent, and that’s too bad.”
The singer has been writing new material through the summer, and plans to release his first post-‘The Voice’ album through 222 Records in 2013, but so far he and Levine have not found time in their conflicting schedules to sit down and talk about producers or specifics. Lucca says he expects the album will be a step in a different direction compared to past efforts. “What we tapped into on the show was a lot of reinvention, and it’s got me really fired up for the next chapter,” he explained. “It would be more of a continuation of the edgier, more rock-based, maybe more adult alternative rock and roll, as opposed to more of the coffeehouse singer/songwriter fare that I’ve been delivering over the years.”
Meanwhile he’s headed into the final leg of a 30-date headlining tour. Lucca admitted that balancing his home life and road life can be tricky, but he said his new career momentum has given him a renewed sense of purpose. “For a lot of years it was a bit of a struggle, because I was out pounding the pavement all the time,” he said, “whereas now, as a family we’re all very excited about the shape of things, and the potential here.Though it’s always been hard work, this feels like a little more justified, credible, career-based hard work. So it’s all hands on deck.”
That means Lucca’s music career has become somewhat of a mom-and-pop operation for his family. He recalled a recent conversation with his son. “One day we’re sitting there before the tour, and he’s helping me. I think we were rolling up t-shirts for the merch, going through big piles of shirts. And he’s just trying to get his head around, what the hell does my music career have to do with these big boxes of shirts?” he recounted with a laugh. “And I explained it to him, ‘Well, buddy, this is the family business, the same as if Dad was a farmer and you’ve got to get up and go milk the cows and grab eggs from the chicken coop before you go to school. Now I need you to go re-string my guitar and roll up shirts.'”
As for tonight’s show at 3rd and Lindsley, Lucca hinted there might be some surprises. “We’ve been tossing around the idea of maybe turning it into a bit of a costume party, since it is on the eve of Halloween,” he said. “And we’ve got a lot of friends and fans there that I know want to come out and celebrate with us, so we may get a little silly.
“I’d imagine it’s going to be one of the stronger shows of the tour. We’ll be coming off a two-day drive from Colorado, so we might be a little fried,” he added with another laugh. “But that’s usually when we give our best shows.”
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