Get To Know: Lucille Furs
If you ask the Chicago band Lucille Furs what they think about their city's music scene, drummer Brendan Peleo Lazar will sum it up as “psychedelic rock and rap music.” Considering the recent success of acts like Chance the Rapper and No Name and bands like Twin Peaks and Whitney, I'd have to agree with him.
“We played an early Whitney show,” Brendan recalls, with lead singer Trevor Pritchett chiming in, “Yeah, that was crazy. We played the Burlington…that was like their first show or something like that. And then a month ago I heard them in Starbucks.”
It’s a Tuesday evening, and after watching the band soundcheck, I’m sat with them in the Schubas green room, with its dangerously low ceilings, chatting about the band’s past and future. When I asked about the origin of the band, Trevor credited the band’s bassist, Patrick Tsotsos, as being the band’s ringleader. “He kind of set the whole thing up...he just showed up in sunglasses at all of our other shows.”
“I met Brendan at school, and I’ve known Nick [Dehmlow] for a couple...seven, years actually, just from playing around. And I met Trevor at Wally World a few years ago, and here we are. [Constantine] was the addendum, we added him about a year after we started. We started jamming, everyone came together in February 2015. We went into the studio without even having any songs, kinda writing as we went along. Writing lyrics on the car ride home,” Patrick adds to the story of the band’s start. “We played our first show in May, and then we played like 50 shows in 13 months. 30 of them here, and about 20 of them out of town.”
After this 13-month stretch of playing under the original band name Shah Jahan, the band took a bit of a break before playing a show at The Empty Bottle with other local bands Post Animal and Jude Shuma in late December. Having rebranded themselves in November with a name that Trevor threw out in a brainstorming session, Patrick explains that the change to Lucille Furs stemmed from some listeners taking offense to the initial name. Elaborating on the switch, Patrick added, “We didn’t know if there was more potential to offend anybody else. We didn’t want to pursue that, so we just decided to change the name early.”
As Patrick wrapped up the short tale of the name change, the rest of the band tricked in from soundcheck, and the conversation steered towards the band's writing and recording process. Trevor credits each band member with writing their own parts, but adds “We do a lot of half songs, where Pat will write something and I’ll kind of have something else that will fit with it.” As far as recording and rehearsing, Brendan runs a studio out of his house that acts as a multipurpose space for the group.
“We’re recording a full length right now, between my studio, Seven Levels, and Treehouse, who is doing tonight’s show,” Brendan reveals. He continues onto to say that they’re shooting for an early summer release for their full length debut. While they have targeted a time frame for the release, the band admits they haven’t really thought about the name yet. “It’ll be called Shah Jahan,” Trevor jokes.
The band has really honed in on their signature retro-psych sound, but it’ll be interesting to see if the album pulls any inspiration from their musical influences. Patrick and Nick credit their parents’ records for fueling their musical aspirations. “You’ve got all that traditional Greek music,” Nick says to Patrick, crediting him for turning the band onto that style of music. “We don’t really know any of the song names though, so we can’t really request any of it. It’s like ‘that one song with the really fast picking’,” adds Trevor, who credits his brother for showing him new music and inspiring him to make his own music.
While there’s no tour dates announced at the moment for 2017, Brendan says Lucille Furs will tour as much as they are asked. Their dream band to support on tour? “I’m a big Diane Coffee fan. We actually played before them at Do Division this summer. Then I guess maybe Rihanna after that,” Trevor divulged. As far as favorite venues, Lucille Furs gave some love to Empty Bottle, Schubas, Double Door, and Wallys World (RIP). “We miss the DIY kind of scene,” Brendan adds, with Trevor rebutting, “I think there’s still DIY spaces everywhere and we’re just getting old as fuck.”