This weekend, one of the most exciting bands in Adelaide are releasing their debut album.
Luke Marsh (vocals and all manner of guitar) and Ed Noble (drums and boundless energy) make up the desert rock/blues outfit Filthy Lucre, who are creating a lot of noise for a two-man band.
Saturday night at Jive, the guys will be joined by Silent Duck and Rat Ta’Mango to celebrate the launch of Mara.
Mara is the guys’ first release in a few years, and they both say the album was inspired by a need to create new music.
“We haven’t really released anything proper since we formed the band in 2012. I mean, we had the EP we recorded in my basement that we did before even playing any gigs, and we did the single ‘Hand Made’, which is now in two parts on the album, to kind of tie us over to doing the album,” Luke says.
“If I had to say what inspired it,” Ed agrees, “it would probably be our lives for the last three years. The oldest song was written over two years ago and the newest was written one week before we went into the studio! So it’s really hard to pinpoint one thing that inspired the whole album. It’s kind of like a timeline of various inspirations so it’s pretty special to us.”
The pair have a genuine energy between them, both onstage and in the recording studio, and this is reflected in their song writing process.
“It’s kind of weird, sometimes I’ll make guitar noises at Luke and he manages to translate it into actual music and vice-versa. But I think our best stuff never comes when we sit down and try; it’s always when we have an important gig to practice for and we just start playing a new song out of nowhere. it’s never convenient,” Ed laughs.
“We kind of just make the songs as they come out of us,” Luke says. “We jam constantly, so all of the songs and riffs and ideas develop from that. Now and then we might take away bits and fuse things together, but at least 80% of it is from jamming, like a two-way conversation using instruments.”
Mara has been a labour of love for Filthy Lucre, and they are pretty stoked with the outcome, even if they can’t choose a favourite track from it.
“To me, that’s like asking me to pick my favourite child! They all have their bits that I like. In terms of emotional connection, I would have to say ‘Take it Slow’, and also ‘Devil Man’ as those have substantial meaning to them that is important to me; also ‘Boundless Plains’ I feel has an important message for people at this particular time in political Australia. I wrote that one about the hypocrisy in Australian government and the poor treatment and denial of refugees – particularly in recent governments like old mate Abbott. It’s pretty aggressive!’ Luke muses.
“I love ‘Boundless Plains’ too, but as for a song that holds personal meaning it’s probably ‘Just a Lil’. I don’t think it was Luke’s intention with the lyrics, but my interpretation of them is eerily accurate to things I was going through in the lead up to this record,” Ed says.
Recently Filthy Lucre packed their bags and jetted off to America to record the album and immerse themselves in the world of technical production.
“It was amazing,” Ed says. “We were in a really special little town full of lovely people called Ashland. It’s about the size of Glenelg, but surrounded by mountains and pine forests. I learned that an Australian accent will get you places in the States! But musically, in the studio, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Sylvia was an absolute guru.”
“Being in such a secluded little bubble surrounded by amazing mountainside was a good choice for a studio!” Luke interjects. “It was totally the right atmosphere and vibe for creativity and building the album. I think environment plays an important role when you’re creating something like that.”
“We definitely learned a lot about the recording process, being our first time in a professional studio, or any studio in any capacity. The closest we got was a studio in Hendon for the first version of ‘Hand Made’ that we recorded with Ben Nash. Sylvia had a lot to show us of the ropes,” Luke says.
Now the hard work is complete, and the learning curves have been navigated, Filthy Lucre are ready to storm the stage at Jive and show us what they’ve got.
“We created the launch to be more of an event and a production rather than just a gig with bands playing songs they wrote,” Luke says. “I mean, that’s always great, but we want this to be a memorable thing and something that is special. We’re working closely with people for lighting and sound and even have some special guests for our set. We’ve also structured and chosen the supports so it builds the night from start to finish; plus the support bands are bloody amazing and we’re so happy they’re on board with it! Going to be a great night!”
We asked Ed what we should expect from Saturday night’s gig.
“Sombreros,” he says.
Silent Duck and Rat Ta’Mango are the bands Filthy Lucre have structured and chosen for the gig, a decision Ed says was a difficult one.
“It was very hard,” he protests. “We’ve made so many amazing friends and been lucky enough to play with some incredible bands since we started this project. If we could have it our way, this would be more of a festival line up, but we had to cut it down to two. Silent Duck is one of my favourite bands of all time, so it’s an honour to have them supporting us.”
“Totally!” Luke agrees. “We didn’t want to have too many bands on the night as well because we’ve done a few of those five band lineup nights which are fun, but it gets too much with short sets and so much equipment to juggle! By the time you’ve factored in changeovers, it’s a five hour event!. It’s kinda cool too with Rat Ta’Mango on board to open the show because their sound reminds me of really old-school The Black Keys, which is exactly where we started with the band so it’s like a bit of a timeline in a weird way!”
The guys are very keen for you to join them at Jive on Saturday night and celebrate the production of an album they are particularly proud of.
“I’ve gotta say, having such a large album to drop instantly on the public is such a good feeling,” Luke says. “We’ve been selling the demo EP from 2012 out of a suitcase for so long and it just doesn’t do our sound or development justice; so it’s good to finally say, ‘Here you go! Cop that!’ to all of our friends and fans who have followed us from the start. 14 tracks! Hopefully that makes up for the three years of studio inactivity!”
“[I’m looking forward to] finally having something we can be proud of! It’s been a long time coming. I’m really keen on getting it out there and hitting the road,” Ed says. “We’re heading off for some east coast fun next week.”
“We hooked up some shows frantically over the past few weeks,” Luke says. “It’s been real hard to get shows when you don’t have a product to show bookers and promoters. But yeah, we scored some shows in Sydney at Frankies, Port Macquarie, and Sonny’s House of Blues in Brisbane for the first week of February. We’re trying to get some stuff in Melbourne happening too. Stay tuned!”
Until then, be a part of the album launch on Saturday 30th January at Jive Bar (Hindley Street, Adelaide) and read our review of Mara HERE.
Tickets are $10 for entry or $20 with a copy of Mara. Buy them HERE.
Written by Libby Parker
Photos by Kabelo Sebesho
Album artwork by Muhamad Lukmanul Hakim
Libby Parker is a journalist, teacher and life enthusiast.
You can follow her on Twitter at @upsidenews_lib