Lucky Cuss makes music the way Henry Ford made Model Ts: sending an idea down a creativity conveyor belt, letting each member add as it goes along. Producer Trav E B Washere creates the groove on keys. Frontwoman Angela Kerfoot listens to the melody twice and has her lyrics. Woz Wozniak adds guitar, then masters — and voilá, a Lucky Cuss track, from start to finish.
So it begs the question, with the recent release of Lucky Cuss’ Jargon, whether this is a band, an experiment or a performance piece. Kerfoot explains how it can be all the above.
I’m under the impression the goal is to push yourselves, to push the project, not just make music.
The goal is to push ourselves by pushing the envelope of our own awkwardness live. Like, we want to directly confront your subconscious and then your conscious with actual, self-motivational information, but in a way that makes you feel cool, intellectual. … We want to push knowledge [and] insight to adults.
Do you think of this as being in a band or an artist with a different kind of canvas? Or is it something completely different?
We’re all visual artists, productionists, sound techs, we work the buzz … I’d say we’re painting over the current canvas, that’s our difference. [Playing clubs] is our agenda, so that’s unusual for Vegas bands. Most incorporate dance vibes for album purposes but aren’t bringing “it” live. I’ve been studying Euro and Spanish ultralounge sounds and scenes for many years, so our edge is highly Eurodance-influenced. We’ve all had other Vegas bands and have 15-plus years performing live each, so originally Lucky Cuss is a supergroup of players looking to bridge up and into the world’s club music scenes.
When we met, we had agendas to get our fingers in the “Kool-Aid” again and fast when we saw the arts scene hitting a new growth cycle. We maxed what we individually thought the sound should be, without ever compromising our own styles for each other’s taste or opinions. We didn’t ask one another to fit the others vision, we battled/competed with one another with our visions and caused a fuse, not a compromise.
How does the album reflect that?
The album is lyrically emotional [and] confrontational, like you can’t hear a single song and not take a clear, concise line or two with you. … [It] expresses one thing: The self confronting the self, the subconscious stream versus the conscious stream, the actual content of the argument of the self versus the self. The self attempting motivation and persistence and successes. The lyrics are written from the perspective of a passionate, paranoid, schizophrenic artist who first sees themselves from a narrow, self-empowering view. Artists can all relate to these experiences, and so I try to not fuzz my lyrics, I really spit ’em out. I want you to understand them and sing along to yourself, for yourself — I’m yelling at you to notice yourself, grow if you need it, laugh at the old you if you’re lucky.
If a band’s whole MO is pushing limits and being outside the comfort zone, how do you push beyond THAT comfort zone — that is, comfortable being uncomfortable — to make another recording?
Comfortable isn’t a goal for us; if the beat, chord, lyrics feel out of our social norm onstage and makes us feel empowered, it’s a keeper. New sounds are out there, and if we’re going to maintain a fresh industrial, electronic, ultralounge rock vibe, that means building a thousand new instruments ourselves. … Comfort and ease are not in our future, unless it’s in our own self-indulgent solo and colab endeavors, which keep us balanced as far as career-art versus art-art. We’ll release our second album this fall … Expect ghost flute armies.
LUCKY CUSS Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m.; Act Nightclub at Palazzo, 3327 Las Vegas Blvd. South, $15-$20. More info at www.facebook.com/LuckyCuss.