How did you get your start in music?
I started in music like most everyone else. I was a music lover and was hanging around legitimate musicians and somehow got into the position of singer. Back then, it was much more about what you wanted to do than what you could do since I couldn’t sing at all. I was just thin enough to be in front.
How did Luxury form?
Luxury formed in college. We all went to a small school in N.E. Georgia and since the town didn’t have much to offer we had to create much of our own entertainment. When I came to school, it was fairly obvious who was into music and who wasn’t. It was in the days when appearances still meant something. Chris Foley and I were Freshmen and he had been in bands for quite a long time. He actually is probably the most legitimate of all of us. Jamey Bozeman and Glenn Black had been in school for a couple of years and were already playing together. Chris’s room-mate, Todd Monroe played drums and they convinced Jamey to come “fool around” and that is just what they did. They started playing together and I hung around. I had a harmonica and maracas and so they asked me to do something which I did. We played with Todd for a while and when that eventually ended we asked Glenn to come play and it was magic.
Recount to us the events that led to the signing of Luxury by Tooth and Nail records.
We played at the impromptu stage at Cornerstone in 1994? And that is where Mr. Ebel saw us. He offered us a deal the next day. We said yes.
Describe for us the recording process for Amazing and Thank You.
Amazing and Thank You was recorded in Nashville with Steve Hindalong and Chris Colbert. We slept on the floor upstairs for a week and recorded late into the night. We couldn’t play to a click track which is why the timing is so off and I had never been very good at tuning a guitar, nor singing in tune for that matter, which is why it sounds rather strained at times. The songs were born in a live setting and they sounded best when they were recorded slightly out of control. Steve was invaluable to the whole process. Mr. Ebel and Matt from Havalina came out and took us all to dinner. Matt took some pictures. It was enjoyable.
After the recording Amazing and Thank You, your band was involved in a terrible auto accident. Can you describe how this accident affected the band, and the eventual writing and recording of The Latest and the Greatest?
The accident was a blessing and unless you’ve been in an accident yourself, you probably wouldn’t understand. It helped us, either directly or indirectly, mature. It kept us from being a band for nearly a year and set the stage for what Luxury would do ultimately which was to never succeed or gain recognition. It changed our course and helped us avoid making a living off of music which I think was the best outcome for us as a band and as individuals. We were able to make music just to make music and that has been the best outcome. The Latest and The Greatest was just the beginning of that. The first half of that record was more of the old Luxury while the second half actually meant something and is indicative of what we’re changing into.
What is the status of Luxury? Are there any planned recordings/concerts coming up in the future?
There are no plans for Luxury. We recorded three songs a year ago that were never released and I would like to get those out somehow, but there no plans.
How did you come up with the idea to do “All things bright and beautiful”? What is the concept behind this project?
All Things Bright and Beautiful just happened as Luxury was beginning to decline. I had been writing songs as usual, but didn’t know what to do with them. I ended up recording them in my laundry room when my children were sleeping and released two “records: that are about what you would expect. Poor quality, mismatched instrumentation, but a seed of inspiration. The All Things songs are quite a bit more intimate in nature and darker, which is why I wanted to give the whole project such a nice name. As far as a concept goes, it’s always changing. What it started out as, it no longer is and what it may become will be quite different than what it is now. I don’t really want to play these songs live. I am still stuck in Luxury’s way of live performance which doesn’t quite fit this. I actually think I may be through with it.
Give us a sneak preview of what to expect with the new ATBB cd coming out soon on Northern records.
The record on Northern should sound very nice. It is an entirely different animal than my earlier recordings. I didn’t actually play anything on the record and that may account for the quality of it all. Lyrically, which I suppose is what All Things Bright and Beautiful is ultimately about, it is sometimes intimate and revealing, sometimes prayerful, sometimes uplifting. Musically, I neglected to put choruses into the songs and so it is completely unsingable. But I think it works. We’ll see.
What cd’s are you listening to right now?
Right now: Daft Punk – Discovery, Radiohead – Hail to the Thief, Bjork – Vespertine, Thelonius Monk – Mysterioso, Danielson Family – Tell Another Joke…, Namelessnumberheadman, The Kills, Larry Norman, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and I want to hear the Justin Timberlake record that my sisters have. I guess there are more.
Which songwriter/band do you find is the most influential in your songwriting/playing?
At this point, I can’t really say. I’ve been writing a long time and it seems to be my own now. I may hear something musically like the new Radiohead and get excited about certain types of chord changes and then I’ll put on Meat is Murder and remember The Smiths in their lyrical prime. It is always combining and separating, making new bonds and creating different flavors of inspiration. I am more uninspired by things than inspired I think.
What is the status of the Cut and Paste Collective?
I’ve never really had anything to do with Cut and Paste. It was Chris Foley and Jamey Bozeman’s thing with Kevin Robinson. There are others as well. Not me.
Any other comments?
No other things. Come see my still life of a web site at www.leebozeman.com and thank you.