Hi! What are your names?
Max: Hi, I’m Max and this is my sister, Esmay. We both have the family name Luck, so we go by Max and Esmay Luck.
And what is the name of your duo?
Esmay: The Luck
How did you come up with the name?
Esmay: We were up in Scotland on a family holiday visiting some distilleries (big fans of Scottish whisky!). We had just decided to become a duo and writing some songs for our first EP. We realised we’d need a band name and brainstormed a list of random, fairly unsuitable names and couldn’t agree on any of them!
Max: Haha, oh yeh, names like ‘The Atomic Crayons’… Wiaow! So we’re both sat in the back of the car driving through Skye, acting like 5 year olds again when our Mum turned around in the front seat and said, “Oi, just call yourselves ‘The Luck’ and let’s be done with this.” *Sudden silence in the car* and we both said, “Yeh alright, that works”. And that was that!
So, how would you describe your genre of music?
Max: We’re probably best described as UK Americana / Country. There’s a bit of folk and singer-songwriter and rock in there too, but most people have called us that!
Esmay: How about, UK Nu-Country Americana indie folky singersongwriter-y-rock-ness?
Give us a little background about yourselves.
Esmay: We grew up as siblings listening to the same bands, going to gigs together and sharing new songs with each other. We both went to uni (at different times though – Max is four years older) and ended up pursuing different careers until 8 years ago when we’d both reached a turning point in our lives. We were individually searching for something that made us feel happy and fulfilled. We wrote our first song together and it seemed to answer what we had both been looking for… Max had been a solo artist for just over a year and started sending me songs for feedback, so one day we tried actually sitting down together and we ended up writing our first full collaboration song, ‘Bricks’. Our friend came out of his room and said ‘guys, those harmonies are amazing, I just got goosebumps – through the wall!’, so we recorded the song and formed as a duo!
What made you go in to music?
Max: We had both studied music separately when we were kids – but it was writing music that we really enjoyed… and the reaction to that first song ‘Bricks’ inspired us to pursue it as a career. People seemed to really enjoy it when they saw us perform, so we decided to write and record more songs.
You released your new single, ‘ If This Is Love’ – tell us more about the single.
Max: It was a reassurance song about a break up – how if things are really meant to work out, you’ll eventually end up with that person and all the heartache will be worth it. It was our first co-write in Los Angeles, with two other siblings we had been introduced to… Esmay was going through a tough break-up and we started jamming and the song took flight.
Describe the track in two words.
Esmay: Someone called it “delicately brave” and we loved it, so let’s go with that!
What was the writing process like?
Max: Cathartic, definitely for Esmay. She turned to me after the session as we were driving back home in our Prius and said she felt like a weight had been lifted from her heart – it helped her process everything she was going through. For me it was really interesting to write with two other siblings – there was an amazing energy in the room and it felt… magical. Plus I tuned my guitar to DADGAD which set a rootsy tone for the session.
What was the recording process like?
Esmay: It was amaaaazing! Paul took us in to the Igloo Studios in Burbank, where La La Land and Birdman had recently been recorded, and we started working with an incredible engineer there called Jay Marcovitz, who helped steer the recording process with Paul to get towards the sound on the record. We also had our parents and a close friend sing some backing vocals on it too – that was particularly fun to get them involved!
Will we see a EP or album this year?
Max: Our debut album, ‘Ready to Run’ is going to be released this summer. And we’re in the process of getting vinyls made – we’re particularly excited about that, really chuffed!
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?
Esmay: Yes, we’ve just confirmed a show at Thousand Island (in Highbury Corner) in London on ! That’s gonna be a really good one. We’ll also be playing some great festivals around the UK this summer, including ‘Pub in the Park’ in Marlow supporting David Gray, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and then in London supporting Gabrielle and Razorlight, the River Cottage festival and the British Country Music festival. More dates are being added at the moment too – all are going up on our website:
Max: We’re also planning an Autumn ’19 tour – looking forward to that!
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Max: Absolutely, we love collaborating – we’ve played alongside Jake Morrell, Two Ways Home, Nicolah and some other great artists as part of our ‘Ventura Nights’ evenings – it’s an event we host that showcases other Country/Americana acts. We have bands to play and tend to collaborate on a few songs at the end. We host it online at our channel on Twitch TV – and are always looking for great bands to showcase.
Esmay: Yep, and we love writing with other people as well!
Who are your influences?
Esmay: We are big fans of Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and The Cranberries.
Max: And at the moment we can’t get enough of Kurt Vile and The War On Drugs. Loving Sam Fender too, what a don.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Max: Inspiration can arrive in so many forms, sometimes it will be a personal experience, or the experience of a friend or loved one. Sometimes it could be that you see a film or even hear a song and it inspires another song.
Esmay: I write down titles and things I hear on the tube – or out and about – as I come across them and often they’ll come to mind as I’m playing guitar or jamming. Melodies come out of nowhere as well – on the bus or just as I’m falling asleep. Thank goodness for the voice memos app! I record all the good ones on there and revisit them when I have my guitar.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Max: Esmay paints, draws and does illustrations. We both cook, or at least try to! Esmay’s a good cook actually, she’s got a few recipes up her sleeve… we also love discovering great new places to eat.
Esmay: Haha, yep we do. And we read, watch films, go to galleries. Travel is also great for inspiration. And we get to see a lot of fun places and meet new people when we’re on tour, in-between the music bits.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given and what advice would you give to aspiring artists out there?
Max: Nothing gives you a better chance of success than putting in the work. As a musician, singer-songwriter, an artist releasing music, you need to write songs, be open to writing with others, hone your craft, learn covers and make them your own, train your voice/instrument and also, socialise with other musicians and people in the industry. Be on time and prepared.
Esmay: Absolutely agree. Also just getting out there and playing your songs as much as possible to develop your performance experience – busking is great for that! As is playing online concerts on Twitch.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Esmay: Be gracious. It doesn’t cost you anything to be kind and say your please and thank yous.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Max: London is our hometown and wow, there are so many options. Something about the history of Soho stands out though, lots of fun bars and restaurants too and you can walk from there to so many central places.
Esmay: Yeah, love Soho! And in terms of sight seeing – we just went over to the Tower of London to do a bit of an ‘IRL’ stream on our Twitch channel, showing our viewers a bit of London, and it is a really fascinating place to experience. If you’re into history and architecture, it’s a must see. Plus you can hop on a river boat after and have a drink as you cruise down the Thames!
Also for foodies – Borough Market!
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
Home. Good to go home and have a cuppa.
2/ Who do you see first?
3/What do you eat first?
Haha, home cooked food. Nothing compares to Mum and Dad’s cooking!!!
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Max: Haha, ok so… A smile, instruments, cables/power supplies and pedal boards. Oh and a good pint of beer for me!
Esmay: And vocal inhalers! Especially on a long tour, they really help. A set list is also super handy.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Esmay: Yes. Our handle is @theluckmusic on all platforms. We have links to all socials on our website