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Looking for Lucas works through delay, releases debut EP

For the modern-day musician, a band name that’s tough to find when searching online is a problem that can’t be taken lightly.

Johnny Lucas was all set to release High Wire, his rock group’s debut EP, in mid-August. But a few weeks prior, his management decided to revamp the project due to what was described as search issues — i.e., the frontman’s surname wasn’t exactly standing out on the internet.

“We were called Lucas for a while,” says the singer-guitarist, and under that moniker, the band released a few singles. “But we were struggling because nobody could find us [online]. You’d type in ‘Lucas’ and a million and one things would come up.”

He adds, “We had a meeting about it, and we [started to say], ‘Everyone is looking for Lucas, but nobody can find us.’ Then I said, ‘Well, what if we just change it to Looking for Lucas?’ There was a silence in the room, and then [the consensus was], ‘That’s actually a good name.’ ”

Produced by former Cage the Elephant guitarist Lincoln Parish, Looking for Lucas’ High Wire finally arrived in mid-November via Ten Ten Music. “Got It Together,” one of the EP’s five tracks, was written during a previous setback for Johnny Lucas: dealing with the red tape related to his move from England to Nashville, Tennessee.

“Whoever was reviewing my papers must have had a bad day at the office,” he says. “It just kept getting delayed. I was at home in the U.K. thinking, ‘I can’t really take on any gigs in England or Europe because as soon as I get my visa, I’m on a plane to Nashville.’ ”

As a constructive way to deal with the five-month delay, Lucas wrote a lot of songs and delved into production using Logic Pro X. “It was quite a healthy exercise to do, to let go of what the outcome was going to be. … There was nothing else I could do during that time except create music.”

Lucas arrived in Nashville in late 2016, and much of what he knew about the city’s rock community came by watching the third episode of the Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways documentary miniseries. He stayed with a friend for a while who showed him the lay of the land, and within a week, Lucas says he knew Nashville was the right place for him to be.

“The intensity of the music and the way people do it here, they’re completely all-in,” he says. “You can come here and make music your whole life.”

Lucas says he and his American bandmates already have 12 songs recorded for a forthcoming release, and the singer would like the first of them to come out by February — to maintain momentum, or as he puts it, “to keep pouring petrol on the fire.”

— By Chris M. Junior

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