[Ed. Note: Due to a technical glitch, the audio from this interview was unavailable at the time of publication. As such, this is a narrative reiteration of the interview, without any direct quotes from Tony, but recalled to the best of my ability and verified by reliable sources. Management apologizes for the error and the recording device in question has been sternly disciplined.]
It’s not hard to see how Team Adam’s Tony Lucca advanced to become Adam Levine’s finalist (and, some say, the man who should have won it all): he’s one of the hardest-working folks in the music business, and one of the most down-to-earth as well. I recently caught up with Tony backstage before his performance at The Grove to chat about his “Chapter Two” tour, other plans in his future and post-show celebrity.
Like many of the show’s artists, Tony has been busy writing new music, both here in Los Angeles and in Nashville. You may have seen him in the studio with Team Adam’s Nicolle Galyon, for example. It’s quite an accomplishment for Tony to break into Nashville, given how serious a music town that is! He also played at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month, on the same night as The Bacon Brothers and Season 1′s Frenchie Davis. We’ve seen him sing the National Anthem at the Sprint All-Star NASCAR race (amusingly where coach Blake Shelton was performing later). He’s working on quite a few exciting things, but can’t let us in on the good buzz just yet as the ink has yet to dry, so stay tuned…but know that he’s got a great future ahead of him!
The future also has a little more definition for him than it used to. Tony knows he tapped into something special when he teamed with Adam Levine for songs like “Baby One More Time” and “99 Problems,” and he told me that he can use that as an example when people ask what he has in mind for the direction he wants to go musically. He’s done the singer-songwriter thing for awhile and now he’s flexing his muscles a little bit more (dare I say “badass,” even). He loves playing those songs as much as you love hearing them!
Tony helped me answer one of your most burning questions: will there be a Season 2 Voice tour? It looks unlikely. He’s heard the same thing that Katrina Parker told me a few months ago – that if NBC chooses to do a tour, it will likely be the Top 4 from Season 2 and the Top 4 from the upcoming Season 3, and take place in early 2013. However, he pointed out something that might be a sticking point: the folks from Season 2 are no longer under contract with NBC. What this means is that it would be up to them – and contingent on whether they could negotiate deals – as to whether they’d appear on any future tour. He did say, however, that’d he’d be up for it if he was available.
However, Tony’s upcoming “Chapter Two” tour reads something like a Voice reunion tour, as he’s recruited plenty of folks from the show family to join him at various tour stops. His teammate Chris Cauley will be with him in Atlanta, and you’ll see Team Blake’s Brian Fuente in Nashville and an appearance from Jordis Unga (with whom Tony brilliantly sang “Go Your Own Way” in the Voice finale) in the future. Us West Coast folks get quite a few dates with both Tony and Team Cee Lo’s Justin Hopkins. The latter shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as Tony and Justin go way back, having both been part of the house band at Last Call with Carson Daly alongside Joe Firstman. Click here to see all of Tony’s upcoming tour dates and click here for VIP ticket options in select cities.
In conjunction with that tour, he and his management team are running a super-cool contest called “Under The Influence,” where fans can submit YouTube videos of them singing their favorite Tony Lucca song. Tony himself will then pick his Top 10 before those videos will be judged by the fans, who will choose the ultimate winner.
One of the things I appreciate most about Tony is that he’s an example to all of us of what life as a musician really is. With all these music competition shows, it’s easy for those of us who aren’t familiar to think that you appear on TV and then become a superstar. That couldn’t be further from the truth; it takes heart and a lot of effort. Tony has been doing things the right way for a long time before The Voice came into his life, and just because he was the third-place finisher doesn’t mean he’s letting himself coast – he’s working just as hard today as he was before the show. Yet that doesn’t mean he’s not grateful: he told me things are already better since the end of the show, and now he aspires to continued success…the kind where people someday might be surprised to learn he was ever on a reality show. (See: Kelly Clarkson and Miranda Lambert to name a pair.)
While there’s been a definite dose of fame (such as an increase in public recognition for not just him but also his family) Tony hasn’t let that change him. He’s still a devoted husband and father who misses his family, especially as his kids are getting older, but that at least his frequent traveling now feels more purposeful as opposed to hoping for the best. And he’s still focused on making things better not just for himself but for others: he’s launching a non-profit organization called The MILE (Music Is Love Exchange), which gives touring musicians a financial helping hand so that they can afford to do things like spend an extra day on their tour to visit a children’s hospital or perform other charity work. It’s a worthy cause for sure, and I’ll bring you more information on that as I have it.
And he’s still one of the hardest-working guys out there: after playing in Los Angeles Wednesday night and getting offstage just before 9 PM, Tony caught a red-eye flight out of town and will be across the country in Chicago for another show today! If it were mathematically possible, this is a man who gives 110%.
Be sure you’re keeping up with Tony on Twitter at @luccadoes and online at TonyLucca.com. For more info on Tony’s “Under The Influence” contest, here’s a handy infographic: