Team Adam’s Tony Lucca recently visited San Diego’s Anthology as part of his “Chapter Two” tour, and sat down with me before showtime to discuss his new deal with Adam Levine’s 222 Records and his plans for the immediate future.
There’s a certain something that sets Tony apart from the legion of singing-competition hopefuls or even the alumni who have been on The Voice, and it’s not his star-studded backstory, although that’s certainly made him wiser to the gains and pitfalls that come with television exposure. It’s that he works hard and handles everything with class. For Tony, it’s not about who he knew, where he placed on The Voice or anything else other than the music. When I arrive at Anthology, he’s in the middle of assembling equipment for that night’s show – and still takes a moment to greet me and double-check that he has the appropriate interview time. He’s firmly down to earth, in addition to being remarkably talented.
The ink has only recently dried on his new record deal, which once again pairs him with his coach – an idea that both of them are enthusiastic about. “Once it was decided that Universal wasn’t going to move forward with some type of project with me and we were in the clear, [Adam] wasted no time. He’s like, ‘We will sign you.’ He was confident enough to go ahead during the blind auditions and shout it out and kind of caught us all off guard,” Tony said with a laugh, explaining how it all came together and what it means for the future. “We’re not going to get anything put together and put out by the end of this year. The idea is to kind of move quickly on it, to make something, whether it’s a single or an EP, for early 2013 opportunities.”
He and his management team at Rock Ridge Music are also moving full speed ahead with their charitable organization, The M.I.L.E. (Music Is Love Exchange), which he mentioned in our previous interview back in July. They’re about “empowering musicians to do charitable things in their community and on the road. M.I.L.E. will provide tour support budgets to artists, work with them to create interest in and visibility for our cause, and to perform for under-served or sick children – giving back to the communities that they live in and tour through.” You can find out more information about The M.I.L.E. and get involved by clicking here.
Right now, Tony is just shy of halfway through the thirty dates on his “Chapter Two” tour, which he describes as “basically a bit of a victory lap from The Voice, to kind of get out and thank fans and introduce new fans to some of the older stuff.” Fittingly, he’s been backed by a number of fellow alumni from season two, including Justin Hopkins on several West Coast dates, Jordis Unga in Minneapolis, and Chris Cauley will join the show in Atlanta.
It’s an enviable roster of talent if you’re a Voice fan, and Tony knows he’s pulled together a strong group to support him. Of Justin, his partner for the show in San Diego, Tony said, “He’s a great, great hang. One of the most enjoyable people I’ve had the pleasure of hanging with in recent years and kind of just the spark plug that we needed” going into the West Coast leg of the tour. He also complimented Gabe Dixon, who played with him on several other dates: “He’s phenomenal and a sweetheart, super-talented, a lot of fun.”
The “Chapter Two” tour balances the songs that television viewers associate Tony with from The Voice with the original material they might not have sought out yet. “We’re incorporating a good deal of the songs from the show and that’s a lot of fun,” Tony explained. “There’s certain songs that we don’t feel compelled to do, [like] ‘Beautiful Day’, though I think we’re going to do it down in Atlanta when Chris joins the show that night. We had Jordis join us in Minneapolis and we did ‘Go Your Own Way’ – that was a lot of fun. But the Britney and the ‘How You Like Me Now’ and ‘Trouble,’ those are easy songs to do.”
Incorporating most of his Voice catalog is a change of pace for Tony, who hasn’t previously made a habit of singing other people’s songs. “I’ve never really been the covers guy, and now I am,” he says with a laugh, but he knows that it’s “just from the nature of the show, for now. I do obviously look forward to a new batch of tunes. We’re actually introducing two new songs [on tour] that I hope will make the record.”
Aside from some time with his family for the holidays, Tony won’t be slowing down through the rest of the year. “We tour into the second week of November [and] I’ve got some more one-off dates through the holidays. If we move really quickly on the recording process I could be out in LA,” he said, adding that any West Coast trip might involve a return to The Voice stage: “I think I’ll be coming out to LA for the finals of Season 3. They’ve got us slated for that.”
While he’s appreciated the experience of The Voice and everything it’s allowed him to do, Tony isn’t relying on that to carry him. Having been in the TV spotlight before, he knows that television fame is temporary and what truly matters is what he does next. “The initial objective [of being on the show] was to hopefully garner some additional exposure, and mission accomplished. The tour’s been really successful. It’s had the desired effect,” he says.
“But moving forward, more importantly, creatively what we tapped into on the show has got me very, very motivated and excited for the next record – to get back into the studio and work with some great people and make a great record. Whatever happens from here on out, it’s all new. It’s new ground, and it’s going to be a larger version of the Tony Lucca brand.”
On stage at Anthology (view photos from the show), Tony quips that what he really wants is a book deal. It gets laughs from the room, but it’s actually not that bad of an idea. His would be a story worth reading: a talented artist, devoted family man, and honest in every circumstance, more musicians should be like Tony Lucca.