At 42, Scott Lucas may be getting older, but he’s not giving up on music. In fact, he’s even more committed.
As half of the Chicago rock duo Local H (“Bound to the Floor”), Lucas evidently found one band’s full slate of touring and recording as not enough, so he struck up a solo project, Scott Lucas and the Married Men, which releases its second album on June 5.
“I was writing these songs, and they totally weren’t Local H songs. It felt totally right for a solo record,” Lucas said. “I love playing and I love to tour; the more I can do, the better.”
The Married Men tracks take on a more Americana-influenced, folk-flavored sound than the grungier one Local H is known for, but the line can be fuzzy, since Lucas always wanted the Local H sound to be ambiguous.
“I’d always wanted Local H to be able to play anything, so it’s not always a clear distinction, at least to listeners. It’s kind of like pornography: You don’t know what it is, but you know when you see it,” he said. “I don’t see myself stopping Local H anytime soon. If I did that, it would mean that I stopped writing Local H records, and that doesn’t happen.”
He’s backed up those words with action. Local H’s seventh studio album, Hallelujah! I’m a Bum, is due this year.
“We had an idea of what it would be pretty early on, and I’m glad we pulled it off. It’s big — double-record big. It’s the biggest thing we’ve tried to do thus far,” Lucas said. “It’ll be interesting to see reactions. The last record was so personal. This record, I wanted to look around at the country and write about that feeling. It’s very of-the-moment.”
Even as Local H celebrates 25 years together, Lucas doesn’t see him and Brian St. Clair slowing down any time soon. So what’s kept them around?
“Bullheadedishness — a sense of always trying to be present,” he said. “It’s never gotten to a point where we looked to rest on past records. We’re always looking forward and trying to do something else. It’s a certain level of commitment that not everyone has. It’s just the way it is.”