Sad About Girls | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney

Though the name of the band Sad About Girls may seem like their music is full of sad tunes. I'm here to assure you that they're not! Their songs will make you feel good by the time you start listening to them! This band is another excellent example of power pop at its finest! Their latest EP, "Sad to Go", will be stuck in your head for days! Let's talk to the band and find more

Hey Tom Lucas and Bob Perry! First of all, congrats on your latest EP! It's absolutely fantastic! Tell us a bit about how the band was formed and how Bob got involved with being a part of this EP as a producer and a musician.

Tom: First of all, thanks for the kind words and for giving us the space to talk about our EP! Sad About Girls has been my studio project and vehicle for songwriting and production since 2015 or so. It's made up of a small group of my favorite musicians and singers I've met over the years. We occasionally play live, but coordinating it is sometimes a challenge since we've got people in Jersey, Long Island, Pennsylvania, and Boston-but I hope to scale that up this year.

I met Bob through mutual musician friends, and it turns out that we have moved in overlapping circles for a while now. He's an amazing singer, songwriter, musician, and producer with a lot of experience from his days in Winter Hours on forward. We always talked about working together, and I thought this latest batch of songs would be a good opportunity for me to just focus on being the artist and not worry about vocal performances, mixing, or producing. He has a great touch and served the songs really well. I feel fortunate that he was willing to collaborate on this project.

Bob: As Tom said, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us about the EP and for your kind words. I first became aware of Tom Lucas and his Sad About Girls project through my friends Scott Anthony and Rebecca Turner. They thought we had similar sensibilities in music making, and some time after that Tom and I became friends on the F-Book. I really connected with many of Tom's posts, not only about music, but about life in general, relationships, and the constant internal struggle about one's own creativity. Am I good enough etc.? I suffered from many of the same feelings and felt a strong connection with him before we ever met in person. Sometime during the early pandemic I started working on what would become "A World Like This" an album I released on Bandcamp. The first song I recorded was a co-write with Edward Rogers called "Broken Sides." I asked a few of my friends to sing gang vocals on the chorus. Tom agreed and that was the first project we worked on. After that Tom asked me to play guitar on "Temporary Man", a great song on his "Queenie My Dear" EP. We traded tracks back and forth and I was thrilled that he liked what I contributed! We became fast friends and confidants providing encouragement and critique on each other's works in progress. Eventually Tom asked if I would be interested in working with him on what would become "Sad to Go." Hell yes! I suggested he take off his engineer/producer hat and come to my studio (Chrometop) to record vocals for some of the tunes. As we progressed through the tracks he started to leave a lot of the mixing and production decisions up to me. One of my favorite songs on the EP is "No Peace in Sleep." Tom really stepped out of his comfort zone on this one and Rich Feredin's guitar work is perfect. Tom is a great engineer and surrounds himself with great musicians at his "Laughing Boy" studio. The rhythm tracks he records are always solid and a lot of that has to do with Edward Iglewski, who plays bass on most of the "Sad About Girls" discography. I'm so honored to work with Tom and I have a feeling there will be more projects in the future. Right Tom?

The band name comes from an obscure Elvis Costello song. What was it about the tune that said to you, "Hey this would be a great name for a band!"?

Tom: I was desperate to find a name for the band/project. You know how it feels like all the band names either don't have the "it" factor, are too clunky, or already taken? For some reason, Elvis Costello kept popping into my mind, but I didn't want to reference one of his bigger hits. I gravitated toward the name "Sad About Girls"- it just encapsulated the mood and sense of loss I felt my songs had. And when I Googled it to see if any other bands had adopted it, I discovered that they hadn't-so I guess it was an equally practical choice!

Your influences vary from The Beatles to The Who amongst many others. Who were some other artists that you listened to growing up?

Tom: Well, my biggest influence growing up was Marshall Crenshaw. He's still a big hero to me, and I continue to catch his live shows whenever I can. There was something about his singing and songwriting that resonated with me, not to mention the fact that he's a very underrated guitar player. I think a lot of my guitar-playing channels him. A few people have made compared me to him, and that's something I'll gladly take. And it might not sound like it, but Paul Weller was a big influence on me, and I am still a big fan of The Jam. Back in the day, I would shop for mod style clothes and try to do my hair like his, but you can imagine how that went! The Jam was actually the gateway for exposing me to The Who-so they're very important to me. Another band I have to mention is NRBQ. I loved the range of their music repertoire and they are still the best live band I've seen to date.

The first track, "No Peace in Sleep", is a track that sounds otherworldly. From the lyrics, this song seems to be about escaping from the world one lives in and everything. Also, were the lyrics related to something you personally went through at one point in life?

Tom: I co-wrote this set of songs with my dear friend Rob O'Connor, whom I've known for 30 years. He's a fantastic music writer who founded an underground fanzine called Throat Culture, and has written for Rolling Stone and Spin as well. He wrote most of the words, and I wrote the music, but of course, we had conversations about the lyrics, and this one means exactly what you think it does. It's about that point in the night when all your fears and pain flood in, and you can't escape it, though you want to. The band had a lot of fun recording it, and I can't say enough about what everyone brought to the table: Tommy Devito's drumming, Ed Iglewski's bass playing, and Rich Feridun's Eno-ish guitarscapes. And of course, Bob added some sweet Ebow guitar and low-end bass notes that add to its haunting, somewhat crazed feel. It was a bit of a departure for me, stylistically. It called for some grit in my voice, which isn't my normal style, but I let the words wash over me and bring the pain and desperation to life.

"How Right You Are" gives me a bit of Allman Brothers and overall Americana vibes. With great harmonies and lyrics, the track is very well arranged. What did you write these lyrics about?

Tom: The song is about a person from humble beginnings who tries to make their way in the world and prove that they are worthy. The arrangement was all Bob; he talked about approaching it from a 70's perspective, like the Faces-but I can totally hear that Americana vibe as well. The solid, inspired performances from Tommy Devito and Ed Iglewski set the stage, and a fantastic keyboard track from Dave Lieb ties it all together. The vocal recording was fun. We did them up at Bob's studio and it took just a couple of takes. Bob'a feedback was helpful, so we got a good take pretty quickly. It was a departure for me, since I usually record vocals by myself in the studio. I'm strangely shy about my singing and prefer to do it alone, kind of like a cat giving birth to kittens under a porch! And of course, Bob's tasteful guitar playing really shines here-it's just beautifully placed. He has great tones and knocked it out of the park. His wife Stephanie Seymour arranged and sang the backing vocals. It's easy when everyone is so talented.

"Expect to Lose" is a prime example of a perfect power pop tune! When I listened to it for the first time, it honestly reminded me of The Knack and the Gin Blossoms! This song has been featured on many different radio stations and playlists. This song seems to be related to being in love with someone and yet didn't work out. Furthermore, as the song suggests, the perspective of the person who you're singing about is asking the other "What do you expect to lose?". Did you ever know someone growing up that was like who you wrote about in this tune?

Tom: It's funny you picked up on the Gin Blossoms vibe, it's a little bit of a love letter to them sonically, but I think what makes it our own is Dave Anthony's drumming. I'd describe it as a sort of controlled chaos-which truly elevates the song. I know I was tapping into the manic energy as I was singing the track! I can't say enough about Ed Iglewski's bass playing. I've known him for over 20 years, and he's been the constant in Sad About Girls. He's the anchor who gives us our groove and sound. Drummers love playing with him. Bob, as usual, played some superb guitar on this. His solo is just perfect for this song. He's like Elliot Easton from The Cars, making mini compositions out of his solos. And yeah, this is a breakup song that is loosely based on breakups that both Rob and I went through back in the day-so there's a bit of truth in the fiction.

"We Didn't Do Anything Last Year" such a bop! This song feels like it could have been written post pandemic. Does this song have any inspiration from the year 2020 mixed with some other subject line?

Tom: It does, doesn't it? Interestingly enough, it was written before COVID, but it certainly fits. It's about that heavy feeling of inertia that rolls in and sets up camp when we get too comfortable in our ways. It's about stagnating in the path of least resistance due to fear or whatever. It puts us into a type of Hell-but it's a Hell that we know.

I love this song because I can credit my good friend Jansen Press with all of the interesting guitar work. On a side note, I'd like to point out that I do play a bunch of guitar parts on this EP, but the leads and interesting stuff can be credited to other musicians (LOL)! What's great about this track is that it's a Transatlantic collaboration. Jansen lives in France, so I was able to send him tracks to overdub on-got to love technology! This track features one of my favorite vocal performances, with beautiful backing vocals from Erica Cohn and Dave Lieb (who also played the toy piano at the end). Also, kudos to Tommy Devito, who helped shape the arrangement. Keen listeners may notice that the bridge was borrowed from the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Once you know that, it's pretty hard to unhear!

"Another Girl" is such a great way to end the EP. Once again, the song is very well arranged from the harmonies to the instrumentation. From what I can gather from the lyrics, it seems to be a tune about a girl that you didn't really need to know at all although she gave you a good time. What is the meaning behind the song and have you ever known a girl like the one you sing about here?

Tom: "Another Girl" is about someone who basks in attention, but ultimately keeps everyone at bay, harboring disdain for those who pursue them. It's a song about the frustration of wanting to connect with someone who's ultimately not interested. It's also my attempt to write something in the vein of Matthew Sweet. I do that a lot. I'm such a fan of music, if I get into a song, I reverse engineer it to create my photo-negative version. The end product sounds like me, but there's usually a spark of a song I like that serves as a sonic blueprint. Bob played some solid guitar on this; it elevated the song. I'm particularly proud of the backing vocals on this track. It's all me, and I had to brainstorm and channel to find the parts that worked.

I feel it's also worth mentioning your latest double single entitled "One Kiss", which sounds fantastic! People should certainly check out those songs as well as your new EP! Do you plan on doing another EP or even a full length album anytime in the future?

Tom: I have 10 releases on Bandcamp. Please check my music at Music | Sad About Girls (https://sadaboutgirls1.bandcamp.com). We're also on all the streaming platforms. I have so much music in the pipeline, so you can expect more music coming out in the near future. That's both a promise and a threat!

Though you play on a semi regular basis, do you have any live shows planned in future?

Tom: I have two coming up: I have a solo show on June 16th at the Edenville General Store in Warwick, NY at 2:30 pm. And Sad About Girls is sharing a bill with the Elgin Marbles on July 28th at 647 Grand St Brooklyn, time still being determined. That should be fun with the full band!

Is there anything you would like to share with our readers?

Tom: Just that we appreciate the support from people. It's always amazing to me that something that starts in my head gets written and recorded and it resonates with people from all over the world. We're very grateful for that.





Artist Bio:
Sad About Girls is a New Jersey based power pop band fronted by singer songwriter Tom Lucas. Lucas has been an active member on the local NJ/NYC scene for many years.


About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on all platforms.





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