Luxury Mane is the brainchild of singer/guitarist Billy Summer, who is joined by Jay Schulte on bass and vocals, and Kyle Lovell on drums. They play self-described "true Floridian psych-pop" - a sound that's slick and polished without being overproduced, with Summer delivering sing-along melodies atop simple but smart chord progressions.
The band will perform at Saturday's Plan B Block Party in Ybor City, taking the stage at 8:50 p.m. at the Market on 7th. Summer dialed us up to talk about the point and meaning of it all.
How long has the band been together?
I don't know, maybe three years. We've been playing together a lot longer than that in the Semis.
Did the Semis evolve into Luxury Mane?
Not on purpose. We had a different bass player, and he just sorta took off. The guys in the Semis somehow knew the Luxury Mane songs. It wasn't intentional.
Are the Semis not as active as they used to be?
Yeah. We don't really play at all. It was basically stuff I write anyway. I had a lot of back-catalog stuff, and I just needed to shake it off, so that it felt fresh to write new stuff from a new perspective. You have these expectations of yourself to write a certain way. I thought maybe it would be healthy to start fresh.
Life is demanding enough; how do you balance being in two or three bands?
I don't know how I do it. I overbook myself because I love to do it so much. It pains me not to play with the Black Honkeys, because the camaraderie between those guys and that girl is unmatchable. It is the experience of playing with your brothers and your sisters. They are all so talented. We're all such great friends, and we just love being together. Another thing that's come from that is I've learned all these chords that I would have never figured out. I've taken them and I've used them to write rock songs. I don't really look at it as work. I look at it as an opportunity.
What influences you?
There's something about leaving something that's worthwhile musically inspires me. I make records like a motherf---er. And it's frustrating, 'cause you wanna get 'em out to the world. You wanna pretend like you're just making it for yourself. But really, in actuality, when you have a product, you don't make 250 of 'em or 500 of 'em or 1,000 of 'em to keep to yourself. There are so many songs we've written. You know a lot of bands come and go around here, and that's really not our situation. We make records, and then we're recording another record. We're constantly writing. I'm driven by the quest to make a classic album.
What's the significance of the name?
I just like the word luxury. You know the name game: we had a million different names; most of them are ridiculous. It's sorta like the lyrics - does it roll off your tongue? Does it fit? Is it musical? Is it fun to say? I'd like to think I could tie in a lot deeper meaning to the songs and the name of the band, but I'm gonna leave that to other people.
Sometimes it's better to let the listener interpret.
It is! I love talking to people about stuff like that - the way they hear the music. I'm like, "Really?" There's probably a lot more there. It's like therapy - nobody really wants to look at it, they just want to talk to the person.
Who knows what your subconscious is delivering as well?
Totally. If it's not your subconscious that's bringing that stuff into existence, then what is it? It's weird.
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Plan B Block Party
With Kishi Bashi (pictured), Those Darlins, Matt Butcher, A.J. Vincent, Sunbears!, The Sh-Booms, People's Blues Of Richmond, Saskatchewan, Day Joy, Swimm, Sons Of Hippies, Will Quinlan, Fay Roy, Ketchy Shuby, Auto?Automatic??, Case Work, Samurai Shotgun, more.
SATURDAY 5 p.m. Various clubs in Ybor City. $15-$20. Visit bmetampa.com for detailed venue, ticket info.
Playing violin solely for the purpose of other another artist's songs can get boring. Just ask Kishi Bashi. The 38-year-old virtuoso has lent his talents to Regina Spektor and Of Montreal, amongst others, but he finally broke out for himself in 2012. The buzz from his solo debut, 151a, was enough to earn him "Best New Artist" designation from NPR, and he's spent the last year and a half backing it all up. In May, he released his sophomore effort, and where 151a hinted at an uber-intelligent, pop-obsessed classical music refugee, his latest affirms it with huge strokes of sophisticated synth (Carry On Phenomenon), sweet new folk poetry (Q&A), and unabashed chamber music grandiose (Once Upon A Lucid Dream). His packed August New World Brewery set feels like it was just yesterday, but he leads the charge for this promising, second-year fest, where Nashville twang-punks Those Darlins play alongside once Florida-based master songsmith Matt Butcher and more than a dozen more of the state and country's best up and comers. - Ray Roa