ldfw3 brand ambassador: giuseppe de lucaBack
Giuseppe De Luca moved to Leeds for simple reasons. “I just wanted to move to Leeds and do as much stuff as I could,” he said. “Live independently for the first time, and just live an artistic life. I wasn’t really looking to be in a band, I wasn’t looking to do music.”
A band called I Call Shotgun changed the music part, and fulfilled – to a point – the artistic part. “I lived in this flat, and it was fucking cold, my window was broken, and I had the best life. I was living the absolute dream.
“ICS was the most fun. Your first band is like your first love, the first band that you do things with that are not just four guys in a basement. And we did some decent things.”
‘Decent things’ perhaps underplays just what ICS managed to do. “We played some festivals in Europe, supported some of my favourite bands, we even had Bez on stage with us. Supporting Friendly Fires was the big one for me – at the time they were the biggest statement in that kind of music.”
ICS never expected to make their statement beyond the cellars of Hyde Park, but by saying yes to every opportunity that came their way, they took their off-kilter take on the basement forms of dubstep to ever stranger places. “We’d get a text about a party, just saying – do you want to play, do you guys want to do this thing?” said Giuseppe. “We’d rock up, set the drums up and just go wild. Then we went to Barcelona.”
ICS were taken to the European Institute of Design to demonstrate the talent and potential that exists in Leeds. “I did the talk at IED and really enjoyed it. Then came the actual gig, and they took us out of our comfort zones because we were all about playing basements, and this was like hotels, champagne, models, so… I think I just said something along the lines of, ‘Hi we’re ICS, we’re from Leeds, Barcelona’s a shithole,’ that totally offended everyone in the audience and it didn’t really go down well. But I think we played all right, so that’s the main thing.”
Giuseppe doesn’t see that step from LS6 to the world as being as big as it might seem. “There are all these people now – Jon Stanley Austin, the photographer, I admire so much, Alt-J are arguably the biggest band in England at the moment, Pulled Apart By Horses are doing great – I just feel like from this tiny little slice of life, from that specific time, so many people are doing so much at the moment, and it can’t be a coincidence.
“It felt great at the time, and it feels like that whole thing has passed out into the rest of the UK. It’s all from students at the university. There’s the Headingley thing going on, and drinks deals and drunk students, but in Leeds Six, you’ve got the next wave of culture for the UK coming out and it never really gets recognised. We’re talking about it now, and that’s great, because we know these people we’re talking about, in 10, 15, 20 years – people are going to know who they are.”
Giuseppe feels like the best is yet to come from Hyde Park – and from himself. “I’ve still got something to do with my music here, something to prove to myself musically. There’s still a little bit of something else that I still need to do. Now is the perfect time to do it. This year I’m going to have two bands with records out, and I’ll be playing in two bands, and I’ll just see where it goes.
“I just want to have fun with that, I don’t care about doing anything with any kind of record deal. I just want it to be the very best it can be, and just have fun with it, and start touring again, having all the fun that comes with that, and doing it with my mates.”
Giuseppe’s other growing passion is for photography, and we’re featuring his pictures as part of LDFW3 online here, and in The City Talking newspaper. “I’ve had three months of being really lazy,” said Giusppe, “But I’ve become obsessed with scenery and surroundings and discovered some real passion this year to step that up a notch.
“I feel like I’m learning constantly. It’s all about advancing how you look at things, and a reminder that you’re living a creative life and seeing things in a different way. That’s how I treat it.
“I’ve got a couple of mates that I introduced to photography, and they’re great at it now, so I’ve got to step it up – I’ve got to show them what I can do. It’s like with music – I still feel I’ve got to show people what I can do.”
Originally published in The City Talking Leeds: Issue 07