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Interviews > Lucy De Ville

Last year, Neighbours: The Perfect Blend introduced you to Lucy De Ville. The band has spent over a year writing and producing their self-titled debut album. We caught up with Marcella, Marisa and Shaun in Melbourne to chat about the album and give us the inside story on what each track means…

The album has taken almost a year for you to complete. What were the reasons for the delays?
Marcella: Because Shaun and Marisa played ‘Row, row, row your boat’ when they should have been working!
Shaun: It took a full year!
Marcella: We had to work round Risk Sound, because they gave us the studio time for free, so we could only work when the studios were available.

There’s more than one musical style on the album. Is that something you thought was vitally important or is it just because you couldn’t decide on a certain genre?
Marcella: It’s just the way it came out. We didn’t write with anything specific in mind, and initially we argued about it being different, but then we decided to keep it.
Marisa: I wanted to do a thrash number, but they wouldn’t let me.
Shaun: As Chel always says, each song is like a jewel. It’s the way you set it that shows it off.

What is your favourite track on the album?
Marisa: It changes depending on what mood I’m in. Could be ‘Beautiful’ or could be ‘Who’s Gonna Tell Her’.
Shaun: I listened to the album for the first time in a couple of weeks today. I still love ‘Love Story’, and ‘Daybreak’, but then I can listen to it and it keeps changing for me.
Marcella: One of my favourite tracks, which we didn’t put on the album because we ran out of time, is a song Shaun wrote called ‘I Like The Way…’. I like them all for different reasons. I’m partial to ‘Trawling For You’ and ‘Daybreak’ because of the strings. I do like ‘Diamonds’ and ‘Love Story’ as well. It’s hard to choose… they’re like your children… you like them all, but maybe secretly you do have a favourite!

Which song do you most enjoy singing?
Marisa: I like singing the ones I don’t sing!
Shaun: Marisa sounds like she enjoys singing ‘Bury Me’ the most.
Marisa: It’s like having your photo taken really close up, then you study it! It’s gorgeous, but there are always flaws.
Shaun: Probably mucking about with ‘Better Than Nothing’. That was fun.
Marcella: ‘I’m Nothing’

How long does it normally take to write a song?
It depends on the song. We usually manage to get the form down quite quickly, but there’ll be the bit you can’t get - the bridge, or the end. It could be a couple of days, a couple of weeks, a couple of months. We write separately, then we pass things through the letter box. Perhaps we should put a hole in the wall instead!

The inlay sleeve is a ‘bored’ game, that tells the story of the ups and downs of Lucy De Ville, where did the idea come from?
Chel came up with the game and rang me very excited. It’s something very different and that’s what Lucy De Ville is about. The sound is very different, and having three lead singers is very different. So it was something eclectic, and… different!
Marcella: Some people say it’s a bit close to the bone, but a lot of it was made up. Most of it is relatively twisted truth. We were going to put little cut outs of our heads for counters!

How long did it take to work out the cover?
Marisa: When you’ve got 3 people with ideas it takes a long time. It took a while, 'cos we didn’t like some photos. It’s quite different from the idea we originally agreed on. It’s what we had to work with, the timeline, the graphics people, and how we translated what we had in our heads.

Track by track... (click on a song title to listen to a sample)

Love Story
Marcella: Love Story was inspired by Shaun’s music. I was coming home from Neighbours and was really depressed about something. The first verse was about that – being sad and going home to Brett, then everything seemed alright again.

Running Back To You
Marcella: It was the third or fourth song we wrote together.
Shaun: This song certainly had a difficult evolution …
Marcella: It came from a different song – it was written on a plane to Adelaide. It was horrible to produce. The producer who was doing it struggled a lot, we had to go away and do something with it – change it.

Shaun: It’s about gender entrapment. It’s about how people get their roles in life, whether man or woman. It’s about just searching for something, and about relationship stuff.

Marcella: Shaun wrote a jazz piece and I liked it.
Shaun: I also had the chorus, which Chel ran with.
Marcella: The lyrics of the first verse came from a night when we went out to see Shaun’s band 21-20 and Brett took me dancing - he hates dancing and I love it. The rest of the lyrics (also inspired by Brett) are about how I liked myself much better when I saw myself through his eyes.

Who's Gonna Tell Her?
Marcella: That was one of the very first songs we wrote together. Shaun had written the lyric ‘Who’s Gonna Tell Her’. It was originally a song about a relationship breaking up, but the lyric Shaun had written inspired me to write about how a relationship breaking up affects you as a parent. It’s about a father trying to work out how he’s gonna tell his little girl he’s not going to be around all the time any more.

Bury Me In Your Arms
Marcella: That was written about a girl I knew who was in love with a guy and he didn’t know it. The idea amused me – the whole projection of a relationship onto somebody without them knowing.

Trawling For You
Marcella: That came from mishearing an Evanescence song I thought it was a great lyric, so I used it.
Marisa: It’s my favourite song, you have to sit and listen to it rather than bopping round the house cleaning to it!

Better Than Nothing
Marcella: It was written about someone I knew who was married, and I thought she’d married for the wrong reasons – that he’s better than nothing. They’re still married - so I was wrong!

Marcella: We wrote this song specifically for Riss. Shaun played us the basic chord structure and hummed this gorgeous melody…
Shaun: It just seemed to all marry perfectly with the poetry of Chel’s lyrics and the sweetness and purity of Risa’s voice.
Marcella: It’s a song about making love in the morning!

Marcella: That’s a song from a jingle Shaun was working on. I just really liked the guitar piece to it. I wrote it on a drive to Neighbours, and there was a pretty sky – I was driving looking at the sky.

I'm Nothing
Marcella: This came from a duet Shaun and I did for a gig at the Beaconsfield Pub. I couldn’t pitch the first line of the harmony, so I left Shaun to sing the song all on his own, because I couldn’t find a place to come back in. I was really depressed afterwards and wrote it, again whilst driving to Neighbours. It was initially a little angsty, but I gave it to Shaun and he gave it a reggae beat and cheered it up.

Both the album and single, 'Looking For A Sign' are currently available for purchase online via CD Baby. Also, it will shortly be available for digital download from iTunes and various other digital distributors. The band are also currently looking into other options for local distribution in the UK and Australia. More details will be added to the new look Lucy De Ville website soon.

Lucy De Ville have very kindly given us a signed copy of the album to give away to one lucky Perfect Blend reader. One runner-up will receive a signed copy of their single, 'Looking For A Sign'.

The competition is now closed and winners have been notified. Their names will appear here shortly.

Interview by Karl and Lucy, with a huge thanks to Kath Momsen. Added on 11th February 2006