We Have Lost Our Way

My music, like most honest writers, is a reflection of my environment and the effect it is having on me.

Steve Lucas of X

Hi Steve and thanks for taking the time to speak with us Musicology.
The passing of time squarely pulls into focus some of the defining bands, albums and songs within any genre and marking the 40th anniversary of X, the influence your music had on the rock / punk scene is clearer than ever. In hindsight how has the band viewed their sphere of influence not just on the punk scene but that of the Australian musical landscape?

How can I say what influence we had, a list of band names? Thinking too much about this kind of thing can kind of give you a false sense of priority. X didn't set out trying to do anything except get from one gig to the next in one piece. I read about bands being influenced by X, I hear about it but what is it worth as the music scene shrinks and fades into obscurity? X was a pub rock band. Without the public bar atmosphere how authentic can it be? Good grief, sounding like a grumpy old man already!

It is interesting mapping the trajectories of some bands to see if and when they break through the stratosphere as with The Saints and Radio Birdman or over time or they simply break up. X with all its upward mobility had some unpredictable but career altering moments. Had X not had the untimely passing of Ian (Krahe) and Steve (Cafiero), did you see yourselves set to push the Australian punk scene to new levels on the international stage?

If you will pardon the obvious pun, yes X did have 'Aspirations'... we wanted to do all manner of things. The problem was fate, luck or just a natural born ability to shoot ourselves in the foot always got in the way. Our first two albums redefined the way people saw the 'industry' and how to work in and around it. We used to ask ourselves why didn't record companies fall over themselves to sign us up but seriously - looking at us collectively... We were maniacs! No-one in their right mind would have wanted to take that on!

There was always an overtly anarchist overtone to your songs and as the world has only gotten more politicised and divided. Do you see your lyrical messages as even more pertinent now than perhaps where they were first written?

I think they were right on the money then and just as much now. The difference is now that voice is needed more than ever before. People these days - they see without seeing. they be without be-ing. There is a malaise that has settled over the population. We've been dulled with the successive and repetitive bombardment of social media pap and non-speak. We hear without hearing and fear without fearing. We are becoming numb. People have to remember that we all actually NEED each other. We have lost our way...

Having meet some many interesting characters and performing with so many artists in your formative years, were there any words of wisdom spoken to you that really resonated with you at the time that altered the way you approached your craft?

Yes, and I pass it on to any that ever ask, “Don't believe the hype. Especially your own.” Lobby Lloyd laid that piece of wisdom on me one night. It changed how I saw everything and everyone.

Can you share with us one particular standout show you performed as X and what made it so memorable?

There are too many. Some because they heralded a great tragedy like that gig at The Bondi Lifesaver, others because of the violence and destruction like the gig at The Bondi Masonic Centre... The first time we closed the Prince Of Wales.. it was so packed. They turned (or tried to) something like 1200 people away cause the place was already so full. Police Divvy vans were hauling away hapless wannabe punters... it was chaos! Rock AND Roll. It was the real thing, being in the eye of the hurricane, so to speak.

Never one to stop, X members have continued to perform in various outfits and in different capacities. Did your time in X in some ways pre determine what your musical future held in install for you?

Yes and no. X could only ever be X. X closed as many doors as they opened. I couldn't write X songs with anyone else... especially not now. But outside of X - apart from the shit that sticks -I'm free to do whatever I want. Writing Top 40 hits or landing songs on prime-time radio is not my inspiration. My music, like most honest writers, is a reflection of my environment and the effect it is having on me.

Some four decades later we are blessed to have X performing again and can tell elaborate a little on what punters can expect during this upcoming tour?

What can they expect? They can expect the best that X's repertoire has to offer. They can expect me to drive and push Doug and Kim beyond the pain barrier. They can expect the very best of what I can deliver personally... but over and above everything else, just like myself, they can expect the unexpected.