ILUKA is a voice and soul of power, passion and empowerment. Her soulful “retro pop” songwriting has taken her to stages all across Australia on her own headline tours, as well as strings of festival appearances, supporting the likes of Killing Heidi, Dan Sultan, Alex Lahey and The Rubens, to name but a few.
Always one to wear her heart on her sleeve and with a message to share, ILUKA kindly gave us some insight into her essential pieces gear she utilizes to help take her already captivating live performances and boost them into the stratosphere.
Would you say your gear integral to your sound?
Absolutely. I play a Gretsch White Falcon that is pretty integral to the ILUKA sound. I use a Boss (TR3) Tremolo pedal and an (Electro Harmonix) Holy Grail reverb pedal, which for me really round off that very distinctive twangy “Gretsch” sound.
I love using my Fender Hot Rod Blues Junior amp too, which I feel gives me guitar sound a warmth that I can’t quite replicate with other amps.
My TC Helicon Play Acoustic is also really integral to the sound of my vocals. I use it for harmonies, vocal delays and loops throughout the set and it really allows me to play with the dynamics of the songs and keeps things interesting.
That’s some great gear you’re using! Has it affected your recording/playing live for the better?
The TC Helicon has definitely affected my playing live, I think for the better! At first, I had to focus a lot on what I was doing with it and it used to throw me out of the feel of the song I was playing. Now, after a lot of practice, I can do it all very smoothly and it has really allowed me to try new things live, and explore the dynamics of the songs.
Any tips you’re willing to share?
I’m quite a purist as a live performer, meaning I need to be able to feel fully immersed in the music and not thinking of a million different things (ie. which pedal needs to come on and what vocal effect needs to be pushed). However, I’ve learnt that the more you practice with all this stuff, the more it does feel very natural and the more you can still be fully present in the music, just with the added bonus of more opportunities to explore new sounds and new ways of doing things. So yeah, practice makes perfect right?!
Absolutely! What was the first piece of musical equipment you ever bought (or came into contact with)?
Since I was probably about 2 or 3, I had a cheap Cordoba nylon string acoustic guitar in the corner of my room. My Dad is also a musician and a guitar enthusiast so I guess he figured that if he just left a guitar in my bedroom, one day I would probably pick it up and start playing it, which I did. Thanks, Dad…
What do you have coming up and what have you done recently that has you excited?
The band and I are releasing our next single “Closer To You” on March 15th followed by a few launch shows! We recorded a bunch of tracks last year with Jack Moffitt which we are pretty dame excited about. I think the “sound” of the tracks are really representative of where my songwriting is at right now and where we are as a band too. It’s always a good feeling putting something out in the world that you’re really proud of and really reflects where you’re at artistically.
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