Jules Galli, the 27-year-old singer of Levara, is not only in a good mood because of the spring weather in his adopted hometown Los Angeles. The self-titled debut album of his band is also cause for joy for him: Because on it the French-born singer together with guitarist Trev Lukather (son of Toto string wizard Steve Lukather) and drummer Josh Devine (ex-One Direction) cultivates a highly polished melodic rock that has what it takes to reach a large mass audience.
eclipsed: Levara are a multinational band. You yourself are from France, Josh Devine is from England and Trev Lukather grew up in Los Angeles. What musical preferences do you have in common?
Jules Galli: That's a good question! What makes us special is the fact that the three of us are very different and have very different musical tastes. Myself, I'm into Michael Jackson, Josh loves heavy rock like Slipknot and Korn, and Trev brings the 80s rock background. The bottom line is that it makes for this larger than life rock sound
eclipsed: Again, this is tailor-made for larger venues or stadiums. In the videos for your first two singles you also present a very poppy image, which seems very fresh to me
Galli: That's exactly what we wanted to do: We just wanted to do something fresh and modern that reflects who we are. I also like to wear black, but where we live it's always sunny, and we're generally happy people. (laughs) For the first video ("Heaven Knows"; notes), we got these flashy suits that we liked. At first it was just supposed to be a lyric video with some visuals, but we had so much fun shooting it that it turned into a real music video
eclipsed: Do you have any other interests you share besides music?
Galli: Physical well-being is important to all of us, with sports and meditation playing a big part. We want to be rock stars, but we want to live long at the same time! (laughs)
I myself am also interested in art and like to go to museums. The artistic aspect also played an important role in composing: when we were writing some songs, we hung a big piece of parchment paper on the wall and wrote our lyrics ideas and some symbols on it with coloured felt pens. In the end, we not only had the song, but also a piece of art. As a kid I loved to draw, and later I studied architecture in New York for a while, though I didn't graduate. In the long run, I'd like to resume those studies, and I'd also like to build my own house someday. Where we live, for example, we built a wooden terrace.
eclipsed: Do you live in the same apartment with your two bandmates?
Galli: That would be nice, but actually I live with some artists - for me this is like an artist's paradise.
eclipsed: I'd be interested to know how you and your bandmates got into music. With Trev it was practically obvious because he is the son of Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, but what about you and Josh?
Galli: When Josh was two or three years old, his father - a singer - put two chopsticks in his hands and he started drumming on pots and pans. He played with bands from a very early age, and at the age of 18 or 19 he joined One Direction. I myself sang as a young child, although I don't come from a musical family - my father is a chef, my mother was a pharmaceutical consultant. When I was five, my dad took me to a concert by Johnny Hallyday, the "French Elvis," and I wanted to be that guy, too. I sat on my dad's shoulders and raised my thumb in Johnny's direction, and he looked at me and did the same thing! Then when I was seven or eight, I started singing lessons. The choir director at my school had heard me and said to me after a rehearsal, "I guess you like to sing? Then talk to your parents, because I also give private singing lessons. I'm sure you'd enjoy that!" I later attended the Lyon Conservatory and took classical singing lessons until I moved to America, which I didn't think was cool as a kid. At the time I was listening to Usher and 50 Cent, and then I'd go to class and I'd have to yodel around like that. (laughs) I had no idea how good those classical pieces were ...
You can find the complete interview as part of our online subscription, see https://www.eclipsed.de/de/abo