By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
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By Julie Seabaugh
But forget questions about legal mumbo-jumbo and number-crunching. What A to Z really wants to know is, has Ludo met Def Jam president and CEO Jay-Z yet?
"No. I hope that happens," says Moog player Tim Convy. "I don't know what it's going to take to seal that deal. Hopefully we'll get to."
The bandmates knew they were signing to Island back in July Convy says they had "been talking to labels forever, narrowing 'em down, getting to know companies, doing our research" but didn't want to jinx any deals by talking about the imminent contract. So why did Island, out of all contenders, emerge victorious?
"Just the people, the overall vibe," Convy says. "They were very up-front about what they could do and couldn't do. It functioned better, it seemed, in terms of communication.
"In general, [the record deal] is just going to get our music to more people. From the first couple weeks we started this band, we had two goals: one was to entertain people without making them dumber, and the second was to get our music to more people. Obviously [by] marketing and promoting it, [Island's] spending money to get it out there. You just have access to different things. They're going to help get us tours, and get the right team around us."
But before that happens, Ludo needs new songs which they've started writing and demoing this summer in locales and studios all over the country (Houston, Kansas City, Nashville, Chicago). Convy says the band basically has 25 songs out there and hopes to be in the studio by the end of the year, with a new record out by next summer. (Dream producers include Ric Ocasek and Gil Norton.)
As for what the fresh tunes are sounding like, it's still early, but Convy is starting to have an inkling about Ludo's future direction.
"If you look at all the stuff we've written, there's definitely stuff that touches on stuff from the first record, that has some of the high-energy stuff, the clever, humorous stuff," he says. "There's the ambitiousness of Broken Bride. There's also songs that wouldn't fit on either of those records at all. By the time the record comes out, who knows what's going to be on there? There's definitely some new directions.
"Whatever record we make next, it's going to be a different record; we're not going to make the same record over again. The record we'll make, I think, we would have made [whether we were] on a label or not."
Ludo's profile in town is understandably going to be lower in the coming months, but local fans can expect the third annual A Very Ludo Christmas show sometime in December. In fact, Convy goes out of his way to give props to the rabid, loyal supporters that helped Ludo's fan base grow.
"Our fans, they're part of the whole thing with us. We're very lucky," he says. "For the most part those people are doing cartwheels [because of the record deal], 'cause they feel they've accomplished something too, the whole Ludo community growing.
"We feel really lucky; we've been a band for three years. It's not a band that played a few shows and got signed and got together and stuff happened. We know our identity; we'll be able to navigate these larger waters and stay true to our music and what we do."
Well, except for one minor thing.
"We've said a couple of times [that] we're not going to change who we are, we're not going to change our music," Convy says. "But as major-label artists, we are going to wear sunglasses more often."