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Tales of Olde, The Best Boston Band You Haven't Heard (Yet)

In our monthly "My Boston" column, frontman Lucas Cortazio talks music and travel on the eve of his band's first EP release

Indie rock fans looking for the next big thing need look no further. Boston's got it: Tales of Olde, a fresh act with rangy appeal and a brand new debut EP, featuring the single "Why." We sat down for a chat with frontman Lucas Cortazio about music, travel and more.   

Tales of Olde is about to launch its debut EP. That’s exciting!

It’s very exciting! It is fan-funded. Over 200 of our fans went online and pledged to make the EP a reality, which is super cool. We haven’t been around for that long, so to have 200 people back you up at an early stage is truly awesome. We were funded in January, and then went to New York and recorded five songs in two days, which was pretty hectic. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else doing that. Afterwards, our bass player-slash-producer Jeff worked the mixes. He’s [just] graduated from Berklee with an MPE degree, which is music, production and engineering. We worked on the mixes and then we sent everything down to Richard Dodd down in Nashville for mastering. We have hard copies right now. On May 28th at Great Scott in Allston we will be releasing this thing to the public. It’s going to be a hell of a night. I can’t wait.

You must have a fairly loyal fan base for them to fully fund a first-time project. That seems unique.

When we went into it, we did it for 50 days, and it was the toughest 50 days I have ever gone through. Just the anxiety of are we gonna make it. We decided to go with the pledge and trusted some of our fans to step up and back us up.

Although Tales of Olde is a Boston-based band, its six musicians are from a mish-mash of places. How did you end up here?

Evelyn and I are from Brazil, though we met and started dating here in Boston. Drew is from Texas, Ellen is from Tennessee, Jeff is from California, and Al is from Chicago. They came to Boston to go to school at Berklee, and the six of us actually met at a church community in the Back Bay. Small, I guess, compared to other church communities, and a different church community than most of us were accustomed to growing up. It’s called Reunion Christian Church. We met there and started playing music there together about three years ago. Last year, we began kicking around the idea of doing something outside of the church musically, like a project, and we decided to give it a try. 

What’s the inspiration behind your name? 

We came up with a name that represents what we are all about, which is storytelling. We all tell stories and we are brought together by not only our own stories but by the stories of those before, our parents, and our nation, and this world. We are in the middle of it. We started out as a folk band, but because of the different backgrounds of music that we have—which varies from Celtic, folk, to '80s rock, classic rock, to Brazilian popular music, funk, and R&B—we write songs that are all over the map. I think the closest genre is indie rock, but we say all the time that we hope that we are not labeled by just one genre of music. We play music, and at the end of the day we hope people enjoy the music that we play.

Being from Brazil, what were your first impressions of Boston?

I loved Boston from the get-go. It is a place where there is a ton of smart people. What I love about Boston, and I learned it at the early stages here, is that it is a diverse place with people from all over living together. I can’t say the same about most of the other places I’ve been to in this world. I know it has its glitches, it’s not perfect, but at the end of the day you have people from all over the world, with different backgrounds and at different stages of life living together in this wonderful city that we call home.

When you and the band is not performing, where do you go to see live music?

We love The Sinclair, it’s one of my favorite places right now. The Royale is pretty great venue as well. Great Scott, Red Room, and then some of the big ones, House of Blues. We haven’t played there yet, but hopefully we get too soon. I’ve got to say, one of the best experiences we’ve had, my wife and I at least, is attending Boston Calling for the first time, in May last year. It was pretty stinking awesome.

Do you write all your own material?

Right now, because we are not doing this full time yet, I tend to bring skeletons of songs to the band, and we each add to that skeleton. We end up creating a piece of art from those skeletons that I write. It’s pretty cool to see what’s happening right now with our sound and where we are going.

Any plans to head out on tour?

Hopefully sometime in the fall. We are releasing the EP and it goes on iTunes to be released June 3. Jeff and Drew are still in school this summer, so they’ll be done in August. After August, all bets are off. We’ll see what happens.

What's on your travel playlist?

All sorts of different stuff, indie, folk, rock, pop tunes: Andrew Bird, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire. There’s so much good stuff out there right now. Band of Horses. Anything that’s on that indie rock and indie folk realm. I’m a big U2 fan. Johnny Cash. Some of that old music is pretty cool as well. It’s kind of what shapes a lot of who we are. Michael Jackson. My kid loves listening to Michael Jackson.

If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would that be?

Oh gosh, someplace warm. Southern California, maybe? No, a beach in Greece.

Lucas Cortazio of Tales of Olde planned his own perfect day in Boston trip itinerary. Follow it on your next visit.