It’s 4:30 p.m when Rocco DeLuca strolls into the Paradise Lounge and claims that he has just woken up. He adjusts the fedora resting precariously on his head and takes a seat across the table in the empty booth. The Boston stop is one of the many headlining shows, with folk rockers HoneyHoney as tour support, DeLuca is playing to promote his new album “Mercy” which hit stores March 10.
“(The tour has been) great. Some really great people have been coming out. It’s been exciting to share the new record with people” DeLuca said.
The new record was recorded in California with five-time-Grammy-winning producer Daniel Lanois, who met DeLuca at a folk show he played in L.A.
“He’s a beautiful musician and an exceptional, innovative mind. We decided we were having fun and naturally it became the record ‘Mercy.’ It was pretty organic” said DeLuca of how his relationship with Lanois developed, “We did the record in 18 nights. (The songs) are performance pieces, basically a collection of songs I had written on the road. They are kind of like these mini-vignettes.”
“Mercy” is DeLuca’s follow up to 2006’s “I Trust You to Kill Me,” which sold over 100,000 copies. The debut album was also turned into a behind-the-scenes documentary with the same title. The documentary shows DeLuca’s travels around the world to promote the record with the help of label owners and promoters Jude Cole and Keifer Southerland (“24”). DeLuca spent a total of three years promoting the first album, using his drive to record a second album to get him through all those months on the road.
“I kept myself sane because I imagined the opportunity to make this record, ‘Mercy.’ The thought of getting another chance to make a record the way that I wanted to make it gave me some hope” DeLuca said.
Rolling Stone and Filter magazine have both hailed DeLuca for his unique songwriting ability and instrument style. DeLuca, in a soft spoken voice, explains that he does not really have a process for writing songs “" they just happen naturally.
“I’ll record conversations that I have that I feel might be meaningful. The melodies are (my) dreams. I’ll wake up humming something or something will stick. It’ll be a reoccurring thing and I’ll think, “ËœOkay this needs to be workshedded and wittled down'” DeLuca said.
Despite having been on the road for so long promoting “I Trust You to Kill Me,” DeLuca is excited to be back on tour with the new record.
“I was just excited about the opportunity to share the record with people. Maybe make some contribution that I thought was valid. That was the intention behind this record” he said. “It’s all kind of brand new but I’m hoping its something that we can share with a lot of people.”
DeLuca claims, adjusting the fedora on his head once more, the ultimate goal is not about glory and praise but just to make his music go as far as it possibly can. “I’m going for, for this form to reach its (peak, to try) and push it to its ultimate potential. That’s it.”