It can be particularly difficult to break out in the music industry when you are constantly competing with international acts as well as more renowned homegrown acts. But, sometimes, all it takes is a bit more creativity and the right collaborators to create something different that stands out from the crowd.
When we were first introduced to Good Luck Chuck, we had expected to find another one of those group acts with a similar local band sound, but contrary to our belief, what we heard instead, was an interesting mix of seemingly experimental tracks that were strangely catchy and easy to listen to — this coming from someone like me, who prefers K-pop to any other tracks in English.
As Good Luck Chuck is fairly new to the local music scene, not a lot is known about them. If you don’t believe me, try googling ‘Good Luck Chuck Singapore’ and all you’re going to get are Google search results of the Hollywood film Good Luck Chuck starring Jessica Alba.
So, ahead of their EP release on 19 May, we decided to catch up with the two local musicians (Perk Pietrek and Direwulf) behind Good Luck Chuck to uncover the mystery behind the pairing and their style of music.
Who is Good Luck Chuck?
Good Luck Chuck: “Good Luck Chuck is the story about Chuck, a mysterious persona that’s wielded by both of us — Perk Pietrek & Direwulf. Chuck is this very unassuming character. He’s someone who you’d think you know what his daily routines are but yet still can’t quite figure out how he spends his free time, what his hobbies are and what kind of talent he actually holds.
He is a multifaceted artist but he doesn’t really share much of his work, and he takes criticism very imperfectly, probably due to the fact that he has a crystal clear vision of what he wants to do despite people not really being able to comprehend his intentions.”
How was the group formed — was there an origin story?
GLC: “I think both of us have our own origin stories, given that we both came from the music and entrepreneurial world. Both of us have a strong passion for music, and at the same time, we constantly have to rack our brains on how to innovate in this space.
The first time we actually worked together was through the Perk Pietrek Project where Direwulf (Jay) operated as the manager and creative advisor (alongside co-manager Keith from Slate Entertainment), and Perk Pietrek operated as the artist and persona.
Throughout our time together, we started to really question a lot of the things we see within the creative and business world. So, I think Good Luck Chuck was born not just out of a starting sound but more of a Do-It-Yourself attitude that we both have, and how we value time and want to make full use of it.”
How does Good Luck Chuck stand out from the crowd?
GLC: “We feel that GLC is not really a musical project to begin with but rather a creative project that just happens to have music as its current medium. Since day one, we’ve always felt that there’s a lot more to it, but to be completely honest, that’s probably something any other artist would say.
Perhaps time would be the determining factor along with the output we intend to have, and maybe someday, we won’t need to explain as people will see what Chuck sees — that sometimes it is better not to have an answer or reason for everything but to just enjoy the moment and take on whatever that comes.”
What inspired the tracks on the upcoming EP, Good Luck Chuck Presents Ups and Downs?
GLC: “There were many artists that inspired the sound of the EP but we’re not going to name them because we get a kick out of listeners telling us who we sound like. One thing that has stayed harmonious and acted as the main driver was the idea of creating a vibe that drives courage to instil positive change, cultivate mental freedom that detaches from societal standards, and recognition of the cycles of good and bad in all of our lives, despite countless backgrounds.”
How long did it take to prepare for the EP — did the pandemic hinder the progress in any way?
GLC: “Music can be churned out in a matter of hours, days, or even minutes. Just ask the music producers behind advertisements and films, and you’ll get a very surprising overview of what kind of production machines artists can be.
With that said, our creation of the entire EP took close to 2 years and there was a reason why we took so long. We think that the music writing process is most enjoyable when we’re in the midst of the journey — not before, not after but specifically in the middle of its timeline.
When COVID hit, we were both extremely bummed because we had big plans to put everything out and share what we’ve created with the world. But, we were relieved too as it gave us some breathing space to really evaluate our music and decide if it is any good. It is safe to say that we are definitely happy with what we produced which is why we’re finally releasing it in May.”
Which track is your favourite and why?
Direwulf (Jay): “This is a really tough question because every track within the EP has been built with its own characteristics and story. But, if I had to pick, the one track that I’ve been really vibing with is ‘Gangster’. The writing process came about so organically and fluently and the memory of it has been imprinted with me.
I recall Pietrek laying out the drums on the fly just as the guitar riff started to form in my mind. It wasn’t a process of taking whatever first cut that came but how we ran through so many cuts that every new version became more pronounced. And, all it took was just 15 minutes to ignite the creative spark for ‘Gangster’!”
Perk Pietrek: “Definitely ‘Gangster’. The secret is to go into a session prepared yet unprepared. What I mean by that is to not prepare any material things like music demos or drafts but just go in with a mental idea of the direction, start laying them in and see how your collaborator responds. I think ‘Gangster’ really represented this ideology well because no false expectations were really set, so it came about really quickly and organically.”
Are there any other local musicians that you hope to collaborate with?
D: “There are definitely many Singaporean musicians we would love to collaborate and work with but we’re not going to name anyone because the surprise element is crucial to us. You’ll just have to wait and see who it is.”
PP: “I think recognition has to be given to the artists out here in Singapore. So many of them have achieved so much with the limited resources they have and it is extremely admirable. With this amazing pool of talents, we’re not stressing out about who we have to collaborate with. I think when it comes, it’ll come and when the result is magical, we’ll put it out for sure.”
Have a listen to their EP, Good Luck Chuck Presents Ups and Downs here:
Good Luck Chuck Presents Ups and Downs will be released on 19 May 2021.
All images courtesy of Good Luck Chuck.