Turn Me On: Rising Three-Piece Band Levara is Ready to Make a Splash with Debut Album

Rock Cellar Magazine

Levara is a three-piece rock band with some serious rock and roll resumes. Guitarist Trev Lukather is the son of Steve Lukather of Toto fame, while drummer Josh Devine was a globe-trotting superstar with the pop group One Direction. Vocalist Jules Galli, meanwhile, has developed a dedicated audience around the world with his powerhouse vocals and dynamic stage presence.

Together, they’re budding superstars with a uniquely magnetic appeal, and they’re gearing up to release their debut self-titled album on May 14.

On Friday, the band debuted a new music video for “Automatic,” the lead single from Heaven Knows. Take a look and learn what Levara is all about:

“Automatic” came about as the members of Levara were in the green room of a gig opening for Foreigner. Said Trev Lukather of the song:

“’Automatic’ is a statement.  It is the song that started it all for us as LEVARA.  This song set the standard for the album, and really solidified the sound that we would run with throughout the debut album.  It elevated us into a whole new universe and we couldn’t be more grateful. It’s everything we are as a band – Anthemic, massive drums, epic fills, loud guitars, soaring solos, huge vocals, unreal high notes, strong melodies and a hook that you can’t get out of your head.  This is our main single and this is the true beginning of what’s to come. Can’t wait.”

Previous to “Automatic,” Levara has shared additional songs from the record. Here’s the title track:

For more from Levara regarding the band’s big plans for 2021 and beyond, enjoy an exclusive Q&A below.

The video for “Automatic” really showcases each band member’s talents in a dynamic way. Was that a conscious effort when you guys were conceptualizing the video, or did it just turn out that way?

Trev Lukather: It’s as natural as it gets. We didn’t put on an act or anything. We were just being ourselves in the moment with the music we made together. We shot in the beginning of COVID times so we were safe and responsible. We decided to do separate shots and make it color based. Each band member represents a color and each emotion comes with a different color. We got tested and then did a few shots of us performing together but they’re only sprinkled in here and there. It was way more impactful with the individual performance scenes. My cousin Jake Hays who directed the video along with Olivia DeLaurentis, his girlfriend and partner in their production company Hellbent Productions came up with the concept which led to the album artwork etc.

Jules Galli: I’m glad it turned out that way. Jake and Olivia provided us with a strong concept. Using a color helped me get in character with a new edge. It’s the first video we created and it really was an amazing experience.

Are there any specific musical influences that you feel shaped your path to Levara?

Trev Lukather: Of course! I mean, we are shaped by the ones we admire. You take a little something from those feelings of inspiration and you make your own tasty gumbo. The obvious go-to’s for me would be Toto, Journey, Peter Gabriel, and David Gilmour.

Josh Devine: Yeah for sure, for me growing up playing along to bands like Toto all the way to heavy metal bands like Slipknot and Korn, to then playing drums with a grime/rap artist and a boy band for years really helped define and push me in different directions as a musician. This album is like the perfect mix for me of my own personal favorite stuff, you’ve got some loud anthemic moments, there’s fun grooves, there’s moments when I can let loose and just give it my all. It’s a fun time playing drums to this stuff!

Jules Galli: We all have such wide variety of influences and that’s what makes us who we are. I don’t think we sound like anybody else. I grew up in France, with many genres like RnB, pop, rock, reggae, funk, hip hop and classical and I’ll never be able to pick which one I prefer. It’s all music that moves my soul, and this album does exactly that for me. I just can’t wait to share it with the world.

The same can be said for the previews you’ve shared thus far from your new album. Trev’s guitar work shimmers whether in the forefront or the background, Jules’s vocals soar and Josh’s drums lay the foundation for everything going on. The cohesion between Levara’s individual musical elements give the music a powerful feeling, and that’s rare. What’s the band’s creative process been like?

Trev Lukather: Thank you so much for the kind words. We all really felt that music connection together off the bat. It was and is undeniable. The growth of our band in such a short amount of time was like an Elon Musk SpaceX rocket ship.

I’ll build the beginning of what would be a LEVARA song. Riffs, chord changes etc. Jules will run with melodies and lyrics then we all come together, throw out different lyric, melody, and chorus hook ideas, and pick and choose the best option. We make sure there’s a strong meaning behind every tune and that it is real to all of us. Jules really runs with the lyrics though. He’s a great lyricist.

Josh Devine: First of all thanks! We just want it to be natural, and something we would actually listen to and vibe with. We feel such a deep connection to our music because it’s us, it’s authentic! Every song has something special in it that we all personally can take from and we’ve poured our very beings into the fiber of the music, whether it’s the lyrical content, the structure or even just the overall feel.

Jules Galli: Right on! Thank you. We have chemistry and that’s not a given. This album is everything I’ve ever hoped for. The guys said it best. We put every ounce of our being into our music. It’s pretty amazing how much it takes to really “get there.” Writing and recording it was a profound experience for me. Each song has deep meaning and pulls at different emotions that shaped who we are. I always want to write from a place of truth, I want to move people with the melodies just as much as with the words. I follow my instinct and see where it takes me. Sometimes the song writes itself, sometimes you have to dig in a bit until you find it. Sometimes all it takes is a real life situation that we write from, like the song Josh talked about called “On For The Night”.

Has COVID-19 and everything going on the past year or so proven a significant issue, and/or how have you navigated its uncertainty?

Trev Lukather: It’s beyond tough times for most. I feel for everyone struggling this past year. I am an optimistic guy. Sometimes to a fault. I always look for the good in the ugly. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs for everyone, the band and for me personally. Not being able to tour and have that connection with people is soul crushing.

I miss my friends and being able to go to a restaurant and have dinner. The little things in life that we take for granted, taken away in an instant. It puts life in perspective. Living in the moment is all you have. It’s really up to us what we do with that kind of power. Emotions running wild at all times. How do you balance? I’ve found meditation to be a strong tool for me.

Josh Devine: Yeah it’s been tough, as it has been for everyone globally. Being in a business that relies on bringing people together, it’s been a series of pushbacks and re planning. But thankfully we have our health, which is more than a lot of people have the fortune to say, and for that I’m very grateful. I actually came back to the UK with my wife to navigate life from this side, which obviously makes it harder to get as much done with the band, but we’ve all been very proactive and safe and worked hard to adhere to the restrictions and uncertainties, and still work towards our goals of music world domination! I’m just taking the time to work on myself and getting myself to the best mental and physical level I can.

Jules Galli: life has been challenging in so many ways with the virus. I’m grateful we were able to be productive as a band and most of all, that we are healthy. It’s hard not to be able to perform and ultimately make a living doing what we love. But the thought of doing it again once the world is ready is keeping me motivated and hopeful.

What else can people interested in your music expect from your debut album?

Trev Lukather: One hell of an album! It caters to other genre lovers, not just rock fans. It’s cohesive but each song stands on its own. We were all born in different countries but ended up friends and in a studio in LA. The universe aligned. Our different energies and approaches to style and song is what makes us unique. I’ve never been more proud of anything.

Josh Devine: Like Trev said, we’re all so proud of this record. There’s so many different sides to our individual and collecting musical vocabulary, yet it has a cohesive sound that binds it all together. It’s only just the beginning, but we couldn’t be more proud of our first musical baby.

Jules Galli: You can expect a bit of levitation when listening to our album, just be aware that your feet and the ground might not touch for a while.

We’ve all missed live concerts a great deal since the pandemic, and can’t wait to get back to them once it’s safe enough to do so. What do you imagine the first moment back on stage in a public setting might feel like?

Trev Lukather: Surreal and emotional no doubt. I want to feel that experience again so bad that it will be more of a relief than any kind of fear. I’m ready when the world is.

Josh Devine: I may cry, and no joke I hardly ever cry. Playing live has been my life and career over the last decade and beyond. To not get that thrill and that buzz of being on a stage playing ANY kind of music it’s like going cold turkey! I just can’t wait for my next fix! I’m just so stoked that soon when the world starts to get into the swing of getting this virus under control, we will be able to play this music for everyone the way it’s played best; live, loud and proud!

Jules Galli: being back up on stage to perform our songs for the first time will be a tremendous moment. I honestly don’t know how it’s gonna be like but I expect it to be filled with happiness and gratitude.

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