Beloved rock outfit Lucero spent two weeks (masked up) at Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis in July, and the fruit of those sessions — a full-length LP called “When You Found Me”  — will be out in January. Here’s what Lucero frontman and Little Rock native Ben Nichols had to say about the album’s tone:

I wanted a very classic rock sound for this album. I wanted it to sound like stuff I heard on the radio growing up. I didn’t want to make a retro record at all, but I did want to reference some of those sounds and tones and moods. I think we struck a nice balance between nostalgia and something that still sounds like contemporary Lucero. … My daughter is four now and I’ve been reading her a lot of fairytales at bedtime. Consciously or not, that seeped into my songwriting process on “When You Found Me”. This album has a lot of me and my personal experiences in it, but the lyrics aren’t as directly first person as they’ve been in the past. I like to think the lyrics on “When You Found Me” have a more storybook quality to them. “Have You Lost Your Way?” with its young heroine, is written to be exactly like a fairytale or fable. Then the second song, “Outrun the Moon,” is a more modern take on the same type of story. “Coffin Nails” is about a banshee, and “The Match” is based on an old Irish folktale. “Back in Ohio” is based on a true story that reads like fantasy. I love drinking whiskey in bars and singing songs about heartbreak and lost loves, but it was nice to incorporate some other interests and themes and elements into these lyrics.

And on the single, “Outrun the Moon”:


“Outrun the Moon,” like some other songs on the new album, has a young girl as the main character. I think the fact that I spend a lot of my time now with my young daughter is showing through in some of my songwriting.

I’d been toying around with writing murder-ballads for a project Memphis filmmaker Mike McCarthy is working on. I ended up using some of those lyrics as a starting point for “Outrun the Moon”. The lyrics don’t spell out exactly what happens, and I like that, but the lyrics give you enough to know the girl can take care of herself.

I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Southern writers like Larry Brown in the past and this song continues that tradition. I had Brown’s novel “Fay” in the back of my mind as I wrote this. The song is not based on the book or anything, it was just an inspiration. Also, I think this song has my favorite Brian Venable guitar solo ever. – Ben

Pre-order the album (or get a badass Lucero pocket knife) here.