Fresh to LA!
Fresh squeezed interview with Ellie Innocenti - Front woman and creator of the band Deluka (with Kris Kovacs)—
She’s talented, smart, gorgeous and has a cute accent. How can you resist?
Where are you originally from?
I’m originally from Birmingham, England.
What brought you to LA?
My band (Deluka) spent the last four years in NYC and really we all felt a change of scenery would do us good. We packed up our stuff and with our loved ones in tow moved to the opposite coast, looking for a better quality of life for the whole band. Nicer places to live for less rent and picturesque views is a no brainer really.
What were your perceptions of LA before you got here?
Our perceptions of LA before we moved here were from little snapshots of visits we’d done with the band. We’d done some recording out here and had been struck by the laid-back easy going vibe, the weather, the feeling of well being the sunlight can give you. We’d also played a handful of shows, one of which was at The Sunset Strip Music Festival with Motley Crüe, which kind of felt like we were in a time warp but was mind blowing, and something I don’t think any of us thought we’d ever do! We had also filmed a music video in a strip club here, so I feel like we’d seen the extremes of what LA has to offer and were not perturbed.
What were the most overt differences from where you grew up?
LA and Birmingham England are polar opposites. The weather here is insane, the light, the way it makes you feel.
Birmingham as much as it will always be home is unfortunately almost always under grey clouds, and that makes you behave differently. You can’t enjoy the outside world as much, which forces people to retreat, to stay inside, be it cozy little pubs, friends places or just home. This in itself has a certain charm to it, and I guess can bring people together in a different way…It can also make you a bit tougher and more resilient.
California naturally has this happy go lucky attitude because everyday you look at the blue sky, the palm trees the mountains and you appreciate your surroundings, it gives you a sense of freedom and optimism, even if that’s like a false sense! It can make you feel fortuitous even without wealth and success and I’m ok with that - ha!
What makes you a LA Woman?
I guess I’m an LA woman by default because I live here! I’m by no means the tanned Californian beach bunny, but I love that it has so much to offer. I don’t feel like I fit into any particular stereotype but there is such a huge rock n roll legacy here, and I certainly feel at home playing shows and being in a band here. I love the variety of venues, the landscapes and all it’s quirks.
What are your hopes for your new life here?
Hopes for my new life in LA are basically to get the band to a place where individually and as a group we have a great base to call home, a great work environment and happy and healthy personal lives.
What are your favorite stomping grounds in LA so far?
My favorite stomping grounds so far are: Harvard and Stone for the live bands, The Thirsty Crow for that cozy speakeasy vibe and amazing happy hour cocktails. We had a nice evening at The Griffin and a few fun nights at Three Of Clubs. Which I actually prefer to our previous experiences of LA which included private parties at the Chateau, being frog-marched into Paul and Andre’s and dark, back rooms at The Standard.
How did you get into your line of work?
My Parents bought me a tiny classical Guitar for my 12th Birthday and I became obsessed with learning how to play it. I was painfully shy and it really gave me a way of building my confidence and then becoming a quiet show-off as my skills developed! I started writing songs and did my first show age 14 in Birmingham and didn’t really stop playing thereafter.
I met Kris (guitarist) when I was 16. We had a great chemistry and as he was honing his production skills, he started to test them out using my melodies and lyrics and this became our method of songwriting, which we’ve been developing this over the last ten years or more. We eventually got a record deal in America and didn’t look back. We’re not afraid of big cross pond/cross country moves in this band!
Best date (Reece has taken you on) in LA? (Reece Runnells is Ellie’s fiance)
The beauty of LA is that you drive for a couple of hours either side and you are somewhere wildly different. My favorite date so far was driving out to Joshua Tree National Park. The dusty roads, the epic rock formations and incredible other worldly feel which we followed by BBQ and beer at Pappy and Harriets, made for a pretty perfect day.
Favorite local designers, musicians, artists?
I don’t feel that qualified to sum up my favorite local Designers/Artists/Musicians just yet, I’m still on that voyage of discovery which is the beauty of being somewhere new.
Our bassist Robbie used to be a tour manager in Europe and drove some of those Eagles of Death Metal guys around, and we’ve hooked up with them again since being here which is always entertaining, plus I’ve always loved what Josh Homme works on, whether it be with Queens or Unkle. I’ll have to get back to you on this! Give me a few more months and I’ll have it all down.
If one woman (in history) could embody all that is LA, who would it be for you?
I think for me there are a few woman that come to mind that embody all that is LA, mostly musicians surprise surprise! Someone like Joan Jett, for that classic old school rock n roll, girl with a guitar strapped to her back, holding her own in what was very much a man’s scene. I think she moved here as a teenager and The Runaways will always make me think of LA.
Also someone like Gwen Stefani, she seems to ooze LA style, still badass in her forties, juggling motherhood, marriage and No Doubt whilst looking unfathomably so well put together as she does it. Fair-fucking-play!
/// Rock on, Ellie! xx