LA-based pop/rock duo Gus Ross and Luke Eisner know a thing or two about creating a dynamic body of work. After meeting at the Thornton School of Music in downtown LA, Ross, who hails from London, England, and Eisner who is from Milwaukee, have been working tirelessly on their band VOILÀ.
Following the release of their new album The Cure for Breathing, Schön! enlists the pair to give us a taste of their favourite tunes, their ideal 3-course meal, and more.
Hey Luke and Gus, what are you up to right now?
Luke: Hey Schön! I Just cooked up some salmon, sharing it on the couch with my cat (ironically named salmon), and watching the Lenny Kravitz’ Tiny Desk performance in the background!
Gus: In the studio producing for another artist right now actually!
If someone asked you what your origin story was, how would you describe it?
Luke: I was late for my first day of college and there was an empty seat next to a British guy who also had a man bun. The rest is history.
Gus: He was looking for a friend in our first class at music school in Los Angeles and I was the poor unsuspecting victim that he decided to select.
Describe your style in 3 words.
Luke: pirate meets prince.
Gus: Skinny-jeaned, oversized, accessorised.
What is the most precious thing in your wardrobe?
Luke: Tough to pick just one! If jewelry counts- then my jewelry for sure! My parents, my girlfriend Kirby, my friends, and even Gus have all given me little tokens! They are my version of tattoos, every piece has a story near and dear to my heart. I also have two leather jackets that were made for me from the guys at “Master Supply Co.” up in Canada. You can feel the craftsmanship and care in them. As cheesy as this sounds, It reminds me that “love” is an actual ingredient you can put into something that people can feel. Very useful lesson when it comes to making music! I also have a suit given to me after I walked in the Ralph Lauren 50th anniversary show. It’s a great testament to how timeless Ralph’s work has been.
Gus: My all-weather beanie collection.
Which living person do you most admire?
Luke: My Mother! She has faced so many unfair losses in her life and has had to take care of so many people but never complains. She has devoted her life to being charitable and kind and I desperately hope I gain an ounce of her strength and empathy. On a different note, she also has a great fashion sense and I’ve taken a lot of ideas from her over the years!
Gus: A Jamaican spiritual teacher by the name of “Mooji” his life story is one of the most incredible tales of resilience I’ve ever come across.
What was the last book you read?
Luke: Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven. She is an amazing author and an amazing person! The way she handles dialogue is so beautiful and has inspired a lot of my lyric writing.
Gus: I’m a massive audible / podcast addict. I listened to the Sadhguru podcast this morning, then a bit of a conversation between Alex Hormozi and Chris Williamson on his podcast.
If you could play any venue, which one would it be?
Luke: I’d die to headline one of the stages at Summerfest which is a festival in my hometown of Milwaukee!
Gus: Wembley Stadium AND the Royal Albert Hall.
Where are you happiest?
Luke: Having conversations with people I love! I treasure hours spent reminiscing on the past or envisioning the future. I think that’s why I love music so much, when you write a song it ends up being a great time capsule.
Gus: Sitting at my computer crafting a new song idea with Luke who’s pacing around the studio with excitement. No better feeling in the world!
Ideal 3 course meal?
Luke: Shrimp Cocktail appetizer, Blackened Swordfish for the main, and I really don’t like dessert so I’d finish my meal with a comfort food: Caribbean Jerk Chicken Gumbo. Yum yum yum!
Gus: Goat cheese and grilled peach salad followed by a perfect lobster linguine followed by a fresh Dulce de Leche ice cream.
Who would play you in the story of your life?
Luke: Fabio, so selfishly people would think I have better hair and muscles than I actually do.
Gus: Tom Hardy. This is a dream world right?
What’s one song that you’d like to listen to the first time again?
Luke: “Coast to Coast” by Elliott Smith. It’s the first song that got me into music. I heard it in the skateboard video “minefield” by alien workshop. It changed my life, I still remember the goosebumps on first listen.
Gus: “Throne” by Bring Me the Horizon.
An underrated song/artist you love?
Luke: Leanna Firestone. I’m telling you, she is the BEST lyricist I’ve ever heard. It’s frustrating how genius of a writer she is honestly. I think my friends are tired of the fact I make everyone shut up to listen to her lyrics when she comes on my shuffle haha!
Gus: Hot Milk. Their songs fucking rock!
The track that describes your coming-of-age story?
Luke: “True Love Will Find You In The End” by Daniel Johnston. It’s cliche but making “love” your North Star always points you in the right direction on your journey.
Gus: Our song “Made for This” is one of my personal favourites coming out on this upcoming album about how love can totally break you but also becomes the integral fabric of your character in time.
An album that you’d put in a time capsule?
Luke: “mmhmm” by Relient K. This album is so brilliant front to back. Lyrically, it’s so clever which is my favourite style of writing. Musically, I love that it doesn’t cling to one genre yet the whole album still feels cohesive. There are songs that go from piano ballads, to full pop rock, then to show tunes all within 5 minutes. It’s a brilliant, inspiring, and vastly underrated piece of work.
A lyric that you love and the song it’s from?
Luke – “No matter where I go, no matter what I do/I’ll never be 23 with anyone but you” in the song “23” by Sam Hunt. It’s a great ode to the fact that in any good book even though the character changes, the story remains the same. Honestly, all of Sam Hunt’s songs are quotable.
Gus: “Love is damage in disguise.” One of my all time favourites from my buddy Luke here. Our song “Playing Dead.”
A track that reminds you of a happy moment?
Luke: “Long Way Down” by the Goo Goo Dolls. It was the first CD my dad and I listened to in his car! It was also the first concert he ever took me to. I wouldn’t be in love with music if it wasn’t for the enthusiasm of my Dad!
Gus: “Dance Dance” by Fall Out Boy.
A song that you discovered recently that you love?
Luke: “Wallpaper” by Megan Cromwell. I think it’s brilliant how her performance matches the emotions of the lyrics. You can hear her crying while she sings and I really believe her!
Gus: “Animal” on the new PVRIS album. Shit is SO heavy in a pop way. Distorted the hell out of the vocal and the track is limited really heavily but it works.
Best record to get you out of a funk?
Luke: “Coppacabana” by Barry Manilow. I love story songs and this one does it perfectly. It’s also so fun to dance to!
What’s the last song you searched for on Spotify?
Luke: “The Gambler” by FUN. It’s probably my favorite love song ever written!
Gus: “Dance Dance” to make sure I didn’t somehow fuck up the actual title!
A song you wish you wrote?
Luke: I know I mentioned them earlier, but “Deathbed” by Relient K is definitely the song I wish I would have written. It’s a 9 minute song where the narrator looks back on all the decades of his life and each decade the musical style slightly changes. If you haven’t heard it I really recommend checking it out.
Gus: “Doomed” by Bring Me the Horizon. So anthemic, so poetic, so right.
Voilà’s new album is out now.