Alternative rock band to perform at Downstairs |

Alternative rock band to perform at Downstairs

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

Since its inception eight years ago, the San-Francisco-based band Luce has had its ups and downs.

The group is currently on an upswing, embarking on a string of short tours to promote its third album, "Corner of the World." On Friday, Nov. 20, the five-man band will stop in Park City for a performance at Downstairs.

But Luce may have never gotten here had it not been for some serious setbacks.

In 2000, lead singer Tom Luce went from house painter to bona fide pop artist when a single from his debut album catapulted into the spotlight. "Good Day" made its way onto the big screen in movies "13 Going on 30" and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and the small screen, featured on TV shows "Alias" and "The O.C."

With the ensuing airplay and requests for shows, it seemed that Luce was on the fast track to stardom. The only problem? "I didn’t even have a band," he says.

By 2004, he had found a core group of players with producer/keyboardist Adam Rossi, guitarist Dylan Brock, drummer Brian Zalewski and bass player Alex Cordrey.

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Under the band name Luce, the group released "Neverending" in the spring of 2005. Once again, the album’s first single, "Buy A Dog," attracted attention in Hollywood and appeared on the TV series "Psych" as well as the film "Frank, The Dog."

The band was riding high until one night in the spring on 2006, when Tom found out during show that his house was on fire. The neighbors’ house had gone up in flames and spread, destroying most of his belongings.

The band was slated to go on tour that weekend, so after a brief delay, Luce packed up what was left of his personal effects and headed out on the road.

Two and a half weeks into their tour, the ban’s van and a trailer containing all of their equipment were stolen from a hotel parking lot in Pennsylvania.

"Those two things together, it was quite a blow," says Luce. With no instruments and a downtrodden spirit, he was on the brink of ending his musical career. Then he realized, "I couldn’t give it all up. Music is my life, my dream. It’s what I do best. So I turned around and started the long journey of bringing everything back around."

Turning to music to help him through the difficult times, Luce started penning songs for the third album.

In 2008, as the band put the final touches on "Corner of the World," they signed a record deal with a new Bay Area-based label, Opus Music Ventures.

"Corner of the World" was released in July 2009, and Luce says it marks a new beginning for band. "I would say it’s a little more ethereal, a little mellower, and a little more thought-provoking than past albums," he says.

The lyrics, some of which Luce wrote while staying with a friend in Park City, encompass the dark times he’s been through over the past few years. They also reflect the light that came into his life in the form of falling in love and getting married.

"I don’t know that these songs will affect people in the same way that maybe the first two albums have, but I think it was a necessary step because I had to get the experiences that I went through out of my system," he says. "I feel like by putting out this record, I was being true to my artistic side."

Looking back on the unfortunate circumstances that have marred the band’s course, Luce recognizes the good that has come out of the bad. "I think the band grew closer through it," he says. "If we took things for granted before, I think we learned not to take certain things for granted. Things get pulled out from underneath us."

Luce says the band’s sound appeals to people of all ages. "I think it reaches people that like the kind of music that a singer/songwriter creates, because that’s really what I am," he says. "But as the live show happens, it becomes a more eclectic mix of rock and funk and pop."

The show at Downstairs begins at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is $5 or a donation for the Thanksgiving food drive. For more information and to hear music from Luce, visit