We had the good fortune of connecting with John Constantine Lucido (known professionally as The Hound) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John Constantine Lucido, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“Tell them stories…” It’s from the third book in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. In the book, a character is given advice to tell stories to the ghosts in the Land of the Dead, which is a kind of purgatory. Telling the ghosts stories allows them to become one with the universe. Storytelling is woven into almost every aspect of our lives, whether it be from art, entertainment, conversations, politics, or the stories we tell ourselves. Songwriting is one of the most powerful vehicles for a story. I don’t write music just for myself. Of course it’s cathartic and always very personal, but I thrive on sharing those stories with people. Our lives may be different, but storytelling allows us to relate to each other. I find that the most difficult feelings are always easier to live with when I share them.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from the hundreds of thousands of other songwriters trying to “make it?” I think that’s in the eyes and ears of the listener, really. You’ll go crazy going out of your way to set yourself apart. What’s of value is the journey and the lessons we learn along the way. It’s never been easy and I’ve wanted to give up many times. Like a lot of artists, I struggle with self doubt and the always crippling imposter syndrome. But I think my goal has always been to keep going and adapt to life’s constant changes. Whenever I’m struggling, I remind myself of what I wanted to be when I grew up, because I’m exactly that person now. The 10 year old me would think it’s so cool that I went to one the top arts high schools in the country, studied opera, worked at a record label that represents Björk, played at South by Southwest, or have my music in an Emmy award winning show. He’d even think it’s cool that at many times in my life I’ve been the poster child for the “starving artist.” As difficult as it can be to live up to my own expectations, I think the best way to overcome that challenge is to just keep going.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Honestly, the only thing that comes to mind are people – not places. I think what makes LA so special are the people. Yeah we have great entertainment, food, beaches, and all the best things about California – but those things would be nothing without the people. Let’s say I invite a friend to my favorite bar, which is Precinct in DTLA. Of course I love the atmosphere, but what I would be most excited about is introducing them to the owner Brian, the bartenders, the drag queens, or even just the locals that make that place a home.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I feel incredibly blessed to have an artistic outlet, to have a desire to sing and to write songs. I studied music from an early age, and whether it was my choir conductor, guitar tutor, or opera director, these teachers have shaped who I am today. They gave me invaluable tools which continue to empower me and guide my life.