Hey, what happened? An interview with Lee Bozeman of Luxury

Lee Bozeman sang and played guitar in Luxury.

Luxury came to me at a time in high school when I was feeling an onset of melancholy and disenchantment with life while exploring, for the first time, bands like The Smiths and The Cure. I listened to a lot of music on Tooth and Nail Records, too, and Luxury seemed like another act that I should check out. Unlike some of the more aggravated, intense acts on the label, Luxury had a saucy, flirty sound that seemed to be the equivalent of the retro visuals on their first two albums. They funneled this music through the unspoken tragedy and subtle rage that is breathed through The Smiths’ most heart-rending songs. To my ears it all came out sounding beautiful.

You can listen to some of the music Lee has made here: http://leebozeman.bandcamp.com/

Where do you currently live?

I am living at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York. Our apartment is nice, sitting on the top floor overlooking a lake that is pleasant from a distance. There are quite a few dogwoods along the street.

What do you do to pay the bills?

I am second year seminarian at St. Vladimir’s working on a Masters of Divinity. I paid the bills this morning with the money my wife makes as a nurse in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Are you still involved with music in any way (work for a label, play in a band, do press for a band, book shows, etc.) or any of the other arts (performing, visual, literary)?

When Luxury quietly ended I began to write on my own. I released a record under the moniker All Things Bright and Beautiful in 2003 and the last Luxury record in 2005. Since then, I have been keeping things very simple recording and releasing on my own, sometimes under the moniker, Orient Is His Name, and sometimes under other things. I released two EPs last year as well as a single on my bandcamp site for Orient Is His Name. Other than that, I paint very infrequently and write poems from time to time. I like to clean.

At what point did you decide to “give up” the touring and band life and why? Was there a sudden realization that you wanted to live in the “real world” or was it gradual?

I never really left the “real world” even while in Luxury. I always worked full time and had a family. At some point we all moved apart, mostly for work reasons, and so the idea of touring ended and we began to write separately and play in other projects. Luxury became a recording band for the most part. And I still don’t know that I want to live in the “real world” but a life of touring and such sounds dreadful at this point.

Do you still speak with the other members of the band?

I speak regularly with everyone. My brother Jamey, our guitar player, is here at seminary with me. He was the most organized after Luxury in that he formed They Sang As They Slew and released two records on Northern Records and played quite a lot. Our base player, Fr. Christopher Foley, is an Orthodox priest and serves a parish in Greensboro, North Carolina but unfortunately doesn’t have time to play much these days. Glenn Black, our drummer, is in Asheville, North Carolina and has played off and on in a number of different bands. Some health problems have hampered him from really doing much though. But we all speak to each other and would like to see each other if time and convenience allowed.

Are you content with not living the “rock and roll” lifestyle of your past or do you miss it? (Please note: I use the phrase “rock and roll lifestyle” loosely.)

In a strange way, I still feel like I am doing what I was at that time. We never were sucked into a lot of the mess that so many bands got into. It was really for the most part, just a nice time playing with good people, good friends. If there is anything that I miss it is that camaraderie and the great volume of live shows. I’m not exactly living a traditional life-style right now being a seminarian, though I sat in a cube for a number of years and wore nice shoes.

Do you feel as though you can still relate to the person you were when you were in a band and touring? Why or why not?

I thought I could until recently when I saw a video we made in 1992. What ideas we had. So serious. I don’t regret many things we did, though some are embarrassing. I suppose life is one long attempt to relate to ourselves or how we perceive ourselves to be. I liked The Smiths then and I still like them now. That should mean something.

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One response to “Hey, what happened? An interview with Lee Bozeman of Luxury

  • Roy

    interesting. a few years back GCN interviewed him on their podcast and i was reminded of them. i should check out their catalog again.

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