INTERVIEW: Luke Elliot

Welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’re ok, thank God. Crazy situation. Hope you and your family are well.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “All On Board”?

This was one of the first songs we started working on for the record. It began with a piano riff, and then started to shift this way and that. We ended up sort of following the song more than creating it.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

No, it just happened. I have no idea where it came from.

The single comes off your new album The Big Wind – what’s the story behind the title?

I spent a lot of time researching catastrophes for this record. There’s something about a natural disaster that was much richer to me than a man-made one, at least for the purposes of this album. Man-made problems, of which we are all in bountiful supply, have, for a large part, a certain preventability to them. Man decides to build weapons and start wars; he decides to implement the concept of currency and bankrupts his neighbor. For better or for worse, he has free will. We can choose to act kindly, or we can choose to act poorly.

Nature, on the other hand, is out of our control. It exists – and acts – with or without us. Of course our decisions affect nature’s course; pollution, global warming, mass extinction of wildlife through greed, etc. But even when we weren’t here (we’re the new kids on the block, remember), it acted of its own volition. Its creation and evolution can exist separately. We can help write the story, but we can’t direct. 

So when I stumbled upon the poem, “Big Wind,” by Theodore Roethke, written about a vicious windstorm in Ireland in January of 1839, the vision for the album started to become clearer for me.

How was the recording and writing process?

Different. I´d say we recorded about eighty percent of the music before there were any lyrics written. I wanted to box myself in to a structure and it worked wonderfully.  I found it strangely comfortable to write with parameters.  

What made you want to go into the studio with no real plan?

Well, I had a plan, I just knew I had to physically be in the studio to realize it.  

Did this make things much harder?

I work very well under pressure. When I don’t have to have something done by a certain time, I procrastinate. Just ask my publicist…

What role does NJ play in your music?

For me, everywhere I’ve lived and visited plays a role in my work. I don’t think of it consciously, but we are the sum of our experiences.

How has Tom Waits and Nick Cave influenced the music on this album?

Why this particular two?

What aspect of life in general did you get to explore on this record?

This is a much more personal record than Dressed for the Occasion and Provisions. It felt like I wasn’t trying to prove anything. Very freeing, actually.  

Any plans to hit the road?

We have a lot of touring plans. In the spring we had an entire European tour scheduled, but it´s since been moved because of the situation. We will be touring all over in 2021, and cannot wait to get back to the States.

What else is happening next in Luke Elliot‘s world?

We are already working on the next album.  Aside from that, we can´t wait to get out there and see all our fans!


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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