Music Talk with Luke Elliot

Backed by norwegian band Salmon Smokers and singer Dyveke Kuløy, Luke Elliot has just released «Dressed For The Occasion», an album Popklikk enjoys more than a lot.

We have talked to Luke about his music, The king of the flannel bearded men, Siste Reis, Athletic Sound and artists who have inspired him.

Dyveke and John
Dyveke and John

– How did you meet former music journalist Eirik Mosveen, and what did his enthusiasm mean to you as an artist?

– I met Eirik at a Jay Ferrar show, with Chip Taylor opening.  We were both backstage, and just started talking music.  The next thing I knew, he was writing on my work in VG.  We’ve been close ever since.  His enthusiasm has been incredible.  Before I even came to Norway, he seemed to have called half the country supporting my efforts.  I am forever grateful.

Luke at Siste Reis, Halden
Luke at Siste Reis, Halden

– What is it about your music that makes Norwegians go bananas?

– Haha. Well, I’m glad to hear that they go ‘bananas.’ I think they like my music because it resonates with a particular idea of Americana that Norwegians hold very close to their hearts.  There is a lot of appreciation here for my country’s musical history.

– How would did describe your music to someone who never heard it before?

– It’s very hard for me to describe my own work. I would tell them to have a listen for themselves, to make up their own minds.  I think it’s very important for people to have their own descriptions for things, rather than the artist telling them what they should think.

Street Legal
Street Legal

– Please describe how it was to work with producer John Agnello, The king of the flannel bearded men.

– John is the king of the flannel bearded men! I can’t wait to tell him that. He’ll love it. Working with John was and still is the thrill of a lifetime. He is a one of the most detail-oriented people I’ve ever met, but you don’t expect that meeting him.  He is very laid back, and has a way of making you work really, really hard while making you have fun at the same time. I look back at making this record and think of all the great times we had.

– What is the best thing about the album?

You better like this, girl
You better like this, girl

– I am proud of a lot on this record; the production, the songs, the players, my producer, my collaborative efforts, the studio…  I’m not sure there is a particular ‘best’ aspect that I cling to. I’m happy with a lot.

– Please describe how Popklikk-favorites like «Get’em While They’re Hot», «Handsome Man» and «People Like Us» developed into great songs.  

– Well, «Get ’em While They’re Hot» was written years ago, but finely-tuned with John and the players in the studio. I had a basic idea for «Handsome Man» about a year ago after a falling-out with a woman, but we got it really going in Jersey City with John.  «People Like You» was mainly composed in the studio. It was conceptualized after a fall-out with yet another woman years ago.

Boom Boom
Boom Boom

– Listening to your album, artist like Gun Club, The Saints/Chris Bailey and The Waterboys pops up in our heads. Are we completely lost?

– No, not at all. I love those artists!  I’ve actually been listening to a lot of The Waterboys recently, and can’t wait to see them when they come to Oslo!

– How was it to work in Athletic Sound, and how do you rate the studio?

– It was a blast!  We recorded mostly everything to tape, which is extremely rare these days. They have living quarters upstairs, so I was able to work through the night, which I think is very important when you’re making this kind of record. I’ve spent some time in several studios, but this was by far the best I’ve worked in so far.

– Did the wooden walls inspire you, or did you find them a bit scary?

– Haha. I really like the wooden walls!  They actually seem to compliment Halden’s persona quite nicely.

– What is the best thing about Dyveke Kuløy’s music?

– Dyveke has an immaculate voice.  Her songs are killer, and she has a way of drawing in a listener that I think make the songs she contributed on even more compelling.

– “In and out of trouble. The Luke Elliot table.»Wow, how does it feel to be famous in Halden?

Patti S.
Patti S.

– I love Siste Reis!  It was an absolute honor to have them give me a table. We went in there for beers most nights we had off, and even some after work.  I know that spending so much time their has contributed to my reputation in Halden.

– What kind of music did you listen to as a teenager?

– I listened to a lot of different stuff.  The first cassette tape I received was Jimi Hendrix’s «Are You Experienced,» so I was off to a great start.  My older brother and my father were rock and roll enthusiasts, so I was introduced to acts like Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Hank Williams at a very young age. I built my own little world with the music I listened to.

– Pick three albums that have inspired you and describe what it is about them that you like.

– It’s hard to pick just three. Let’s say…  Bob Dylan’s «Street Legal,» Warren Zevon’s «Sentimental Hygiene» and John Coltrane’s «Blue Train.»

– The Dylan record is one of the most thorough records I’ve ever heard. The songs span the scope of so many genres that it’s hard to keep up.

– ”Sentimental Hygiene” is my favorite Zevon record.  It’s funny, tragic, isolated, and beautiful at the same time.  It’s everything I think rock ‘n’ roll is all about.

– «Blue Train» is the first thing I ever heard from Coltrane, and I still listen to it once a week. The songs move me in a way that I almost cannot describe.  It is still the first thing I play for any new woman I meet.  If she doesn’t like it, there’s no need for us to talk anymore.

– Pick between the following artists: 

– I don’t really like to pick between bands publicly, but I’ll try to be a good sport.

 – Southside Johnny or Aerosmith?

-.I like them both a lot. I guess I’d say Aerosmith simply because I know more of their catalogue.

– Billy Joel or The Strokes?

– I’ve never really listened to these guys. They’re not really up my alley, but they do write great songs that a lot of people love.

 – The Ramones or The New York Dolls?

– The New York Dolls. They’re a little more…me.

 – The Knack or Cheap Trick?

– The Knack. Again, they’re a little more me.

– Patti Smith or Tom Verlaine?

– It’s hard to separate these two. I might say Patti- she’s been a huge influence.

– Bruce Springsteen  or Tom Petty?

– They’re both so different. I really can’t choose. I love them both.

– Big Star or The Replacements?

– Probably The Replacements. They kick ass!

– Eagles or Scott Walker?

– Scott Walker. I mean, he’s in a league of his own.

Espen A. Amundsen
Espen A. Amundsen

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