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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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?
– 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.
– 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?
– 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.
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