5 Questions with Nick from Luther
Luther at their finest. Luther Facebook
Hello, and welcome to the first 5 Questions of the semester, with Luther singer/guitarist Nick! Clock readers may remember last semester when I spoke with Dave Frenson of the fantastic New Jersey punk band Banquets. Well during my research, I found out Dave runs a record label called Black Numbers, and signed to that label is a band called Luther. One night, after hearing a few of their tunes, I purchased Luther's limited edition, die cut, hand numbered EP Siblings & Sevens. After it came in the mail, I popped it in while I was doing the dishes late one night, and I remember just stopping what I was doing and sitting on the kitchen floor of my tiny apartment thinking "I better pour myself a drink, because I'm not leaving the room until this is over." It's that good.
Some nights in college, everything doesn't go according to plan, you know what I mean? The girl that made you worry how cool your sweater was at 10 went home with a dude with a backwards Polo hat and Timberlands at 1, and instead of consoling you, your friends ditched out to another lame house party at 3. So you go home, put your bag on the floor and take those last two warm, gross beers out of your bag and reflect. Alone in your room, when the night is over and all that's left to do is have a night cap and think things through, you put on Siblings & Sevens. Suddenly, you realize everything is okay. That girl isn't as cute as you thought at first (and man is that guy a tool!), your friends still love you, and you know what? That sweater looks really good on you, man. Thanks Luther!
1.) I detect a strong midwestern emo, glory days of Vagrant Records influence in your songs. Am I right? I think you guys sound like a grittier Hot Rod Circuit. What were you listening to growing up that continues to influence Luther's songs?
It's funny, we get the midwestern emo comparison a lot, which I think is pretty accurate, but not really intentional on our part. In high school, I got turned on to those early Get Up Kids albums and still love them, but just within the past few months TGUK was the only midwestern emo band I'd listen to religiously and have since become a big fan of bands like The Appleseed Cast and have been on a huge Bob Nanna kick lately. Growing up, I was really into The Ramones, Green Day, Elliott Smith and Guided By Voices; Phil (guitar / vocals) has always listened to Van Morrison, Frank Zappa, Osker and Saves The Day, Greg (bass) grew up listening to mainly metal (the good kind, not the lip ring / bullet belt kind, we're talking Maiden and Megadeth); and Andy (drums) has one of the most diverse music collections I've ever seen and comes from a really talented family as far as music goes so his musical upbringing was pretty eclectic. I'd say all of those elements, bands, and artists have had a pretty immense impact on the way we sound since they're at the core of our upbringing.
2.) Black Numbers just put out a 4 way split with the Copyrights, Grey Area and the Reveling. How did that come about? Are those bands that you guys have toured with and have known for a while? What's next for you guys in terms of releases?
Back in November of 2010, the good dudes over at Black Numbers approached us about doing a release so we did our EP Siblings & Sevens with them, and then a few months later, they hit us up and asked if we would want to be on the split. We we're so stoked. It was a really fun process; we recorded our songs ourselves and designed the artwork so it was really rewarding being able to work in such a hands-on way, especially with bands you respect so much. We've known the Reveling for a few years since some of our old bands had played with them, and they just released a record on Black Numbers around the same time our EP came out. We actually didn't know the Copyrights guys before we agreed to do the split, and it so happens that when we were stranded in Chicago (see question #4), we swung by Atlas Studios just to pop our heads in and the Copyrights and Dear Landlord were recording, so that's when we met them. As far as Grey Area goes, we played with them on our first tour back in March. Andy (drums) and I have been fans of Grey Area for years, especially Fanbelt Algebra; that album rips. We actually are putting the finishing touches on the writing process of a new batch of songs. The plan is that these songs will become our first full length, and we should start recording in spring.
3.) You guys just played with the legendary Smoking Popes. What was that experience like? What bands haven't you played with yet that you would like to?
It was a blast! Man, New Years Eve actually got kinda wild; it was great. It's always a little overwhelming when you get to play with bands you respect and genuinely enjoy listening to. We are all pretty dumbfounded when we think of all the rad bands we've already gotten to play with so to ask for anything more seems crazy. BUT. If I had to answer, personally, I'd say it would be incredible to play with Hot Water Music, Baroness, or Criteria.
4.) You guys were recently in a van accident and had to cancel some shows. What happened? Something like that has really go to affect band morale (not to mention bank acounts). How are you guys bouncing back from that setback?
Without getting in to specifics, our van got hit, really, really, hard. One of the scariest days of our lives. We were in Chicago with our buddy Tom May (The Menzingers), and we had a little more than a week left of the tour, which up until that point was great, and then everything just kinda stopped. We were just stuck in Chicago for five days, people in hospitals, all kinds of confusion. As far as band morale goes, it absolutely made us a lot closer and served as a reminder that we are really lucky to be part of the DIY punk/indie community because people are truly looking out for each other. Our buddy, Dan, who had only known us for about 9 hours before the accident happened, literally saved our lives. Put six strangers up in his house for five days and found a place to store our gear. Just went above and beyond. The accident was something we wouldn't wish on our worst enemy, but it definitely reminded us of what supportive and generous friends we have, and how much of a family the band has become.
5.) Plans for 2012? Any closing comments?
We actually have a pretty intense 2012 coming up, between making a record and going on some killer tours; we are going to be really, really busy. So we all can look forward to getting fired pretty soon, which is always a good time. Thanks for talking to us, Listen to Timeshares, Hail Satan.
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