INTERVIEW: SUMMON LUKE
Hailing from Columbus, OH, Summon Luke emerges as a rising luminary, weaving an innovative tapestry of alternative pop/rock and electronic industrial music. His artistic repertoire unfolds as an enthralling fusion of soundscapes and visuals inspired by the realms of sci-fi and fantasy, crafting epic compositions brimming with fantastical narratives and poignant undertones.
His latest single, 'Caroline,' serves as a testament to Summon Luke's boundless creativity and versatility. An intricate amalgamation of alt-pop, indie, rock, and shoegaze elements, 'Caroline' emanates a hauntingly wistful aura, unveiling a distinctive facet of his artistry. From the soaring vocals to the layered guitars and ethereal textures interwoven with thumping snare drums and masterfully crafted guitar solos, 'Caroline' exudes an immediate magnetism that captivates the listener.
We sat down with Lucas to learn more about 'Caroline', his influences and much, much more, exclusively for FLEX. Check it out below!
Your music combines elements from various genres. How did you first develop this unique blend of alternative pop/rock and electronic industrial music?
Summon Luke came about from an abundance of songs I had left over from various other projects. I find that I am always writing. I cannot help myself at times, and that leads to many songs being left behind from projects being slow, and taking to long to push things out.
I think the blend comes from my strange taste in a variety of different genres. I obviously gravitate towards alternative rock/pop, but aside from that, there are several different types of music I listen to and find inspiration in.
Q: 'Caroline' captures a sense of being at the centre of it all, like the main character in a film. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this track and its introspective lyricism?
I cannot. No, just kidding. I think the feeling of your life being some sort of movie is a pretty old idea. My generation, the millennials, seems to have a particular reputation of being selfish and perhaps feels like their lives are at the centre of it all. I know I am guilty of feeling this way.
One last thing I'll say, I recall a movie called "Frances Ha" that I saw once that gave me a similar feeling to what I'm imagining when playing this song.
Your sound has been likened to artists like Day Wave, Radiohead, and My Morning Jacket. How do you navigate this range of influences while maintaining your distinctive sound?
I'm sort of an anarchist when it comes to the rules of copying, ripping off, or being inspired by something. Basically, if it works, it works. I'm constantly using other bands, songs, movies, TV, words, etc. to try and describe what I'm going for to musicians, producers, engineers, and others.
The press release mentions your creative use of visuals inspired by the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy. How do these visuals complement your music, and what role do they play in shaping your artistic identity?
I wanted to incorporate the worlds of sci-fi and fantansy somehow because they simply make me happy. For whatever reason, I always gravitate towards those realms, and I didn't wanted to incorporate that somehow in Summon Luke.
'Caroline' blends soaring vocals, layered guitars, atmospheric textures, and thumping drums. Could you describe your creative process in crafting such a multi-dimensional track?
A lot of the guitar and atmospheric textures came from the lead guitarist on the track Mike Stokes and the engineer Jon Fintel. They're both masters of crafting guitar parts/sounds/tones.
I had a demo with a fairly similar drum part that I played in my home studio/DAW, but Steven Bustos definitely made it his own.
I virtually had no input on the bass, and that was masterfully crafted by Ethan Benton. Who is a magnificent songwriter within Columbus, Ohio and has his own project called Friends With Elephants.
Stream 'Caroline' here:
Your ability to blend electronics with pop rock sensibilities is notable. How do you approach merging these elements, and what challenges or rewards does this fusion present?
The electronic element has always been a part of the writing process for me. I am very methodical in the way I write songs. I'll learn songs on many different instruments and experiment with various approaches on how to perform them.
As far as challenges, performing faithful live recreations of some songs can be difficult.
What's the significance of 'Caroline' in your musical journey as an artist? How does this track represent your evolution and growth?
Caroline was the first song recorded with the full band that performs Summon Luke songs live. For that reason, it is certainly special.
I think it's a fairly well written song, if I do say so myself. I can't say that I feel it is a particular point of evolution or growth in my songwriting or musical journey as an artist. I feel it's a solid pop/rock song.
Can you share any upcoming projects or directions your music might take, considering your penchant for boundary-pushing sounds?
There will definitely be more pop/rock/alt songs similar to Caroline in the future, but folks can also expect songs that take their time and experiment with progressive structures, strange tones, and dissonant melodies.
And finally, how do you envision your music evolving in the future, and are there any new artistic frontiers you'd like to explore in your upcoming works?
One aspect that has always been lurking, but I've never really fully explored is the inspiration I get from video game music. I've heard some keen listeners pick up on my fascination with chip tune and classic videogame OSTs, but I've never really scratched that itch.