Q&A :: Luke Thompson
February 13th 2013
Something glorious is wafting over the ditch, and it’s not just the smell of fush n chups. Luke Thompson is making beautiful, stirring acoustic tracks with vocals that make your insides go quiet. The Flog’s Rachel Hayter spoke to Luke about what drives him to do what he does, ahead of his Sydney tour in May.
FBi: Why do you make music?
Luke: That’s a good question, I often ask the same thing when I’m trying to convince myself to give it up. I’m just so addicted to it, especially the rush of writing. When you haven’t written anything in months and months and don’t know if you ever will again and then a song creeps up on you all of a sudden and you can feel it and taste it and you just let it out. It’s very addictive.
What inspires you?
The change of seasons, sadness, joy, defeat, hope, god, life, death, questions, answers… all the normal stereotypically arty things. Leonard Cohen poems!
Who do you admire and why?
I admire my dad. He’s just done a really good job at life, ya know. and I’m better off because of it, so I admire him a lot.
In your biography on your website, you say “there are so many weeds when it comes to writing” – can you tell us a little more about those weeds and how the writing process works for you?
Yeah, I guess I meant it felt like I had to write a whole lot of okay songs before I could start writing the ones I wanted to hear. Like your head’s full of junk and you have to clear some out. I couldn’t tell you much about my writing process, if I understood it I would write way more songs!
What would your album have sounded like if it wasn’t raining throughout the recording process?
Hmm… probably a lot like it does now, except we would have taken more breaks and gone out for coffee and to the beach a lot. But we didn’t do any of that. So maybe it would have been wildly different? I think the bad weather suited it, even though it was recorded in summer, and it was released in summer, I think this album is meant for autumn.
Tell us the story behind one of your songs.
The Forever Song: I wrote the whole thing on a flight to Cairns after listening to a podcast. I was going to record with Tim Hart for his album ‘Milling The Wind’. That’s where I met Mark Myers who recorded my album. Anyway, I wrote the whole thing out like a poem and it didn’t become a song for another 4 months or so, when I sung it along with a tune I had been working on and it fitted perfectly.
What’s special about the New Zealand music scene?
I guess it’s pretty small, which is kind of cool. For me it’s just a bunch of friends and that’s whats special about it.
When will Australians get a live listen of Luke?!
I’m coming over to do three shows late March, my first time on my own tour in Australia. I’m nervous no-one will come, but really looking forward to playing for whoever shows up, I have found Australian audiences to be incredible so far.
‘To The Common Dark’ is available as a free download from www.lukethompsonmusic.com
Watch Luke performing live at The Newsagency last year: