AND HIS CD
AUGUST 23, 2008
QUITE A SURPRISE!:
SIMON YOUNG OF THE SLANTS TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT THE BAND'S DEBUT CD 'SLANTED EYES, SLANTED HEARTS', THEIR SUCCESS ON HE ANIME CIRCUIT
AND TAKING OWNERSHIP OF A STEREOTYPE
A SECOND TIME AROUND:
ABOUT THE BANDS FORTHCOMING CD GIG MICHAELS OF SWAMPDAWAMP TALKS TO ROCKWIRED GOING OUT ON THE ROAD AGAINAND WHERE HE'S AT IN LIFE
ALYSSA GRAHAM TALKS TO ROCKWIRED ABOUT HER LATEST CD 'ECHO'TAKING THE LISTENER ON A MUSICAL JOURNEY AND FILLING PEOPLE WITH A SENSE OF HOPE
WE'RE A REAL BAND:
MARC PANNI OF LOS BLANCOS TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT THEIR LATEST CD 'JUST THIS ONCE' REELING IN THE AUDIENCE AT MAKING FOLKS RECONSIDER MUSICIANSHIP(READ MORE)
LOVE LIKE THIS:
MIKE ZITO TALKS TO ROCKWIRED ABOUT HIS LATEST CD 'TODAY' GROWING AS A SONGWRITER
AND MAKING THE ALBUM HE'S ALWAYS DREAMED OF (READ MORE)
SOUND AND VISION:
JEFF SHAPIRO ON CIAM TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT THEIR CD 'ANONYMOUS' MERGING ART AND MUSIC
AND APPEALING TO OTHER SENSES (READ MORE)
GOWhen I was a kid, it was a fantasy of mine to pick up the guitar, release an album, make a few music videos, and tour the country. Hindsight being what it is, I can see all too clearly why I never became the rock n roll vunderkind that Canadian-born LUKE MULHOLLAND is. For me it was dream. For MULHOLLAND, it was more than that. "It's my passion, you know." says MULHOLLAND. "It's what I do. I write songs and I play guitar."
LUKE MULHOLLAND TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT MULHOLLAND DRIVE'S LATEST CD 'FURTHER'
THE CHALLENGES OF BEING AN UNDERAGED ROCKER
AND LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
INTERVIEWED BY BRIAN LUSH
At the age of eighteen MULHOLLAND, and his band MULHOLLAND DRIVE, has released his fourth album 'FURTHER'. Four albums at the age of eighteen! I'm still scratching my head over what it was that MULHOLLAND had to write about when he released his debut CD 'ROAD HOME' back in 2004 at the age of fourteen. When I was fourteen, I had braces, acne, and no visible means of attracting someone for some good old-fashioned necking, yet MULHOLLAND has a career that is four albums strong with guitar and vocal chops that make you think you're listening to a fifty-year-old, blues-influenced English rocker in the vein of ERIC CLAPTON, ERIC BOURDON, or PAUL RODGERS.
ROCKWIRED spoke with LUKE MULHOLLAND as he had embarked on his first U.S. tour. Here is how it went.
Before I go any further, I'm going to have to bring up the age thing. I hear you and then I see you and it's two different things. It's really quite jarring. Is that a common reaction?
The biggest reaction I ve heard is that people don't expect my voice to come out of my body. That's the big one that I hear.
What drew you to music specifically?
Music was always sort of around when I was growing up. My parents aren't musical at all, but they are big listeners and they were always playing the classics like ZEPPELIN, HENDRIX and THE DOORS and stuff like that. It was my dad who got me my first guitar and I just started playing. At first, I didn't take guitar playing all that seriously, and then a couple years later, I started learning songs like the ZEPPELIN songs and I thought 'This is awesome!'. So I started taking seriously, the whole thing of learning to play lead guitar and I started writing songs. When I started playing shows, it was the best feeling that I ever had. So that was what drew me to it. It was just something that I loved.
Were there or are there any handicaps to being so young and getting things going?
The biggest challenge that I have to face, even today, is the fact that I'm not twenty one. Where I'm from (Ontario, Canada) the legal age is nineteen and when I started out, I was fourteen or fifteen. So I've been playing underage for my entire career thus far and the biggest handicap is actually getting into the clubs. It's the hardest part.
Outside of what your parents introduced you to, what music did you listen to growing up?
Back when I was starting to play guitar, I was really into modern muisc. This was around the early 2000's with things like LIMP BIZKIT , SUM-41 and stuff like that. But my parents were always playing classic rock from the sixties and seventies. My mom loved THE DOORS and HENDRIX and my dad loved LED ZEPPELIN and bands like that. When you're twelve or thirteen, you don't really have a choice if you're dad wants to play LED ZEPPELIN in the car. I won't say that I was forced to listen to it but it was always around. I didn't really reject any style of music. I guess I just realized through playing guitar that the music from back then was more complicated, more in-depth and more interesting to play and I just grew out of that pop-punk kind of stuff.
I was thinking about that before I started talking to you. When my mom was just a lass, it wasn't like she was listening to LAWRENCE WELK like her parents did. But my generation and younger, have these parents that listened to all of this great classic rock and for some reason or another, it stays with you.
Yeah, stuff like THE BEATLES is never going to die. That stuff is brilliant.
At the moment, you're on the road. Who are you on the road with?
I'm with three awesome people! CHRISTIAN MURPHY on bass, JAYME TARDIFF on drums and a new guy JAMES FARNSWORTH on keyboards. We've had two previous keyboardists but they've followed other committments so we got this new guy JAMES and tonight is going to be his first gig with the band and hopefully he is going to be permanent. I'm also on the road with my road manager and it's pretty much this team of five that travels everywhere.
Are these the same players that are on the album as well?
No. The players on the album were the guys that I played with in Canada for three and a half years until I came out of Canada to Boston to go to BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC and that was where I hooked up with these guys and we've continued the project.
How was working with these new guys different from the old group of people?Is it better? Worse?
It's definitely better. My approach to music has changed and that's why I like this better. It's a little more free-form jam rock these days . The old band used to follow strict schedules with the songs and planning out every sort of jam that we did. Now, as a band, we improvise more on stage and it's a lot more free spirited and fun.
Explain if it's explainable all that goes into writing a song.
It varies per song. Sometimes I'll be sitting around playing nothing in particular on the guitar and I'll stumble across this chord progression that sounds good or sometimes I'll be playing someone elses song and get an idea. As they say, "great artists steal" so if I like a certain part of a song, I'll combine itt with some other chord progression that I find interesting. There are some songs where a bridge is inspired by this ERIC CLAPTON song and the chorus is from this LED ZEPPLIN song. In songwriting, I ussually come up with the music first and add the lyrics later. That is ussually the process that I follow.
When did you first begin writing songs?
I was about thirteen years old. Maybe late twelve.The first album happened when I was fourteen and I had ten songs by then, so it had to be around the time I was twelve or thirteen.
From the album FURTHER, are there any tracks that sort of stand out for you?
There's one song called THE LAST VERSE that I realy like. GO and the title track are probably my choices for second and third favorite.
So being off from school for the summer has freed you up for some touring.
Yeah. We're in Atlanta right now until Friday. We have two gigs tonight and tomorrow and then we're in New Hampshire on Saturday and we have two gigs next week in Boston. After that, I'm sort of unclear but we're going to Chicago at some point, New York, and then New Jersey. We were in Los Angeles a month ago so we've been pretty busy flying all around and driivng around.
It sounds exciting!
It is exciting but all of the traveling and lugging the gear, and renting rooms can really wear on you. It's pretty stressfull, but that's what you've got to do and I'm loving it.
What would you like a listener to come away with after hearing this CD?
I would like them to come away with an appreciation of the music, obviously. I'd like them to understand the direction that the group is going in and if they dig that, I'd like for them to be a fan and support the music. This is our first tour so we could use all of the support that we can get.
Are there any fantasies about who you would like to open for or tour with?
The old band opened for BON JOVI in Toronto about two years ago and that was pretty cool, but I would love to play with or open for GOVERNMENT MULE. They're one of my favorites right now. That would be pretty awesome.
It's amazing that you are four albums into your career and you are only eighteen.
It's my passion, you know. It's what I do. I write songs and I play guitar.
So what are you studying at BERKLEE specifically.
My major is going to be songwriting. I intend tobe writngsongs for the rest of my life and I'd like the songs to progress and get better as the years go by. I've only been at BERKLEE for a year but I'm loving it.
I never get to ask this question ever, but in the past few years, you've released about five albums and you've still got this whole life ahead of you. Where do you see all of it going in about ten years?
Obviously, I'd love to be playing venues with ten thousand plus people who are there to hear my music and are there to hear me. I'd like to spread my word to as many people as I can.