Last month we premiered the single, “Charcoal and Oil”, from Luke Seymoup‘s new full length album, The Professional. Here we are on release day and as I give this record another listen I still remain so excited that someone is using the organ as a main instrument again! It’s the kind of listen that’s refreshing because it’s so straight forward. Rock music that boasts talent rather than tricks, get to know Luke Seymoup:
N: How much influence does 90’s music have on you?
LS: “I was born December 21st, 1990. I grew up through the 90’s but I didn’t really develop any kind of interest in music until I bought Linkin Park’s “Hybrid Theory” in 2002. I was probably too busy playing Neopets or some other nonsense. The first music I ever obsessed over as a teenager was 90’s Punk though, stuff like Rancid and Green Day. When I started writing music for this record a few years ago, The Lemonheads were a huge influence on the sound I was trying to achieve. Evan Dando’s lyrics are clever and interesting without getting overly wordy and there’s just something about those over driven 90’s guitar chords.”
N: How did you meet the band you have playing with you now?
LS: “Our keyboard player’s name is Brendan Kelly. He was accordion player and co-vocalist for Pat & Brendan, a local band that I was thoroughly obsessed with in my late teens. Around 2012, he asked me to join his solo band on saxophone. We didn’t play in that band for very long but we kept on talking about doing a band with my songs. It took a few years but we finally made it happen. Our bassist, Rhys, joined on the recommendation of a mutual friend and we poached our drummer, Marty, from another local band that we played a show with. Sorry, guys… but not really.”
N: What are you currently listening to?
LS: “Just the song “Never Meant” by American Football over and over and over again.”
N: Does country or blues music influence you at all? If so, which artists.
LS: “I’ve never described myself as a “country fan” but I don’t have any kind of aversion to country music. I am a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and a lot of Springsteen fans are also country music fans so we have some common ground there. He’s probably where that side of my songwriting stems from. Don’t we really just all want to be The Boss deep down?”
N: Was there another career you wanted to pursue growing up?
LS: “Except for a brief period when I was 6 that I wanted to be Superman, I’ve only ever wanted to be a musician or a school teacher. I do both of those things now so I’m basically living my childhood dreams.”
N: How long did it take you to write this full length?
LS: “The oldest song on the record is “Mosquitoes” which I wrote way back in 2011. I’ve been squirrelling away songs with the intention of doing this release ever since. All the songs were written in bits and pieces in between writing music for other bands that I was involved in. It came together really slowly but I feel like every song on the record matters as much as the next one. I’m really proud of the whole thing.”
N: Do you get concepts for music videos in your head when you write? Which song do you think will be next to get a video?
LS: “I wish I could take credit for all the ideas of our music videos. The only one I came up with was the most recent video for “Charcoal & Oil” because I’ve wanted to have a go at making an old Doctor Who episode for a really long time. It was the first time I’ve shot and edited a video myself. Our good friend Gordon Holland worked on our last two videos (he shot and edited “Mosquitoes” and edited “Doing Dishes” from footage that we shot on tour) and I made sure to get his approval on the “Charcoal” video before we released it. I had such a great time working on it though that I’ve already got a few ideas for more videos off this album. I keep flip-flopping on which track will be first so I don’t want to name one just yet in case I change my mind.”
N: What’s the meaning or story behind the title of the album, The Professional?
LS: “I played with a Punk band called Miyazaki! for 6 years. We’ve been taking some time off for the last year but that probably won’t last forever. We used to make the same joke every time we made a mistake on stage (sometimes minor, sometimes in spectacular fashion): “Hi, everyone, we’re Miyazaki! but you can call us The Professionals”. No matter how many times we said it, it was always funny to me. It still is. When it came time to name this record, it was the only name that made sense to me.”
N: If you could record a cover of one song what would it be and why?
LS: “Since my teenage years, I’d always wanted to record a cover of “Mother” by Danzig and I finally accomplished that dream a couple of years ago. We did it as a Reggae slow jam. It’s on our Bandcamp page and you’d probably like it! Brendan and Rhys keep asking to cover the Rupert Holmes’ “Pina Colada Song” but that’s not going to happen. I’m sure someday we’ll find something else that we can all agree on.”
N: I see you have shows coming up. What can we expect from your live show?
LS: “You can expect the following guarantees from an evening with the Luke Seymoup Band: at least one of us will wear a Hawaiian shirt; Brendan make fun of me by playing air guitar when my back is turned; Rhys will not be allowed to have a microphone; Marty and I will high-5 each other at the end of “Jailbird Sing” and you will definitely have a nice time.”
Listen to Luke Seymoup’s brand new album, The Professional, below:
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