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A Dirty Dozen with FALLEN ROADS – January 2021

| 20 January 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Imagine you’ve been standing in line for an amusement park ride when you finally make your way to the front and… nothing happens. Drawing from this feeling, “No Ride” by rock artist Luke Rhodes of Fallen Roads details what it’s been like for him to look back on his former Christian faith with newfound perspective. Further, by unpacking a religious path that proved stifling for him personally, Luke has found freedom in music. While acknowledging the ways religion can effect positive change for some, “No Ride” serves as a safe place for recovering believers. “No Ride” is the final version of many fragments and phrases abandoned on Google Drive, masterfully co-written with Amber Kamminga. Produced by Rich Stine (The Head and The Heart, Joshua James, The Bones of J.R. Jones), this song features drums by Brian Jones, bass by Logan Davis and backing vocals by Buttafly Vasquez. A self-proclaimed “odd” amalgamation of musical influences including classical, Motown, CCR, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine and 90’s country, Luke is excited-but-admittedly-nervous to reveal his new music.” We get Luke to discuss new music, reflection on his past, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

My hope is that on the first listen they sit back and just groove the hell out of it. Brian Jones crushed the drums, a nice lil’ “Superstitious” shuffle to it, and I think it plays really nicely with my piano and Logan Davis’ bass. Second listen? I hope the message of the song itself starts to come across. If you’re a believer, I’m hoping for a gut check. If you’re a recovering believer like myself, maybe a feeling of relief that you escaped that line to nowhere.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Music was constantly being played in my house when I was a kid. One of my earliest memories is excitedly performing a “march” (let’s be honest, interpretive dance) for my mom in the yard to the “1812 Overture” by Tchaikovsky. We’re talking some real homeschool kid shit here. For the record, I regret nothing. That song is still a banger! Anyhow, as I got older, probably around age 8 or so, the parental units decided to put their strange child into piano lessons. At first? Hated it. Hated it bad. But then something started to click, and once it did, you couldn’t keep me off the thing. Played the Jurassic Park theme song until my dad got mad and made me stop.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

My musical taste is so broad, it’s so hard to nail it down to one person/group/song. However, I will say that Creedence Clearwater Revival was my father’s favorite band, and so as a boy of course they were mine favorite too. I still listen to those records, and they still resonate with me.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Hmmm, let’s say CCR, Zeppelin, AWOLnation, Rage Against The Machine, and Semisonic… Weird mix, I KNOW.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with who would it be, and why?

So, I had this dream a year or so ago: I walked into this beautiful, industrial loft in Brooklyn. This space was huge. Vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and beams everywhere, windows wrapped around the entire floor. I see a guy with a big head of hair sitting at a Rhodes piano. As I walk over to him, he gets up and turns to me. It’s Zach De La Rocha. He says, “Luke. Let’s make something fuckin’ killer”. Can’t tell you how disappointed I was to wake up from that one. So I think that’s your answer.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I’d say it’s an amalgamation of rock, blues, and electronic elements. So definitely “indie” rock. “Bluesy electronic rock” is definitely where I’m currently trying to take things for most of my music, but that could change. Early on I got more than a few people telling me, “Oh you sound like Depeche Mode”. I certainly didn’t cringe at that, they’re fantastic, but I didn’t really hear it.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Well I’m rocking this thing solo at the moment, so I do all of the things. Especially in the drinking realm.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Dan Wilson. He signed my tits. No joke, there’s a picture on my Instagram to prove it.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Being a musician is this beautiful, frustrating, endless, epic journey that will never go stale. I’ve had so much growth, and the more I grow, the more I can see there’s so much I have yet to learn. I love it, even though it drives me crazy sometimes. If I could no longer make music, I’d probably end up a writer of some kind. Both of my parents were journalists, so it’s kind of in the family DNA.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

“How much do you bench, bro?” would amuse me. I’d have been happier to answer it a few years ago, but now I think if you put me under more than 200 pounds, you’d have to pull it off my lifeless body. My least favorite is probably the “describe what/who you sound like”, not because it isn’t a fair question, but I always struggle with the answer! My writing can be pretty diverse, sound wise, but I think I’ve finally started to hone in on a “sound”. I guess that’s also part of the fun, right? Figuring out what sound is really yours to own.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

There are a lot of things that I’ve done, or not done, that I now realize weren’t the best ideas or good uses of time and money. Honestly though? I feel like they’re all necessary and part of the journey. If you don’t look at it that way, you’ll just end up resentful or bitter. I ain’t got time for that!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Alright, this one will come as a surprise. The New Radicals – Maybe You’ve Been Brainswashed Too. That record brought teenage me so much joy. Those songs are all so interesting to me, and the production, arrangement, instrumentation, all so unique. I’d love to just be in the room while that was made.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Doing ratchet shit with my friends. I’ve literally said those words to so many of my friends, and it’s true. I miss them, man, I miss them bad. Hearts and such.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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