Louder with Luke Rainsford
Photo Credit: Hayley Fearnley Photography
Transcription Credit: Rebekah-Eve Evans
Over the last few months you have been recording new material: how has the recording process been this time around compared to previous experience?
So different. I wanted to change things up a bit, because when I first started doing acoustic stuff, it was always just side projects and random songs that didn’t just really fit in with anything else that I was doing, it was kind of just a throw away project, but people started really attaching themselves to it and I thought that I need to take this more seriously, and this time I really wanted to see what I could do and express my music interests. So this time was really different, I recorded some rough acoustic demos of songs I liked and just went into the studio with them and just fucked around with guitars and effects, we wanted to make something that wasn’t necessarily a coherent record but something that was influenced by loads of things that I liked and things that me and the producer could attach ourselves to, it’s a lot of pop, a lot of indie, we took a lot of influence and tried to make something different, there’s not a song on that record that sounds like anything I’ve ever done, but it’s also still very me, song writing wise, but framing is completely different and new. I’m so excited for it!
We have spoken in private before about feeling burnt out by the sheer volume of music that working in this industry exposes you to‐ how do you go about conquering those feelings to be able to keep working? (Is there such a thing as too much music?)
It’s really hard, the amount of shows you go to and the bands you see and new bands, when you’re surrounded by it, it’s difficult to keep up it’s difficult to find the time to listen to the new stuff and honestly for me, I wanted to sort of bring the influence of bands that influenced me, like Weezer and early Green Day, and sort of mix that with bands that I was influenced by from other projects that I’ve done, I guess I sort of look back into my past and bands that I hold connections with that gives me the enthusiasm to make new stuff, listening to newer bands helps me re-find my connection with music, like something new might come out and sometimes I might not want to listen to it, like even stuff from bands that I listen to and love, it’s really disheartening to get into that state, but when you find a record you love, and that you can’t just re-fall in love with over and over, it brings back that fire and it’s so great. The nostalgic feeling can really help everyone and that’s what I want to bring.
So much of your music is so deeply personal‐ do you find it to be a form of catharsis, and is there ever a difficulty in putting so much of yourself out there into the world?
It’s both, it’s really cathartic that I can comfortably express myself, its really difficult to talk about things sometimes, I’m really bad at talking, I’ve gotten better over the years, like I could never talk to anyone it’d make me really anxious but I’m a lot more confident and I feel I can say more, there are still somethings I don’t really like to talk about but I for some reason feel like when I put it into music It makes it so much easier to talk about it, I feel im also much better explaining how I feel through music, sometimes I don’t really know how I feel until I write a song, it’s really bizarre, a song can happen and it will just explain why I’m feeling a certain way or why I’ve done a certain thing it’s so interesting but that is so terrifying, like being that vulnerable is scary, even though it feels amazing to do because you’re getting things off your chest, I know sometimes people won’t get it, or there’s a constant fear that everyone’s going to judge me, even though I know they won’t, they’re very irrational fears but it’s very scary.
That connection with your fans that is created by being so candid in your music is so powerful‐ have you ever had an experience with a fan that has changed how you perceive your own music?
I never thought I would make anything that people would care about and the fact that I’ve had people get some of my song lyrics tattooed or have told me that my songs have helped them through bad times, that’s so incredible to me I never thought that would happen it blows my mind, I remember listening to big bands and getting into the emotional side of music, not just listening to bands because I thought they were cool I remember seeing this bands and thinking wow this has helped me come to terms with what I’m going through, my own feelings and help me realise what I need to do to get better and what steps I need to take and to have my music do the same for others makes me feel so happy, I’m so lucky to have that.
Looking over to touring, where you get to meet those fans‐ do you have a favourite tour you’ve done, and what makes a good tour for you?
I’ve never done a bad tour, which I’m very lucky to say, I’ve had bad experiences but never a bad tour, if I had think of a favourite tour; not to upset anyone, but it’d have to be the tour with Holding Absence, before that tour things were bad and stressful, things were going very wrong for me behind the scenes, more than I could possibly list it was a new thing every day, every problem I solved, three new problems would happen, and it was things way out of my control like it wasn’t anyone’s fault, it was just other people causing problems, that lead me to have to spend more time sorting things out, at the time I was at uni and I had a job at that point so I had no time to sort things out, but when it came to the actual tour everything came together and it was the most heart-warming tour, everything was so worth it. There were people who didn’t know who I was the first night but came and had learnt all the words to my songs the second night and people just saying I was scared to listen to you because you were so different but you’ve made this tour so welcoming and nice. That tour was so nice, it was so cathartic to get through, the day of the tour I was still like is this really happening we were driving to the venue and I just couldn’t believe that it was actually real.
Touring as a small artist is a tough world at the best of times‐ do the ramifications of Brexit worry you in terms of being able to tour outside the UK?
Yeah, it’s terrifying, this tour is basically the only time I get to go to Europe, like even for bigger artists it still sucks, but they have a bit more of a budget to play around with, but being an artist my size, I have no budget or anything its crazy, every single merch sale, a single stream, anything, it keeps me going, nothing is secure it’s like a month to month thing, it’s terrifying, things like Brexit make that more difficult for me, it pretty much makes it impossible for me to go to Europe unless I drastically increase in size, and that sucks because I’ve always wanted to go to Europe and I’ve never been able to make it work. The uncertainty of Brexit made it even harder because we were trying to make Europe work but we had no idea what was going on like so many promoters had no idea what was going on and it was so risky for them to book things, like even before Brexit, Europe was hard but I’m so glad I’m finally getting that opportunity to get out there. People have been asking me to go to Europe for years. Even politically, the conservative government don’t give a fuck about smaller artists and businesses they don’t care, like unless you’re earning loads of money they don’t give a shit, and it’s so difficult, they don’t help fund small art projects or help struggling venues or businesses, like they don’t care because they don’t see it as worthwhile, it’s horrible, it’s terrifying, I know young people are more politically informed than they ever have been but there’s not enough being done like young people need to go and vote and make a change, I try not to show bias, but I don’t give a fuck, like if you support small musicians and vote Conservative, you’re not supporting the scene, you’re supporting big businesses that don’t give a fuck about us. If you have some form of platform and you aren’t using it to voice yourself, you’re doing a disservice to the young people who don’t know who to look to or don’t understand, they need that introduction.
Can you give us any hints as to when we may get to hear some of this new material?
At the minute, there’s just a lot of planning, we want to make sure it’s done properly, I want to do it the way I want to do it, not the way the industry standard demands.
Luke's latest single, 'Death Bed', is out now via Scylla Records.
Luke is also heading back out on the aforementioned EU and UK tour with Cory Wells and Lizzy Farrell next year- dates can be found below: