Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Luke, singer and string-strummer with Otherkin. I’m from Hayestown which lies just outside Slane. You can hear the concerts from my house. Hopefully you’ll be able to hear me from there soon.
Who are your favorite artists from home?
Squarehead are a band who I always come back to. We stage gigs in our house every three months and I was only chuffed when they agreed to play one. I’m also into Princess, Other Creatures and a recently formed outfit called m(h)aol.
What’s it really like touring?
Exhausting, disorientating, toxic and a whole heap of fun. We’ve toured Ireland so far and loved every minute of it, and we can’t wait to spread ourselves further. It’s yourself and three of your best mates on the road, living in each other pockets and bringing your music with you, it’s difficult to hate.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
We played in Cypress Avenue, Cork with Palma Violets last year and the crowd was fantastic. That’s the clincher for me, regardless of the standing of the venue itself, if the crowd isn’t into it then it’s difficult to loosen up and enjoy it. If the crowd’s with you then you’re golden. Cork’s always been good to us.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
My iconic-indie-institution-now-reformed-without-an-album-to-support-band would be Pavement. My critically-acclaimed-yet-lumped-with-a-midday-set-band would be Tame Impala. My token rapper would be Kendrick Lamar, that man is untouchable.
What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
We were featured in the Radar section of one of the latest issues of NME, which is a tick off the bucket list. Ask me again when we’ve been asked to do the Late Late Show.
What was the worst piece of advice you were given?
People don’t really offer me advice. I don’t know why. I could probably use it, I’m just as clueless as anybody else.
What do you do to relax?
ASMR videos. I once watched around 20 videos of Japanese woodblock print-maker David Bull sitting at his carving bench producing these blocks in order to commission some prints. I had no prior interest in any of that kind of thing but goddamn it, those videos completely dissolve any stress or anxiety that you might have.
What are you reading?
Nothing at the minute because I’m studying for exams and really struggle with multi-tasking but the last book I read was For Whom The Bell Tolls by Hemingway which was wonderful and I plan on getting stuck into Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut once I get some breathing space.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
I don’t tend to watch TV, mainly because I’m concerned that a new series of something would absolutely consume all of my free time. I quite enjoyed the recent BBC4 documentary on the Strypes which shared some brutally honest insights into where they’re at at the minute. I also watch ‘Girls’.
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
Musicwise, Deerhunter Live at the Interface is something I make sure to revisit every month. I’m also an absolute sucker for any Letterman (Spoon playing Inside Out is a favourite), SNL (Kanye with Black Skinhead) or Jools Holland (Joanna Newsome doing ’81) performance.
What website do you visit most?
State.ie. Of course.
What is your favourite:
Record? I can’t deny the impact that Is This It by the Strokes had on my musical development. There are more touching records, there are more powerful and emphatic and important records, but if anyone produces a collection of 11 pop-rock nuggets as ferociously catchy and expertly crafted as the 11 on Is This It then they deserve the world and all that’s in it.
Song? ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ by the Beatles knocks me out every time. Absolutely cosmic.
Lost classic song? ‘I’ve Told Every Little Star’ by Linda Scott has been pinging around my noggin for the last couple of weeks.
Record label? I’ve always been taken with Domino. They don’t seem hollow, or superficial, or stifling. They operate the way a record company should operate, with warmth. In the US, I like the output of Captured Tracks, and historically I think Creation Records deservedly forged a legacy for themselves.
Who is your favourite current artist?
A new artist that you are most excited about?
Jai Paul is yet to deliver a real debut album so I suppose he could be considered new. That man deserves a pedestal.
What was the last great gig you have seen?
Caribou’s show in Vicar Street last year was quite special.
Although I enjoyed it immensely at the time, I’m not sure Kanye West’s Marlay Park concert was actually very good. Caught the majority of Pixies set a couple of days before/after also, that was garbage. Huge Pixies fan but Christ they really phoned that one in.
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
Rowdiness, raucousness and a smattering of immediate, honest rock songs with sticky melodies. We play the Grand Social on the 2nd of April with Pockets and No Monster Club. Do join us.
Otherkin launch their new single in Dublin’s Grand Social on Thursday, April 2nd.