Hailing from Cheshire, The Luka State has transcended their small hometown, going on to garner worldwide success. With nods from BBC Introducing, and features on over 30 editorial playlists on Spotify already under their belt – The Luka State is set for the stars.
The Luka State’s sound is a distinct blend of indie and punk, mixing brashness with softness – and setting the band apart from the rest. Their latest offering “More Than This” is an ode to the working class, and anyone who’s finding it hard to make ends meet. Lyrics like “When I’m up in court/ And they read my name out/ When I’m crying out all of my tears/ With no pennies to spend” are delivered with unabashed passion. A bold declaration that no one deserves to go through endless financial struggles, the track was immediately praised by critics. Searing declarations of solidarity are needed now more than ever, and The Luka State dishes that out in spades.
Putting their money where their mouth is, The Luka State donated each and every penny of the track’s video budget to the foodbank and poverty charity The Trussell Trust. Spreading their support even further, the band also donated a meal to a family in need for every ticket they sold for their upcoming London show, launching a GoFundMe to boot.
“More Than This” is the titular single of the band’s hotly-anticipated sophomore album, and its March 10th release date is inching closer and closer. The excitement is mounting, but The Luka State also released another single “Matter Of Fact”, which is plucked from the album too – tiding fans over until release day arrives. All in all, More Than This is a departure from The Luka State’s established sound. It’s a leap forward, nonetheless, as confidence emanates from the album. Sonically grounded, the project is equilibrated by a mix of passionate aggression and direct melody.
Set to take Europe by storm on their upcoming tour, The Luka State will blaze through the UK, Scotland, Germany, and beyond. With the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Jam, and Biffy Clyro all influencing their sound, The Luka State forge a path of their own. We had the opportunity to sit down with The Luka State, and chat about it all. From the perils of going on tour, to the band’s humble small town beginnings – we covered it all.
Head below to see the interview…
How are you today? Where are we speaking to you from?
I’m fine, thank you. I’m currently relaxing watching a bit of TV before I head down to the practice room to meet the lads.
How did it feel to see such a strong reaction to your recent single “More Than This”?
It’s great to know that people give a shit about the subject matter of the song, the tragedy of food bank use in the UK. Sometimes music can be a positive platform to talk about current issues in our lives and in society. I felt like it was my time to speak up lyrically so it was nice to see people taking notice.
Can you tell us more about the charity support around the release of “More Than This”?
1.3 million families used food banks in the UK alone last year. It felt right to do something positive with our platform and help out anywhere we could – so we decided to work with the Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest food bank charity. It’s such a fantastic, amazing organisation and their main goal is to eventually not needing to exist anymore.
Can you give us a sneak peek of what to expect from your upcoming album, also titled “More Than This”?
The album is a bit of a different side of us as a band, as musicians and as people. I feel like I really found my feet lyrically on this record. I felt like it’s time to open up and speak about my own experiences, a little like therapy in a way. This album tackles some uncomfortable subjects, social issues, mental health, substance abuse, friendships, love and everything in between. But on the whole, this album has a positive message that being there for one another and showing each other love and support is the way we win In life.
Can you walk us through the process of working with Grammy-winning producer Adrian Bushby on “Matter of Fact”?
First of all you need to up your fucking game. Game face on and go into battle. Hyper focus kinda shit. However, it’s first and foremost about the human connection. Do we get on? We hit it off straight away, talking all kinds of nonsense and laughing almost constantly. Once that is sorted, everything else becomes a breeze. When you’re working with someone of Ade’s calibre you trust the process that little bit more. You’re guided with confidence and enjoy the ride whilst being creative, and that’s all part of the fun.
In comparison to “Fall In Fall Out”, how do you feel “More Than This” represents a leap forward for the band?
I feel like the shift In dynamic as writers has certainly changed. We grow as people, we’re constantly changing as humans. I think that’s the same as a writer. You’re always developing and changing, and hopefully getting better and better. If I didn’t feel like there was a confident shift in progression I’d down tools and jack it in. It’s nice to have a previous album though so you can feel the personal growth and I hope the fans and other people also hear this.
When it comes to your sound, who do you look to as musical influences or forefathers?
Not really. We kind of just make music and see what happens. I think when you listen to as many different genres of music as we do that those influences are always in your subconscious. I don’t think we’re ever gonna get away from that. So when an influence seeps through and someone’s mentioned it, it’s always nice to know we are giving it a bit of a nod without knowing it.
Can you elaborate on the significance of the yellow vinyl edition of the album?
So that sleeve was a bit of a gift from the gods. We shot it in Manhattan in a subway station after having travelled from Gibraltar to Spain to Switzerland to the USA in under 48hrs. We were absolutely broken people, and it was just day 1 of our 6 week tour of America! So that photo captures us as a band, but also us as people struggling, but still digging deep because we know we can and will be more than this, be bigger, better, stronger.
How does the band dynamic contribute to the creation and production of your music?
Great question. I think everyone brings their own little piece of magic. I think that’s the beauty of a proper band though. We sit and persevere through songs in the writing process and we also aren’t afraid to scrap an idea when we feel somethings not good enough. There’s passionate arguments and beautiful compliments and it all adds up to making a confident record. We do also demo absolutely every idea ever so sometimes we’ll listen back to them whilst on tour as like our own private album. It’s a great way to keep that creative connection when you’re stuck in a van for weeks on end.
As a rising band, what have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced while touring?
I think the biggest challenge is realising that the phrase “ten years to be an overnight success” is not a joke, and that at no point is anything ever handed to you on a silver platter. The grind never stops. So it can be a constant battle with your own mind at times, telling yourself “no I’m not where I wanna be right now, but I am heading in the right direction”. Every band feels like this, especially the big ones. You sell out the Camden Assembly. Great, but why wasn’t it Brixton Academy? Then one day you’ll sell out Brixton Academy and go, why isn’t it Wembley? It’s an endless cycle and you gotta find a way to break it and enjoy the moment.
How has growing up in the small town of Winsford shaped your music and perspective?
Being from a small working class town you see sights and hear stories that bands in the big cities might not notice. I believe our album, More Than This, could only have been written by a band living in a Winsford, or a Wakefield or a Leigh. Working two jobs to put food on the table, worrying about bills, that has an effect on the way you live your life and love your partner too. Nothing is handed to people on a plate in small towns and I hope that comes across in the lyrics of the album.
Can you take us through your songwriting process, from start to finish?
I’m constantly writing and I use my phone to demo everything. I’m always writing lyric ideas in my word bank or just random phrases that I can cherry pick at times. Sometimes I come up with melodies and sing them into my voice recorder on my phone and then adapt them to a guitar at a later date. I do like to do it the old fashioned way though and sit with an acoustic and really write, like really dive into a song where sometimes it may take 15 minutes sometimes it might take a full day. I’m lucky that it’s never one way. It’s the music first and then the lyrics or vice versa. I then take this to the band and then we knock the song up together. Or there’s times when we write as a band with all four of us. We decide on a mood and jam things out and essentially write a piece of music with all the intricacies. We’ll record it and then I’ll take a full song home and sit with the lyrics and melody until I’m happy that we have a full complete song. This is a fantastic liberating process that happened quite a lot on this new record.
Can you delve deeper into the themes and personal experiences explored in “Matter of Fact”?
Basically it comes down to the simple question that we often find ourselves asking ourselves. “Will you love me when I’m at my worst the same way that you love me when I’m at my best?” It’s very easy to lose our way sometimes and it’s nice to have that someone remind us at times that we need to sort our shit out. This song is about that person that’s worth sorting your shit out for. And you know exactly who I’m talking about in your own personal experience. It doesn’t have to be romantic, it’s just the notion of being a better person.
How do you balance the different elements in your music to create that unique sound?
At the end of the day we are a rock’n’roll band. We’re not all going to take up synth at the same time and start wearing capes. Vocals, guitars, bass and drums are the elements of this band that make it work. We know our strengths and I think when you know you have to play to them. Also we can all write and we can all bounce ideas off each other during the writing process so nothing is ever too self indulgent or too out there. I think the key to being a good band is being honest and true to yourself. I think once you have that you can balance all the elements in the band very nicely.
Lastly, What’s next for The Luka State?
We wanna use this album as a springboard to play to the masses all over the world. We just want people to dig our band and get what we are about. Reach as many people as possible and really make our mark. I’ll be happy with that.
Head below to check out The Luka State’s new music video for “More Than This”, and for more information on their upcoming tour head here…