After playing countless festivals, touring up and down the UK, seeing every corner on Ontario in Canada and a europian tour on the horizon, Luke Rainsford is an artist who is relentlessly giving himself to music. Using his heartfelt open letters of lyrics as self expression and playing emo inspired acoustic pop-punk, Lukes sound is unqie, honest and contains everything to draw you into his storytelling. Faultline chatted to Luke Rainsford recently about what inspires him, his thoughts on the music industry in 2020 and what is in store for him this year.
What drew you to song writing and why do you feel music is the strongest way to express yourself as an outlet?
I was always awful at talking about my emotions, and found really quickly that for some reason, writing songs was a way in which I could express myself. I was never interested in being the best musician, or writing the best music, I just wanted to make stuff that was important to me! I think music is great for that because it is such a universal language. It is such an easy way to find things that relate to how you feel.
What do you draw lyrical inspiration from?
I mostly just write lyrics about things that happen to me. When I first started out it was relationships, the past few years it has been a lot about grief and my mental health. I am really inspired by bands like The Wonder Years, or The Front Bottoms, where the lyrics are really blunt and emotional.
You just toured Canada, how was the whole experience for you as a musician and a traveler?
Before that tour, I had never been on a plane as far as I can remember, and it was such an amazing experience. Being able to travel across the world just to play my music for people was an experience unlike any other. I didn’t expect anyone to care about my sets but there were people who knew the lyrics, and people coming up and telling me my music meant a lot to them. I can’t describe how self affirming that was.
Who do you mainly draw inspiration from and what records made an impact on you growing up?
This has changed over the course of my life. When I first started writing music, I was influence by Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms, but these days it is mostly Weezer, Say Anything and Transit. I also have been listening to a lot of The Japanese House and LANY. Growing up was a lot different, I actually grew up around metal until the age of around 11, where I really got into Green Day and Blink-182. I was really into the whole Pop Punk thing until I was around 17, though some of those old records I still listen to from time to time.
Your music is a blend of modern Emo with an acoustic Pop Punk sound, what drew you to this combination of sounds?
Honestly, I never really wanted to make acoustic music, I sort of just fell into it! This project was originally just random songs I had that didn’t fit into any other music projects I was involved with. When this started to get traction, I just rolled with it. Lately I have been experimenting outside of the acoustic world though, and I’m really excited for where that is headed!
Do you ever have performance anxiety? How do you cope with it before playing a show?
I do, I have really bad anxiety that is only getting worse as I get older, and that usually manifests itself as unnecessary stress. I am lucky that my band and my crew understand and are very patient with me. I mostly cope with it just by controlling my breathing, warming up, and knowing that I can trust my friends to help me put on a good show. The second I start playing it normally goes away, though if it is a bad show then I have sometimes found it is something that can really sour the experience of a night for me.
What is the biggest issue with the music industry?
I think the main issue is that there’s not enough representation of women, people of colour, or LGBTQ+ musicians in music in general. Especially in the scene that I’m involved with. I think if you have a scene full of mostly straight white guys, a lot of the songs can be from the same perspective, which can get very very boring. There’s so much exciting music happening made by so many talented musicians, who aren’t getting the same attention as they deserve to get, in favour of another band full of the same looking dudes playing the same kind of music. I am trying to do my best to incorporate as many people outside of my demographic in my shows, whether it be in my crew, my band or on my lineups, and I feel as though more men should try and do the same.
Do you have plans for another full length record?
It’s hard to tell what my next release will be, ideally, yes! I have a LOT of material recorded, though we are definitely wanting to wait and see what opportunities may be there for me. If it does turn out to be a full length, I have a pretty good idea how I want it to look and be put out, but we shall see!
Finally, who are the best UK bands and Artists people should be listening to now?
I could name so many, so I will just name my top 5 at the moment: Fresh, itoldyouiwouldeatyou, Pretty Vile, The Yacht Club and Delaire the Liar.
Interview by Rob Kent