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Luke Fenlon - Interview

  by Marie Hazelwood

published: 27 / 10 / 2011

Luke Fenlon - Interview


Pennyblackmusic photographer Marie Hazelwood speaks to 20 year old Liverpool-based singer-songwriter Luke Fenlon about his acoustic solo career and recording an EP in Guns 'n' Roses' Matt Sorum's back garden

Luke Fenlon, aged twenty and born in Halewood, Liverpool, has been described as the city’s biggest acoustic hope. He is about to record his debut album in Los Angeles with American label Pangaea Entertainment Pennyblackmusic caught up with him one rainy afternoon in Mello Mello in Liverpool to ask him some questions. PB: You come from Liverpool which has always been a centre for music. How easy has it been for you to make your mark with all the other musicians and singer-songwriters there? LF: It wasn’t very easy to be honest. I have been playing music since I was fourteen and by now approximately twenty of the musicians that I have grown up and played alongside have moved on to different projects, cities or just dropped out. Everything started seriously for me after BBC1 played one of my songs. I got mentioned and after that I was booked for my first gig under my own name with a band behind me. It also helped that there were lots of people who believed in me and were ready to help me. I have been in bands before, but everything started for me after I went solo. PB: The acoustic or electric guitar? Which do you prefer and why? LF: Definitely the acoustic and for the simple reason that I can’t write songs on the electric guitar. I am more a songwriter and that is why it is easier for me to write on an acoustic. First comes the lyrics, then I record the melody even on my phone, and then I perform it on guitar. PB: What are you main musical influences? LF: In terms of music influences I would say the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, the Beach Boys, the Zombies, the Pixies, but the first music I picked up was the Strokes and Gorillaz and because of that I always consider those two bands as a massive influence on my life. Before I got into them I was mainly into dance music. PB: Who are your favourite acts in Liverpool at the moment? LF: I like the Lucky Beaches and Dustland. I don’t really listen to much new stuff though. I am fully focused on my own thing. PB: You are only twenty, yet already you have a lot of experience and have toured around the United States several times. What advice would you give for any other young singer-songwriter starting out? LF: I will say that it is all about the song. Be focused on writing a good song, get it recorded and let people listen to it. Don’t chase record labels, because it’s not all about them. Don’t sit around waiting for the likes of EMI, Warner or whoever to come and knock on your door. If you really want it, you have to make your own money and get out there and do it yourself. If the music is good, people will want it and that will never change. PB: You recorded an EP in Matt Sorum from Guns 'n' Roses back garden. How on earth did that come about? LF: I was in Los Angeles and my producer was a friend of his. So one day he took me to introduce me to someone, and that was Matt. While I didn’t know him before, I was made up to be working with him. PB: What made you go into music? LF: I heard the Strokes album, ‘Is That It?’, and after that I started to write lyrics and ideas came out. I got my first guitar for my fourteenth birthday. PB: How do you write your lyrics? Where do you get your inspiration from? LF: When I am about to write a lyric, I have got a melody already in my head. I will take a piece of paper and write four to six verses, and pick up one of them and then write the song around it. Sometimes I write separate stories in separate verses and link them afterwards, but it is different every single time. I never sing about myself. It’s never related in any way to me or what I really feel. I am just telling other people’s stories. PB: Thank you.

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