Luke Crumb started his career as singer songwriter in Italy in 2003. He was awarded the Song of The Year in the Rock Category for “Excellence in Songwriting” in 2005, and recorded his first indie EP in 2007. After being able to reach audience from USA to Australia, he composed, arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered his first full length album I.A.M. A pop/rock opera in two parts (24 tracks in total). In this album Luke Crumb introduces his “Theory of the Man Creator” which is a way to support human dreams through music. In an exclusive interview Luke explains his musical theories and beliefs…
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
Luke Crumb: My Mother says I began to sing “before speaking” and I’ve memories of me looking out the world and singing, as a matter of fact I was born the 8th of December, just like Jim Morrison. When I was 6 years old I asked for a guitar, I felt attracted and I wanted to play it, so my parents bought me a guitar but in the neighborhood where I lived there wasn’t a guitar teacher, what bad luck! Only at 17 I learned to play guitar self-taught while watching music channel on TV. It was a continuing challenge till I played my first chord.
2. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Luke Crumb: The first one and constantly cultivated are The Beatles, they brought so much innovation and their melodies are almost everlasting, Twist and Shout is the song by which I first danced with myself, what a catharsis! I currently play in a Tribute band in the role of John Lennon, before I did Paul McCartney for 2 years.
But the most important long lasting big influence onto my life are R.E.M., they literally saved my life, with their songs they reached places inside myself that I didn’t know before. It is understandable that at the time of composition I use to run through again their discographies to find a missing piece in the puzzle of brand-new music.
3. Which artists do you listen to today? And is there anybody special you’d like to collaborate with?
Luke Crumb: I like to vary, from Peter Buck to Bombay Bicycle club, there are so much new interesting projects out there. For affinity affair I’d like to collaborate with Gunnar Spardel (aka Tigerforest), even if meeting Bob Dylan or Pearl Jam that would be glorious, you know!
4. Describe the first piece of musical equipment that you actually purchased with your own money. And which is the one piece of hardware you’re still looking to buy now?
Luke Crumb: My first purchase was a used electric guitar named “Prince”, it was a sort of Fender Stratocaster and Yamaha RGX imitation, the sound was horrible and I couldn’t play much than a song tuned, but hey I had an electric guitar! After years of buying and selling, nowadays I prefer to customize, I already realized a custom Harmonica tuned at 432 Hz, a 10″ kick drum, besides various foot percussion and the next will be my acoustic Cort guitar to which I want to add a Bigsby and enhance the overall tone, the sustain and sensibility.
5. Can you tell us something about The Theory of the Man Creator and your album I.A.M.?
Luke Crumb: The Theory of the Man Creator combines the principles of the law of Resonance with elements of ordinary life to “Enable” the deepest abilities of Human Being. I use to define it as “the first support beyond the common five senses”. We all know that harmony, balancing means wellness (in its widest sense) but just a few of us know how to get this elements into daily life and this means just a few of us have the control on what happens on Earth. I believe that WE ALL ARE CREATORS and this means we can manage our own thoughts, emotions, actions and not leave others do for us. I discovered that music supports this because it reaches directly the inside of the human being when tuned correctly. The “Theory of the Man Creator” is the result of scientific researches I have personally done that conducted me to create my own style called “8HzMusic”.
All of the above will be introduced for the first time into my album I.A.M. that I’m planning to release in the next few months. This album is what I called “a music trip” in a new style that we could call maybe “quantum rock”. Surely you will find more comfortable the definition of “pop/rock opera”, in fact this album has two parts for a total of 24 tracks. It’s my last challenge to re-unite my two biggest passions: music and philosophical writing. To conclude this album is more than a pleasant melodic pop/rock parade it’s the first step toward human upgrading.
6. Live gigging or studio work, which do you prefer and why?
Luke Crumb: It’s two different types of work, where you have to organize and act in different ways. I love both because I can express myself wider. Currently I have no possibilities to perform my original compositions because my job is gigging with The Helpers (Beatles tribute) so I use to spend my days at my home studio while at night I play live.
7. Is the choice to perform in English and not in your mother tongue purely a commercial decision? And how do you consider the actual state of the Italian music market?
Luke Crumb: That’s the most frequently question I’ve received in my career and it has the most interesting answer about my life: I sing in English because when I was child I used to sing (before speaking) in a strange language nobody in my environment knows. One day at 14 years old I had a dream in which my name was “Freedom” and when I woke up, I amazingly knew English! That’s the truth about my language choice.
Italy is a place where music and arts in general are always growing, there’s so much experimentation and will for brand-new that could fill the entire European music industry.
8. On which one of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from a technical point of view?
Luke Crumb: Well I think that surely “Illumination Song” is a masterpiece of my career, that’s why I’ve been Awarded by the Song of the Year. Personally one my favorite songs is “Timmy Space Room” (that will be included in I.A.M.) in which I reached a strong balance between vocal and guitar performance, besides the whole symphonic arrangement.
9. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making LUKE CRUMB music sound the way it does?
Luke Crumb: Don’t think! And I mean freeing, unleash creativity without boundaries. Most of my compositions were born during a unique session improvisation.
10. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you day after day to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Luke Crumb: Pride with no doubt. I strongly believe and have faith in what I do and I know my investigations will be useful.
11. Which aspects of being an independent artist and the music making processes excites you most and which aspects discourage you most?
Luke Crumb: In terms of creativity being Independent is often the only reason why an artist chooses to so, and I am no exception. Honestly the financial aspect, in my experience, is the hardest part. I’d really like to record my songs in a big studio with a dozen of master musicians and the have a tour of 8 months around the world but, till now, this is impossible. Personally I trust in the phrase “why do you want to see the entire road when all that matters is just one step beyond you?”
12. Tell us something about your songwriting process and what usually comes first, the lyrics or the music? And which is your preferred instrument for composing
Luke Crumb: Usually I have a portion of lyrics, notes or entire poems, I write a lot and I just try to connect with the words, their meaning for me and the music starts on its own, I mean that I literally let myself drive. I use to compose with my acoustic guitar even if the voice has a dominant role.
13. How involved are you in any of the the recording, producing, mastering and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes?
Luke Crumb: I personally do everything. I’m always on the lookout for collaboration. Since the experience of my first EP FATHER & MOTHER and the startup of I.A.M. weren’t totally good.
14. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Luke Crumb: The most priceless advice I received from my old friend, the Italian cartoonist Lino Gorlero, was “be honest with yourself”. I surely troubled and felt in my life but I know I always followed that advice. Earlier in my youth I was advised to think for myself first, now I know that if I had followed I could have avoided what I call “my deviant routes “.
15. At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit your career?
Luke Crumb: Being recognized for my work, for being useful to disseminate new knowledge.
16. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Luke Crumb: Surely the Internet has increased the mediocrity mixing with those that we called “musicians” and this produced the “music Babylon”. Now when you surf, the web is extremely confusing about who is a musician and passionate about music. The passionate ones proclaim themselves as professionals and the professionals as experts. I think that social media networks are extremely powerful but the target system has been created only for financial improving and not for wellness improving (that’s what art was created to). So or you’re in or you’re out! I’m still convinced that these strategies won’t work for too long and everyone will find their place.
17. Do you make use of the new technology offered by the computer and software programs, or do you work exclusively in real studios, with traditional instruments and music production techniques?
Luke Crumb: As an artist I am always involved into researches and I try to evolve myself with all the tools that humanity puts at my disposal. I like to fuse computer music with that merely acoustic. My own style “8HzMusic” couldn’t be born without the computer tech, so I’m really devoted and thankful to every new songwriting technique.
18. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Luke Crumb: I don’t know. Because I won’t be prepared to do a thing until I’m going to face it and I’m not willing to do it until I’m going to receive an offer.
19. What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie songwriter/performer, in your quest to achieve your goals and any commercial success?
Luke Crumb: As I told you before financial freedom is still the hardest part of my life. I’m pretty sure that with a standard budget I can reach my goal.
20. Tell us about any new projects or ideas you will be working on in the near future?
Luke Crumb: At this time I am completely immersed on the marketing process of my album release and it will take a long time, but later after the summertime I’d like to tour USA.