Acentric Magazine: It’s been two years since season 7 of The Voice. You were touring prior to coming onto the show and have been performing since. What is the biggest difference you’ve personally recognized between your career pre-show versus post-show?
Luke Wade: There are more, but different kinds of fans now. Before the show, generally, everyone who had become a fan was because they had seen me perform live, or were recommended by people who had. After the show, there are people who just want to see you because they saw you on the show, or because you were on the show, which changes the dynamic of performances a bit. Also, I have fans all over the world now, but I don’t know who they are or where they are necessarily. The challenge is to find ways to get to them and let them know I’m performing and get them out to a show.
Ever since your season of The Voice, you gained significant momentum recording music, touring nonstop, and now coming out with your second album since the season ended. Do you see yourself slowing down anytime soon?
I don’t think you get to slow down in the music business. Momentum is everything, I think. I like to think about it like water-skiing. If you go back under the water you have to wait for the boat to circle and try to get back up on your skis, and by that time your moment might have passed.
What was the motivation behind the theme of “Only Ghosts” for this album and how did you approach your songwriting process?
It is a lyric from the song “Kissing Makeup.” “Face to face with what you fear the most, I can show you that they’re only ghosts.” I believe that our fears cause us to put up walls between who we are and the world around us, and if you can get past the illusion of those walls we all share the same fundamental humanity.
Reflecting on the album, you’re quoted saying “The things we have the most in common are often the things we least want to show, and the beauty of our future as a world depends on our ability to find and share those things at the core of who we are. The walls that stand between us and that future are ‘Only Ghosts.’” Could you expand on that concept a little more?
I think that is the common theme between the songs on the album. If you are telling a story that feels fundamentally true to you, I think that people as a whole will be able to relate. To me, that is the point of creating and making music. To shed of the bullsh*t and get down to what makes us all beautifully human.
Your last album The River was instrumentally a grab bag with heavy soulful influences and a few unique sounds including islander influences on “Life’s a Long Time to Waste,” whereas this new album seems much more consistent. In a way, Only Ghosts shows a more matured musicianship from you. Where did you draw your influences from for this album and how do you feel your overall sound/vision has shifted since The River?
I think the primary difference comes from the songwriting. I wasn’t as focused on the craft of songwriting for “The River.” I wrote, maybe 15 songs for The River, and something like 30 for “Only Ghosts”. It gave me the opportunity put together a group of songs that lent themselves to a theme and to a production style. Experience was a factor, and also the amazing team of producers and musicians that were a part of the new album.
Only Ghosts does a great job in taking the listener out for an auditory adventure as it starts off with the explosive “Passenger Side” yet ends with the ballad “Dreams,” what was the purpose or final message or lasting feeling you wanted to leave listeners of this album by doing that slow come-down on your record?
I feel like you have to grab your listener immediately, so the front half of the album is much more uptempo. Dreams as the last song was definitely intentional, though. I really felt like it’s a beautiful song and sentiment that leaves the listener in the right place, and is a nod to what my fans do for me. My dreams are there dreams, so I can never stop making music.
What’s the next move for you? What can your fans expect after this album is released?
They can expect a lot of touring nationally and internationally and a follow up in the next year. I love making music and love connecting with my fans, and I’m going to do both of those things as much as possible.
Many thanks to Luke Wade for taking the time out to chat with us at Acentric Magazine! Stay on the lookout for more music from him and be sure to check out his upcoming album Only Ghosts–it will surely be an album to remember!
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