Jay Luke is a rocker who has been working in the music industry since 2003. Since beginning his career, he has performed with a multitude of bands, shared the stage with rock icons, and has achieved over 100,000 streams for his music. Before the pandemic, Jay Luke had begun recording a new album but only managed to get half of it done before everything closed. With only half of the recording completed, Jay Luke decided recently to release the single off of the album 'Trapped In your Cell' and we could not be a bass-line, and of course Jay Lukes honestly raw vocals that feel like icing to the ears. We are loving every moment of "Trapped In Your Cell" and cannot wait to hear what Jay Luke creates next.
"Trapped In Your Cell" is an incredibly eye-opening experience to listen to; it sheds light on a subject that too many are afraid to admit. Being about how most of us are mentally trapped within our cellular devices, but then mixed with Jay Lukes' eclectic musical style, "Trapped In Your Cell" makes us want to get up and dance but also sit down and think about life - a song for all moods. "Trapped In Your Cell" features a steady, easy-going dance beat, distinctive flairs of synths and guitars, a rock-solid bass-line, and of course, Jay Lukes' honestly raw vocals that feel like icing to the ears. We are loving every moment of "Trapped In Your Cell" and cannot wait to hear what Jay Luke creates next.
Your latest release “Trapped In Your Cell” sheds light on a subject matter that too many are afraid to admit, what had inspired you to write a song about being glued to our phones?
So much of the world we are living in today is like an episode of the Twilight Zone. If you are one of the few to actually pick up your head and look around at the people we walk amongst, there is no denying that it is very bizarre. I think that small observation was what led to the writing of the song. Whether it is sitting at dinner with your loved ones and they nod at you as you are trying to talk to them while they're texting and ignoring anything you say, seeing couples out on dates completely without looking at one another but instead staring down like zombies, or worst of all someone on the highway in rush hour traffic replying to that all-important text with zero care for the safety of themselves or those around them. It is scary. No one can wait even a moment these days as we live in an instant gratification world and that is sadly a trend that is growing more and more each day. Keeping anyone's attention is like a magic trick because things all seem so fleeting and temporary. What is seen or learned today is oftentimes forgotten and discarded later today. It is hard to imagine a time when some of us used to leave our homes without any communication devices. We no longer have landline phones with chords on our walls at home but ironically we are more chained than we have ever been.
Despite having deep meaning, the instrumentation of “Trapped In Your Cell” is fun and upbeat to listen to, was this a decision made early on in the writing process or did it come down the line?
I have always been a big-time fan of music that has a contrary sort of style where the music has a really happy vibe and the lyrics might be entirely dark or vice versa. The first thing to always come to my mind is the music of The Smiths. Morrissey's lyrics have this sneering dark tone while Johnny Marr is playing some incredibly upbeat music to it. I always found that kind of creative partnership to be fascinating. You could put a Smiths song on and people wouldn't get the joke at first which to me is still so clever. I didn't set out for that sort of decision with this song but if listeners are taking that away from my music I am cool with that. I know there is obviously magic in connecting to your audience and feeling like we are all fighting the same fight but I do I like to leave interpretations to the listener. I know so many times I clung to a song by an artist and when I dove too deep into it I found they meant something entirely different than what I thought.
With having only half of your upcoming album recorded, how has that recording process been so far for it? Are the other songs on the album similar to “Trapped In Your Cell?”
This is my 3rd solo album and no matter how many times you record your own music I feel that once the sessions begin it is always a bit of a rollercoaster. You go in with your battle plans and hit it hard but you never know what surprises will end up coming out. I love it. I say all of the time that I feel like I am most alive while working in the studio on my songs. It is the one place I feel most comfortable letting my soul out. For this new album "Alone In The Crowd" the songs got laid down rather quickly while momentum was going in our favor. And just like the snap of a finger in comes the surreal year 2020, an unimaginable horror movie straight from hell. So much has happened in just the beginning of the year alone and it has gotten so much stranger. It's tough to quite sum this year up with a plain sentence, isn't it? I thought we were moving at light speed completing almost five tunes in a few sessions but the pandemic showed up and ended up unplugging almost every way an artist enjoys expressing themselves. It meant that the studios were shut down, clubs were shut down and the music industry, as well as the sports and entertainment world all, took huge hits from it. Not many people have come out unscathed in one way or another. During our mandatory house arrests, I know a lot of people fell deep into their own devices, but I took that time to work on the songs I hadn't recorded yet and really tweak them while still remaining open to writing new ones from scratch because for a while it felt like all we had was time. The songs on this one kind of zig-zag from different feelings and styles to achieve what I am trying to express. There was no intention for any song to sound alike to another I think this one may be the most diverse of them all in musical style.
It’s really awesome to hear you have shared the stage with so many icons! What has been your all-time favorite moment performing live?
I am grateful to have hung around so long playing music while a lot of my peers had given up. Performing music has afforded me some wildly interesting experiences I would never have known in any other field. Sometimes meeting your heroes is a risk or gamble because you may end up finding out they are not at all who you think and that takes away a lot of the reason you support them, to begin with. But for each person that let's the smallest amount of success get to their head (and I won't name names hahaha) there are massively successful ones with hearts of gold. A very early influence on my life was Guns N Roses and when they arrived it was at a time when the scene was so stale. These guys come out throwing sticks of dynamite into a stagnant scene to shake things up and I have been hooked on that excitement ever since. They represented a rebellion and danger of showing what real rock n roll was to the other bands faking it. Fast forward about a decade or two and I am onstage not just meeting Duff McKagan but opening up for his band LOADED. Duff, of course, is the hall of fame bassist for Guns N Roses. To say the guy was down to earth and so genuinely cool would be an understatement. I think of all the heroes of mine that I got to perform with, Duff McKagan is clearly one of the best. I have seen so many lesser artists show egos so unwarranted and here is a guy from legitimately one of the biggest bands in the world showing such humility as we talked. He was a lot of fun and also a big fellow Hanoi Rocks fan as well. I have got to play with members of Anthrax, The Ramones, and so many others but opening up for one of my hands down biggest influences will be a memory I will hold near and dear for as long as I live.
Do you have any other projects to come out in 2020?
I am also in a band called Reach For The Sky and in 2020 we released our second album "Set Me Free" along with releasing my own single "Trapped In Your Cell" so I definitely like to keep busy. I try to get myself into the habit of putting out as much music as I can because what is the purpose of holding it all in, y'know? I still hope to release this new solo album this year and wanted to get another music video out but things have to be plugged back in so to speak for either of those things to happen. In this time it is so important to keep sharp, to keep on working, and to develop things that we all said we had no time for when we weren't in quarantine and ultimately to not give up.