A man who needs no introduction, I was psyched to catch up with Luke recently and pick his brain. Expect more from Lukey Luke soon. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR!
Hooking up with Warzone was pretty much by chance. They had sort of broken up at the end of '86 after Todd joined Murphy's Law, and Ray had gotten Walter and Arthur to play bass and 2nd guitar along with Brad. I was tagging along to a practice with Walter and whoever was supposed to be playing drums didn't show up, so I sat in, and at the end of the night Ray asked me to join. It was pretty cool to say the least. I loved Warzone. I stayed in the band from the beginning of 1987 into the spring of the following year, recorded some compilation songs as well as the first 12".
The whole Warzone crew was a trip. It was like a little scene within the scene. Those guys were a lot of fun to hang and play with. When Jay, Paul, and John joined, we kind of stepped it up a bit. That was a really productive time. We practiced constantly and got super tight. I mean, we recorded the whole DFTS album live. There were guitar leads and back-ups that were done separately, but that whole record is the five of us playing at once. Ray was really organized and clear about what he wanted to do. He was also incredibly supportive, had loads of ideas, and was so involved in everything going on.
Favorite Warzone song? Maybe "Wound Up" or "In the Mirror." I like all the songs written by Todd. The demo tape they put out is by far and away my favorite Warzone recording. Sonically it's a mess, but that's what hooked me - that scratchy, feedback filled demo. I think the main line-up which I was a part of was cool, maybe tighter overall as a band, but the Warzone of 1986 is my personal favorite. "Open Your Eyes"... yea, I liked some of the songs on it but I didn't really dig that record.
GB...seven inch or Start Today? If you had to pick one show that you played with the band that is your all time favorite, what would you pick and why?
If I had to pick, I'd go with "Start Today." It's a more solid and soulful record in my opinion. It kicked our collective ass getting that record completed, but I think the time and patience we exhibited paid off. And though Civ's voice on the EP is priceless, we were all considerably better musicians when we did "Start Today."
As far as GB shows go, I can't say which has been my favorite in the past, but the reunion show we did at CB's in 2005 is my favorite in recent memory. I got chills when the horn intro kicked in. And getting to play with those guys again in that place, sounding good and receiving such an enthusiastic response after so many years was so rewarding. There was nothing contrived about it. The show had such good vibes all day, there were so many old friends there, the comedy factor was at an all time high. Just a great fucking day.
The YOT We're Not In The Alone promo photos...can you recall any memories from when those were taken? A lot of people feel like those photos capture the band and "the crew" to a T - would you agree?
Oi vey. I remember somebody hurling a chunk of cement at us from a window on our way down to bandshell on Grand Street. It was pretty early in the morning too I recall. I don't think those pictures capture anything accurate about how things really were though. If anything, I think they probably just presented an image which people eventually used as some kind of "youth crew template."
I kept pretty few tabs after "leaving" GB. I spent some intermittent time in college in Poughkeepsie, but pretty much split New York altogether for the mountains to basically ski everyday. I spent a few months living in Salt Lake getting put up by the guys out there I'd met on summer tours. After that season, I spent the next several years moving around different areas in Colorado, California, and New Mexico. Worked in a lot of kitchens and made turns daily. It was a fantastic time.
I think the GB reunions have been amazing too. Yes, the dynamic has changed, but not as much as you might think. It's still the funniest group of dudes I've ever had the pleasure to hang out and travel with. We're all both more tolerant and less annoying, which makes for a good blend. Everything since that CB's show a few summers back has just been a really enjoyable experience and the shows have been tremendous. Maybe we'll get to play again. Who knows?