Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview With Luke Dowler

Luke Dowler is an up and coming rock alternative artist signed to EMI/Dream Records. He released his brand new album "Polarized" on September 18th.

I am sure most of my readers aren't familiar with your music. So can you give us a little background history on the band?

I started writing songs in highschool and shortly after put a band together called Three Minutes From Home. We spent about 2 years traveling with Youth With a Mission on outreaches and making a few records. We worked with Provident/Essential briefly after which the band members went separate ways. Independently, I kept working and making music under that name touring all over the US, Canada, Australia and some Europe. I made a worship record with Kevin Prosch where I dropped the band name released Compared To You and later a single called Silence is Shameful about human trafficking. And now I am really excited to get the new record Polarized out with a great group of guys.

What is the main message you are trying to portray with your music?
I want to create music that speaks to the life and life more abundantly that God has.  I got in this and still am in this music world to connect people to Jesus. Sometimes its the first inch, sometimes the last, sometimes its the whole way and other times its just the motivation to keep moving or keep seeking...and then sometimes its just to let people know there is good in the world.

I also want to see a tangible difference made with music, which is why I have been supporting International Justice Mission and their work to fight modern day slavery.

The cool thing with music is that with it there is almost unlimited possibility.  Music can bring freedom and healing, joy, and encouragement. It can speak beauty, It allows us to mourn with those who mourn and laugh with those who laugh. It can help express Gods heart to man and mans heart to God in ways that mere words cannot. And then there is always the hope that we can 'make tents' to support our families.

What is one thing you wish you would have known before starting a band?

Know your calling and find a good woman. lol I am actually not really joking. Its almost a trick question, because if I had known what I know today then I might not be here. If I would have known how little a chance a band has to be heard these days, I may not have set out at all. Today its not good enough to only try to be a good songwriter. Not only do you have to have good songs, and play the right guitars, and have the right look, but you have to maintain 100 social network sites, fan mailings, continually capture and upload content and hope that people click your link and spend .99 so you can look your wife in the eye. You have to put your life on digital display. Basically you have to do everything that the artists with major label budgets and backing do. By the time a touring artist comes off the road they have probably made 0.75 an  The thing is I can tell you today that I wouldn't do anything else. I love this life.

I guess I would tell myself way back when... You really have to be resolved in the calling on your life and the passion in your heart. When it feels like no one is listening, you have to know God called you to this and I have the fortune of having an amazing wife that has stood by me thru thick and thin. She told me the other day... 'its only money. At the end of the day its about the kingdom. And I want us to be out there making a difference in the kingdom'...shoot, made a grown man cry.:)

How would you describe your sound musically, and what are some of your influences?
 I guess I would like to consider myself a songwriter backed by a rock and roll sound. Growing up it was all about Elvis, The Beach Boys and big band records my grandpa gave me. I think thats where I began loving both the hook and the big sound of a full band. Keith Green, Rich Mullins and Kevin Prosch have been huge influences along with others like U2, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Springsteen, Third Eye Blind Van Morrison and Dave Matthews.

Your releasing a new album on September 18th called "Polarized". What is the inspiration behind this album?
I am moved by how God always surprises me with his responses.  I can never pin Him down to a method outside of one thing: He loves. He is a perfect Father who sees my heart fully - and he honors me; not because I deserve it, but because He is good and its His good pleasure to do so. he made me in His image. How could I ever look at another without that consideration... So much of today's polarization and demonization of eachother happens because of a lack of  that love and honor.

Following Jesus is gonna be polarizing enough. But the minute I cram Jesus into a red or blue state or a protest sign is the minute I devalue what he came to do. Draw people to himself.  And to think.... He knew we would trample his reputation and He still came .. That blows my mind. That God would lay down his rights as God to make a way for lesser, weaker, sickly, addicted, perverted, self centered and broken people to become right again.

That's polarizing to people who are power hungry and self righteous because its a threat to see God empower people who don't deserve it.  Wars are started, relationships broken, hatred spewed all over because people believe God is on their side of the matter. I am trying to remind myself...God is on no ones side. He is on His own side.  I want to be on that side.

What are you hoping that listeners will get from this album?
I want people to GET into their car, roll the windows down and go for a drive with this rock and roll record playing at full volume:) Then I am hoping that it provides some space to just let God break out of the boxes that we try to put ourselves in, we force others into and we try to put God into.

If you had to pick a personal favorite song from your new album "Polarized", what would it be?
I am partial to 'Hey Boy (Take It Easy)'.  My best friend senior year in highschool took his own life. Its been a reoccuring influence in my songwriting.. just thinking of him and thinking about how I struggled with the same thoughts in highschool ... I think we can be our own worst enemy many times. One day I was praying and I heard this phrase...Hey Boy Take it Easy... There was this overwhelming sense of the Father heart of God speaking this as he reminded me he takes the heavy load. Combine that with the thought that we are created in His image...his yoke is easy his burden is light... life becomes worth living again.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Take what you do seriously, don't take yourself too seriously.

If you had one day to do anything anywhere, what would you do?

I would take my wife on a real honeymoon.

Where is one venue that you would just love to play at?

Madison Square Gardens nah....Red Rocks probably not... let's just say what we are all thinking... I want to be the first band to play on the moon.

Five Random Bonus Questions:

1. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
oh man, where do I start? I am actually in the process of compiling all the crazy tour stories that have happened over the years... One of them would be when we hit the road from Montana to Miami in February with a van that had no radio, no heater, and no gas gauge. That thing broke down so many times and you couldn't talk over the engine noise so everyone sat in silence as we all listened to our own music.   We couldnt drive it at night because we had no defrost, the sun was the only thing defrosting the windshield.   Somewhere in South Dakota you could see every ones breath literally leave their mouth and form ice on the windows.  As the sun was going down we were in a mad dash to get into town. I had a 4inch by 4inch porthole that I drove a couple hours constantly wiping down. I think we had about an 1/8 inch of ice on every window by then. We were so pumped to get to a hotel. I think I got one with a hot tub:)

2. If you could be a character in any movie who would you be?
one of the Ninja Turtles from the 80's live action flick....or Major Winters from Band of Brothers.

3. Where is the last place you went out to eat at?
Qdoba - Chicken Classica Fajita w/ black beans, all 5 salsas and cheese.

4. What time is "bed time"?
sometime around 1am

5. What is the last CD you bought?
Well my guitar player Mike Murray is an amazing songwriter and his record International would be the last thing I picked up. you gotta check him out. He is seriously an incredible person.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

Make sure you guys check out Luke's new album "Polarized" which is available now! 

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