On Episode 198, I'm joined by singer-songwriter Luke Dick. During this conversation, we talk about the intersection of art & commerce, releasing music in 2021, writing & collaborating with the likes of Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, & Natalie Hemby, navigating the Nashville songwriting world, and his latest single, the excellent "Some Things Change."
This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol, The Blue Light Live, and Charlie Stout Photography.
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Thomas Mooney 0:02
Hey y'all Welcome back to New slang. I'm music journalist Thomas Mooney. And this go around, I'm joined by singer songwriter, Luke dick. this past Friday, Luke released a new song called some things happen. That happens to be one of my favorite releases of this year. And it just really has that iconic, identifiable and just infectious sound that Luke's been delivering the past decade or so. You're familiar with Luke? Well, he's as gifted and accomplished a songwriter in country music, as you'll find. He's written with folks like Eric church, Miranda Lambert, Natalie hemby, brothers, Osborne, Dirks, Bentley, Kacey musgraves, and so on and so forth. And yes, we talk about some of those co writes those collabs and cuts over the years. One of the things I've always loved doing is discovering the catalogues of the Songwriters behind the songs, and Luke has been no different. I've loved going back and just kind of discovering the Luke catalog, which with Luke, that will lead you right to the documentary Red Dog and the soundtrack of songs that he wrote for it. Definitely go check out Red Dog if you haven't had the chance just yet. And at the very least at bare minimum, go check out the song polyester. That song and the song mothers and sons are just perfect versions of songwriting. Anyway, this one right here with Luke has been one of my favorite conversations about songwriting, the intersection of art and commerce and a lot more I think you're gonna enjoy it. Today's presenting partner is our pals over at Desert door Texas Soto. If you've been listening to new slang for really any amount of time, you'll know that desert door is one of my all time favorite premium, high quality spirits. If you haven't, or aren't sure what exactly a sotol is. I'm going to let you in on a little secret that's going to up the game on your liquor cabinet. For starters, the best reference point that I can point you to is to think about a tequila or a Moscow. Do you feel that Western desert that text is ruggedness? Okay, Soto is like that, but a little bit more refined, smooth and fragrant. It intrigues the palate and offers these hints of vanilla and citrus, there's an earthiness that often sends me right back to my transpac is some Far West Texas roots. There's one need to love about desert door. For me, it all starts right there. a close second is just how versatile desert door really is. You can go full highbrow and experiment with concocting a variety of cocktails that call for muddling fresh fruit sprigs of time sticks of cinnamon, it's perfect for that world. If you're a little bit more down home, if you've just rolled up sleeves, have your denim Wrangler button up. It's perfect for that as well. If you're just designing something that's short and sweet, it hits the mark every time does a door is genuine and authentically West Texan it's inherently West Texan. They harvest Soto plants out in the wild and are knowledgeable conservationists lists at heart. That's obviously something incredibly important to me. They shine a light on what makes West Texas special and unique and worth preserving and keeping it safe from exploitation. Right now, you can find desert door all over Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and there's budding numbers in places like New Mexico, Arizona, California and Georgia. Best thing you can do is to check out desert door.com to find where desert door is locally. Again, that's desert door.com. If this is your first time listening to new slang, go ahead, hit that subscribe button wherever you listen to podcast. tell all your friends, your pals, your buddies, your co workers. Tell them to also subscribe. Go preorder my debut book. It's called the Lubbock way and it's about the Lubbock music scene specifically from around 2015 to around 2017. I know you're thinking that's such a brief, small period. But really I feel like it's a perfect microcosm for what happens here in Lubbock, Texas. Right now it's over in the merch store, which of course there's a lot of other new slang stuff in the merch store as well. T shirts, koozies, coffee mug shot glasses, stickers and a lot of other stuff. And a lot of folks are loving the bus, the hub shirts that I put out the other day. So those are going pretty quickly. But also some of y'all have been asking about that Lubbock county bus the hub design on some poster prints. So yeah, I'm going to be throwing those up in the merch store soon as well. Specifically, go give new slang go follow on Twitter. I'm doing a Charlie stout retro print giveaway on there right now. All you have to do to enter is to follow and retweet and of course all the links that I just mentioned. They will be in the show notes. And yeah, I think that's about it. Let's get into the interview. Here is singer songwriter Luke dick. You know, I guess where I want to start off is, is here in just a couple of weeks. From now you're releasing a new song, some things happen.
They send it over to me, and I've just kind of had it playing for the last couple of weeks. And if it's one thing that you do so well is like, there's just those hooks that just kind of get stuck in your head, and then you're doing dishes, or you're folding laundry, and you're just like coming along to those. As far as like this song goes, like what, uh, I'm kind of guessing it has to this is probably like the, the initial route of a new record or a new project. Yeah, what's, uh, what? Can you expand a little bit on? What's going on with this one?
Luke Dick 5:41
Yeah, you know, I've had that song a minute. And it just kept resonating with me as a song. And finished the, I guess, the cycle or whatever, on the documentary. And I thought, you know, I have a bunch of songs banked we could just start focusing on something, you know, on a new project, and it's the luxury of the world anymore, is you got a team, or if it's just yourself, you can just spool up new music. And if you feel like it's quality, if it resonates with you, you can just throw it out there. You know, you, even if you're on even labels or doing this or you know, your management team or whatever, and you throw it out there and you see how it how it grabs, maybe it gets some traction. But honestly, participants something, I feel like kind of the place I am. In artistically, there's a freedom to just release whatever you want to release. And if something comes in resonates with you, you put it out. That's it seems like a really boring answer. But it's the truth, you know, you It's a free world. And you can put anything out. And so I love the song. And I have a handful of things that I want to release. So we're strategizing now on how to release and when to release or whatever. But that's been one that has stuck with me for the past year since we wrote it.
Thomas Mooney 7:21
Yeah, it does. It's such a weird thing where you want to have all the plans, you want to lay out the grounds on as far as how you're going to release music, the right time and stuff. But sometimes it feels like all that can get in the way. And it gets it just goes back to Yeah, I can release things on like if I want it to next week, or tomorrow, because you just kind of have like that freedom where as you know, at any other point in history in the music industry, it took forever to, you know, get something produced, and now, you know, you can just do something in your room and uploaded to the internet, like, you know,
Luke Dick 8:05
I think that's I mean, that's, that's, I mean, it's both a luxury and a problem because there's more music than ever. And so cutting through the noise of other things and expecting people to hear you, is pretty presumptuous. But you know, that I guess the more the bigger, the bigger of a team that you get, whether you know, your, your cardi B or whatever, you know, it's like you there are all these other impediments to putting out music or something like that, that I mean, it is an infrastructure and there is and it's, there is a commerce to what's happening. And it's not like I begrudge that, but it's just like, Alright, the management says, we can't do this now because we got to do this damn. And the label can't do this because they can't support it at Radio, because the budgets not there until February blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's such a heart killer to me. Maybe our heart killer, I don't know, you know, it's like it's such a bummer that you can't just put things out when you want to. But for me artistically, it's not like I'm Eric church or something that I have a world tour planned or something like that with coliseums waiting on me to do this. And it's like such a juggernaut of gears that you have to pull. So what is lucasta? Do you know with my stuff, or with my indie band stuff, it's like, well, we need to let the people know who know about me already. And then we go take it to the radio and they either play it on Sirius XM, or they're not and I don't, I hope they do, but I don't care if they don't. And, and I just it's just enjoyable to meet them. make music and to make expression. And so finding your way in the weeds of that. I guess I've occupied a good majority of my life with that. And I've had the luxury of being able to write songs for people to that allows me to have that kind of freedom and blahs a attitude about my own artistic endeavors.
Thomas Mooney 10:27
Right, yeah, that's something that's been, I guess, like, last year, where I felt, really, it was, it was obviously in the middle of the pandemic stuff. And it was like, whenever these albums were being pushed back, you realize just how many cogs are in that machine. Because someone like, I think the example I was using was like, the Dixie Chicks or the chicks, like they couldn't, it's hard to just pull that lever to push everything back. But you know, if a if a manufacturer records and CDs and stuff, you know, the people aren't there to put those out, like what happens, you know, and it's all like, you don't ever think about Yeah, that's totally
Luke Dick 11:11
an artificial besides radio, right, to me is touched is totally an artificial timeline. I guess everything in the world is an artificial timeline. I remember when I was editing music for advertising, like we need revisions to this in the morning. And I'm like, what, like, the world is gonna stop because there's not another aquafresh commercial, I don't understand, like, what's the deal? But it's like, I don't I feel like it's even more of a made up thing. Now. Again, besides radio, like radio promotion, that just involves a bunch of different people. And there are slots, it's just like, Okay, what do you do when you release a record, you upload it so that people can see it, you create that you create the music, number one, you create the art around it, right, the thumbnail, then you got a whatever, do some press, then you take it to radio and that this like, or take it to whoever, and it's like, or you take a depressed and it's just like, it's all it's not even printed press anymore, right? So it's not like they have to fire up the printing press. It's not like well, we fired up the printing press, and the magazine comes out next month. And all this stuff. It's like, we're just making all this up. Even like records, we need an album, or something like that. And it's like, I love albums, that albums were kind of made up. To begin with, this was the piece of vinyl. And it was this big, which meant that held about an hour's worth of music. So that's what they could sell. And so they sold it. And while it became an interesting medium with which to take in the art form, or the art or whatever, it was made up out, because the mechanical size of the record to begin with, it wasn't like it was like, fell from the heavens, that music should be released in one hour increments or 45 minute increments or whatever. And it's just like, now the world of digital has, has made all kinds of things arbitrary to me, you know, where it's like releases, okay? Let's just get in. So then to me, it's just like, all right, this is just freedom you can do and say whatever you want to, and put it out there and drum up whatever kind of interests you can for your music, and hopefully people like it. And if it's good enough, and if you get lucky enough, then it spreads out and spreads around and people give a shit about it. You know?
Thomas Mooney 13:53
Yeah. It's the, I've talked with friends about that whole, like the the record falling from the sky as you put it, like the concept of a record. And then like, of course, the the concept record, we all hold those, like, above everything else is as the standard. But you know, it's always like you hear a lot of people complain about records these days. It's just like, Oh, it's just a collection of singles. I want to record record. And it's like, well, you know, the records at the beginning were just a collection of singles. You know, so yeah, it's we go in these weird cycles and it's always so funny that too is like you'll see some people try and so hard to shape something as a concept record or conceptual record and, you know, sometimes like those those strings attached are just so flimsy. And there's nothing wrong with just calling it just this is our next record.
Luke Dick 14:52
Yeah, yeah, these are the best things. Okay. Over the last year we wrote 12 you know, 15 songs and these are the 10 best you That is essentially, that's the story of 99.9% of the records that are out there. And that's okay. You know, and it's like, even great records like exile on Main Street. Well, we went to the south of France, and we rented out this basement and we had a blast. And we did a lot of drugs. And we wrote a lot of great songs and a lot of shit. But then we came up, but then we took it back to LA, and we put it together. And this is the record, you know, I mean, it's like such a cobble job, you know. And then even like, you know, Sergeant Pepper is like, you know, Paul, sir Paul's like, really, you know, this idea. Such a pebble and they're doing what other people do in concert practice. And it's like, kind of flimsy Lee held together anyway, it's not like, these are musicians to me aren't really are musical artists, aren't really literary artists to where they're stringing together these, you know, you only have three minutes, and it's musical. So you know, that's the best that you can do, I feel like is to make something to make you feel something. But to try to have a narrative about it, it makes it. I feel like it's really difficult to pull that off. Well, I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's really difficult to pull it off well. But that said, oh, there are a lot of great records out there that were just like we wrote the best songs we could in a year's time. And here's the 12 of the 15 that we recorded, and they're great. And a lot of people have done that. And it's awesome. And I'm glad it's in the world. So I don't want to be back here on a high horse naysaying about records or concepts or something like that, because, you know, don't know anyone Don't let me hold you back from your conceptual dreams here.
Thomas Mooney 16:46
Yeah, no, I, I very much agree with you on all that. This episode is in part brought to you by Charlie stout photography, Charlie stout has long been a great buddy of mine. And for as long as I've known him, he's always had a good eye, a good eye for ideas for lines and a song. And notably, an eye for what makes a great photograph. Yes, we're gonna roll with that tried and true cliche about a great photographer, having a good eye. But it's cliche for a reason. More often than not means it's true. Right now, I want y'all to head on over to Charlie stout.com. To get an idea of what I'm talking about. While you're at it, go give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter at Troy stout. Right now he has about 50 photographs for sale on Charlie stout calm, with a vast majority of those being landscapes and sky shots of West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, the American Southwest, if you will, a lot of cacti and clouds, windmills and open roads, sunsets and stardust. he captures a lot of what I love about West Texas and these dry arid climates. That's mainly that vast emptiness that can really make you feel small, the depth and the way and the intensity, it's all in there. Right now he's doing a special on his prints. Each week, he releases a new photo. And for one week, only that photograph is at a special introductory rate. For just $25, you'll get an eight and a half by 11. That's just about half off the regular price. For 75, you can get a 13 by 19. And for 110. You can get a 17 by 22. After the week, they go back to regular prices, which are still an absolute Still, if you ask me. Also just a pro tip, keep an watchful eye out on his Twitter. He's consistently posting one offs, errors and randoms on there that are for sale that are in the flash sell variety. Again, that is at Charlie stout for Twitter and Instagram. Head on over to Charlie stout.com. Grab a sign print, buy a record, get yourself some nature sounds and some nature shots. Alright, let's get back to the episode. It's the I what I love. And I think like, what I'm what I'm going more is like when they're just trying their damnedest to make a, as one of my friends says, build a bridge where there's no River. You know, but the the thing is, like, as you said, right there, we wrote 15 songs, we pick the firt the best 10 you're kind of capturing, you know, a snapshot of your life at that moment anyways. Totally. There's plenty of themes that that can that weave their way through without trying to force the hand I guess.
Luke Dick 19:45
Sure. I agree with that. You know, I mean, it's a it's a little thumbprint to me, a sonic thumbprint. If you make records a little differently every time you make songs a little differently every time and so on. You know, who knows what's going on? In your own waters? You know, that helps you move something along?
Thomas Mooney 20:09
Yeah. Which I guess like that kind of goes naturally to one of the things I've written down here. And that's the, you know, when you're working with someone like and Eric church you, like the three record that he the three records that he put out this year, it's conceptual in nature, and he's, you know, going for a certain vision overall, right? Of course, you have a couple of cuts on it within that world right there. You know, does he approach you with like, that, that vision that dream beforehand? Or is it you know, what's what's I guess? Like, the, not necessarily the steps that but get to that point, but like, you know, do it does it does none of that even matter? When you guys are sitting down to write like, what? I guess, like, what does he give you beforehand? As far as like? notes? Essentially, I
Luke Dick 21:01
don't know, all, you know, the only thing I ever think about with Eric is like, I can't hit him with a hook that seems like mainstream or something like that, you know, he likes sort of left footed ideas. And, you know, he may write something he doesn't load up a record with a bunch of hits, I guess, you know, and so he, he may walk in for your writing for that. It was up in North Carolina, and I would just come prepared with a few ideas and, but then he would walk in with his own ideas. And so it was like, okay, we're gonna write bad mother trucker today, or, I've got a this sort of Dire Straits ish guitar part I love. I love that to add this hook with it. You know, and it's pretty organic in terms of what you know, it's not like I really need a, an and song and ampersand ish feeling thing. It was a I didn't feel like it was like that. He's just really leading sort of manically with creativity. And then, and then you shape it into a song, you know, and do your best. And I always appreciate the, I always appreciate about Eric, that. There aren't always a lot of rules, I was riding with him. And so it feels free to me, you know. And it doesn't, I don't know, it takes the pressure off in some weird way that you don't necessarily I want to, I would love to have a hit song or something like that. But also, that if I'm not going to hit song, I would like to do an interesting song, at least, you know, or not sound like you're chasing a hit. And it's just like a flat, you know, or whatever. So that that's, I guess what I would say about Eric and his process is I didn't feel he didn't come in cornering us or painting us into a corner. It was we were just going for it.
Thomas Mooney 23:13
Yeah, the that's, I think there's a special place that that you can get to when it comes to when you're not chasing that hit. You know, when that's not the priority. And I obviously you can run into that with a lot of young songwriters or like people who are outside this industry thinking that's what's happening in these Nashville rooms is like, we're just or not we but you guys are. Yeah, writing songs that are like, well, this is going to be on the radio, and this is what we need to do. You. It feels like you guys, especially if you go through, you know, just your song catalog your credits, that never feels like, that's the standard as far as like, Oh, I need to get a hit off of this. It's it's like just the great song that ends up you know, even if it wasn't on the radio, it's still an interesting or, you know, a good song.
Luke Dick 24:13
That's always the Hello. Yeah, that's always the hope. I mean, I have a I don't, I don't I feel it. I I, as a writer, you sort of live and die by radio hits, like there's no way that I can live in middle class living if they don't get a hit now and again, but the I feel like there are different ways to get them. And, you know, in retrospect, I mean, it didn't have anything to go on. It was just your own artistic intuition is when you're your own creative intuition when you're writing songs, but it's like, I don't really like what's on the radio. I don't really want to I don't Really want that. So I mean, I don't. Yeah, I don't like to use that as a barometer for what I should be writing towards melodically or musically. It's just move mouse move you, and then you, or somebody comes in Oh, he read another Bluebird or whatever. And I'm just like, Look, it's already been done, you can't do it again. And it's kind of smell like a rat when you're done. Because you got to, to me, you can't take it, it's like, I don't like treating hits. I don't like treating writing like an algorithm. and treat it when you treat writing, like an algorithm, it makes the song sound like an algorithm and like, it makes me not moved by it. And so in order, to me to like something, and to love it, and to want to actually do a demo on it, and then actually hear it back and not just forget about it, once you've written it, I feel like you kind of got to dig in another place or something like that. And, and when you dig in those other places, then then new, new structures arise, or new ideas arise, or new melodies arise or new, you know, a new way of getting at a concept arises, that makes it more special to me, rather than just, again, thinking of something more algorithmically, if that makes any sense.
Thomas Mooney 26:28
Yeah, it's not songwriting, Mad Libs, you know? Yeah. The, I think like, it's kind of you know, I live down here in Texas and, okay, like, you got a lot of a lot of people who think you know, that what's happening up there is like, you know, songwriters are wearing lab coats, and you know, you're putting chemicals together, and that's how these hits are being written or something. And it's like, I don't think that's what's happening, guys. I think, like, it's a lot more organic than that. And there's, there's gonna be great stuff happening up there. That's where a lot of the great songwriters live and work out of, and surprise, surprise, a lot come from Texas, even if they're quote unquote, Texas country. So that's the, I find just that entire thing funny because like, I'll run Geez, people, just your average fan down here who think like, you know, it's it's a different world up there or something like that. And it's, the worlds are a lot closer together than I think people really
Luke Dick 27:33
yeah, it's just a lot of people trying their best, you know, and even people who write songs that I don't like, they're, they're trying their best, and they may not, they may feel like it's special to them, I assume they do. And it's like, your creative taste is so subjective, you know, and it's like, Who am I to argue with? This artists are that artists that I don't like, or that I don't like their music, and but they have millions of fans. So it's like, I don't know what to tell you. Right? You know, I can't, I can't, I've just All I know is I'm trying to make myself happy here. going, I'm making songs. And then I do know that that mean, Nashville, it's like, there's a strange little creative Zeit guys going on. And you get people, your friends coming to you in the room, and you say, Oh, I got this title. thought the title, you think it's special? Well, I wrote that two weeks ago. And it's like, wow, you know, what's happening? Why? Why? You know, it's like, I thought that was interesting. But then it's like, all right, all right with somebody else. And then you have two or three songs coming out the same title. And it's like, made the best made the best song when, you know, I've always wanted to do that in a publishing company, where you have 10 or 12 riders, or whatever you say, Alright, here's the title for today, guys, pair up, let's see what you got. And everybody comes out, you know, with the, with the same title to see it the different ways in which you could ride it. It's really interesting to me.
Thomas Mooney 29:12
Yeah, I mean, like, that's what i what i love sometimes is, when you see it, you know, if you put those parameters that box up, sometimes that's the way to get out of that box or out of the ordinary, if that makes sense. If you kind of set up some of those, those broad lines, you know, people can figure out ways to to be creative around them. Yeah. One of the things that I've, I think I think if you just kind of look at the songs you've written and regardless of who ends up cutting them, you have a certain feel and a certain sound that's distinct into your own even if you know someone else's cutting a song if it's a brothers Osborne cutting or Miranda Lambert or whoever. I feel like that Obviously, is an ongoing process of where you are creatively. But what do you think it was? that's gotten you to this point as far as not necessarily having an iconic sound. But like, you know, having a very much a certain kind of voice and feel, regardless of who's cutting the song.
Luke Dick 30:22
Um, I don't know. Again, there's something inexplicable that comes with writing songs or being creative. Being a songwriter, that's just your own aesthetic intuition, I guess, you know, and, and that, I guess, they that's a $2 way of saying it, a $1 way of saying is, they're just things that I like, and I don't like, and when I sing them, I'll know them. And when I say them, I know them. And when it's not there yet, I just feel like it's not there yet. You know. And this is along the same subject when I first moved to town. The first time on, I didn't have much going on. Is it okay to eat ice cream on the air? Yeah, just grabbing an ice cream? Is that cool? Is it cool with everybody? When somebody sticks an ice cream in your face, it's hard to just watch it now. So people chart music in this town, using the Nashville number system. And I'll just explain it real quickly. Most people may know what that is. But so it's like you assign numbers. And there's seven numbers in a major scale, right? Ba ba ba bom bom, bom, bom, bom, bom, bom, it's the same note. So that's one, that would be eight. Because it's the same, it's still one, because it's an octave above, it's the same note just not. So they assigned numbers. And each number represents two beats of the measure whatever. And so anyway, is. So you look on the piece of paper, and you see all these numbers that are representative of the chords you've been playing the whole time when a band is set to play your songs. And I just thought a lot put the cable on the floor in it and played it out of the seat position. It's different, but then you look at it represented and the chords that in the actual the relationships or the notes that you like, are the same numbers. And so you realize you may have been playing a different key, you may be playing different rhythms, you may be playing different licks over those chord progressions, but you love You know, you love a certain kind of a relationship between a note or whatever the one to six minor, something like that, you know, in non Nashville numbers, just for the cowboy guitar player, you like playing the G to the E minor, you love that whatever it is, or maybe you just like g C, D. rock'n'roll chords. I just noticed certain truths about what I like, chord wise and to build things on top of and what moves me. And I try to branch out of that. And I find a few new ones here and there. But there's certainly distinctive things that I like. And then I love being surprised to finding something new. But all that stuff adds up to musical style. And when there's lyrical style to it seems to come with just working on music and working on words and stuff like that. I mean, the words that I was writing when I was 20 are different than the words I'm writing now. And I like what I'm doing better now because I feel like it's fleshed out more. But you know, in terms of what defines the style, gosh, I could tell you some chord progressions that I like, but then how to put words over that. I like things that aren't completely obvious when it comes to hooks. So that it's not completely spelled out where we have to spoon feed a hook to somebody in order to show them how it how it how this song relates to this hook is more impressionistic, I guess, but still digestible.
Thomas Mooney 34:37
This episode of new slang is brought to you by the blue light live here in Lubbock, Texas. Blue Light has long been the heart and soul of the Lubbock singer songwriter scene, and has been a home away from home for some of Texas Americana, country and rock and roll's finest over the years. Talk with 99.9% of the Songwriters who have come out of Lubbock and the panhandle at large over the past. 10 years. And they'll point to just how integral and necessary the blue light is, with live music and touring slowly but surely coming back spots like the blue light, or getting back to their usual ways as well. That means music every night of the week. Do you want to see that schedule? Well, I've got a few options for you. One, go to their socials and give them a follow up that is at blue light live on Twitter, at the blue light live on Instagram. And of course, by just searching the blue light live on Facebook, they're consistently posting that week's lineup of shows, as well as those heavy hitters that ought to be on your calendar that are coming up on the horizon. To check out blue light lubbock.com as well, there, they have the full schedule, the coverage charges, time, any of those specials that may be happening, while they're go check out their merge page, they have a wide range of hats, koozies, hoodies, sweaters, beanies, jackets, and so much more. You can of course, get all of your merchant age, when you go see your favorite band, take the stage at blue light, just ask the bartender and they will get you all set. Speaking of which, that's another great way of seeing who's playing there. Just go to the blue light. It's at 1806 Buddy Holly Avenue here in Lubbock, Texas. And of course, again, that is blue light, loving, calm. I'll throw a link into the show notes to maybe I'll see you there. Okay, let's get back to the show. So what one of the things I guess that, you know, in Nashville that happens is, I think like in in any kind of place, when you're coming to co writes, you know, you're forming these bonds with people these relationships. How important is it to for you to like? Like, maybe, I don't know, if you have like an idea that you just really love, but it's something that, you know, maybe works best for insert name here? Do you hold on to those ideas for those people? Or do you just kind of like, if it's something you're excited about? You know, you just kind of the next person who walks in the room the next time you're riding with someone? Are you throwing those ideas out? Or do you kind of have to hold some, you know, back in? And what would you maybe trust someone a little bit more with an idea. Now,
Luke Dick 37:32
it's like, I feel like I'm showing behind the curtain here. But it's a little bit of everything. The people who brought me along in the artists world, I think about them, and I think and I think but they're in my head and their voices. And so when I have an idea, I feel like I know them well enough to say, here's an idea that would fit well for Eric. Whereas, I don't know. So some other artists may not choose that, they might not want to write that they may not see it, you know. And so I will, I'll bank it. And just not think about it again, don't even bring it up. But then there may be these sort of nebulous titles sitting there. And you're going through and you might be with a new artist or something like that, and you're going through, and they're talking about stuff that reminds you of a title that you have, you go well, I have this title, it's kind of like what you're talking about. What if you did this, and either works, or it doesn't, you know, but then also, artists go to season so I quit Miranda is working on a record, or we were writing out at our farm. And it turned into these kinds of songs, you know, certain type of song, then it's like, my brain starts going there, you know, and the best that's the best thing is when you can get inspired by an artist in your in your both your creativities are firing together and in sync. You're like, Ah, okay, well, this this idea would go great. So you then you make something up, you know, you get a little sketch of it or something and send it over. Biron text over. Or something that is maybe more shrewd is if you have a friend that writes with that artist too. And you say I have this idea. I don't know when we'll get together with so and so artists. But this is an idea I thought about for them. Do you think it's good, let's let's kind of let's let's let's line it up a little bit and see if we can get it ready. For the next time that we see that where we can send them a little piece of it, see if they want to write it with us. And that's I don't know. I feel like you it's Really hard this business is so hard to make any money at. So that's part of the, you know, just a little bit of doing a little bit of business work, I guess, you know, to try to make it happen for yourself.
Thomas Mooney 40:14
Right? Yeah, the, I don't know, like, it feels like with most creative people, you're not ever like turning that creative side off. So it's not like you're having to be more cognizant of ideas that are coming to you or like, you know, things that are happening. But also, at the same time, you have to be more diligent at writing those down.
Luke Dick 40:38
Yes, you have to say, you have to listen, you know, you have to listen in. I'm in this phase, right, the second this particular second where I don't feel like I have any ideas. And that, you know, what does that mean? I mean, I never have an idea again, I don't think so. But I have to, you know, I'm just looking for that spark, again, you know, and then they're these phases of that to me, where you're coming in and out. And it's been, it's been a, I guess, recurring thing, enough that, that that's happened, where I run out of ideas, and I don't think they're gonna come again, then they come back. And then you have a couple of great ones, and then they go away. So you just kind of like, this is easier said than done, but you kind of have to trust yourself, and then try to feed yourself, what do you do you watch some documentaries, you know, I mean, you can even find ideas on their inspiration on Instagram, you know, it's just like, whatever, you just keep trying to keep your eyes open and try to stay present. And then the ideas will come again. And then you can write them down, or you know, or listen to new music, get outside your comfort zone, try to you know, try to find something that just moves you in some way. So you get that feeling again, you know,
Thomas Mooney 42:10
right, yeah, I know, like, you know, obviously, this past year, where the last year really, I think a lot of people, when I was talking with him, they mentioned how, you know, they were in a dry spell as far as writing because they felt like they weren't seeing things out on the road. And, you know, getting all that inspiration through just kind of stuck in your room you already mentioned, you know, scrolling through Instagram, watch a documentary, read work, you know, stuff like that, you know, do you How much do you feel like, you know, that you're getting from just human interaction with with just strangers or, you know, just people who are that you just know, in a very, very passive way, you know, like the, I don't know, like the
Luke Dick 42:56
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know, I mean, I feel like when I go out on the road tour, or something like that, I mean, I guess there's inspiration, but it's so frantic out there, you know, and I feel like all I see are just a bunch of love's travel stops, and then a show and another loves and then a flying j, and then some beef jerky, and then whatever. So it's like, it's hard for me to stop out there, you know, and where being at home is more the smell the roses mode, and I'm able to have where I'm able to have some enough space to be able to process ideas and then for songs COVID to me, the biggest, I guess, the biggest impediment that COVID brought was just kind of a serve reality and just sort of made things surreal. And you weren't seeing people and, and it made things to me seem really insignificant, you know, in terms of why do I even write a song It sounds insignificant altogether. And then, you know, then it got, and then after that got boring. You know, it was just like, oh, okay, I'm gonna go fishing, I guess. Okay, well go swimming, I guess. Okay, you know, I'm gonna got to Miranda's. And we're gonna write songs. And then all of a sudden, you just start telling stories again, and you start writing songs and you're in an environment and it's like, it's inspiring again, and that's I feel like it's just like always the sort of ebb and flow of, of ideas and then no ideas. And then when you don't have ideas and you end up writing B's minus songs, you know, you try, you know, you just kind of plug through it, you know, in a way in a second Okay, someone's got an idea okay, I'm gonna do this and then fighting to a right in my head. In my heart of feeling like we got a b minus song, we're just gonna finish it. It's difficult to me and then I have to almost get and meditative about it. where it's like, this is practice, you know, this is all a practice, all of creativity, all of everything is a practice. And so you try to be at peace with that practice. But then the, you know, the, the really hungry, greedy artist in you is like, I want that feeling again, you know, I want that feeling. I want to go crazy, you know, I want to I want to feel the excitement of words that are coming out of the room that you didn't know you had in you kind of thing, you know, melodies and all that. And I want to be excited about it for weeks after we write it. That kind of a thing. So that that's the practice of being in a room. When it's not that song that you may only get a one time a year, one time every two years, I don't know. You don't know when you're going to get those things that really move you but that's what that's always the benchmark for me and the practices, practicing to be ready for that.
Thomas Mooney 46:23
Yeah, there's there's something to to just happen to, I guess, like the process of it, right? The, the the academic aspect of it, maybe the, like a reactive, we just need to finish this up. And it's not something that I know that it's ever gonna happen. But maybe it gets us to that one place. I think I guess like I interviewed Waylon Payne last year, about his record. And one of the things that I found just incredibly practical, but also hysterical at the same time was him talking about how he hates the practice of finishing a song if no one's if everyone, if all parties No, it's not, like, that's not small talk and bullshit, bullshit this, like, if it's not happening in 15 minutes. Like, if we're not getting on track in 15 minutes, I'm gonna go ahead and leave.
Luke Dick 47:20
There's a big part of me that believes that is on board with that. And then there's this other part of me, and that's probability like, right. But then I've had this situation where I was literally about to leave a room, and a hit happened. Burning Man was that way. We literally written written a b minus song already that day. And then we wrote a hit and 30 minutes. And so it's like, you can't Wow, my heart in my head and my manic this wants to get the fuck out of the room, when that's happening, and go do anything else in the world. That seems to make more sense than that then trying to write a half assed song. The the, there's this other part of me, says he, you don't know everything. And you're not leaving any room for mystery. And maybe if you powered through those that awesome and to only two times as this happened only two times as it happened, that at the end of the day, something great happened. But it's like, geez, what if? What if I didn't, you know, I mean, God, what? What would happen? And then, and then there's the part of me, too, that most of the time, I think I'm right about things in terms of like, that's a B song. That's not a hit that because I'm not singing along with it or whatever. But then it's like, I've heard of songwriters. And I didn't know that was big. It was like, crossover, multi platinum, whatever. And it's like, okay, gosh, you know, it's like, what if, what if I'm ruling that out? Okay. And then to me, then there's human happiness? And does it make you happy to sit there for four hours, you know, to to slog away in hopes that this may be the one time that something comes at the end? I don't know. I look back on the ship jobs I've done through the years and I don't even remember him. But I do remember those hits. You know, I do remember coming up with you know, I do remember the day I wrote Burning Man. And I do remember knowing that that was going to be awesome. And somebody is going to cut that song and it was going to be big. And then it did and then all the awesome shit happens after that. And so it's like, Alright, sometimes you just have to drive the forklift for 12 hours. You know, sometimes you just have to do that. And I don't Remember all the crummy days, you know? I don't remember the particulars of the crummy days, but I do remember what happened the day that I worked the whole crummy day, and then an awesome song came, and then all the stuff that happened after that, you know, because of that slogging through, you know, so it's like, I don't know if I just prove Wayland pain wrong. I both agreed with him and disagreed with him, you know, in many ways, because I have that feeling inside of me too, for sure.
Thomas Mooney 50:35
I want to break one more time to talk about our pals over at Desert door and offer up a quick Thomas Mooney, cocktail minute, as I've said probably 100 times by now, by no means, am I a seasoned mixologist or bartender, but these have been some of my desert door go twos. For starters, let's just go with the tried and true range water, pop the top off the topo Chico, take a good swig. Now pour in some desert door and top it off by throwing in a few lime wedges never fails. This one. It's so simple. It probably doesn't even count. But again, pretty foolproof. do the exact same thing. But get you a Mexican Coca Cola. I guess you can go with a regular one. But you're really cutting yourself short if you don't opt for the Mexican import variety. Alright, here's the change of you've been waiting for desert door sangria. This one is prime for when you have company coming over and you aren't wanting to just be over there making six different drinks at a time. What you'll need is some desert door. Obviously, a bottle of red wine, honey, boiling water, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, some cinnamon sticks, a couple of apples and some time sprigs. I know that may sound intimidating, but trust me it's worth the prep. And honestly, it's pretty easy. For starters, get you a Punchbowl, add that honey, those cinnamon sticks and the boiling water together. Now you're going to want to stir that all up and let it cool down for about an hour. So remember, patience is a virtue. Once that's done at some desert door and stir vigorously. Now add the one the cider and the vinegar and continue stirring until it's equally mixed. Now slice those apples up and toss them in. Put in those times sprigs as well. Now you can pour that over some ice and you have a modified sangria chef's kiss. Anyway, those have been some of my favorite go twos as of late. And remember, desert door is as versatile as vodka and more refined, smooth, complex and intriguing than tequila. It's rich and balanced. And whether you decide to keep it simple or want to experiment. Desert door is that perfect Texas spirit. There's plenty more recipes over at Desert tor.com as well. Check out the show notes for a link. All right. Let's get back to the episode. Yeah, I think it all goes back to that whole like, what are you doing with your time? Right?
Luke Dick 53:15
Thomas Mooney 53:16
you know, I, there's definitely he was he was talking about the slogging through, but he was also good. Like, I think he was also pointing to Are we just hanging out? You know, which?
Luke Dick 53:29
Yeah, this is very lighthearted debate here, but
Thomas Mooney 53:34
Luke Dick 53:36
it I mean it is what are you doing with your time? That is the ultimate question of all human meaning. Yes. And if you ever answer it, objectively, successfully, then you're gonna be rich, too.
Thomas Mooney 53:57
That's Oh, man. Absolutely. Yeah. What I was thinking about the slogging through the day thing. Has you been at like, a bar or a party or something? And just wanted to leave and then like, you end up leaving and then like, you know, you hear the story afterwards like, Oh, you know, the roast islands were like 10 minutes out like they came like 10 minutes after you know some other like, crazy bullshit happened. Yeah, minutes after you're there two blocks down behind you. Yeah,
Luke Dick 54:39
I got my manager does funny pivots. I was like, Oh, he left and I don't really do much Night Live but with live replay. Sometimes we hang out a little bit. So I get in as like the vibe was not awesome. So I just got in a cab and went to Midtown into this Cuban day. That's bar that I found on on the on the internet. And I'm just like, that's awesome. It was great. Appreciate your adventures. This is to turn your own night around taking control of his future and his fates and his happiness.
Thomas Mooney 55:22
Oh, absolutely, yeah. You know, someone who you've gotten a pretty good relationship with riding with that. I just love everything that she's done. And her new records. Just incredible as Natalie hemby Yeah. Okay, so like, what is it, like, you know, walking into a room or like walk, not even walking, but you know, whatever the case is, like, what is it like being in the room with someone like that, who obviously, also has so many great stories within her.
Luke Dick 56:01
I mean, by this point, we're kind of like, creative siblings. And I owe a lot to Natalie hemby. Be I feel like that was one of the first people in the writing community who really encouraged me to be myself, you know, by just enjoying the music that I was making and enjoying the things that I was involved in, and she was so exuberant and passionate about, about the way that you the way that I would show up for right. And so it really fed both my confidence and my desire to keep that energy happening. And so she is also just, I always trust her to make something better. If I bring in an idea, or she brings in an idea, there's a lot of trust there. And that's one of that's one of those rights now that we've, I feel like we've been a part of so many special things, that it's an it's, it makes us both nervous to walk in to hope that we get something special again, we're always we're always talking about that. And it's like, I'm always confident that something great is I'm always confident that whatever that you know, sort of connection that we have a creative connection, it's always there. And it just has to be fanned in the just the right way in order to make something awesome. And it to me the best songwriting sessions are the ones that are collaborative, you know, that don't, somebody's not Bulldog in the room or something like that. And so me and Allie both strong personalities. And so it's like, when we're trying to try to dance with each other creatively, you know, in order to not on not lead too much in one, one, not get in one not get lead too much, you know, and so I just am so thankful she's out there in the world, I'm so thankful that she's out there as an artist. putting things out and putting yourself out there, and I think our music is awesome. It makes me cry. She makes me laugh. We've had we've shared so many moments together as friends and creators. And anyway, it's hard to put her in another category with other people because I feel like we've been so intertwined and and in ways that is almost sibling like, and just the winning and the losing and all that stuff together.
Thomas Mooney 58:53
Yeah, no, absolutely. The issue is okay, so not to, like just relate everything back to 2020. But yeah, is, you know, in 2020 I guess like you know, there was you would hear about a lot of people doing zoom writing and you know, stuff like that. You know, if she's someone that like you could do like a zoom right with or like, write a song over, you know, email or text or something like that, or does that something Do you not like want any of that kind of stuff within your
Luke Dick 59:26
you know, I mean, it's like I don't know that not and I ever resume that was part of my you know, it's like I just didn't I just decided I wasn't going to write a resume after a few times unless it was like and a big artists that were nearly needed to make a record or something like that, you know, that I would do it. I just didn't feel good. And so I would do it here and there. And but then Matt and Miranda called and said that they want to go out to Miranda's farm. And so became a little pod. And so we'd have this little pod, we'd have a bar, little pod party and for a couple, two or three days out out in the country, and it was almost like summer camp last year. And, and that and so that was our experiences and that and I essentially just kept on with it, you know, with the Miranda with Miranda and kept riding with her. And it was so fun and so cathartic. And it's just like, I'll be surprised if I don't look back on it as sort of glory days of my creativity, in a way.
Thomas Mooney 1:00:39
Yeah, like, that's, I think that those were necessary, you know, in the last 18 months is those moments of just being able to escape from I got, you know, it's like the the space hatch, you know, you're able to jump into for, you know, getting away from, you know, I don't know, whatever the analogy is that I'm going with that's Yeah. You know, you know, that's it's those little things like that, you know, that I think are obviously necessary, the escapism perspective at all. So, one of these people that, I guess like, Oh, are you there? Can you hear me okay? Hello, can you hear me? I'm back in there. Yeah, I'm there. Can you hear me?
Luke Dick 1:01:34
We're back now. Okay. Yes.
Thomas Mooney 1:01:39
Yeah, okay. What I was gonna was saying is, you know, one of these guys that he just released an EP that you produce Jackson Dean. Oh, yeah. I've I've been really, really diggin that EP. And, you know, like that song wings is just really, really powerful. There's no other way to put it. What what's it like, I guess, like working with, with guys who are, you know, younger than you and that are just starting out and like, you know, or you're able to come in and be collaborative, collaborative. But also, you know, I'm assuming there's a, you know, some, some mentorship and in some of these relationships with with, you know, rising artists.
Luke Dick 1:02:25
Yeah. It doesn't feel this way. But jack is, Jack's his old is my oldest kid. I mean, I had, I had kids really, I hadn't, I hadn't a kid really young in life. So that's not saying too much. I'm barely 40. But it doesn't feel necessarily like that kind of a fatherly relationship, it feels like Big Brother. To me. And it. What I like about jack is that he has his own sense of himself. He, he's obviously extremely talented. He's a great performer, he's great vocalist, but he also has this artistic instinct, that, that I can, that I feel like I can serve, I guess and, and also help and bring something to the table for him and then show him things, you know, I mean, and I don't, but I never like to go into a room thinking that I know something more than somebody else. You know, that's not the point. It's just that it's like, also about relating to people in the music business. And, and just a few, it's just like you see around town, even if you're around town a decade, it's just like, you see this sort of grist mill of things that are happening and, and how to do the thing that you love? Or some little sort of aspects of doing the thing you love. And so if there's any advice, I guess, in that regard is this like, then this happened, you know, and then this and then then they they are interact This way, you know, you're sort of trying to show somebody the ecos system of human beings in this town. And, and that's just, that's just oh, that's light hearted thing. The bigger thing is just writing songs together. I've written songs for, you know, 2530 years now. I started writing songs when I was 10 1112. And I wasn't any good until maybe my mid 20s I started getting better at it. But then you get really good, you know, it's like you start really getting better at it. And so being able to help someone who was earlier in their writing phase, you know, it's not like jack came to town when Never haven't written a song either the guy knows how to write a song. He's, he's talented. He's, and but also to just say, here's, here's another chord progression. Here's another melody in my work. Here's another thing you know, and sort of to be able to, to have that kind of a creative relationship where you feel like you're serving somebody, and then also serving somebody that you don't know what they're going to turn into, you know what I mean? It's like, I feel like there's something really special there. I'm kind of temperamental, so I don't work with a lot of people production wise, and he's a person that's like that on this kid. I love him. I think he's great. I think I think that I want to go see him play. You know, it's not you don't have to cajole me to come out of the house to watch him play. I love him. I think he's great. And I think the world is gonna know who Jackson Dean is. And so that compels me to keep wanting to come up with something great. You know, it's like, let's find some spiders awesome idea today, let's find, you know, let's go dig it. You know, let's really, and then if we don't come up with something that's alright, we're working together, we're gonna try it again. You know, that's, I just really like him and his adventurousness, to me is also he's got this calm about him that I that I love.
Thomas Mooney 1:06:18
Yeah, I just, I, obviously, I'm a journalist, and I clearly love listening to music, but I love and maybe this, this goes back to the whole slog in 12 hours a day thing is like, you know, I love finding new artists, I love finding and listening to stuff I've never listened to. And it's always so like, rewarding. It's so you kind of get that, like, you know, your ears perk up when you come across an EP that you just don't know if anyone else has found yet. And you're just like, we definitely know none of your friends have. But you're like, Oh, this is like something interesting. This is like something I've not come across yet. And it's almost always like an EP, which the only reason I mentioned that is because you just know, oh, I'm excited to see what's down the line for him. You know, and that's such that's the part like, I always kind of go back to as far as like, you know, if anyone ever asks me, why did I become a music journalist? It's it's always funny, or hoping to find that feeling again, you know of that? Yeah. Like that artists, like, maybe surprises you or whatever the case.
Luke Dick 1:07:32
Yeah, I want to I definitely want surprises too. I can relate to that and feeling the excitement of being moved in a mean, it's so nuanced, right? are so you know, like so many people making music, but to be moved in a certain new way, you know? I just I don't know. I'm just excited for his future. And I'm excited to see what happens in terms of us and our creativity in the future, too.
Thomas Mooney 1:08:02
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I'm excited for that. I'm excited for what you have coming up. And yeah, I'm always real bad at finding a place to end these but it's been really great talking with you today.
Luke Dick 1:08:18
Yeah, well, thank you for for caring enough. And thank you for a great set of questions and I appreciate appreciate you having man.
Thomas Mooney 1:08:32
All right, that is it for this one. Go watch Red Dog and listen to the latest song by Luke Deke. Some things change. Be sure to check out our pals over at desert or the blue light live and Charlie stout photography, go order the Lubbock way, visit the merch store. Go into yourself in the Charlie stout print giveaway over on Twitter, and most importantly, subscribe to new slang. And yeah, I'll see y'all later in the week for another episode.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai