Records hold a very special place in the hearts of listeners, especially musicians. Whether it be through the distinct artwork or a stand-out track, records have the unique ability to instantly take us back to the first time we heard them. We asked Luke Sinclair from Melbourne group Raised By Eagles to talk to us about some of his favourite records and the influence they’ve had on him as a musician, as well as the making of their new album, Diamonds In The Blood Stream.
Did any albums influence the production or music of Diamonds in the Bloodstream?
I guess you could say the music we make as a band is the culmination of all of our musical influences. It’s the direct result of every album we have listened to and loved collectively over the course of our lifetimes. We never discussed what kind of sound or genre we wanted to fit into before we started playing or recording. It just came out that way. Obviously we all listen to a lot of Country and Americana records, old and new, and we’re all fans of good song-writing. For me, nothing encapsulates the art of storytelling as effectively as Country music, in all of its forms. (The Commercial side of the business excluded).
What is your favourite album of all time?
That’s a big question. It’s very difficult to answer – maybe I haven’t heard it yet. The Rolling Stones ‘Exile On Main St’ springs to mind. So does The Faces ‘A nod is as good as a wink… to a blind horse’. There are so many great albums and so much music yet to be discovered. Although I find it hard to believe that music today could ever achieve what it did in the years leading up to circa 1979 – that’s where all the gold is for me. So I’d say my favourite album of all time (up until now) lies somewhere within that time frame.
What was the first album you bought with your own money?
The first album I ever owned was Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms. It was a gift from my older sister. But the first record I ever paid for was Nick Barker & The Reptiles’ Goin’ To Pieces in 1989 – early high-school days, when your room and your records mean more to you than they ever will again. We’re playing a show with Nick Barker & The Heartache State soon, so that story has come full circle. It’s amazing how the wheels turn.
Which album has influenced your music style the most?
There have been many. I’d pin it down to anything delivered with the heart and grit of artists like Tom Petty, Ryan Adams, Bill Callahan, Dylan & The Band – and newer artists like Shovels & Rope, Houndmouth and Dawes. Then there’s Van Walker, Liz Stringer, Tracy McNeil, Matt Walker’s Lost Ragas – they all have albums that have been hugely influential on our musical ‘approach’. Melbourne is a wonderful town.
Which album is the band listening to while on tour?
When we’re sick of talking to each other we listen to a lot of Louis CK. He’s the best. Music on the last couple of tours has been Dawes, Houndmouth, Lost Ragas and JJ Cale. We made a rule at the end of our last tour that next time we each have to bring at least one CD from any genre that falls outside of folk, country or Americana. It’s a good rule.
What has been the biggest surprise release of 2015?
Diamonds In The Bloodstream – We never cease to surprise ourselves.
What was playing on your family stereo growing up?
A lot of Don Williams, Tom T Hall, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, John Denver, Neil Diamond, Harry Chapin, and smatterings of Bob Dylan – the commercial side of 1970’s Country really. Dad loved that stuff. It wasn’t until high school that I discovered all the grittier, good stuff.
Which album did you play to death as a teenager?
Motley Crue Girls Girls Girls – Dire Straights Brothers In Arms – Sting Dream Of The Blue Turtles – Metallica Ride the Lightening – Guns ‘n’ Roses Appetite For Destruction – Def Leppard Hysteria – Steve Earle Copperhead Road – John Prine Bruised Oranges – this turbid list goes on…
What was your inspiration behind the artwork for Diamonds in the Bloodstream?
Open space, distance, travel, arrivals & departures – and the golden light of the afternoon.
If you could record an album with any producer in the world, who would it be, and why?
I’m not sure. It’s important that we co-produce our own albums so it’d have to be someone we liked and trusted a lot. Guys like that can be hard to find. Roger Bergodaz Engineered and Co-produced Diamonds In The Bloodstream, and we like and trust him a lot. We’d be happy to keep working with Roger.
What was your most memorable moment while recording Diamonds in the Bloodstream?
Realising we’d finished it in 5 days. That was hard to grasp. Also, coming back from a lunch break and hearing Nick’s awesome “guitarmony solos on” ‘Jackie’ (he did those while we were gone due to potential disdain and resistance). He got neither. Roger threw the horns up, and the solos were approved.
Diamonds In The Bloodstream is out now and available for purchase here.
You can catch Raised By Eagles performing with Ruby Boots on the following dates:
Thursday 21 May 2015
Newtown Social Club, Newtown, NSW, Australia
Friday 22 May 2015
Howler, Brunswick, VIC, Australia
Friday 29 May 2015
Black Bear Lodge, Fortitude Valley, QLD, Australia
Tickets available here.