An interview with Ethan Luck of Relient K at the 2011 Van’s Warped Tour in Houston, Texas
Ethan Luck is a man of eclectic interests. Luck formerly performed as guitarist for Demon Hunter, has a sharp eye for photography and now performs on the opposite end of the music spectrum as the drummer for alt favorites Relient K. I caught up with Luck for a quick interview at the 2011 Van’s Warped Tour in Houston, Texas to talk about life on the road and their latest album “Karaoke.”
Allyce Andrew: How long have you been in Relient K?
Ethan Luck: About three-and-a-half years.
AA: So, have you seen a lot of member changes or are you the newest member?
EL: There hasn’t been a member change other than me, the line-up has been consistent since like the “Mmhmm” record—and that came out in 2005, I think? But the lineup was solid before that—so it’s been like seven years.
AA: And they only have two original members?
EL: Yeah, Matt and Matt.
AA: [laughs] Yeah, it’s quite confusing.
EL: Yeah, it can be—sorry. Well, there’s two Matts and two Johns and then me so we just call everyone by their last names except for me. My middle name is John so I can go by that.
AA: [laughs] Well, have you played at Warped tour before?
EL: Yeah, in 2008.
AA: Have you noticed any major changes so far between Warped Tour then and Warped Tour now?
EL: Um, you know, this year is very reminiscent of ‘08 because there’s a lot of the same bands that we were out with in ‘08 like the Street Dogs and the Aggrolites, but there’s a lot of new bands that we’re stoked on like—who did we watch yesterday? Hellogoodbye. They were really cool. But it’s kind of the same drill, though. It’s a lot of the same places we’re playing, it’s hot stuff—like that. But yeah, we’re very excited to do it again.
AA: Do you prefer regular touring, like standard touring, as opposed to Warped Tour?
EL: I think they each have their own charm. I mean obviously, a lot of times you prefer to do your own tour because people are showing up that are just for you, you know? It seems a little cocky to say but that’s the truth, you know. You go do a tour, you play a club and you’re on the marquee so the people that are there are your fans, where people who come to Warped Tour are here to see a ton of bands. And there’s people that will come just to see us but they each have their own charm, you know, you have the comforts of playing familiar clubs on your own tours and the comfort of knowing that everyone is there to see you guys and stuff so yeah, I like them both for different reason I guess.
AA: Who’s your favorite band that you get to hang out with on the tour?
EL: On Warped Tour? I’ve got a good amount of friends on the tour. As far as far as watching bands the Aggrolites are great, they’re a great like ska/soul band that we got to know a little bit on Warped Tour in ‘08 and they’re a fun band to watch live. But yeah, we know some of the guys—like the August Burns Red guys, um other crew guys from other bands. Who else do we know? Blankin’ right now. Some of the Less Than Jake guys.
AA: And you guys are releasing “Karaoke” soon?
EL: Yeah, “Relient K is for Karaoke.” It comes out on Tuesday.
AA: Oh, really? That’s exciting. Why did you decide to do a cover album as opposed to original tracks?
EL: Um, the band has always been doing cover songs for so long—you know, we don’t always have a bunch of songs ready to go. You either sit around, we want to do something. Plus, with Warped Tour coming up we didn’t have a ton of time just to like, you know lock ourselves in a room and hack stuff out, things like that. So, we figured let’s put out cover songs since we always do them live and seem to like those and we’ll put that out for the summer and hope that people like it.