Singer/songwriter Luke Pritchard is the lead vocalist of British pop band The Kooks. Pritchard, who describes himself as a “purist”, in the sense that he makes music the old-school way, rather than on a computer, is currently working on the band’s fifth album.
How did your career start?
Music was a big deal for me from when I was really young because I had the absence of my father, because my dad passed away when I was three years old. He was a musician, so surrounding me in my house was his vinyl collection. Listening to his records was like my connection to him. The music I was surrounded by was Elvis, Buddy Holly, Everly Brothers – a lot of Fifties American stuff, so in my visual mind that is the music I remember being attractive to me. Before I discovered Michael Jackson and all that…
Did you enjoy school?
Not really. I hated any form of authority. I wasn’t very good at that, I was a bit of a loner, I’d say – and I never had girlfriends, I was quite shy. School wasn’t where I flourished.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I’m quite a big Playstation 4 gamer. I have just got back into it, I’m getting quite into the crazy, modern new technology. The way you can immerse yourself into them and the escapism you get from some of these games – I love it.
How would you describe your business style?
Fair. I’ve been f****d over, but I think you need to have a calm air, I think you have to be careful but you can’t let business dictate your life, to a point that you are not enjoying it. When you are a creative person I think you can dilute that by caring too much about the business side – its a balance.
Are there any of your piers that you admire?
There are a lot of people. In terms of career I have always looked at Daman Albarn as one of my heroes, because I think he has managed to maintain his own integrity, done multiple projects and Danger Mouse wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for him, he created him. And he just jumps around, what he has done for African music for example. From right now, Kevin Parker is someone I think has done something incredible in music – he has made his alternative music into taste-making music for pop, which I think is an amazing thing.
Who did you admire when you were growing up?
I felt when I was growing up the biggest person in my life was Bob Dylan, in terms of music.
Were there times you thought you wouldn’t make it?
Today. I have that classic feeling that people will find me out. It is funny you should ask me this question as I still don’t think I have made it, but I think I have done well.
What do you think you’d be doing now if you hadn’t become a musician?
I would definitely be doing something creative. I would love to be an author. I couldn’t do a nine-to-five job, that would kill me, I don’t understand why people do it. I love the way the world is changing and I think that is going to be a thing of the past in about 20 years, I don’t think people will have that type of job anymore, technology will help us do it.
What is your career high, to date?
Stealing studio time off Suge Knight, and not getting killed in the process – that was fun.
Do you have any early memories that you can share with us that are tangible to the profession you are in now?
One of the first gigs I was taken to was Chuck Berry, I remember that sticking out in my head and thinking: “this man is so cool” he did the duck-walk. And obviously being surrounded by my dad’s music.
Whats next for you?
I am writing the new Kooks album, and I am also looking to develop some new music. I really want to get involved in some other music projects, maybe a new act. So that is on the back-burner.