Photographer: Makoto Scott-Hinkle
1. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
I have let my non-musical influences affect me more than the musical ones. I have several muses. One is the muse of the dark I hate you for how you treated me songs. Another is my muse of unreturned love and rejection. Both of these muses are real people. It's a strange feeling to be equally affected by people I've lived with and people I never see. I guess sometimes it's easier to love what isn't there than what is...
For musical influences, I grew up listening to 60's pop that my parents played and also to classical music. My first instrument was the oboe when I was ten. I danced ballet from age eight till I was sixteen. I quit dancing when I decided my future was writing rock music. I was home schooled (of the unschooling variety). While some of my heroes dropped out of high school to become rock stars, I skipped a step by never going to school. Some of my influences include Alice in Chains, Tori Amos, Soul Asylum, Lisa Loeb. Lately, lots of Kill Hannah and Florence & The Machine, lots of artists who are women and play the piano, 60's pop.
2. I have always thought that geography impacts music to various degrees. How has Springfield, OR been an influence on your music?
This place is fucking dark in the winter. I moved to Springfield, OR from New York when I was six. I can still remember the feeling of my first winter here. It was like a bleak rainy twilight of suppressive gloom had moved into the neighborhood. The rain and fog comes in October and often doesn't leave till May or June. Summers here are like California, just a little cooler. How's that for contrast? I have a love hate relationship with the weather and climate here. I lived in Nashville for two years and was a lot less depressive there. I like what darkness (literal and emotional) does for me as an artist. I have never much cared for happy music. It's not what I’m here for. Seasonal affective disorder is standard issue here, but I see it as something that serves me. Also, music is my therapy, and it's a therapy I enjoy going to. There is lots of literal truth in my music, and even more emotional truth.
3. “Alphafalls” is a moniker for “Luke Scott-Hinkle.” Why use a moniker; what’s the meaning behind it?
I record my songs as if there were a whole band. Having a group name gives the expectation that the recordings will be fully produced with lots of instruments. This isn't just a guy in a garage with a guitar, this is Alphafalls, the rock band. Plus this left the door open to having additional members when I was at a point in my career when that made sense. My next album is currently being created in a test tube with the help of a mad scientist and his assistant.
Photographer: Makoto Scott-Hinkle
4. You wrote the following in a blog entry: “God is a prostitute. For the right price, He will Love you to Death. God and the devil are two sides of the same mistake. And change is expensive. But I want my life to be expansive.” Could you take a moment and think a few months back and give us exactly what was going through your mind when you wrote these words?
I want people to examine what they think they know and see if it is what they really know. Perhaps the question "What was going on in my emotions when I wrote that?" would apply. I didn't have a clear thought in mind when I wrote it, but I liked how the words felt, so I wrote them down.
5. You took on the topic of gay teen suicide in the song “Different.”
The song was inspired by the gay suicides but it's about more than that. It's about accepting yourself even when the people who should be on your side aren’t. It says, "Hey, you're an idiot. But I'm in the city now and I'm doing fine. You should love me and I'm still upset about it but I'm fine because I've realized that you aren't my family because functional families allow their children to become who they are supposed to be, not what their parent's or their parents religion says they should be." So there!
I wrote this song in May of 2010. I was standing naked in the shower when I started singing the chorus, I could tell it was good by the way it affected me emotionally. So I got out of the shower and dripped water all across the hardwood floor of my house on my way to get my notebook and portable recorder. I didn't know what the song was about at first because I have always had a decent relationship with my father. Then I got to think about why someone would feel that their father wasn't really their father. That question led me to the premise for the song. I feel that songs already exist before I write them down, but I still have to spend a lot of time interpreting what they want to become in tangible form. "Different" is really right inside my usual subject matter, most of my songs are about feeling rejected, misunderstood or hurt in some way. Usually about romantic failure/longing and loss, but family relationship are pretty similar and just as painful. Some songs I set out to write, this one asked to be written. Love is the greatest most human emotion, so to tell someone they are wrong for loving is completely cruel.
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