Luke Esterkyn, lead singer of the rock band Stroke 9, took time to talk to the DC Scene. Luke explains what the band has been up to after their gold selling "Nasty Little Thoughts".
DC Scene: Many people in the eastern half of the United States are surprised when I tell them you were formed in 1989. Most think you started up around 1999 with the release of "Nasty Little Thoughts". What event or series of events would you point to that lead to your national breakthrough?
Luke: I think the most important thing is that we established a really big local following. For about four years in the Bay Area we would always pack some of the smaller venues. We sold a lot of albums from our shows. Our album Bumper to Bumper had Little Black Backpack on it and it did really well. Because of our large following and local success some labels began looking at us and it took off from there.
DC Scene: When you guys aren’t touring or recording much do all the band members still reside in the Bay area, and are you all friends outside of the music world?
Luke: Two live in San Francisco and two live in L.A. We are all really good friends. John and I are actually in another band in the area called “Boys Gone Wild” with members of Vertical Horizon. It is basically a party band with a lot of covers. The website is bgw.com.
DC Scene: When did you personally realize that you had lead singer potential?
Luke: I grew up singing a lot. I was in the SF Boys Choir from like 8-11. I was in a band in sixth grade, but my voice still got deeper and better.
DC Scene: What is your favorite song to play live?
Luke: Do It Again gets good crowd response and we added a fun bass line in the middle of the song.
DC Scene: Have you done any political songs since then and what are your thoughts about musicians who have gotten very political over the past few years?
Luke: I think it’s great. Obviously, political songs have always been a major part of rock music and any song with a message is cool. There are a couple songs on our next album that might have political undertones. I’ve tried some political songs, but some seemed a bit too contrived. Some bands can pull it off better than others. Sometimes bands might try a bit too hard and it is easy to tell.
DC Scene: Is there any plans or talks of coming out with a new album in the near future?
Luke: Yeah, we are working on one right now and expect it to be done next year, maybe as early as February.
DC Scene: I’ve found that fans are sometimes curious as to what their favorite artists listen to other than their own music. Do you have a couple of favorite modern day artist that you listen to?
Luke: I like G. Love a lot. Pretty much everything he does is good. Wolf Parade is really good too.
DC Scene: Do you guys have a myspace.com page fans can check out?
Luke: Yeah, we have one. We put on a lot of song downloads. We’ll have some demos of new stuff on there soon. It’s a cool way for fans to give us feedback on what they like and don’t like.
DC Scene: Is there anything else that you would like to tell your D.C. fans or announcements to make?
Luke: Just thanks a lot for the support and be sure to check out Stroke 9 iTunes when you get a chance.