A conversation with Luke Winslow-King

 

    We spoke with Luke Winslow-King about cooking on an open fire, capturing his momentary feelings, imagining how clocks work and how many horses he has seen.

    I definitely have some olfactorily triggered nostalgia taking me back to my days of knocking down gypsy moth tents with softballs.

    1

    Morgan Enos

    Do you ever feel sentimental when you look at gardening equipment or come across organic earth smells? Why or why not? Did you ever grow up in a rural area or have a green thumb?

    Luke Winslow-King

    I definitely have some olfactorily triggered nostalgia taking me back to my days of knocking down gypsy moth tents with softballs and shoveling out frozen chicken coops before school on February Michigan mornings. My parents had a hobby farm near Cadillac and raised alpaca, sheep, chickens and grew plenty of vegetables. I helped out a good bit, but was more interested in stealing away to kick out some electric guitar jams in the garage, or hijacking the Johnson Ski-Horse snowmobile for a cruise out to the back 40.

    2

    How many horses have you seen?

    Our neighbors had a few horses and donkeys, but we see a lot more deer than horses up there.

    3

    Have you ever operated heavy machinery or beheld the awesome power of hydraulics?

    For sure. I learned to find my way around a 1940s Ford 8N tractor at around 11 years old.  I also ran a hydraulic log splitter.

    4

    What do you wish people would understand about your songs that no one seems to? What seems to get lost in translation, if anything?

    I feel more and more that people are listening to my songs and understanding them in a deeper way. It’s very gratifying and it’s something I’ve been reaching for for many years. I do wish that people understood that my songs are written about a particular moment in time. They are not meant encompass an entire lifetime for me. They are snapshots of a momentary feeling.

    Sand falling on plates, driving cogs and sprockets that remember last year’s moon calendar.

    5

    Did you grow up being very physically coordinated, or not? How do you remember mastering control of your motor skills from a young age?

    I was into playing sports as a child. I played soccer, and set a long-standing middle school record for the 100 meter hurdles. I do remember toying around with my father‘s guitar at five or six years old, learning how to manipulate the string by contorting my fingers into the odd-feeling patterns. After a time, it became more and more natural and a part of my identity. The shapes turn into a sound and, eventually, a language.

    6

    Please take a top-quality image of the space you’re in right this second.

    From the back of our tour van in central Washington going south on Interstate 82 towards Yakima.

    7

    Have you ever dreamt of someone who is no longer here with us? How did it feel to see them?

    For sure. I frequently have dreams of my father and my close friend Lissa Driscoll, who are recently deceased. They both are very present on my new album Blue Mesa. “Farewell Blues,” “You Got Mine,” and “Chicken Dinner.”

    I remember having a peyote ceremony in the Bronx in 2007 with a friend to introduced me to some visiting Sundance Indians. I could see prayers in the cedar smoke and hear my dad speaking to me through the tent walls.

    8

    Please give me an imaginary interpretation of how clocks operate.

    Sand falling on plates, driving cogs and sprockets that remember last year’s moon calendar. Wet fingers in the air judging Kitty Hawk winds.

    When your bait is drifting downstream exactly the same tempo as the water, the trout don’t think twice about taking a bite.

    9

    Have you ever experienced culture shock? Where was it? What happened — or didn’t happen — to cause that?

    I got lost in the old medina of Marrakesh two summers ago. I took a wrong turn and went back 2000 years. I found myself surrounded by donkey carts and glares. I eventually settled in and found my place exploring the Atlas Mountains eating melon, shaded under argon trees.

    10

    When was the last time you felt legitimately peaceful? What makes you feel the opposite — very on-edge and flustered?

    I feel most at peace when I am canoeing down my home trout stream in northern Michigan. I like to paddle backwards with one paddle while fishing with nightcrawlers with the other hand — boondogging. When your bait is drifting downstream exactly the same tempo as the water, the trout don’t think twice about taking a bite. I love taking a break in the heat of the day, napping in my hammock near the bank, waking up to cook brook trout on an open fire.

    This is equal and opposite to navigating the plastic halls of the music industry from the helm of a laptop computer or waiting in line at airport security, calculating tour expenses and tax write-offs.

    Thank you.

    Data


    Conversation: 214
    Curated by: Morgan Enos
    Conducted by: Email
    Published: July 25, 2018
    Total questions: 10
    Word count: 753
    Reading time: Three minutes
    Hyperlinks: 1
    Imagery: 1

    Metadata


    Heat: ∞
    Ceremony: ∞
    Culture: ∞
    Sprocket: ∞
    Tempo: ∞
    Cedar: ∞

    Relation


    About the subject


    Luke Winslow-King is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist originally from Cadillac, Michigan. He resides in New Orleans.

    About the curator


    Morgan Enos is a songwriter and journalist originally from California. His curatorial work for North of the Internet aims to strike a deeper place in his conversation subjects — the dreamy subtext to the linear everyday. Morgan also frequently writes power pop records as Other Houses about joy, outer space, frustration, chess and spiritual light. He resides in New York, where he continues to creatively fire on all cylinders.


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