There are big things in store for Luke Bond this year. With the backing of Gareth Emery, as well as a massive collaboration with Ukranian producer Omnia, Luke is poised for a major breakthrough this summer. Your EDM sat down with him last week to discuss his collaboration “Reflex,” a possible move to the States, and more.
How did you and Omnia link up for “Reflex?”
We met at Ministry of Sound in London. He and Gareth were playing and I came to see everyone and catch up. The two of us talked and we liked each other’s music and I just asked if he’d like to collab and he was up for it. A few days later, we connected through email and we started making “Reflex.”
What were your roles in making the track?
Omnia sent me a melody which is the one we used. The production was done on my end and he sent me extra parts of the track like strings that we added and we bounced it back and forth. It was quite straightforward. We did it rather quick, it wasn’t one of those collabs that just dragged on and on. Probably finished it in about a week or so.
Was it a surprise for you, or do you normally take longer to do tracks?
It’s half and half. For some reason if I can’t get something right, I’ll take a day or two and come back to it, or you run the risk of making a track worse. There are also some tracks that are smooth sailing from the start and this was one of them. It’s unpredictable.
Are you one of those people that hates your own music after you finish making it?
Yep! I have a rule where if I get a track signed I won’t listen to it unless I’m playing it out. I try to not listen to dance music if I have a string of shows coming up. I find if I force myself to listen to dance music all week, I don’t appreciate it as much when I’m ready to play a show. If I take a break then I go out and play, it sounds so much better than the downtempo music I’ve been listening to all week . It’s great to take breaks from your own music.
So did you actually come up with the idea to name “Reflex” from a water bottle?
Yeah, It’s my protein shaker (laughs). I’m really, really bad at naming tracks. . I did another track so I asked my fans on Facebook and I had 200 comments to sift through them and we actually chose one. For ‘Reflex,’ I was sitting at my computer drinking water and I got a message from Omnia asking what to name the track. He’s Ukranian so English isn’t his first language. I tried to come up with some ideas and in the end I looked at my shaker and I said ‘wanna call it Reflex?’ and he said ‘Hey, it sounds great.’ (laughs). This is why I prefer vocal tracks! They’re so much easier to name. I try to avoid classic trance names like anything with sunset or sunrise with it. I think that’s rule number one: never mention the weather when naming your tracks.
What’s the one city or country you’d like to play?
Most of my attention is on the US because that’s where most of the support for my music comes from. I’m looking forward to playing in Australia for the first time this year. The sort of sound I do isn’t really that big anymore in the UK. They like harder trance, the old school sort of stuff. I play more crossover progressive house music, so I find that most of feedback come abroad.
Are you looking to move to the states soon then?
Yeah, definitely. It’s been something I’ve been working on. I work very closely with Gareth Emery who’s from the UK but now lives in Los Angeles. He’s built a career in the states and it’s something I try to follow with my own career. I’m there in August working and touring so fingers crossed.
What’s the biggest lesson Gareth Emery has taught you so far?
Not to worry what other people are doing and just focus on yourself. It’s very easy to get distracted in this industry. The thing he taught me was to focus on what I’m all about and stay on track and to keep focused with it so you can continue to grow. I find that doing that over the last 6-8 has worked really well for me.
You’ve been transitioning your sound over time. Has it been a difficult journey?
The thing that I’ve kept that hasn’t or will ever change is the melodic part. I keep everything melodic. Over the last few years, the stuff I’ve been influenced by production-wise is ‘technically’ progressive house. The production around my music is EDM influenced but it’s very melodic, which is why I have fans from all different genres I guess. I take the best of both worlds and do it my own way.
Who have been some of your influences as you’ve made this new sound?
I really like Nicky Romero and the sound from Protocol. Gareth’s been a big influence and he has a great hybrid sound…ilan Bluestone…Audien; he’s someone who’s been able to carve an imprint in the trance and house areas. I’m a massive Eric Prydz fan, I love his melodies and the journey he creates with his music. He has amazing arpeggios in his music. I take what like about different people and glue it together and do my own thing with it. I write and I combine all the things I like about different artists and genres.
What can we expect from you this summer?
Another single next month on Garuda and a remix with Cosmic Gate on their remix album out soon. I’m also doing a big a US tour but we’re still working on all the fine details and might even try to do Canada too.