Welcome to The Fresh Squeeze, where every Monday and Friday, BLUNT gets down to the wire with an up-and-coming act we simply can’t get enough of.
In today’s shiny new edition, we get the juice on Melbourne punk Luke Seymoup, known to his feverishly ardent fans as “Melbourne’s busiest man in punk” – a big call, given the city’s ironclad and iconic punk scene. Nevertheless, Seymoup’s latest offering is the sunkissed pop-punk belter ‘Knife’. Musically it soars with bright and buoyant melodies, but is undercut with lyrics that cut right to the soul. He’s described it quite aptly as “halfway between My Chemical Romance and They Might Be Giants”. It’s also his fifth (!!!) single for 2021; elsewhere in his catalogue, you’ll find three full-length albums, two splits (one with Vetty Vials and one with Joe Guiton) and an EP… Shit, maybe he is Melbourne’s busiest man in punk!
Who’s in your band, what do they play, and what would be your non-musical superpowers?
I’m a fanatical comic book reader, so I love to theorise about superpowers! On drums, we have Marty. His power would be his superhuman focus and determination. Like Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt, if he believes he can do something, he can; no matter how improbable.
Our keyboard player, Brenna’s superpower has applications in music (particularly in making arrangements), she has the ability to look at a whole situation from every angle and know exactly how to approach it, noticing any faults or problems that most of us would never notice. Much like Star Wars’ Grand Admiral Thrawn.
On bass, we have Rhys. He’s like that guy on the super-team who will wait until just the right moment to show you what he can do. He’s there in the background watching, waiting. When the time comes, he pulls something you never expect. Whether it’s a Gordon Liu style kung-fu move or just a witty one liner. It’s always the deciding factor in any situation.
Not so much a power, but I know my role is to be the Cyclops of the team. Every X-Men fan thinks Cyclops is no fun until you realise that everyone around him is chaotic, and you need that one person who can help the team function (imagine trying to keep Wolvie, Rogue, Gambit and Jubilee all on the same page). I’ll be the bad guy who has to stop the fun to complete the mission.
When you’re not tearing shit up on your instruments, what do you legends like to get up to?
I can only speak for myself as each member of the Luke Seymoup band is shrouded in mystery. When I’m not playing, I’m usually cataloguing my X-Men collection, building or modifying a guitar, or mentally plotting out our next 15 singles/EPs/albums. I’m also planning out my debut into the world of comic writing (Marvel, take notice). I’m always spinning a lot of plates.
What would your hometown’s landmark be?
I’m a product of Melbourne’s outer-eastern suburbs, and there’s a special kind of chaos the deep suburbs possess, which no tourist will ever see. The landmark for the eastern suburbs, until very recently when it got knocked down, would have been Daisy’s in Ringwood. What’s Daisy’s, you ask? It’s a nightclub. No wait, it’s a bistro. No wait, it’s a GARDEN SUPPLY CENTRE. How did this possibly exist? I choose this not for its quality, but for its ability to spark a conversation like nothing I’ve ever seen.
What’s the usual first topic of conversation when you take a break at rehearsal?
I’ve been playing in bands with Bren for over a decade, and Rhys and Marty nearly as long. Still, I can never predict where any conversation between the four of us is going to go. I’ll try to introduce some kind of band business and it will devolve quickly into renaming an everyday item with a some ridiculous new term (coffee is now officially called ‘hot brown’, for the record) or into a hypothetical situation where my guitar is replaced by a giant slug. All I can say is that we never have a boring discussion.
What’s your pre-show warm-up routine?
The lead-up to each show with the Luke Seymoup band is like a movie where each of our members has to fight our way through obstacles and adventures, before finally meeting for the soundcheck. Maybe we were chased down the street by an army of ghouls, or maybe we were dropped into some kind of Saw-esque deathtrap. Maybe we had a flat tyre. But when we finally meet on the stage, we give a nod and, without saying a word, we know we’re ready to play.
Tell us about your most memorable show, what made it so special?
I’ll never forget, back in 2017, a close friend arrived at the launch for our album The Professional in a suit. When I asked him where he’d come from, he told me he’d just gotten married. Then his wife and the wedding party walked through the door of the Old Bar. These absolute legends came to see us play on their wedding night. We officially became a wedding band that night and, ever since, I’ve been yelling out “WE DO WEDDINGS” during our sets (for reference, see our recent merch release).
What band would you most like to share the stage with and why?
I had to really think about this question – my mind rattled off some incredible bands like Alkaline Trio, They Might Be Giants, Bruce & The E Street Band… The list goes on! But truly, there’s only one answer to this question. It’s The Muppet Show Band. We would combine our forces to bring a rockin’ show full of killer songs and Muppet mayhem. Plus I know Animal is Marty’s drum idol, and I’d love to see them combine their percussive skills.
What’s the most exciting album you’ve listened to recently?
Aside from mixes of our top-secret upcoming album that I can’t get enough of, I’ve been obsessed with the new album by Sincere Engineer. They’re a Chicago-based punk band who are influenced by The Lawrence Arms and Alkaline Trio (my all-time favourite band), full of incredibly strong songwriting and fist-pumping punk rock energy!
If you could be endorsed by one company, who would it be?
I’m an energy drink fanatic. Most of the time, my Instagram story is just me reviewing some new, weird energy drink I’ve found in a small convenience store. The master of all energy drinks is still V Energy though. If V wanted to hook me up with a lifetime supply, I’d be buzzed enough to record music at a faster pace than I already do and double my output of records. V, hit me up! Alternately, I think the amount of patterned button-down shirts I buy is singlehandedly keeping Jay Jays in business.
Why are you going to make it to the top over all the other contenders in the musical arena?
The top? As in playing on the roof of Rod Laver Arena? I’d love to make it to the top so I can finally be taller than everyone else. Jokes aside, people need to hear the Luke Seymoup band because we’re a completely unique beast. For years, we’ve had punk fans saying we’re an indie-rock band, and indie fans saying we’re a punk band. Not to mention the doses of heartland rock, ska and Prince worship in our music. Whatever it is, it’s pure Seymoup. There’s no frame of reference for what we do.
Where the top is, I don’t know. But I do know that no band can get a crowd dancing with joy to incredibly downbeat lyrics the way we can. Everyone in the world might feel terrible right now, but at least we can have some fun while we’re doing it.
‘Knife’ is out now independently. Check it out below, or click here to stream it.