We’ve met the physical embodiment of nighttime cool and his name is Luke Carr.
The ultimate Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist, Carr can shred on stage and tug on heartstrings in the space of single set.
Coming from the music scene of SUNY Purchase that includes bands like Porches, Mr. Twin Sister, Sheer Mag, So So Glos, Mitski, and Dan Deacon, Carr’s latest creation is his solo project Wolf Diamond. For over two years, Carr has spent his nights staring out his Bushwick apartment window, writing music to bring the night alive.
Check out the chat below with Carr about Wolf Diamond, being nocturnal, Elliott Smith, “Marquee Moon,” and not taking yourself too seriously.
BTRtoday(BTR): How did you form Wolf Diamond?
Luke Carr (LC): Wolf Diamond started as my solo project. I put out a compilation of home recordings in 2014 (“Diamonds Are Forever“). Shortly thereafter I recruited a couple friends to play the material with me for a show at Legion bar. Since then I’ve been playing shows pretty regularly as Wolf Diamond, (with an ever rotating line-up), and recording and releasing music at my own pace.
BTR: Why the name Wolf Diamond?
LC: It started as a joke between my roommate Ernest and I a few years back. We said, “that is the most Brooklyn band name ever.” Then at some point it got real. When it came time to name the solo project, I figured calling myself “Wolf Diamond” would show that I’m not taking myself that seriously. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the joke. I know there was a trend of “wolf” bands in, like, 2008. I never listened to those bands though so it’s not really a conflict of interest for me.
BTR: What’s it like playing in the NYC music scene for you?
LC: People move here from all over to pursue their rock ‘n’roll dreams, and playing in a band here is exciting because there’s a “sky’s the limit” feeling—whereas in other cities you probably feel so far away from the action. However, people fall into this too-cool-for-school mentality, and a lot of shows people just glare at you with their arms crossed and no one dances. We played at a dive bar in New Paltz last month and it was really refreshing. Everyone was moving around and rowdy. It reminded me of how judgmental and chilly people in the Brooklyn music scene can be.
When I first started playing live I suffered from severe stage fright. Over the years I’ve gotten better about that. I do things like sing karaoke and go to open mics to help remedy my stage fright. In general, playing live is a thrill. It’s cathartic and gives you an adrenaline rush.
BTR: If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
LC: Nocturnal. As opposed to a true band where you’re coming up with stuff as a group, Wolf Diamond comes from a place of solitude, because I write and record everything in my room, usually late at night. Therefore the music has a lonely, dreamy feeling overall. The live set is kind of a different story. My friend Tyler who plays bass with me now says my music is like Bruce Springsteen meets Wavves.
BTR: Did you grow up playing music or did you learn more recently?
I grew up playing music. My dad was a working musician as a young man, and is now a music teacher at Poughkeepsie High School. So, I grew up with instruments around—I also played saxophone in school band. I got my first electric guitar in 7th grade. It wasn’t until after college that I really started playing in bands, though. So, I’m a late bloomer in that way.
I listened to a lot of stuff as a kid that is embarrassing to think about now, like System Of A Down or whatever. But there’s some stuff that I liked then that I like even more now. Discovering Elliott Smith was a big moment for me growing up. I downloaded his whole discography off Limewire and would listen to it on my discman as I rode my bike around my hometown. When I listen to those albums now I have an even deeper appreciation. He played virtually every instrument on those records, which is amazing, and I am nearing the age he was when he recorded those really ambitious albums like “Figure 8” and “XO,” so I relate in a different way. Hearing that stuff as an adult I think, “wow, this is actually really good—I’m glad I listened to it growing up.”
BTR: What can we be expecting in the future for Wolf Diamond?
LC: I’m coming out with a new EP in a few weeks. It’s called “Diamond In The Rough.” I hope people like it. I’m also in the process of booking my first tour for later in the summer. After that, I want to record an album with acoustic guitars and Fender Rhodes. I’ve been listening to Wilco a lot, so I want to do something more in that vein now.
BTR: What’s your creative process for recording?
LC: I always start with the instrumental. Chord changes and guitar riffs are my favorite thing to play, so I always start with that. I also always demo stuff with my Univox drum machine. Then, once the “beat” is ready, I freestyle melodies and lyrics on top of that until I come up with something that works.
BTR: What’s an album you could never live without?
LC: I was just talking about this the other day. I think my desert island album would be “Marquee Moon” by Television. It’s so good, really, it’s perfect—I never get sick of it.