Interview | Luke Miller of Lotus

Luke Miller spills the beans on the band’s new album Monks (album art included!), what it’s like playing one of the biggest festivals in Japan, how much the fan base really means to him and so much more…

Interview: Michael Urban

Photos: Michael Urban & Zach Teator

Camp Bisco 12 – 07.13.2013

On a humid and sunny Friday afternoon at Camp Bisco 12, I prepared for my interview with Luke Miller of Lotus. Luke and I have met and hung out on a number of occasions over the years as friends, but sitting down and quizzing someone, really anyone for that matter, who is an artist, whether you know them a little or a lot, can be a bit nerve wracking. I arrived to the Media Tent early to greet both Jesse and Luke. Both had multiple interviews setup for themselves. After deciding the Media Tent, placed smack-dab in the middle of the concert field, was far too noisy to conduct any kind of formal interview, we walked over to the Guest & Artist Lounge to kick back, relax, and talk some Lotus.

Michael Urban (MU): While I realize it’s been asked before, I still wonder what really goes into the process of writing a setlist. Do you actually look back at previous sets played at that particular venue, or is it more based on what you’re feeling and what the band is playing at the time?

Luke Miller (LM): Yeah absolutely! When we are on tour I will look back and see what was played in that market last time, and I will also look at what we played the last three or four days. In terms of a festival I will certainly look back at the last time we played that particular festival, and also what was played while on tour, if we happen to have done a show nearby. If its East Coast/ West Coast, it does not really matter so much, but, for example, Electric Forest being a couple weeks ago, we know some people go to both, so definitely try and take that into consideration, because we know some people are doing both. We try to give people some different songs. Sometimes, I think I care more about it then other people because, when I go see a band, sometimes I’m like, “Oh shit, they didn’t play that one song.” You know, the one that everyone wants to hear and that’s fine to me. It’s a good precedent to set that we try and be a little different every time.

MU: Speaking on that, any surprises for Camp Bisco tonight? Is the setlist already written?

LM: Ahh, I got it mostly written, yeah. You know, for a set that goes from say, 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., that’s a little bit different, then a set say, at dusk, or something earlier like that.

As of late, in general, we have been trying to make our festival appearances more similar to our club shows, nowadays, where we try relax into it a bit more, not rush into our jams, let things breathe. It’s easier said than done, though, because you have all these people screaming at you and you’d like to have the pedal to the metal the whole time, but I think it’s better if you lay back and let it build and I feel that’s where one of the talents lie in, so we have been trying to bring that to the festival gigs a bit more.

MU: Let’s talk about Japan a little. Must be excited to head back there?

LM: Yeah absolutely! From the first time we went to Japan, our goal was kind of to play Fuji Rock Festival, so we are super excited having finally been booked to play there. It’s a long trek to go all that way to Japan to play one set, but this is what we have always wanted to do, and to be able to play in front of such a massive crowd, in Japan, is an opportunity we have been looking forward to.

This will be our 5th trip over, I think, and every time to be able to travel all that way and play to our fans there, is really something we consider special.

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