Growing up with Willie Nelson as his father has led music to be a part of Lukas Nelson’s entire life. Lukas says he has been performing his whole life. “I used to go up on stage with my dad when I was a little toddler. It was part of my upbringing,” explains Lukas. From the time he was in diapers, Lukas’ father has had an impact on his life as a musician. “Every early childhood memory I have has a musical tint to it. His music shaped my life. Literally. I grew up on tour with him and his friends and so he definitely is my biggest influence without a doubt” he reflects.
Lukas had the opportunity to go on tour with his dad and meet and learn about other great artists along the way. One artist he was quick to pick up on was Jimi Hendrix. The combination of his dad and Hendrix influenced him to learn how to play guitar. Lukas describes, “Jimi Hendrix was the reason I started playing guitar. One of the reasons I really started playing. One of the reasons was [because] I really wanted to be close to my dad and it was something I knew I could do that would bring us closer together. And so I wanted to learn and he wanted me to learn so it was something we had in common.
Then Hendrix came along [and I was introduced to that music] and then I just really fell in love with rock n’ roll and that’s what kept me going. I think you can’t really do it for anyone else really, and as much as it was for my dad a big reason was just because I was so in love with it.”
Another great influence in Lukas’ life has been the great Neil Young. Lukas explains the irony of the situation: “My band, Promise of The Real, started after I met Anthony, our drummer, at a Neil Young concert. We named the band Promise of The Real because there’s a song Neil has called “Walk On” and it says “some get stoned, some get strange, but sooner or later it all gets real.” Neil Young and Lukas Nelson have had chance to perform together and if you ask Lukas, “It’s really full circle to have started the band with Neil as such a huge influence and to be playing on stage with him? It’s amazing.”
Lukas’ band, Promise of The Real, is an Indie band, yet they have been on almost every late night talk show. David Letterman even reached out after seeing a video of them on YouTube. Lukas says his dad has opened a lot of doors but it’s about seizing those opportunities. “We’re actually a great band and we have fun and it’s a great energy and a good vibe – people like the live shows. It’s totally different from dad’s stuff. I think it’s a surprise for people that we play rock n roll!”
Lukas mentions his band just finished a record. “We have a tentative title for it called ‘Something Real’ and man in our opinion it’s light years ahead of what we’ve put out so far. People are going to be really stoked. There’s no song on there I don’t like. I’m so happy about it.” They recorded in a Victorian Mansion owned by Jim Siegel. Lukas describes, “we did it in a Victorian Mansion called the Wester Hill. We set up a studio in this Victorian Mansion and spent a month there.”
Through all of his success, Lukas still finds time to give back. “I was just talking to a friend of mine, Charles Attal, he’s one of the C3 guys (of “C3 Presents” Concert Promotions). He’s a great guy and lives down in Austin. They put on a lot of the music festivals. He’s a very privileged guy, and so am I, and we were talking about how important it is when you have so much to give back more than you receive and just try to think about life as a cycle and watch the way nature works. I like to use the bees and the flowers as a good example. They give and receive and it’s a whole cycle and that’s how nature works.”
For more information on Lukas Nelson, you can visit him online here.