Nelson: ‘Music always captured me’

Lukas Nelson, second from right, and Promise of the Real

Melinda Mawdsley: How long have you been a musician? You are a young guy and already have released a couple albums.

Lukas Nelson: Since I was 16 or 17, maybe earlier than that.

Mawdsley: How did you and Promise of the Real get together?

Nelson: I had a bunch of bands before Promise of the Real. I had a band like a reggae band at 13 or 14 in Hawaii. I had another band with same percussionist I have now. He used to be my gardener. Then, we started hanging out. I met my drummer Anthony at a Neil Young show. It was nighttime and I went surfing by L.A. and got stung by a string ray. He was with all his buddies, and I ended up crashing on his couch.

Mawdsley: Was there ever a time when you weren’t going to be a musician?

Nelson: I was on the swim team and at the state level I was doing really well in Hawaii and wanted to go to the Olympics. That was my dream. Before that, I wanted to be a pilot, and before that my hero was Albert Einstein. I’ve had a lot of different visions, but music always captured me.

Mawdsley: I see you and Promise of the Real will return to California in a couple weeks to play with Willie Nelson. You make numerous appearances with him on his 2012 album “Heroes.” Has your father always supported your desire to go into music?

Nelson: Always. He’s helped me in any way he can. He let me do my own thing.

Mawdsley: Has he had a lot of influence on your sound? What other artists have influenced your sound?

Nelson: Neil’s (Young) a huge influence. There are so many influences I couldn’t count all of them. Kris Kristofferson, (Bob) Dylan, The Beatles, (Led) Zeppelin.

Mawdsley: What’s the band working on now?

Nelson: We’ve got a new record coming out called “Love Yourself.” (Note: No release date has been set.) We rented an old summer camp and put up a studio in the main house and slept at the camp for six weeks and did the record. It wasn’t bad. ... I write everything, but the band helps arrange it and gets it sounding good and they make changes here and there and get credit.

Mawdsley: You are coming to Colorado for a few shows and even have a song “Colorado” on your 2012 “Wasted” album. Do you have a special place in your heart for this state?

Nelson: I love Colorado. It’s just the most beautiful place ever besides Hawaii. I try to get there three or four times a year if not more.


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