Nov. 15—Jay Luke just released seven-song album, Me and My Demons, to follow up his debut single of the same name. The new record expands on themes introduced in the "Me and My Demons" namesake song dropped in June.
This accomplished NEPA-born musician aims to put out an album every year and this marks his fourth full solo album. Jay Luke says this is a concept album, it's a larger story that walks you through its meaning from beginning to end.
He pulled inspiration for Me and My Demons from old horror movies and that darkly theatrical attitude can certainly be felt through each moody song. Jay Luke demonstrates influences of goth rock with plenty of variety among song selection, many reminiscent of classic rock n' roll and the 80s underground scene.
Jay Luke utilizes his stage-ready rockstar crooner vocals on "All We've Got is Now" and "Malice in Wonderland." Then songs like "I Just Wanna Go Home," the introvert's ballad, lean more on the hard rock with a uniting sing-a-long quality.
However, the title track is still the one that grips him most. It's also become one of Jay Luke's most successful songs to date. The debut single, "Me and My Demons," has been very well-received not just locally, but globally.
"Since I've been releasing music, the momentum is building and building. We get a lot of attention overseas. As soon as this one came out, we started getting press basically in every continent except Antarctica," said Jay Luke.
People all over the world empathize with the song. Wrestling inner demons is clearly something we can all relate to. The single serves as a window into the full record that encircles the internal struggle between the self and the mind.
"I tried to capture my feelings about what I was going through, and it seems like it translated really well and I'm grateful for that," said Jay Luke. "There's a fear of 'will people get it?' or "am I saying too much?' but I went with my gut and I'm going to let it all out."
The meaning explored in Me and My Demons feels accessible to listeners, and that's by design. Jay Luke doesn't beat around the bush — he tells it like it is through headbanging guitar and heartfelt lyrics.
The last song, "All We've Got is Now," acts his final piece of advice to himself (and his demons). Jay Luke said this is among the tracks he's most proud of. "It's about dealing with inner turmoil and frustration," he explained.
Jay Luke said that always going from place to place without any rest inspired these hard-hitting parting words. He leaves listeners with a closing reminder that, even under stress and pressure, it's important to take time for yourself.
Altogether, the new Jay Luke album takes you on a nuanced musical journey of self-awareness. This is Jay Luke's most personal record to date.
"We're only here for so long in life so it's important to say it all and do it while we're here," said Jay Luke.
Unlike his painstaking songwriting on the three previous albums, he just went with what felt right on this one. He wrote everything just before heading into the recording studio so all the emotion felt raw and fresh. So fresh, in fact, that he nearly called the album "Winging It" before he realized Me and My Demons was the perfect title.
Jay Luke's favorite actor is Vincent Price, he told The Weekender in an interview that there's a movie he did in the early 60s where he looked to his right and — instead of the typical "angel on one shoulder and devil on the other" rouse — there was a devil on both! This inspired the concept art for the album, which echos that same message.
To shoot the iconic cover art for his Me and My Demons, Jay Luke pulled his friendship with the Houdini Museum in Scranton. He actually went there for the covershoot and borrowed their props, stage, and strait jacket to set the black magic mood.
Photo Credit — Submitted by Jay Luke
Jay Luke hails from Throop and has lived in NEPA all his life. He started playing guitar around 14 years old and formed his first band in 2003. That same year, he started doing shows every weekend and has kept it going literally ever since.
Jay Luke has now played hundreds of shows and stays booked up all over NEPA year-round. He really enjoys playing live and connecting with the audience. He said, although he used to get stage fright early in his career, now he feels even more comfortable on-stage than off-stage.
See Jay Luke performing and promoting his latest album at his upcoming shows. Next he's playing John's Italian Restaurant on Friday, November 17, and Wednesday, November 22. Then, he'll be at the Windsor Inn in Jermyn on December 1.
Michael "Duds" McDonald is the other guitarist on Me and My Demons and Jay Luke couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to partner up with his insane guitar skills. Jay Luke writes the songs and gives it to him to build matching music for lead guitar — and McDonald did not hold back. McDonald's instrumentals are wildly intoxicating throughout.
"The album wouldn't be any good without him," said Jay Luke. "His solos are death-defying."
Although he's still spending time distributing the new album to the masses, Jay Luke is already thinking about his next. He's also in another band called Reach For the Sky with three albums out, and they're currently working on their fourth as well.
"I'm starting to write again and find a direction on where to go next," said Jay Luke. "A lot of artists make the same album over and over with different lyrics — I like to change up but always keep it real. I like to write real songs about real things."
He said there's always frustration and chaos when diving into the creative process for a new album, but the next sure won't be as personal as Me and My Demons. He left all his emotions on the record and, in doing so, he struck a chord with everyone who can relate.
Follow along with Jay Luke on Facebook to find out where you can catch him live. Listen to this NEPA native rocker's music, including his brand new album Me and My Demons, on all streaming platforms.
Photo Credit — Submitted by Jay Luke