Lakeview – Jesse Denaro and Luke Healy – have been dropping tracks regularly over the course of 2020, grabbing the attention of fans and critics in the process.
The duo, who are based in Nashville, recently unveiled the music video for new song ‘In Case You Forgot (My Hometown)’, the latest release that showcases yet another side to their abilities.
I hooped onto Zoom with the band recently to talk about the song, discuss their journey in the industry so far, and to find out their plans for the future…
You recently put out the music video for ‘In Case You Forgot (My Hometown)’. Where did the concept for the song and video come from?
Jesse: The video we did with our friend Dan (Drachman), it was the first time we actually ever worked with them. We filmed it out in Lebanon, Tennessee at some guy’s farm. It was kind of strange but it was actually really fun. We wanted to make a video that exactly followed the storyline of the song, which is the first time that we’ve done this. With that song being so linear, we wanted to make sure that the video told the story without us actually being in the role of the person that the song is about. It was more of a narrative video. I think that it turned out really well. We were able to bring that vision and and successfully fet across that finish line with the video.
Luke: As far as the song goes, we wrote that with our friend Quint (Collins), and he came up with this line ‘my hometown’ and we wanted to flip that idea on its head a little bit and just write about our friend. We personally know it was a bird’s eye point of view on his life. He was going through a situation where a girl moved to town, it didn’t work out and now he’s stuck seeing her with a new guy everywhere he goes. She didn’t go home and she didn’t move back, and it’s put him at odds when he goes to all of his favourite places. We were like, ‘yeah, we should probably flip it to his life’ and we wrote it behind his back. It’s funny because he’s also a writer but we just wrote it behind his back and had a lot of fun writing the song.
The five tracks we’ve heard from you so far have all been so different and you’ve shown different sides to what you can do. What’s the reception been like?
Jesse: I think it’s been really good. We’ve tried to, like you were saying, show a few different sides to who we are. The people have really enjoyed it. The people here in Nashville and the industry have also really enjoyed it and supported us. We’ve been really lucky to have a really good team that has these relationships with Spotify and Apple Music and people like you, and other publications, that can get us in the door. We just have to be nice and charming (laughs) and hopefully they help us out. The reception has been awesome. The only thing we’re really concerned about now would be just to continue to put out music that we enjoy making and at some point hopefully that it connects with a listener.
I imagine putting these out during a pandemic has been quite challenging too?
Luke: Yeah, that definitely wasn’t part of the plan, I don’t think for anybody. We did plan on releasing these tracks one at a time and we thought we were going to be able to reinforce them with live shows so that kinda sucked a little bit when that was taken out. Hindsight is 20/20. If I could go back and change anything, I probably wouldn’t change anything. It’s still going very well. We made the best of it somehow and I think people learned to make the best of this whole pandemic, so far. I know it’s just going to get better and better, and it’s not affecting the type of music that we’re putting out. We’ve primed our audience to be more ready for our shows when we come to their town and play for them.
Having everyone locked down and at home is an opportunity for you as people will be hungry for new music to keep them entertained…
Jesse: Yeah, for sure.
Luke: Absolutely. For sure. It definitely has seemed to make a difference. It seems like it was a little bit more focused, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. You could tell the world got bored quick and they needed something new. I hope we got to be some sort of part of that, giving them something they wanted.
Jesse you originally come from New York and Luke you’re from Pittsburgh. How did the two of you meet?
Jesse: Me and Luke used to be touring musicians in the metal and rock scene here in the States, and we would tour eight to nine months out of the year. We actually crossed crossed paths about 10 years ago, down in Florida and it was just kind of pleasant. Fast forward a few years, I ended up moving from New York to Pittsburgh for a girl and that didn’t work out. I re-met Luke and we started working together, we started bouncing together at night, we started working out together, ande we started writing together. Then we move in with each other – me, him and his brother – and organically the ball just kind of rolled into this. We were writing together and then we got signed. We were like, ‘oh, wow, this is actually doing really well. We should keep doing this’. Started from me moving there for a girl that didn’t work and now we live in Nashville together, writing songs. It’s pretty awesome.
I feel like it’s a good time for duos in Country music right now. Florida Georgia Line have been blazing a trail the past few years and more recently Brothers Osborne and Dan + Shay have been cleaning up at awards shows. I feel like you guys fall somewhere in between those as you’ve got a bit more of an edge. How has your journey been so far?
Luke: I appreciate you saying that. We definitely want to create our own path as a duo. We do appreciate those other duos as well. Those bands are great. Dan + Shay are amazing. The FGL guys, absolutely incredible, we look up to those guys a lot. We want to leave our own mark and create our own fan base. We want to be a little bit edgier, we want to be a little bit harder. We want to make sure we’re still set apart even though there’s just two of us. We don’t want to get thrown into this bunch where we have to write a certain type of song just because there’s two of us. It’s not been very difficult as far as writing these songs and trying to find our way through this town, as much as it is just getting people to hopefully start being able to show up to the shows soon; that’s probably more of the challenge than trying to find our place in the duo world. I think we found our place and I think everybody likes where we sit in that mix. There’s FGL and Dan + Shay, and we’re maybe somewhere in between all that.
As I mentioned earlier, each of these tracks has shown off something different about you. I feel like we’re slowly peeling off the layers but I think we’ve got a lot more to come. Would I be right?
Jesse: We have we have all types of stuff (laughs). We actually just recorded and did some tracking a couple weekends ago, here at the house with our friend Jonathan. He’s the one who has done everything with us so far. One of them’s a really, really slow anthem ballad, which is the first one that we’ve ever done. Then the next one is like a Country TikTok song. It’s all over the map. What makes them all Lakeview is that me and Luke are writers and producers on everything we do, no matter what, and players. We haven’t done much of someone else writes a song and then we cut it. Your point of trying to pull back the layers and show people more what we’re capable of, I think we just keep our head down and we just write music that we like. We’ll write a song that we really like and it will be kind of strange, and mostly hip-hop, or we’ll write a song that like our song ‘She Drove Me To The Bar’, which is super traditional Country/Country Rock, or like the new song ‘In Case You Forgot (My Hometown)’, which is a little bit more rock. We just say, ‘yeah, we like the song so why don’t we just cut it?’ We try not to put too much thought into making sure we fit a certain lane, because I think as long as we’re involved it will fall under the umbrella. We’re really excited for the next year or so when we can put out all these random different songs; songs that are way more rock.
Luke: The next two are more rock but there are definitely some sides of of Lakeview that y’all are going to be hearing soon that we haven’t really showed you all yet. We’re really excited to show you that we can get all up in your feels and stuff like that.
Is the plan just singles for the future or are you looking towards an EP or an album?
Jesse: We’re just putting out music and not thinking too much about it. I think COVID has destroyed the music landscape as far as the way you do things. Before all this stuff, we had an EP scheduled and we were going to put it out. We were going to play Stagecoach and we were going to tour in the summer. It’s hard to support a larger body of work whenever you can’t go in front of people. Our goal is just to write music that slaps and put it out every month.
Luke: Put out songs, put out videos… Maybe one day that would become a collective body of work but we’re not even thinking about that. We want to make sure we’re giving people something they can listen to, something they can watch and feel something from it and get back from us.
In the future, would you like to bring your music over to the UK?
Luke: Honestly, the UK man, I feel like in the last like five to six years, y’all been just loving the Country music. It’s just blown up over there more and more and more. I have a lot of friends over there from the metal scene from when I used to tour in my metal band and obviously the UK is just an awesome place to go play. Playing Country full time, it wasn’t something that would come to you first and foremost but now we’re getting all these people hitting us up from the UK. I realised they’re listening to all my friends bands over there too like Chris Lane. It makes me super excited because we can finally go everywhere with this and it’s not hokey. You don’t have to feel some sort of way that Country makes you this type of person. It’s for everybody. I’m excited. We really want to get over the UK.
In the new songs you have coming up, is there a Christmas song in the mix?
Jesse: Well we’ve got a few days left in the month so maybe not a Christmas song (laughs). We were supposed to do one.
Luke: There was a Christmas song in the thoughts and it was in the scheme of things.
Jesse: We were thinking about writing a Christmas song, which felt very corny to me, or should we over one, which also felt very corny because we’re not Michael Buble. What we thought of was, let’s write a hilarious like party Christmas song; something along the lines of FGL and that kind of vibe. That’s definitely something that we want to do. I don’t know if the label will allow us to now that it’s almost almost November (laughs) but there’s possibly a Christmas song.
Do you have an opportunities for fans to see you playing live online before Christmas?
Jesse: We don’t have any online gigs coming up. I think we’re focused a lot on putting out the music and building the fan base. What we do have coming up is we did a live live video of a few songs at one of the sound stages here in Downtown Nashville. We have some really awesome videos of us actually playing live with live audio. Because our inception was pre-COVID and we haven’t gotten to play a show yet, we wanted to showcase that and show we’re an actual band and we can actually do this on stage. We have some live stuff coming up as far as videos go. We’re gonna be doing some stuff locally, like gonna probably be playing some Whiskey Jam and playing at The Listening Room. Definitely in the future for sure, we’ll do some sort of live stream concert or festival or whoever will have us, we’ll do it.
Lakeview’s song ‘In Case You Forgot (My Hometown)’ is out now. Watch the music video below: