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Music Mondays: An Interview With Jed Luckless


Tara Linden

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Jed Luckless @ ClubDynamite-2.jpg

Photo Credit: Kissmy Spicoli

This week's featured artist is Jed Luckless, who has been providing us with upbeat and improvisational guitar jams since 2009! With over 600 shows under his belt, his immense music archive is filled with enough tunes to get you through the rest of winter and then some.

Please check out his website as well as his YouTube channel.

He also has some great videos of inworld performances: Nantucket Yacht Club, The Cave, & Hippiestock.

 

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: I first became aware of Second Life in 2009. I heard there was a live music scene happening there. At the time I was playing in a Grateful Dead cover band, and I was honing my skills on that music so I wanted someplace I could recreate the complete Dead show experience. I did a search in Second Life for Grateful Dead and stumbled upon a {region} called DarkStar, which had a complete recreation of the Dead’s stage setup, and I knew I had found my place. That was my home for many years and I played a lot of shows there. After a while, I branched out into playing more of my original music.


Q: Your music draws from a variety of styles, what subgenres do you think would be appropriate to describe it as?
A: My style really is all over the place, which likely comes from being exposed to all kinds of music by my parents, from classical to jazz to showtunes. My own musical tastes gravitated initially toward hard, classic rock, like Led Zeppelin, then later progressive rock like Genesis, and eventually jam band music, which is typically how I describe myself now: jam band inspired, which reflects the large amount of improvisational jamming I do at my shows.


Q: How many years have you been playing guitar, and how did you get into it?
A: I picked up guitar around age 15. I think it all started with the Partridge Family. I wanted to be Keith Partridge and I loved the idea of driving around in a bus playing music. An early love for guitar heavy rock bands like Kiss, Aerosmith and AC/DC also propelled me to pick up the six-string.


Q: Tell us about some of the musicians who had an influence on your style.
A: I mentioned a few of them already, but not the biggest one which is Phish. Not too many people even know who Phish is, but they have such an eclectic mix of styles in their music and that’s what first drew me in. It might surprise people to know that I first saw Phish live in 1992 and have seen hundreds of their shows over the past 30 years. They do a lot of improvisational jamming too. My tours and shows in Second Life are very much patterned after the way Phish and The Grateful Dead do it, with a run of shows set up around a theme like “Winter Tour 2021” and stops at various venues across the grid over a few weeks or months. The concerts themselves are typically a two-set format with a setbreak.


Q: Do you have to adjust any effects like distortion, whammy bar, pedals, etc. while streaming in a way that is different from a performance in the physical world?
A: I would say that if anything, I have to change the way I perform in the physical world to replicate what I do in Second Life, since that is where I have really developed my act and my sound. When playing in Second Life, I use in-ear monitors and an on-stage mixer that allows me to put drums, keys and other instruments through my looper to create a kind of one-man band. It’s really hard to do that on a physical stage with the typical amps and monitors that a bar or club has set up. In Second Life we also have an amazing particle light show by Moondance Parx. If only we could make that work in the real world!


Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: I think the answer is right there in your question. Community. The group of fans and friends that come to the shows and the interaction I have with them and they have with each other is really what it’s all about for me. It’s very similar to the vibe of a Dead or Phish show, and that’s the goal. It’s not just about the music, it’s about the scene. That’s why we have a set break, so people can socialize and connect. I totally love that I’ve been able to build a community around my original music and I couldn’t have done that without Second Life. But my shows are only as good as the energy the crowd brings to them. The more connected we all are the more the circuit hums and the more likely it is to be an electric experience for everyone.

 

Thank you, Jed!

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