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Fender Q&A: Ginny Luke

Fender Q&A: Ginny Luke

For an electric violinist barely old enough to legally buy a drink in the United States, Ginny Luke has enjoyed her share of worldly experiences. 

A year after going on tour with rock legend Meatloaf, the Iowa native is currently living in Los Angeles hard at work on her debut solo EP.

Luke shot a video for the upcoming single, “Timrbomb Tactics,” last month, taking more of a rock and roll approach than her previous recordings as part of the all-girl group Adam 8*1*2.

Fender recently got in touch with Luke to talk about her career and what’s on the horizon.

Ginny Luke and her violin.

Fender: You’ve been on tour with Meatloaf playing some pretty big shows in Australia.  Are there any crazy stories that stand out?

Luke: This isn’t that exciting, but we were doing a halftime show and it started to rain, which is never good for a violin.  And it wasn’t good for my hair, which is more important [laughs].   That show was in front of 150,000 people, so it was pretty insane.  That was my first show with the band, too, after having only about three rehearsals.  They’ve been doing those songs for so long, so I just had to wing it.  It worked out, though.

One time, Def Leppard was on a stage that we were going to perform on the next day.  Now, I grew up in Iowa, so I’m a very polite girl.  I ask permission to do everything, which is not very rock and roll. I asked their manager if there was any way I could get some water, and he was like, “Stop asking questions! You can go dance on Def Leppard’s stage. You can throw up on their stage. Shut up!”  That was a lesson to learn.  

Did you ever think you’d be playing with Meatloaf when you first picked up your violin? 

I guess I never envisioned rock and roll, but I did envision arenas.  Don’t tell anyone, but I loved Britney Spears!  I had my dance recitals, and I would tell my mom, “I’m going to be on a big stage some day.”  She said she would do anything she could to make that happen, so we moved out [to Los Angeles] when I was 14.

What’s been going on in the studio?

I’ve been recording my EP.  It’s a little rock oriented, and I’m on vocals, keyboard, piano, electric violin and acoustic violin. I really started with a couple of songs I wrote about two years ago.  They’ve really gone through such a transformation, because they started as dance-pop songs. Some of the songs I wrote while I was on the road with Meatloaf.  I don’t know about other people, but I find that the road gives you more stories.  Your emotions are heightened, so that’s the best time to write, I think.

How does the Fender violin FV-3 Deluxe Violin figure into the EP?

I use it on every song.  The Fender violin is part of my image now, which I’m super stoked about. I love the Fender violin.  It’s so kickass and really feels like rock and roll.

You were born into a musical family. What was that like growing up?

My family is very classical-oriented.  I played them my songs, and they were like, “Um, you’re going to need to work on the modulation there.”  They’re that picky!

Everyone in my family started an instrument, plus piano, at the age of 3.  We couldn’t quit until we were 18.  We have the extended family band, which I will be playing in at our upcoming reunion, and we have the immediate family band, which is the Luke Family Band.  We play more contemporary works.  It’s ridiculous.  We would have recitals, too!  That was stressful

There aren’t a lot of violinists in the rock world. Who did you look up to?

There’s a jazz violinist named Regina Carter who I looked up to, but as far as bands that use them, it’s few and far between kind of instrument.  I think Steve Vai used violinists for a tour or two, and he’s an inspiration as far as his technical capacity.  I actually listen to electric guitar solos and their phrasing because that’s how I’m trying to make my sound – as in playing my violin like a G guitar. 

And actually Orianthi, the way she’s been able to penetrate popular culture with high, high technical ability and so many different genres is impressive.

For more information, visit Luke’s official website.

 Watch Luke in action on Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell.”

 

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