Updated: Jul 12, 2022
Tell us a little about yourself
LUKE: My name is Luke Tweedy. I am a father of two, a small business owner, an artist, musician and advocate for freeing people's minds from the grip of the state.
How long have you been writing music?
LUKE: I have been into music since I was a kid, and into outsider music for almost as long. I first got serious about making music in the early 2000's when I was in a band called "ft(the Shadow Government)". As you can tell by the name, my music has always been somewhat political.
What can you tell me about your recent album “Separation From Church and State”?
LUKE: Many people read the title as "Separation OF Church and State", but the actual title is "Separation FROM Church and State". As an adult, I have tried to figure out the world, figure out my world, and what programming I needed to uninstall in order to see things the way they actually are from my vantage point. This record is a reflection on that.
Although the record is 9 tracks long, there are only lyrics in 4 of them, and those lyrics are sparse. This is an intentional choice. The ideas are easy to grasp and ponder. On the first track "Church of Public Opinion", there are only a couple lines in the song total, and one repeats several times: "who owns you?" This is sort of a thought experiment for the listener.
As far as instrumentation is concerned, this record is 95% Eurorack Modular Synth, with some sparse vocals and random percussion. From my perspective, it is an accessible, weirdo record. There is nothing too harsh on it, but it is certainly a style of music that I think is unique and impossible to compare closely to anything else. Being a recording engineer for a living, I am exposed to all sorts of people, all sorts of music, and I wanted to do something I felt like had never been done before. I feel like I succeeded, and those who enjoy the record seem to really enjoy it.
Do you create art with a specific message, or do you create art for arts sake?
LUKE: I do both. Oddly enough, most of the music I make I am not bludgeoning the listener with heavy hand political messaging, but it is certainly in there with a fairly delicate touch. A lot of it is general enough that people from all sorts of political leanings can appreciate it and feel like it applies to them (I hope). In my visual art, there is very little politics, although every once in a while I have to make something that is blatant. Then a couple years pass before I do it again.
What is your creative process like? What tools and methods do you use to make your music?
LUKE: Total experimentation. Rarely do I go into it with a preconceived idea. I experiment and experiment until something starts to gel and, if I like it enough, I keep going. There are hundreds of abandoned sketches. The good stuff was distilled down to the nine on this record. Everything starts with the modular synth.
How long have you considered yourself a libertarian?
LUKE: Libertarianism means different things to different people. Before the American Libertarian Party existed, Libertarianism was considered Leftist Anti Authoritarianism. Now most people within the US view Libertarianism as a minarchist, alt right movement, and certainly the Libertarian Party is just that.
As far as I personally am concerned, I have read and paid attention to all sorts of political thinkers, from Ron Paul to Murray Rothbard, Samuel Konkin to Noam Chomsky, Max Stirner to Larken Rose. I want to ingest as many opposing viewpoints as possible, and try to find errors in their thinking, look for inconsistencies, etc, so I can form the most stable, ideologically consistent and logical way of thinking possible. I definitely do not want to exist in an echo chamber.
I personally believe there should never be violence against the non violent. All adult human interactions should be voluntary. Coercion is force, and force is violence. The state is nothing more than a monopoly on that violence, and, if you cannot peaceably opt out, you are not free.
Since I do not advocate for a federal government, I certainly would not qualify as a Libertarian, in the sense of the American Libertarian Party, but a Libertarian in the Anarchist, Agorist or Anarcho-Capitalist way of thinking. I definitely consider the American Libertarian Party my allies in many many things, but am such a fan of decentralization, that an over arching all powerful federal government doesn't fit into my utopian vision for the world (even if it is a small federal government).
What do you think the role of art should be in the libertarian movement?
LUKE: Everybody is different. Some people don't care about art at all. They love radio songs because they are familiar, and the visual "art" they consume is on the TV. Others like myself, more extreme examples, have tried to consume no mainstream media, no NPR or CNN, no major label music, and instead embrace the outlaws and outsiders as the majority of our diet. It's all about priorities. I prioritize visual art and music in my life, so for me it should have a major role. Others it is of minor interest, or non existent. That is okay. Do whatever pleases you, and if there is no victim, I'm cool with it.
I certainly understand why people don't understand my music, as it is foreign to them, and hard to wrap their brain around. There is also literally millions and millions of songs, hundreds of thousands of bands, and what I do is not for everybody. That's fine with me. I am just thankful that, when I play shows, people come out. And, when I released my record on LP, people bought it, and continue to do so.
Where can people go to listen to your music?
LUKE: Sinner Frenz is on every streaming platform, from Spotify to Apple Music, Pandora and beyond. If you don't subscribe to any, it is also on YouTube. If you like LPs it is on Bandcamp and if you like cassettes, Jems label put it on tape.