Last time we did a proper check-in with musician Luke Bern Carr, we dug deep into the history of his band, Storming the Beaches with Logos in Hand. But Carr is no stranger to other bands like Pitch & Bark, nor is he slouch as a solo songwriter. It's been seven years since he released his solo debut Pigrow (still easily one of the best records I own), but there's a new album about to drop and a multi-faceted label called Bernlore to launch along with it. Hit the party this Saturday (2 pm Saturday Feb. 22. $5-$10 suggested donation. Lost Padre Records, 905 1/2 W Alameda St., 310-6389) for that sweet Carr action, plus performances from Scissor Lift and Lightning Cult's Mike Marchant. We caught up with Carr to learn more.
What have you been up to since we last spoke?
I've lived up in the Española Valley for the last 2 years, and I finished producing what will be my second solo album. I was considering what to do with it once it was done, and I was also really getting more into film work and realizing I wanted to build something that could hold all the work I was doing. So that basically means I've started a label, Bernlore. It's a record label and a studio label.
Can you tell us more about Bernlore and the new album?
It's not just music; it's ultimately focused on creating original content and, at the same time, offering services. The name itself…Bernard is one of my middle names; it was my grandpa's name. I went through so many different names that I wanted to call this thing, but my grandma always used to call my grandpa Bern, and I always loved that name. For me it's coming to a point in my life where I realized I'm creating things I want to leave behind. I've got pieces of furniture around my house that my grandpa made or other family members made—it was about creating something that is not just about me, but something I want to give to other people. The newest record, the to-be-released record is…it's not directly part of [Storming the Beaches with Logos in Hand], it's way more rooted in myself, in a personal world. It's not as fantastical or anything. There are threads, for sure, that come up but, ultimately, it's the most personal work I've ever done. This is maybe the most solo album I'll ever undertake. I play everything on the record. I did have people collaborate with me, like [local musician] Nathan Smerage when I was writing and arranging, and I've gotten ears on it in terms of mixing and support, but as far as the sounds on the record, I did all of it. Recorded it, mixed it, mastered it. I'm going to release it like an album, with a film aspect to it as well.
What's next? Have we seen the end of Storming the Beaches?
No. There's a Storming the Beaches record that has been recorded and is yet to be finished. Building Bernlore— getting the platform and starting to release a lot of different music under that label—I think, is going to start to build the mosaic of all the different stories I'm trying to tell. The Storming the Beaches record that has been recorded is like a three-piece rock record, me, Nathan Smerage on bass, Andrew Dixon on drums. I haven't listened since we recorded the tracks, which is very much on purpose. I wanted to hear it with fresh ears some years later.