City Weekly: How long have you and Promise of the Real been on the road, and how long do you expect this tour to continue?
Lukas Nelson: For about three and a half years now, and hopefully, the road will continue forever. It’s been kind of like a never-ending tour. We are off for a week here, off for a week there, but we just keep on going and take every gig we can get, because we love to play.
CW: You have been touring for so long . Has this continuous performing and traveling influenced your sound?
LN: I think just playing a lot with the same musicians is a big help.
CW: How much has performing with great musicians like your father, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings influenced your own music?
LN: You kind of absorb everything that you’re around. I listen to all different sorts of music, though. I love the Fugees and The Roots and Nirvana. I love Hendrix, Zeppelin, Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis.
CW: Have you written and performed any new material since recording Promise of the Real last year?
LN: Oh yeah, we have a whole new album that’s already recorded. It will probably come out early next year. We’ve been performing those [songs] at our recent shows. Are we playing The State Room out there? It is a great, great time at The State Room. It’s one of my favorite crowds I have ever played.
CW: Throughout the album, the songs vary from displaying a country feel to more jam/blues-rock-sounding pieces. How was being able to be flexible with your music important to you on this album?
LN: It’s really important. I don’t like to be boxed in. We’ve never had a problem with anyone telling us ‘you have to play this kind of music.’ Everybody has always been pretty open with what I have to offer, which is a blessing, I guess.
CW: Can you describe where you got the idea for the title “Promise of the Real?”
LN: I got the idea from the Neil Young song “Walk On,” actually. I figure, we’re going to promise to be real no matter what with playing music -- staying true to what you want your music to sound like. Which is partly why we have never been part of a record label before, I think.
CW: The guitar soloing is a distinct component of your songs. What do you try to add to a song with a solo?
LN: Well, I like to quote T-Bone Brunette when I say it’s more about the song than the solo. I try to make it fit the song. Rather than, for lack of a better phrase, [musically] jacking off. It’s about making every note worth something. The more I play, the more I understand that in music, less is more.
CW: What directions do you hope you and this band might take in the future?
LN: Well, we’ve got the album coming out, and we’re going to be on tour for a while. We’re going to keep touring, and we hope people keep updated with our Facebook page and our Website. We have to promote ourselves because we don’t have a label, so it’s hard for our fans to know where we will be playing. We rely on our fans a lot to keep us going. We’re really grateful for them.
LUKAS NELSON & PROMISE OF THE REAL
The State Room
638 S. State
Sunday, Dec. 4, 8 p.m.