Dan Luke & the Raid Go Wild In 'Exoskeleton' Video: Premiere
Dan Luke & the Raid's debut album, Out of the Blue -- whose spirited video for the track "Exoskeleton" is premiering exclusively below -- is happening a bit differently than the Bowling Green, KY, rock troupe had planned.
The album, due out Oct. 11, was recorded with frontman Daniel Shultz's older brother Bradley Shultz of Cage the Elephant and previewed during triumphant performances at this year's South By Southwest festival. But a few weeks later guitarist Dylan T. Graves was killed in a work-related accident, leaving the remaining trio of Shultz, bassist Anthony Joiner and drummer Kendrick Don-Reid Brent shocked and grappling with the decision to go on.
"It's just difficult," Luke tells Billboard, noting that the "Exoskeleton" video was filmed in Graves' hometown of Franklin, KY, and includes a tribute to the guitarist at the end. "Never in a million years would you have expected for this to happen. It was just a huge shock, and we didn't know what to do." It didn't take long for Shultz, Joiner and Brent to figure it out, however.
"Dylan loved music. Music was his baby," Shultz says. "Just remembering that helped us to heal and to grow. We felt like Dylan would be pissed if we didn't keep going. But it's still hard. It will always be hard, I'm sure, but I know we'll always have the things we made together, and in that way a piece of him will be with us."
Even before the tragedy, Shultz and company were already grappling with big issues on the 10-track Out of the Blue. The frontman says the set is "about a post-coming of age crisis. We're in our early to mid-twenties. We went through the whole teenage thing fine and dandy and then just started getting into some partying and dark places, and deep down I didn't want to be in those places and had to figure a way out of them." Shultz, at least, had some help with that from brothers Bradley and Matt, Cage the Elephant's frontman. "They're my brothers before they're Cage the Elephant, and we tell each other stuff," Shultz notes. He recalls some special musical guidance as well from Matt, while the two were watching Elton John perform at the 2014 Bonnaroo festival.
"I was, like, 18 or something and we were in the middle of the crowd, just watching," Shultz says, "and (Matt) pokes me and says, 'Look around at these people. Don't do it for yourself. Do it for them.' That was really a special moment. I'll always remember that."
Bradley Shultz, meanwhile, proved to be a perfect producer for the Raid's first release. "I really love it 'cause it's such an honest relationship in the studio," the younger Shultz says. "We can tell each other exactly how we feel about something; Being brothers made it pretty easy. He'd be like, 'No man, that sounds like shit,' and I'd do the same. That was great."
As it prepares for Out of the Blue's release, Dan Luke & the Raid -- whose members do landscaping in Bowling Green when not on the road -- has "some on and off shows" scheduled and is working on a more extensive tour plan. "It's exciting," Shultz says of the impending release. "When we released (the singles) 'Black Cat Heavy Metal' and 'Golden Age' a couple years ago, that was the first time we'd ever put out anything like that; everything else was local release kind of stuff. Now we know what to anticipate, to some degree. We're ready, for sure. We've been waiting for it."