Daily Discovery: Luke Tuchscherer, “One of Us”


Videos by American Songwriter

ARTIST: Luke Tuchscherer

SONG: “One of Us”

HOMETOWN: Bedford, Bedfordshire.

AMBITIONS: To make a living from playing music. I know pretty much everyone who answers this will say the same thing, but that’s the truth. I’ve never been too caught up in the wealth or fame side, because that’s never gonna happen, but I’d just love to be able to do music full time.

TURN-OFFS: People who don’t hold the door open for you, or – when you’re driving – people who don’t thank you when you give way to them or let them out. People without basic manners, essentially.

TURN-ONS: Good people, good films, good music, good conversation, good beer, good times, good food. All the good stuff.

DREAM GIG: Honestly, any gig where people shut up and listen is a dream gig. They’re always my favourite shows. Places like the Green Note in Camden are already there. But I guess, in an ideal world, I’d love to play theatres regularly. That’s the dream for me. Theatres with people in them mind you, not just empty ones.

FAVORITE LYRIC: That is nigh on impossible and will change from day-to-day…But today I’ll give you Josh Ritter’s “every heart is a package tangled up in knots someone else tied” from his song Kathleen. Or “is a dream a lie if don’t come true, or is it something worse?” from Springsteen’s The River.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: Again, this is a real tough one. But with my thinking hat on, I’d say it’d be one of those songs that have become standards, from Free Fallin’ to Smells Like Teen Spirit, from Crazy to Back in Black. One, because your song will mean a lot to so many people, and two, even if that was your only hit, you’d have enough money to play music full time for the rest of your life!

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Bill Murray, Tom Waits, Noam Chomsky, Eddie Vedder, my wife.

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: I’d have to say Neil Young playing Ambulance Blues at Hammersmith Apollo, with me and two of my best friends in the third row. That or the entire Tom Waits concert I saw in Edinburgh, where I was front row and shook his hand.


I didn’t sit down and say “I’m going to write this song now because…” as I never do that. They just pop out. But I can certainly tell you what it was influenced by.

I wrote it in 2007-2008, when the newspapers were constantly running stories about knife crime and gang violence, about how many teenagers had been stabbed that weekend. The picture hasn’t changed too much since then, in fact, there was a march against youth violence in London yesterday (22 November).

The song, “One of Us,” was just trying to get to the root of why an otherwise good kid might get caught up in gangs. In my song, my lead character has no strong role models – dad’s gone, mum’s overworked, brother’s in prison, sister’s a junkie – the education system has failed him, and the only way he finds acceptance is in the gang.

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