Looking like he’s fallen out of the 80’s, with braces and button-downs in tow, Luke Brennan is the punk rocker come model signed to NEXT and singing with Zulu.
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With a boyish stare and a healthy flush about his cutting edge cheekbones, Luke hangs out with cool kids Louis Simonon (son of ex-Clash bassist Paul), Sam Gilbert, Jak Payne and Dan Lyons, who together form new-age punk five-piece, Zulu. Spreading bedlam in all the Ends of London since September 2011 they’ve swiftly secured a name for themselves with Luke’s visceral vocals, a cheeky ‘tude and a raucous rock ‘n’ roll spirit.
i-D online chat to the boy next door about modelling, music and mayhem.
How did you meet the other boys in the band? It all began around six years ago when I started going to gigs pretending to be 18 and watching as much music as possible. I kept seeing this same guy, Sam, at almost every gig I went to and we ended up sharing so many interests we became best mates and went to every gig together. I knew as soon as I started a band, he’d have to be in it a) because his taste in music is incredible and b) who better to be in a band with and on the road with than your best mate. I met Jak and Dan through running events around London as they’ve both been in other bands and making music for a long time. As for Louis, I met him when we both decided to jump in our friends’ tour bus for an adventure and bonded over our mutual love for reggae and moshing.
Who are your musical inspirations? It’s constantly changing but everyone from Enrico Caruso to Wu-Tang Clan to Tom Waits. My single biggest inspiration of all though is my mum and her ability to smile and omit a positive energy in the face of the most traumatic situation.
What are your philosophies as part of a punk band? To make as much good music as possible and make it available to everyone everywhere; our music comes with no discrimination. We try to keep everything free where possible from the merch to the music to the shows. And at every show give everything as if it’s your last, regardless of whether it’s in Andover or London or you feel mentally and physically drained, people deserve a performance every time.
How and when were you scouted? I wasn’t scouted as such, I began working in music at 15 and through this met a lot of people who work in fashion who where constantly telling me to give it a try but I was focused on my rugby so was too big to model but then I had to quit rugby due to an injury so thought I’d give it a go.
What do your mates make of your modelling? My friends are all so different so each person’s reaction varies but not many people know I do it, I keep it a bit of a secret.
What do you think when you look in the mirror? I try to avoid looking in mirrors as much as possible but I believe it changes dependant on what mood you’re in.
If you could see any band live, past or present, who would it be? It’s too hard to choose one but in terms of punk, I would love to have seen The Ramones at CBGB, the Alldayer at 100 Club where Siouxsie and the Banshees formed or Crime at San Quentin prison and definitely Iggy Pop back in the beginning of his career.
What does your bedroom look like? At the moment I don’t really have one bedroom but in my childhood room at my mums everything’s in bags.
Text: Felicity Kinsella
Photography: Martin Zahringer