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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
AB: Honestly, I’ve had an interest in music as long as I can remember. Listening to rock and metal bands since I was about 7 and it’s just something that instantly fascinated me. I knew I wanted to be a musician long before I could even actually play an instrument. I can’t even imagine what I would be doing in life if I hadn’t gotten into music. Probably something in accounting or something like that. Something with numbers… I’ve always been pretty good at math.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
AB: I feel like everything a musician does influences their creativity in some way. Whether it’s watching videos about their craft / instrument, or if it’s from a lyric / story writing standpoint I can find influence in everything from watching a good show or movie, or even just everyday life experiences. As for what I like to do; any time that’s not spent doing something releated to music, I pretty much spend watching TV / movies or spending time with my family.
How long has your band been around?
AB: LUNAR has been around since 2013. The band has gone through many changes in that short amount of time. We’ve put out an EP and 2 full-length albums and are currently working on our 3rd full-length album right now.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
AB: I consider “home-base” where I am in Sacramento, CA. The band is really spread all over though. I can’t really say how living here has influenced the music. Nothing aside from just meeting people and having friends that introduce me to certain bands / styles throughout the years. But I don’t really credit that to where I live. These days in the age of social media you can be connected with people all around the world and have those kinds of influences and suggestions from anyone and any place.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
AB: The band name came to be in a kind of silly way. I think anyone who knows me or listens to the music knows that Opeth is a big influence. When I was trying to think of a band name I was thinking about Opeth and how to have a name as cool as theirs. I thought about an interview I had read with Mikael Akerfleldt where he had said something about Opeth being a lost city on the moon. So I started to think about the moon and some kind of moon terms that sounded cool. I thought of Lunar and it stuck.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
AB: Well Lunar hasn’t had the chance to play any shows yet. We hope that will change in the future, but thus far it just hasn’t been able to happen for us. However, I can tell you about my best and worst gigs with my other band HELION PRIME.
Best would be a handful of different shows we did on tour supporting STRIKER and UNLEASH THE ARCHERS. That entire tour was incredible as we had wonderful turnouts at almost every show and the guys in those bands are good friends of ours, so we just had a blast being on the road with them! Particularly playing at Trees in Dallas, TX always sticks out to me as one of the best ones on that tour. We played great, had fun and there was an incredible crowd. Plus the club itself and everyone working there were fantastic. One of those rare nights where everything went right.
Worst would be on a self-funded headline tour we did. We had no support bands (different local bands every night) and we toured in a minivan. That tour was riddled with problems, but I won’t get into that. On that tour we had an off day on a Monday that was to make a drive in between 2 shows that were pretty far apart. We got contacted fairly last minute by a promoter in Kansas (I forget the city) saying that we were passing through where they were and they wanted to book us on our off day to play there. We were concerned about playing in a small city in Kansas on a Monday, but the promoter assured us that there was a great scene there and people wanted to see us and there was great local talent too. So, reluctantly, we accepted. Long story short: they tried their best, but ultimately did not deliver what they said would be there. We played to about 6 people that night and 4 of them were the crew of the club. The local bands that played before us didn’t even stick around to watch us. And as the show had started the weather worsened and it looked like there was gonna be a tornado. Which may have played a part in why no one was there. That night has always stuck out to me as the worst show I’ve played.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
AB: One that’s always stuck out to me as a favorite venue is Reggie’s in Chicago. Such a cool place! Great set up, the staff is always super accommodating, nice green room, games to play and (up until recently) there was a record store upstairs. I’ve played there a few times and always loved it! As for places I’d like to play, I’m sure the list is long if I really took the time to think about it. There’s the big ones that are dreams like Radio City Music Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Red Rocks, The Warfield, etc. On a more realistic level, I’ve actually never gotten to play a local venue here in Sacramento called Ace of Spades and I’ve always wanted to. I had Slim’s in San Francisco as a bucket list venue for years, but, unfortunately, it recently closed down for good.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
AB: I think dream lineup for me would be: Lunar, Caligula’s Horse, Haken, Opeth, Tool (in that order)
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
AB: Don’t limit yourself. Learn as much as you can. Take advice from anyone willing to give it about playing, technique, style, the industry, etc. Basically just learn as much as you can to make yourself a well-rounded player and it will help in the future.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
AB: I would’ve taken the advice I gave on the last question for one. Haha! I would love to tell my younger self to branch out more in my teenage years and do things like join marching band or jazz band in school and not just play the stuff I liked at the time. Aside from that, I’m not really sure honestly. I’d probably also tell my younger self and my friends to not do drugs. Lol
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
AB: For me I think the song that means the most is “Comfort.” The entire album of EIDOLON was written about the death of Ryan Erwin (former Lunar guitarist). The album is supposed to represent the stages someone left behind goes through when losing a loved one. Ryan was one of my closest friends, having known him since I was about 11, and also co-founded this band with me. So the entire album is a very emotional topic for me and the struggles I’ve gone through losing him (and also other close friends and family members). But the song “Comfort” I think is the one that came out the strongest on the album in the portrayal of it’s emotion.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
AB: For Lunar the writing process is mostly handled by me (Alex). It has changed over the years with the changes in lineup and how much the others are involved. PROVENANCE was kind of 50/50 between myself and Ryan Erwin. THEOGONY had riffs and ideas from Ryan, but most of the writing and song construction and lyrics were done by me. Then after Ryan’s death, EIDOLON was written 100% by me. With this new album we’re currently working on, I started the writing with a concept in mind and coming up with the backbone structure for most of the songs. But this one has more involvement from the other guys. Ryan Price (bassist) contributed quite a few riffs and ideas to numerous songs throughout the album and Balmore Lemus (guitarist) wrote one of the new songs completely. And they both have gone in with their ideas and expertise of their instruments and changed and adjusted some of the stuff from the demos. Plus Balmore has helped me and written some of the lyrics on this one as well. So, even though the backbone of the concept and writing still has me steering the ship, so to speak, this has been the most of a group effort we’ve had so far with this band.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
AB: I’m a big believer that the concepts and metaphors within music / poetry are up for personal interpretation. So I don’t necessarily TRY to get across any message in my writing. I write about these different ideas and topics that inspire me of things that I have experienced in my own life and I hope that the words and ideas can speak to each listener in their own way. I want people to be able to relate to them with their own personal experiences in the way that I do.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
AB: Of course. I can’t imagine there’s any band or group out there that doesn’t occasionally have disagreements. Luckily for us it doesn’t happen very often. And really there’s no special way to get past them. We just talk it out, discuss the options and try to figure out a course of action that’s best for everyone involved. Compromise the best we can to try and make everyone as happy as possible.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
AB: Right now the biggest plan for the future is just focusing on album #3. We’re making good progress on it, but it is still fairly early in the process. We are hoping to have it out sometime in 2021. We’re also looking into doing a vinyl run of the 2nd album, “Eidolon.” Make sure to follow our pages on social media and check back for updates on this stuff.
Music & Merch available at lunarbandofficial.bandcamp.com