Interview with Lunar
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
AB: I’ve been into music as long as I can remember. Started playing instruments in elementary school. I think I knew I wanted to be a professional musician by the time I was 11 or 12 years old. I was making pretend bands with my friends before any of us really even knew how to play anything. If I weren’t playing music I don’t know what I’d be doing, but it would probably be something math or numbers related.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
AB: When I’m not playing music I enjoy spending time with my family, and watching tv; particularly I like superhero shows and movies, and I like reading comic books. I think everything can have some influence on the writing, as I try to take real-life experiences and turn them into a type of story for the albums I write. But usually, the inspiration comes from the negative experiences in life and the music becomes a way to turn it into a more positive outlook.
How long has your band been around?
AB: Lunar started between myself and Ryan Erwin about 9 years ago. Our first EP we did came out at the end of 2014.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
AB: Well I’m in the Sacramento, California area. That’s where I consider the band to be “based out of,” but at this point, we have members all over. Most of us are from California, but in very different parts, so we’re still hundreds of miles away from each other. And Chandler is out in New York. I’m not sure how it has influenced the music. There’s a fairly big metal scene here in Northern California, so I feel like that definitely had an impact on the death metal side of things with this project. I’ve personally always been drawn to the more progressive metal side of things, but I don’t think there’s a huge scene of that here.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
AB: The band name was kind of random. Ryan and I had started writing music and said we needed a name for the project. We were trying to think of bands we looked up to and how they got their names for inspiration. We talked about Opeth and I mentioned that I had read that was supposed to be a fictitious city on the moon. So then we said something moon-related would be cool. Came up with Lunar and it stuck. No deeper meaning than that, but it seemed to fit well.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
AB: In this order, it would be: Katatonia, Haken, Lunar, Caligula’s Horse, Opeth, and Tool. And not because I think we deserve to be billed higher, but I think if we were first not enough people would show up early! Haha! You gotta put badass bands at the front and back of the bill if you want people to stay for the entire show.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
AB: For someone just getting into playing in bands my advice would be simply to do as much as you can. Get your music out there. Make recordings, play gigs, network online and in person, and learn as much as you can about both your craft and the industry itself.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
AB: I would tell myself to expand my musical horizons more at a younger age. I wish I would have taken the opportunity to take more classes and lessons at a younger age. I could have had free guitar classes in school, or jazz band or marching band, but that didn’t interest me at the time. It would have expanded my musical knowledge so much, so I wish I would have seized those opportunities.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
AB: Probably “Comfort.” The entire EIDOLON album means a lot to me because of the theme behind it. I wrote the album based on my own grieving process after Ryan (Erwin) had unexpectedly passed away. He was one of my best friends in the world, so it was very devastating to me. So that entire album is very personal, but “Comfort” in particular has a feel to it that really gets me in my soul still.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
AB: Usually I get a burst of an idea for the concept or story of the album and create a basic outline of how I want that to go. Then from there write each song like a chapter of the story, creating the basic structure to build off of. In the last 2 albums, the inspiration has just hit me randomly and then I hyper-fixate on it until it’s finished. For both EIDOLON and THE ILLUSIONIST I came up with the basic structures of all the songs in less than 2 weeks.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
AB: As I said before; I like to take these negative or traumatic real-life events and turn them into something more positive. I like to put it into a more metaphorical story so that others can hopefully relate easier. We all have our own trauma that we deal with every day. So I hope that these albums can be catchy tunes, and entertaining stories, and help someone that relates to the pain get through their day.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
AB: Not really. The structure of this project leaves me in charge to make most of the decisions. Not trying to be egotistical or anything, but that’s just how it is. I always welcome input from the other members, but ultimately I will make the final decisions. I’ve been in other projects where someone else has that role. I think it makes things easier when there is someone that is in a leadership role in the band so that there’s less room for disagreement.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
AB: Our new album, THE ILLUSIONIST, is out on March 3rd! It’s available for preorder now at lunarbandofficial.bandcamp.com on CD, LP, cassette, and digital, plus there are some other cool merch items and even a contest where you can win some one-of-a-kind prizes like cover art poster signed by Travis Smith, the sticks I used to record drums for the album, and a Test Pressing vinyl!
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Lyric Video - “Juggling Chainsaws” Ft. Obscura's Christian Münzner