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Interview with Lunarian
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
It’s the love for it -- yeah it’s cheesy – but seriously, each of us has been playing music since at a young age, despite getting into it in a serious manner only after our twenties. If we had not gotten into music, Rivelino probably would have become a scientist, Ekky would have pursued a teaching career abroad, Willy would still be teaching music, and Anink would have been pursuing career in some sort of NGO – he loves that.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Each of us still has other jobs, Rivelino is an accountant, Willy and Anink, both teach music and play regularly at bars, and Ekky is an… English teacher! Willy and Anink are actively giving input mainly in the studio, because they are performing more, and what they hear and listen to is a valuable input, while Rivelino is a type of guy that takes influence from everywhere, he thinks in numbers and notes.
How long has your band been around?
12 years, with 8 years of hiatus in the middle, hahaha.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Honestly it does not influence our music that much, if at all, because the creator now, which is Rivelino, is mainly inspired by his love for classical, industrial, and European traditional music, which of course did not originate from here.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
In the beginning we’ve always felt that our music is not something that’s easy to describe because of our fondness mixing genres based on each of our members’ knowledge, so the name LunariaN represents something that’s not of this earth, something that’s yet to be deciphered.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Since the process of the album started last year, we have not had that many shows yet, but we’d say that one of the most memorable probably was in 2013, in Kemang, South Jakarta. It was a small venue, and the electricity was cut off in the middle, but the audience liked us so much that none of them took off from the venue, until the electricity was back up again 10 minutes later.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We played in Gasibu, Bandung-West Java, where the stage is probably our favorite so far, because it’s so big that we can jump around. A venue that we really want to play at is definitely the Glastonbury.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
It would be unforgettable if we could be on the same stage with Radiohead, System of a Down, or Bloc Party – those bands affect us a lot.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
As the first advice we’d tell our younger selves to keep on going, no matter how slow it is. The second one is invest on Bitcoin in 2007 and take it out in 2019.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
That would be Moon Citizen, because it’s the song that made us think “oh well we can do it anyway” – it was so hard to tackle at first and we needed more practice on it compared to the others.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The general rule is Rivelino creates the basic arrangement, and then the rest gives input. There have been instances where plenty of parts were altered for the better during the process. We’re used to this method and it’s still the best for us.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Our music and lyrics, despite of the sneaky catchy hooks, still do not fall under easy-listening category, and we know that. An important principle that we hold is that lyric is important, but not as important as the music, because music is already a message in itself. We’re not among those who’s on a mission about something specific and try to convey it through music – our music is the mission, while the lyric contains what we want the song to be about at the time, created to be as good as possible.
We are a firm believer that music is created for the listener, and the first listener is the musician themselves. That music as the message we mentioned is for ourselves first.
Having said that, we want the listener to understand that good music is the one that even if you took out the lyrics from it, is still a good one – whether you can dissect it to good parts, or you can still feel something about it, which we don’t really pay attention to the latter because if people feel it, then they feel it, it’s outside our control. What we maintain is the quality of musicianship.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Definitely, but we are mostly playful about it. On that note, we think it’s important that aside from a manager, there’s a leader in the band, and they make the final decision.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The 4th single will be out on April 7th, and the next big plan is the album. It will be released in May, and we plan to do a release party.