Interview with Saint Luminus
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Hard Rock and Heavy Metal got me into music. When I started I wanted to be just like James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine. It was just so cool! But if I had not taken that path, I’d probably be working as an Electrical Engineer or gone back to school to become a physicist. lol
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like reading about new discoveries in Cosmology and looking at new pictures from the James Webb telescope. This aspect gives me such a sense of wonder, and I try to incorporate that sense of wonder in my music. I want to give my listener the same feelings I get when imagining nature and how it actually works. Crazy stuff.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been serious about it for over 20 years, & admittedly there've been a lot of bumps and stumbles along the way with numerous things getting in the way. But I persist.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
What a great question as I believe location most definitely influences one’s playing. I live in Los Angeles so I do get the benefit of being around some of the greatest musicians on the planet. Watching them play and being able to chat with them personally has continually reshaped my thoughts on playing and how to approach the instrument in ways I had never dreamed of in the past.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
My little thrash metal band, called Raven Mad, opened up for Yngwie Malmsteen in the late 90s. It was the first time ever I performed on a huge professional stage in front of a very large audience. Previously we had played many small bar gigs, but to be in front of hundreds of people on the same stage as big name acts was crazy!!!!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Outdoor festivals are super fun because they have such professional staff who really understand how to run things and make things relaxing and smooth for the musicians. Very few venues do this in general. Most venues make everything very stressful. Even if the audience is great, the venue ends up making things stressful.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Nowadays it would be amazing to open up for artists like Satriani, Nili Brosh, Plini, Tycho, Mammoth WVH or Nita Strauss. Hell, even a big Pink Floyd tribute would be fun.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Quite a few bits of advice. First is that it’s harder than you think it is if you are taking it seriously. Next is that you will have to invest money into advertising. Even top name artists still invest tons of money into advertising. Things don’t really happen organically, invest in your future. Lastly, write write write and learn learn learn. And realize that little voice inside your head will always be there to tell you you aren’t good enough or that the music you just wrote actually sucks. Say thanks for the info, and just keep going. Don’t ignore that little voice that tells you you are no good, just do the dance and keep writing and learning.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Surge to the Unknown because that was the first song I wrote on my comeback as a guitar player after having an injury. After relearning how to play guitar again, the question at some point was if I could write & record a song with a guitar melody & solos.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Well I’m going to see when I get back out there playing live. Previously, people really liked Illumination and another song called The Kickr. It’s funny because The Kickr is an unreleased song so people only really know it because I’ve played it live, and they seem to love it.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
There’s no one approach. Sometimes I hear a song and think, “What an amazing idea.” I go ahead and break down the song. The chords, the melody, the groove etc. Then I start to build my own version which eventually goes off into another direction as I add different parts, completely change chords and orchestration of parts. And sometimes I might go for something simple and just put down an interesting chord progression and take off from there. And at times I just hear music in my head and I try to recreate that.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music? if so please tell me about them.
I don’t have a specific message in my music. Because my music is instrumental, there’s going to be a lot of interpretation by the listener. And I’m fine with that. I’m not trying to preach with my music, but I am trying to take the listener on a wild ride off into the unknown. Sometimes I want the ride to be mysterious and sad, other times I want it to be happy and joyous. And of course there’s so many shades to these emotions, and I love exploring and exploiting them. Let’s go for a ride to get away from the daily struggles of life.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
I have a new single coming out on July 28th called Black Hole Harmonics. Its part of an upcoming EP of mine called Echoes of Light. What I love about Black Hole Harmonics is that it starts with a heavy punk rock beat and a very unpredictable melody. I wanted it to be as weird as the concept of a black hole. It’s something very different from what I’ve done as Saint Luminus, yet it harkens back to my younger days playing so much thrash metal.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The whole EP I mentioned earlier, called Echoes of Light, will be released on Oct 27th. And I will be doing some live shows in the next few months with a completely new guitar rig. I’m hoping the tones and new songs will be inspiring for my fans and new listeners.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
To get the most insider information available and to hear new announcements first, become part of my e-mail. By doing so you get a FREE eBook I wrote called, “How to put more music in your Life”, and you’ll get the inside track on a lot of things which I don’t share on Social Media.
Go here to get the FREE ebook: https://mailchi.mp/saintluminus/abm2b7w36s
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