Hailing from London in the UK, The Lunar Effect is a band making a potent impression on the Capital’s live scene and through their debut EP, Strange Lands released last year. We caught up with the band to find out more exploring origins, inspirations, the muse of “demon seductress soul stealing women” and more….
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?
We are Jon, Dan, Josh and Brett and we are The Lunar Effect. It all started with Jon messing around with some solo songs which then developed into a gigging band. Jon’s brother Dan joined, then after a few gigs with other musicians Brett came in on bass. Josh joined soon after that when he answered an advert we put out for a singer. Job done!
Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?
Yeah, we have all been in different bands and played as solo artists. You learn from the mistakes you have made in previous bands and try to avoid doing the same thing. It is important finding band members you get along with on a personal level; being a good musician just isn’t enough if you’re also a prize bell-end. If you’re not getting along it can seep into the music you make, then you’ll find it influences the style and direction you take going forwards. That’s why when we put an advert out for a singer we specifically said no dickheads.
What inspired the band name?
A lot of people often think it is because Jon has a daughter named Luna, but the band came first and it’s spelt differently anyway so we can nip that one in the bud. It is actually inspired by the moon and all of the elements in life that its cycles and phases had been said to affect through time, whether true or not.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
We all just wanted to be musicians and write music, so forming a band is obviously what you do. It has taken a while to find the right people, but now we hope we can offer something a bit different. Basically some really good songs as an alternative to a lot of the rubbish that’s out in the mainstream right now.
Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?
The goal remains the same. It’s always been about making good music with good people and having a laugh along the way. If we can make money from doing this then that’s a bonus. As time goes on you learn to be more selective with things like which gigs to take and which to pass on. You also learn where the pitfalls and charlatans are and how to avoid dealing with them.
Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?
When the band first started it was mainly songs that Jon had already written himself that we just tweaked. We had a more lo-fi, grungy sound. As we have settled and grown into the new line up we have pushed ourselves more and found a sound drawing on all our influences.
Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?
Originally it was more organic, with each of us bringing in new ideas and influences. It just started to flow over time until we felt we were happy with it. Now we try to build on our sound by trying new ideas and pushing the boundaries, experimenting with new styles and noise while still keeping that vintage sound that is our essence.
Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
We like all sorts, from 70’s bands like Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd to bands like Soundgarden and Silverchair. There are a load of great bands around at the moment that people may not necessarily have heard of, like The Heavy Eyes, Mars Red Sky, Kaleidobolt, etc. The list goes on.
Is there a process within the band which generally guides the writing of songs?
It varies from song to song, but our latest songs usually come out of refining a jam or a riff. Sometimes it takes us weeks to finish an idea, other times they’re finished quicker than it takes to play it through which is cool. We’re good at criticising each other too, bad ideas don’t last long.
Where, more often than not, are inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs found?
As far as inspiration’s go we cover the classics; women, drugs, women on drugs, demon seductress soul stealing women, trivial existences, crippling pain and yeah, the classics.
Give us some background to your latest release.
Our last release was an EP called Strange Lands. It’s very much sci-fi themed, from the cover to the lyrics and everything in between. Our first full album should be out by the end of the year. It’s shaping up to be a bit of a belter. You can see us performing a song from it for Hunter Studios Live sessions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFrGNrBJXrU
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
Generally we like to have the bones of the songs all rehearsed and gig tested. Then we can experiment with different techniques and add more layers to the track if we find something that fits and improves the song as a whole. We make sure we record more than we need, that way we can try out new ideas, see what works and what doesn’t and then cherry pick the best stuff.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band?
Well I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily our favourite part but obviously we do enjoy it. We also enjoy writing and recording in the studio. We always have fun at live shows though, as hopefully do the people who come out to watch us.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?
No, it’s hard locally as most local venues keep closing and everyone just goes to Wetherspoons. In London it’s the complete opposite. There is an oversaturation of venues which makes it harder to promote, especially with all the high entry fees, though you do learn with experience as we said earlier on. Gigging in Europe is a good idea. The promotion and pay can be a lot better and it’s all generally better organised. They really look after you.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?
The internet is good for self-promotion and getting stuff out there, though getting people to actually click and listen is still difficult. It would be interesting to know how many of the people that read this interview will then go on to actually check our stuff out. Again, it is a good thing if you have the money behind you to pay professionals to handle the social media side for you, but that goes against what it is meant to be in the first place.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
Just thanks for taking the time to read this and we hope that you do check us out on Facebook and all the other sites. You never know, we could be your next favourite band.
Pete RingMaster 06/12/2017
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