Exploring the lures of The Lunar Effect

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.

Check The Lunar Effect out further @ https://www.facebook.com/TheLunarEffect/  and https://thelunareffect.bandcamp.com

Pete RingMaster 06/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Top Twenty Metal/Rock releases which most excited The RingMaster Review in 2014

In a year of some seriously and gloriously anthemic, not forgetting creatively inspiring releases The RingMaster Review picks out twenty metal and heavy rock releases covered by the site which gave us that extra tingle of excitement in 2014.

 

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01. Empty Yard Experiment – Kallisti

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/empty-yard-experiment-kallisti/

02. Escapethecult – All You want To

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/escape-the-cult-all-you-need-to/

03. The House Of Capricorn – Morning Star Rise

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/the-house-of-capricorn-morning-star-rise/

04. Hollow – Mordrake

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/hollow-mordrake/

05. Voyager – V

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/voyager-v/

06. Nexilva – Eschatologies

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/nexilva-eschatologies/

Arcade Messiah Album Cover

07. Arcade Messiah – Arcade Messiah

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/arcade-messiah-self-titled/

08. We All Die (Laughing) – Thoughtscanning

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/we-all-die-laughing-thoughtscanning/

09. Goatcraft – The Blasphemer

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/goatcraft-the-blasphemer/

10. Destrage – Are You Kidding Me? No

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/destrage-are-you-kidding-me-no/

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11. Void of Kings – Stand Against The Storm

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/void-of-kings-stand-against-the-storm/

12. No Sin Evades His Gaze – Age of Sedation

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/no-sin-evades-his-gaze-age-of-sedation/

13. Dioramic – Supra

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/dioramic-supra/

pigeon lake

14. Pigeon Lake – Tales of a Madman

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/pigeon-lake-tales-of-a-madman/

15. Imbroglio – The Struggle in Pursuit

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/imbroglio-the-struggle-in-pursuit/

16. ICOSA – The Skies are Ours

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/icosa-the-skies-are-ours-ep/

17. Mars Red Sky – Stranded In Arcadia

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/mars-red-sky-stranded-in-arcadia/

18. Anti Clone – Hands Sewn Together

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/anti-clone-hands-sewn-together/

jwb walkingunderwaterpt2

19. Johnny Wore Black – Walking Under water Parts 1 & 2

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater/

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater-pt-2/

20. The Body Politic – Egressor

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/the-body-politic-egressor/

Mars Red Sky – Stranded In Arcadia

mars red sky

When the worst you can say about a release is that some of its tracks are merely outstanding it is fair to assume you are in the presence of something special, as in Stranded In Arcadia, the new album from French band Mars Red Sky. The release is a glorious mesmeric adventure casting smouldering and melodically sultry landscapes brewed from stoner and psychedelic rock/pop with a healthy breed of doom seeded shadow to its depths. Even that description does not exactly colour the enthralling and spellbinding encounter, the eight tracks an immersion casting more evocative hues than a hazy summer sunset.

Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Julien Pras, bassist Jimmy Kinast, and drummer Matgaz, Mars Red Sky made their first acclaimed impact with their self-titled album in 2011. It put the band in a certain spotlight which led them to share stages with the likes of Kyuss Lives!, Dinosaur Jr, and Sleep around Europe and light up numerous festivals such as Eurockéennes de Belfort, Roadburn, SXSW, and Desertfests in London and Berlin. A spilt release in 2012 with Year Of No Light only added to their swiftly accelerating rise, an ascent cemented by their Be My Guide EP last year as well as a tour across Europe and shows in Latin America. Stranded In Arcadia though makes all that seem like mere appetisers for its glorious unveiling and If the band was busy and renowned before its release it can expect a tsunami of attention from now on.

A lone guitar caresses ears first, its distant presence an instant coaxing leading towards a senses plundering leviathan built by the bass and mars red sky coverheavy slow rhythms. It is an imposing proposition but one soon tempered by the soaring vocals harmonies which paint the song’s sky. The Light Beyond provides an enthralling start to the album, intrigue and sonic mystique enveloping the imagination whilst the drums conjure rhythms with invention and adventure. The voice of Pras brings another smouldering texture to the developing scenery, his smooth flowing syllables sparking fiery guitar enterprise amid greater intensity as the weight of the track bears sizeably down around the stalking bass predation within the constantly evolving terrain of the song.

It is a bewitching proposition challenging and seducing with skill and dramatic poise and swiftly matched in stature by Hovering Satellites. An immediately more rapacious encounter in riffs and intent, the song stomps with a voracious energy aligned to an infectious festivity. It leads the listener into dark intimidating avenues but with a vivacious smile to its melodies, vocals, and atmosphere which shields from the dark realms of the premise. It is a thrilling encounter but soon left looking paler by the following Holy Mondays. It is sheer majesty straight from its opening jazz lent guitar temptation courted by lean rhythms and percussive coaxing. The sultry but subdued start is soon strolling boldly with contagious riffs and an addictive groove before levelling out its gait for a warm caress of vocals and psyche driven guitar. It is a mesmeric treat but still waiting to unleash its strongest lure, a sirenesque chorus of psychedelic pop with glam rock essences swinging their hips within its compelling flame. More anthemic than a gun to the head, the song becomes a virulence which is inescapable, a lingering seducing which has you smiling broadly as you anticipate its return as a slower beauteous fire plays with the imagination. That stomp does leave another dose of aural manna, seizing even greater control of feet and passions to shape another plateau for the album.

The dark almost antagonistic entrance of Join the Race pushes the diversity and walls of the album further still, its slightly funereal gait retaining a small swagger to its devilment as vocals and melodies tease its stubbornness. To the united contrasts the band weaves expressive designs to embrace and lace thoughts, leading the imagination into a new world of spatial heights and cavernous depths. The band’s skill at interweaving light and dark, peace and danger is exceptional and even more impressive ins their ability to entwine it around a rhythmic frame which never feeds expectations.

The celestial spice of the song is spread more intensively with Arcadia, an instrumental sculpting a psychedelically lit passage of exploration through sizzling sonic expression and dark stalking reflections, guitar and bass an evocative merger haunting and soothing thoughts and visions like puppeteers. All tracks have the same potency, but in particular this provides an episode to mentally and emotionally investigate with fresh rewards through every flight of its journey.

Circles explodes and infects the psyche next, its blues scented sonic phrasing an absorbing narrative alone but graced by the soft smooching of vocals and the dazzling rhythmic conjuration, the song is a melodic hymn for body and soul. It is an irresistible tantalising but soon left in the wake of the quite brilliant Seen a Ghost. The strongest stoner essences welcomes its opening gambit, guitars crooning teasingly as rhythms shuffle rigorously and adventurously through the continually growing canvas of the track. Already an ardour is awakened but it is the cultured stroll and punchy rhythms clad in a breath-taking melodic infection which ignites their full allegiance. Interlocked with expressively ambient bred passages, twisted stoner enticements, and melody seeded ravages, the chorus provides climatic yet calm crescendos which simply set the track into a new ferocity of ingenuity. Not only is it the best track on the album, it is the best song heard this year so far and leaves a touch of frustration when it transforms into the closing track Beyond the Light, a rich and sonically distorted instrumental which washes the senses with its tempestuous finale to the album.

     Stranded In Arcadia is sensational, a giant of an album in sound, songwriting, and presence. Whether psychedelic/stoner/heavy rock has ever sounded this good is a question which Mars Red Sky now has us asking.

Stranded In Arcadia is available via Mrs Red Sound / Listenable Records now!

http://www.marsredsky.net/

10/10

RingMaster 29/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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