Lunar Interview 04/09/20
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and who’s your biggest influences
AB: LUNAR is a progressive metal band. Home base I consider to be Sacramento, CA (where I’m from), but our members are spread out all over the US. We have 2 albums and an EP out now. The latest album “Eidolon” came out in November of 2019. Our influences really range all over, but I think we take the biggest influence from the other great progressive rock & metal acts; Opeth, Haken, Devin Townsend, Caligula’s Horse, Porcupine Tree / Steven Wilson, etc.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
AB: Inspiration can really come from anywhere. Musically I think we all draw inspiration from any music we hear. Even though we all love progressive metal, there’s good influence to be found in different styles of music too, like jazz or pop. I think having influence from different genres is what can make progressive music what it is. And lyrically inspiration comes from a lot of what I experience in my own life. I try to write it in metaphoric enough ways so that it creates a story or message that others can relate to as well for things listeners are going through in their own lives. The latest album I wrote after Ryan Erwin (guitarist / co-founder of Lunar) unexpectedly passed away in 2018. It was very tough for me losing the bands co-founder and, at the time, really the only other full member of the band. But also, he had been one of my closest friends since childhood. I struggled with that a lot and so I tried to turn it into something positive and creative. The album is based around those left behind when someone close to them dies and each song hits on one of the stages of grief we go through in losing a loved one.
MM: What would you say is your Bands favourite song ?
AB: I would have to say “Comfort.” That’s a track on the latest album “Eidolon.” I think based on the responses I’ve seen, that seems to be a fan favorite. And also, I think that’s my personal favorite of the songs we’ve written. I think it’s one of the strongest in terms of the songwriting. And also there’s an absolutely mind-blowing guest guitar solo from Richard Henshall (Haken, Nova Collective) on that track. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of incredible guest musicians, but working with him was a big deal for me personally. So that song really hits on a lot of personal levels on top of the fact that I think it’s one of our strongest most well-written tracks as well.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2020
AB: Unfortunately Lunar has not yet been able to perform live. It’s a struggle in the modern music industry to do any kind of tour that doesn’t put you deep into debt and personally, I would rather be able to put resources into continuing to make music rather that be $20,000 in debt to do one small US tour. Not to mention it makes it even harder for us to do even one off shows given that our members are spread out all around the country. Only as of about a year ago have we even had a solid line up where we even COULD play live (prior to that it was just myself and Ryan Erwin). So now that a lineup is there, it’s something we’ve discussed and we hope to be able to tour in the near future.
MM: What do you like best and worst about touring
AB: Although Lunar doesn’t actively tour, I do personally tour with my other band HELION PRIME. So personally I can tell you my answer to this from those experiences. The best part to me is the travelling to different places. Getting to see new crowds, meet new people, explore new cities. All that stuff is very exciting! And I love going to a place that I’ve never been before and getting the chance to meet people that are fans of my work. I’m always shocked and incredibly grateful to meet these fans from around the world. The worst parts… there’s a few… haha! We’re by no means a super rich, super successful giant touring act, so usually we’re touring in a van and that makes for some pretty uncomfortable travelling situations. I suffer from chronic back pain, so being in a van and trying to sleep in a van is incredibly uncomfortable. The financial aspect is a big downside as I’ve mentioned before. It’s very difficult to make decent money in the music industry at all these days and touring can put a big financial strain on a band. But the worst part for me personally is just being away from my family. I always miss them when I’m on the road.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
AB: Opeth, Haken & Tool
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
AB: There have been quite a few that had a big impact on me in one form or another, but I think the most memorable was seeing Opeth & Katatonia in Santa Cruz, CA in 2011. Opeth has been my favorite band since I was about 13. I’ve seen them live 16x! But that show particularly had one of the most moving sets / performances I’ve ever seen from them. Plus I got to meet the band for the first time that day. Mikael Akerfeldt and I had a long conversation about record / cd collecting and talking about Opeth. And we got to watch Katatonia do their sound check as well. That’s definitely a day I will never forget for my entire life.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with
AB: Biggest accomplishment with Lunar I think has simply been the response we’ve gotten on the music in general. When I started this it was really just because it was what I wanted to do. I had no expectations necessarily for it. And when we finally put out the debut album, “Theogony,” I was so surprised and overwhelmed by the positive response it got. Particularly there was some stuff written by Prog-Sphere that stuck with me so much. They had put “Theogony” in their top albums of 2017 and then I read a review they wrote which ended with them saying “This is a record that everyone must own. Every generation and every country should adore an album like this, as one like ‘Theogony’ rarely makes itself known. If you like music and consider it an art, this is a must.” When I read that I was so proud of what I had accomplished with this band.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
AB: That’s a really tough question to narrow it down to just 2… but I think I’d have to go with “Blackwater Park” by Opeth and “Hand. Cannot. Erase.” By Steven Wilson.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
AB: Honestly, no, I can’t remember the first time I played live. I think it was a house party at my best friends backyard when I was about 14. I remember it being a lot of the same feelings I still feel now playing live; there’s equal amounts of excitement and nerves. The excitement of bringing this music you’ve created and showcasing it to the world and having tons of fun putting on a performance, but then also the nerves of hoping that you don’t fuck up, that your bandmates don’t fuck up or that there’s no technical issues.
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
AB: I love this question! Haha! Such a unique insight to artists. I think this is my favorite question I’ve ever been asked in an interview.
Anyway, I had a lot of Nu Metal bands posters on my wall as a kid. Korn, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, Mudvayne, Tool, stuff like that. When I was about 11 I was really heavily into Slipknot. At one point my room was completely covered with posters and pin-ups of Slipknot alone. Funny story that my Mom loves to tell: that room that I had covered in Slipknot posters was at my Mom’s house that she was renting. The landlord was this guy in like his 70’s or so and really was out of touch with the world in a lot of ways. At one point he had come over to look at something (I don’t know what) and he looked in my room and saw all the Slipknot posters and said to my Mom “I guess your son’s a big fan of Kiss.”
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
AB: I honestly don’t feel that question can be properly answered. I think in the same sense of any musician has their strengths and weaknesses, and many musicians can influence people in different ways, I think many people have influenced rock and metal in many different ways. I don’t think there’s necessarily ONE person that influenced the rock and metal world more than anyone else. For me personally, I think Mikael Akerfeldt has had the biggest influence on MY personal views on music and rock and metal. However, I know that most people wouldn’t consider him to be the biggest influence on the rock and metal world as a whole. I think many people would go to the obvious answers for the BIGGEST influence like Ozzy, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, etc, but those guys haven’t had a HUGE influence on me personally.
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
AB: Right now the most important thing to us is just to keep writing quality music that hopefully the fans will enjoy as much as we do. Nothing is more important than putting out quality content that we can be proud of and hopefully others will enjoy and identify with as well. We’re currently working on our 3rd full length album and I think it’s the strongest thing we’ve ever done! I’m excited to get it out to the world.
MM: If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
AB: This is an interesting question as we’ve recently been discussing doing a few cover songs possibly for an upcoming EP after the 3rd album is finished. We’ve bounced around a few ideas, but for me personally, one I really hope we do is “The Perfect Drug” by Nine Inch Nails. Very underrated song in their extensive discography in my opinion and I think we could do a fun proggy rendition of that song.
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band
AB: I think there’s something many fans of different genres of music can find to enjoy. From people that like classic rock and pop to people that like death metal. I think there’s a little something for almost everybody. That’s the whole idea of progressive music to me. And as for why you should buy… this goes not just for Lunar, but for any band out there. SUPPORT THE ARTISTS YOU LOVE!!! The music industry is a really rough place to try and make a living at. Most of the musicians you listen to that are doing this professionally often have to have day jobs or still do lessons on the side or something to that affect just to make ends meet. So buying music and merch means more to us than you could possibly know. If you want to show your support and help ensure that these artists you love can continue to keep making music and touring, please buy their products. No amount is too small and it really does mean the world to us to see that support from our fanbases. Even following / liking / subscribing to social media channels is a helpful way to support artists if you can’t buy anything.
MM: Four words to describe Lunar
AB: Emotional, exciting, heavy, innovative
Final Words for your fans and our readers
AB: Just want to send my gratitude. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this. Thank you to all the Lunar fans out there that continue to support us in what we do! Thank you for listening and buying and supporting us. Make sure you follow all our social media pages for updates. Album #3 is coming in 2021!!!
Music & Merch: lunarbandofficial.bandcamp.com