With their latest offering, The Midas Sessions, the band explores its softer, more introspective side. Its a departure from its previous two albums, but heavy on substance no less.
We had a chat with Linda through email, and talked about the band's origin and motivation.
So how did the band get started?
Linda: We were classmates in secondary school. We decided to form a band after our O Levels for fun, played a whole bunch of Nirvana covers and ended up writing our own songs. We never thought the band would last this long!
All of you hold day jobs ( Linda and Eng Teck are lawyers and Kah Wye is an engineer), how do each of you keep up with the band?
Linda: We try and set aside Fridays and Saturdays to jam. It takes a lot of discipline and can be tiring, but the rush you get from a good jam compensates for the effort. What keeps us going? I think it is because we all enjoy playing music together. After all these years it’s still fun to jam and write songs together.
15 years is a long time though. What's the secret to your longevity?
Linda: We fight a lot actually. But I think it helps that the three of us recognize the fact that this will probably be the first and only band we’ll ever play in. So that instills a sense of commitment in us towards the band that cannot be underestimated. It also helps that we have known each other for so long that writing songs and working together to plan a gig or release an album is now second nature to us.
Let's talk about your latest album, The Midas Sessions.
Linda: I wouldn't consider The Midas Sessions to be a full-fledged album in its own right. I think it is more an addendum to our earlier full length releases, Chrysalis and Duae. It is a collection of B sides and acoustic renditions of earlier songs. The B Sides are songs that were written at the same time as Duae but didn’t make it to the final cut. This album also contains acoustic versions of songs that had been earlier released in Chrysalis. We reworked them and introduced piano, violins and cello into the structure.
It's a much softer sounding Lunarin on The Midas Sessions...
I think the album was motivated by our desire to internalize the elements of the songs we had written, strip away the “heavy rock” label that people have so often associated us with. We want to try and discover the heart and essence of the songs and get people to view them in a different light.
It is, to some degree, an experiment for us to hone and develop our musical skills emotionally instead of focusing on the musical aspects of the delivery in terms of technical ability, odd time signatures and heavy distortion.
Because it is not a concept album, the ideas in this album are a lot less "grandiose". Chrysalis was an album of self awakening, self discovery. Duae was pretty much a political album and fueled by anger. In contrast, the B Sides on the Midas Sessions deal very much with heartbreak, loss and death.
It is a very personal album dealing with more personal themes.
What are the inspirations behind these themes?
Linda: For some reason, death was a recurring theme in my life during the period 2007 to 2008, before I got married. Perhaps, subconsciously, this recurring theme of loss formed the basis of some of these songs. I say "perhaps" because I never know where these songs come from.
During that time, I was angry with the world and bitter that I was powerless to change it. At the same time I was sad, not just with my own personal circumstance, but for the people around me and how their lives were unravelling in a cruel and merciless way. People I know had died in tragic, senseless situations, broken up despite a seemingly perfect veneer of a perfect marriage. Nothing made sense.
I wrote a cruel song of a child losing a loved one (his mother, maybe) in Wednesday (track 8 of the album). I don’t know what possessed me to do that. Life is cruel but also beautiful because as human beings, we have a tendency to romanticize tragedy. That was something I wanted to explore. Making art out of sadness.
Why do we want so badly for a sad song to be beautiful?
Why is there such infinite beauty in sadness?
Have the inspirations changed over the years?
Linda: I don’t know because, like I said earlier, I never know where these songs come from. Personally I am no longer sad. Being married, for some reason, has changed me. But in return, I am able to empathize with people better. I find myself easily moved by external situations that do not affect me personally. Whether that will affect my songwriting remains to be seen.
Share a defining moment with us?
Linda: We played our first ever gig as Fuzzbox in 1997. We were nervous like hell, scared shitless, but we went on stage and winged it. We never looked back since. So I guess it would have to be that moment. Since then, we have always considered ourselves a "live" band. Playing "live" was and has been a vital part of being in this band.
Nothing much has changed. And that’s the beauty of it. After all these years, music still has the ability to unlock that inner child in us (the one that still screams “ROCK ON!!!” and is extremely obnoxious). There is a lot of humor when we jam. We are still excited and enthusiastic about writing a song or releasing an album. It’s still fun. I am going to be 34 and I still giggle!
The modern world is far too complicated for its own good. I love that when we play music we get to tune out the world, discard the part of our brain that is wired to logical thought, and just let ourselves drift.
What do you have to say to Lunarin fans?
Linda: You have no idea how badly we want to say thank you to our friends who support us. Even till today we marvel at the fact that people would listen to us and come to our shows. It’s amazing. It’s a dream. We don’t deserve this.
What does music mean to you? Both as a listener and a musician?
Linda: Music saved my life when I was a lonely teenager with no friends. Listening to a good song and being able to relate to it makes me feel alive. I can’t imagine not having music in my life.
The band will be launching The Midas Sessions tomorrow (15th January 2012, Sunday) at The Pigeonhole, 8pm to 11pm.
Their albums are available for listening and purchase at http://lunarin.bandcamp.com/
Find out more about the band at http://www.lunarin.com or http://www.facebook.com/Lunarintheband
Watch more of their videos here: http://vimeo.com/13939693