Founded by lead singer and guitarist Dean Wareham in 1991, indie rock band Luna has reunited after a decade on hiatus in celebration of their vinyl reissue box set. After time spent touring in Spain and Portugal, Luna made their way to New York to kick off the music portion of Brooklyn’s Northside Festival, opening and closing strong with a range of Luna’s career-spanning hits, like “Slide,” “Tiger Lily” and “Bewitched.”
It seems that Luna hasn’t yet received the recognition they deserve. After a 10-year lapse to pursue individual projects and fan conflicting egos, their reconciliation has come at the perfect time. Luna is truly rock royalty and their performance at Northside Festival proved they haven’t lost their stellar, steady rockin’ sound.
Before the show, we caught up with Dean Wareham and guitarist Sean Eden—both in great spirits—to chat about the impetus for the reunion, the “Spotify” generation, and their thoughts on EDM.
What sparked the idea for a reunion tour?
Dean Wareham: “It’s been 10 years since the band broke up. Round numbers like that make you think about things. We thought if we were ever going to play shows again together, this would be the right time. We’ve all stayed friends throughout the years, and also this year there’s a vinyl reissue project of Luna’s vinyl box set.”
Are you guys having fun?
DW: “Spain was really fun. We played Spain and Portugal and did a warm-up in LA.”
Sean Eden: “It just felt like we hurdled right into it, which was great.”
DW: “We laughed a lot. We cried not much. This tour has a nicer vibe than 10 years ago when the band was breaking up.”
What are your thoughts on EDM music?
DW: “I don’t follow EDM.”
SE: “I listen to a few things online if I hear someone talking about something, but I’m not into it.”
DW: “I look to my son who is 15 years old and he doesn’t like EDM. He’s really into all kinds of music, especially hip-hop. I believe and trust him. Anyway, electronic music has too many beats per minute for me.”
What do you think about Spotify?
DW: “When I put out a record last year I asked myself, ‘should I be on Spotify?’ A lot of people told me ‘no,’ but ultimately right now we have to be on Spotify because if you’re not, you don’t exist to a lot of people. Especially since so many people only listen to music via Spotify. I know what bugs most is Spotify’s lack of transparency. Major labels took a huge payout and now the owner is one of the richest people in the music business. It makes you wonder, what was the transaction that took place, and why wasn’t that money passed along to the artists? Are Spotify owners music lovers or just tech people?”
SE: “Come on, they’re the latter. If you own your music then you get paid, if you don’t then you get screwed.”
Do you guys own your music?
SE: “Some of it. We own a few of the later Luna albums, but for our earlier records, we don’t get anything.”
DW: “It’s funny how everyone is saying ‘it’s so terrible for musicians now,’ but the truth is, it’s always been terrible for musicians. It was no better in the ’90s, really. Yes, if you’re a huge pop star or a big songwriter you’re in the clear, but for musicians like us it’s always been tough. It’s tough now, although there are certain benefits to being an established band—especially with the Internet, which is helping us connect with fans directly.”
If you could go back in time to any concert who you would see?
DW: “I would like to see Elvis Presley in the’70s. I saw this show 10 or 15 years ago with his whole band playing, while Elvis was on the video screen. That was pretty cool.”
SE: “It would be great to see the Velvet Underground at some little club. But then again, being a guitar man, it would be great to see Jimi Hendrix.”
DW: “Did you ever see Supertramp?”
SE: “I did! That was my favorite band when I was 12. I’m not embarrassed to say it.”