interview: Lumerians


[photo]

Not too long ago Oakland-based Lumerians released Transmalinnia. The inaugural LP dropped after three years of rising anticipation by the psych supernaturals’  listeners (worshipers?), spurred by their self-released EP and a bunch of trippy light-bending shows. They made news at this year’s Austin Psych Fest (curated by the Black Angels) by blowing out their set. The quintet clearly has an affinity with power. They answered some questions about egoless music and alien dance parties ahead of their show at Great American Music Hall this Saturday with local droners Young Prisms and Bronze.

mp3:
Lumerians // “Black Tusk”

.
Most bands walk onto a stage with little more than some cigarettes and their instruments — and there are the Lumerians, who show up with cabinets, projectors, multiple keyboards and cloaks. You go out of your way to create an other-worldly environ for your audience. What can a Lumerians-initiate expect at one of your shows?
.
LM: An immersive, ecstatic experience. We aim to excite as many senses as we legally can. We like to be perceived as a single entity. If you leave feeling like you’ve participated an event rather than witnessed performance, we’ve done our jobs.
.
The video for Gaussian Castles that debuted on Stereogum a few months ago featured rapid-flicker shots of caves, sunsets, and other idyllic nature scenes. Where was it shot? How do you know director Curtis Tamm? (His website is definitely worth checking out, here.)
.
LM: We have known Curtis for a while now via our friends in Galena/Naked Lights. We sent him the album and asked him to make a video for any song that resonated with him. He had just gotten back from a road trip across the US, where he visited many of the locations you see in the video. He did a lot of additional shooting during dawn in the Headlands.
.
Two songs that you are listening to right now.
.
LM: Magnetic Stripper’s “Extended Play” and Bronze’s “Parallels”. One in each ear. (ed: You can listen to both tracks on an excellent mix they put together for Dangerous Minds).
.
I’m interested in the concept of egoless music. There are bands like Radiohead or Deerhunter — very egoless bands in their own right — where it is clear that while some collaboration is present, their is a singular “driver” of the songwriting process. Maybe its a sketch of a melody or a piano riff introduced by a bandmate — where does a song germinate for Lumerians and how does it develop?
.
LM: Our process is emergent. We start playing together and often times good things prevail. Sometimes they don’t. We record most of our rehearsals and the best ideas that turn into songs are often things that happen spontaneously between takes of structured material. We listen back and will sculpt, cut and weld the best parts until we have something space-worthy.
.
You have been called the “soul of Bay area new-psych scene”. Do you feel special kinship with any other psych-rock outfits in the Bay in particular?

LM: We relate to the concept of psychedelic as an adjective for a state of being, less than as a genre, which most people seem to equate to the Bay Area sound of the 60s. Contemporary bands we definitely feel a kinship with are Bronze, Late Young and Naked Lights. Some of the best bands to ever emerge from the Bay Area would have to be Chrome, Tuxedomoon and The Residents.
.
Transmalinnia has been out for a few months now and you’ve been on tour a handful times in support — including a stop at the Austin Psych Fest this year. What are your goals for your next project? What new space are you looking to explore?
.
LM: We are currently working on a mostly spontaneous instrumental music release. Ephemeral compositions that are unfamiliar and raw. Transmalinnia was a very complex and involved process of which we are very satisfied with the results, but this one will be a lot looser and maybe a bit more uncomfortable.
.
You guys were described as one of the “best – albeit short – sets” seen at Psych Fest. Given a portable tesla coil and the rights of an interstellar traveler, where in this universe would you perform?
.
LM: Our search parties are still attempting to make contact with awesome dance partying alien life. It would be a real bummer to travel however many lightyears just to have a couple gangly arm folders talking on a bar stool in the corner.

—-

Lumerians play with Bronze and Young Prisms Saturday 7/2 at Great American Music Hall, doors at 8pm/show at 9pm for $13 (dinner tickets are available for $38 if you prefer to dine and trance). You can buy tickets at the event page here. You can pick up Transmalinnia from Knitting Factory Records here or at any local record store. Watch the band perform Chevaux Fous on public access show “Dance Party Revival” below.

Comments are closed.