We interviewed Alex from American rock band Lemuria to discuss their special tenth anniversary tour, their influences and the music industry.
Interview by Jane Howkins.
You’ve just announced a special tour to mark the ten-year anniversary of your debut album Get Better. Are you excited about that?
Coming over the ocean to play shows is always a treat for us. We are very excited about the tour!
Was this ever something you expected, when you were writing and recording Get Better? Did you ever expect to be looking back at it and celebrating it in this way, a decade later?
I don’t think we expected to be touring extensively celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the album when it was first conceived, but we certainly knew we would still be a band 10 years after its release.
What do you remember about the writing and recording process for the album, and how have things changed for you since then?
It was a very unique time for us. Every album we write and record is usually under a unique circumstance, which is intentional so that each album has its own environment and purpose. At the time the band lived in Buffalo, but since then we have all spread out to different cities. It was recorded shortly after the death of my father, so a lot of the songs project a somber mood on this album.
Do you feel that the music industry has changed much in the last decade, and if so, how has that affected you as a band?
I think the music industry changes every year. It changes so rapidly at this point that I try not to even think about it and mostly only focus on creating music. To some degree, we have to play the music industry game, but it is something we’ve learned to not stress out about. We’ll put our music out there into the abyss and the people who discover it and find something useful and meaningful in it, hopefully will keep it in their hearts and share it with those who are close to them.
You’re playing the entirety of the album at each show, with some extra tracks to be played as well. Is there anything particularly special that you’re doing to celebrate at the gigs, and if so, can you tell us about that?
We’ll have some surprises for each show, but they’re surprises! The album is only 28 minutes long, so we’ll have plenty of time for some fun extras.
You’re also reissuing Get Better this year – can we expect any bonus tracks, or anything else special when it’s released?
The reissue comes with a bonus 7″ record that has both of the outtake songs that were recording during the Get Better session that didn’t make it onto the album. That doesn’t mean that we thought those songs were inferior to the other tracks on the album, they just didn’t make it on there because there wasn’t a place where their mood fit into the sequencing. The reissue also has a new rendition of the album artwork that comes in a gatefold package with a new essay about the process of writing and recording the album.
It was quite an influential album when first released – do you hope that the reissue might influence a new generation of artists?
Earlier in the year we brought this tour all over the US, I think it certainly attracted a lot of new listeners. I hope a new generation of music lovers hear the album. It’s a very personal album, but I do think there are a lot of universal emotions discussed pretty candidly in it. Maybe topics people can’t relate to currently, but inevitably everyone will experience.
Who/what influences you as a band, and what have you been listening to recently?
Thin Lizzy is usually the go to artist in the tour van that we all agree on. But we sound nothing like them. It usually takes a few years for us to write and release an album so that we have life experiences to influence the lyrics of our songs.
You’re fairly busy, what with the tour and the reissue. Have you had time to start working on any new material and if so, when do you think that would be released?
We have a full new album recorded, we just need to make time to get it mixed and mastered. We recorded with Chris Shaw who has recorded a very eclectic mix of artists like the first Weezer album, Tribe Called Quest, Ween, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and many others. It was such a great experience working with him and we’re very excited to finish it up.
Any last words for the fans?
Thank you for getting us out of the house and into your city!