Lemuria's Album "Pebble" is a Pleaser
September/20/2012 09:05 PM
Lemuria’s Album “Pebble” is a Pleaser
September 21, 2012
Interview by Nicole Hanratty
ON TOUR: Lemuria is playing STEREO
Saturday, October 27, 2012 on The Fest tour
Life of a Rock Star™ has been bubbling over with excitement to bring you Lemuria. Cold Summer turned us on to this Indie / Post-Punk / Pop talented band. After downloading Lemuria’s “Pebble” album on iTunes we were so hooked we grabbed one on vinyl as well. W-O-W. That’s when we knew we had to interview the talent behind the sound. We sent over some questions via email for the band members to answer, and we have to admit, a couple of their answers made us laugh. (Hot Freaks.)
Lemuria is Alex Kerns, Sheena Ozzela and Max Gregor. Alex & Max answered our interview questions.
September 12, 2012-
Nicole: Hi Alex, Sheena and Max,
Can you share some highlights of your recent UK tour?
Max: Visiting Stonehenge was great (I love all the tourist stuff). Tom Hussey and Trevor Cavell, our friends who came along with us on this run, it was great to spend some time with them. The Exeter show killed it, as did London, even though we were worried about the Olympics. I finally got to take Alex and Sheena to Wagamama, which I've been talking about for years. Also, this tour I got to bring one of my best friends from the states along for the ride, and that was nice.
Nicole: “Pebble” is such a great album. You have a unique sound that is alluring yet intangible. Can you each share your musical training / background?
Max: I've taken guitar lessons, and early on had a friend show me the basics on guitar and piano, but mostly learned playing along to other records, listening and figuring it out. Namely- Billy Bragg, Johnny Thunders, Rancid, Against Me, and The Clash.
Alex: At the start of the band I hadn't taken any drum lessons or anything, I was just teaching myself. A few years in around the time right before our album “Get Better” I started taking lessons. From elementary to high school I played trombone and was taught how to read music there. And in between all of that I learned how to play guitar and have played in a bunch of bands.
Nicole: Were you all born and raised in Buffalo, New York? If not, where are your roots and how did you meet?
Max: Not me. I was living in Vermont when I met Alex and Sheena. They came to the all ages club I was volunteering at (242 Main) on one of their first outings (2005?), and I happened to be doing sound that night. They played in the middle of a very unmemorable hardcore bill, and really floored me. I bought their 7" and showed it to all of my friends, and just kept in touch over the years. I was born in Rhinebeck, New York and lived around there briefly, but I've lived all over.
Alex: I grew up an hour south of Buffalo. Sheena and I knew each other from going to shows in a town called Olean.
Nicole: Alex and Sheena, the two of you started the band together in 2004, yes? When did Max join and how do you feel that your band has evolved over the past 8 years? Also, has being / or not
being--I read that the two of you dated for a bit--a couple affected the band dynamic?
Alex: I think we have all become much better musicians over the years. We've worked hard to get better, and we still are...that's not something that you just stop and say, “Ok, I'm good here, I don't need to be any better than this.” We did date for a few years before the band started, but we remained great friends and started the band a couple years later.
Nicole: You’ve said in the past that your sound is influenced by the Lemonheads and by Superchunk, amongst others. Who are you listening to or who is on your playlist (other than Lemuria music) today?
Max: I try to avoid listening to Lemuria myself, haha, but recently I've been listening to Hospitality, Twin Shadow, St Vincent, Beach House, Joyce Manor, The Young, and a good bit of Talking Heads. Also, I really dig the new singles from Divine Fits as well as Bob Mould’s new jam, but have yet to hear the complete full lengths. I'm always listening to a lot of Superchunk though, I think “Here's Where The Strings Come In” is in my tape deck in my car right now. Oh and Refused have come back in heavy rotation, they're playing here soon so I'm excited for that.
Alex: Talking Heads, Mission of Burma, The Marked Men, Randy Newman.
Nicole: The vinyls Lemuria is printing just keep getting more creative in fashion and style. I read that Alex runs the label Art of The Underground, does he design the vinyls as well?
Alex: I run Art of the Underground and a screen printing shop in my garage called Argybargy Printing. The 12" that we are self-releasing I designed. The Varoom Allure 7" we released that we screen printed was designed by Sarah Abbott.
Nicole: The Fest or Bust Fest in Gainesville has an amazing punk influenced line-up with Anti-Flag. Your music has been labeled “alternative indie rock” but is clearly influenced by the punk genre as Bridge 9 calls you a “post-punk band with pop sensibilities.” How do both you define your sound and overcome the limits of labeling it?
Max: I've heard Lemuria called a lot of things over the years, and it all applies. I think it's a liberating feeling, being in this band, having these many labels, and knowing that almost anything is stylistically possible. I don't feel like Lemuria has really been pigeon holed or anything by the labels; like one day I see someone refer to my 'power pop' band, the next it's 'indie/punk', knowing how much ground those classifications cover, just the term Pop in general, is more freeing than it is limiting.
Nicole: In every photo, Max is towering. Have to ask...how tall is he?
Max: That's a first! I'm 6' 2"
Alex: Someone needs to take him down a peg!
Nicole: The Pebble album says that all of your song lyrics are written by Alex. They are always clever if not surprising at times. e.g. “If I crack you open will I taste pineapple or will I smell Durian?” (Durian) “I don’t count you as my first kiss.” (Bloomer) “Inside your ribcage, there’s a carousel.” (Ribcage)
This question to Alex then, how much are your songs and your lyrics influenced by personal experiences?
Alex: I wrote the lyrics to all the songs except for “The One” which Sheena wrote. All the songs are based on my personal experiences or experiences of the people who are close to me.
Watch Lemuria “Pleaser” Official Music Video:
Nicole: “Pleaser” is my favorite song on the Pebble album. It’s complex both lyrically and musically, and the video is heartbreaking. The poor mother and those childhood toys never did work the way they should… Is there a story behind that song you want to share?
Alex: Everybody wants to please everybody, even when the truth is what they need to hear and it isn't very pleasing. I'd rather just know the truth about how someone feels or about what is going on than to have someone beat around the bush to keep me temporarily pleased.
Nicole: Can each of the three you answer these fun albeit quirky questions?
1) When you were a child, what was your favorite toy?
Alex: Ninja Turtles
2) Who was your first kiss? That you count!
Max: Veronica Restrepo
alex: Rachel Perrelli
3) What song (yours or any other) best defines your personality?
Max: Hot Freaks
Alex: HOOOOTTTT FREEAKS hot freaks
4) Lemuria is known as the “lost land.” Where do you feel most at home?
Max: Wherever my cat is
Alex: Wherever my head is
Nicole: Is there a charity that Lemuria supports or that each of you individually donate time or hold close to your heart?
Alex: I support charities to pit bulls. Don't judge them, take care of them.
Nicole: Thanks for your time and we hope to hear so much more from Lemuria as you continue on!
Alex Kerns: Drums/Vocals.
Sheena Ozzela: Guitar/Vocals.
Max Gregor – Bass
Lemuria at Bridge 9
Follow @LemuriaPop on Twitter
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Gravity • Wise People • Pleaser • Yellowstone Lady
Irregular • Ribcage • Different Girls • Bloomer
Durian • Chautauqua County • The One
Released: Jan 11, 2011
℗ 2011 Bridge Nine Records
Pictured L to R: Dan Feast (vocals), Chris Harrison (guitar), then Chris Hepworth (bass) and Justin Eastwood (drums)
Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England
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