1991, after leaving Galaxie 500, Dean Wareham signed a demo
deal with Elektra
Records, and recorded some demos with
drummer Jimy Chambers of Mercury Rev. Songs included Anesthesia,
I Can¹t Wait, and Slash Your Tires. Anesthesia was released
as a single (under the name Dean Wareham) on Number 6 records.
Elektra liked what
they heard and Dean began to put Luna together, calling his
friend Justin Harwood (former bassist with the
Chills) in New Zealand. Justin moved over to New York City,
taking an apartment on east 16th street, and the two began
auditioning drummers. The first drummer¹s name was Byron
Guthrie, and the trio rehearsed in the basement underneath
his apartment on Avenue B. They recorded another group of demos
(produced by Dave Fridmann) and played a couple of shows together
that included Grasshopper (also of Mercury Rev) on guitar.
Byron was replaced by Stanley Demeski (ex of the Feelies),
and this lineup (Dean, Justin and Stanley) recorded the first
album, Lunapark. The record was produced by Fred Maher (former
drummer with Richard Hell and the Voidoids and Lou Reed) and
recorded at RPM Studios in New York.
Upon completion of Lunapark, an ad was placed in the Village
Voice seeking a permanent guitar player, and Sean Eden was
recruited. Sean had come to New York to pursue an acting career
after studying at North Carolina School of the Arts.
The first recordings
as a quartet were the covers for the Slide EP: Ride Into
the Sun, That¹s What You Always Say,
Indian Summer, and the Christmas single Egg Nog. These recordings
were produced by the band and recorded at Mixolydian Studios
in Boonton, New Jersey.
Luna toured the United States in the fall of 1992 and spring
of 1993 opening for The Screaming Trees and the Sundays respectively,
and landed the bizarre job of opening for the Velvet Underground
on their European tour that summer.
Bewitched was recorded in the fall of 1993, co-produced by
Victor Van Vugt, and recorded in New York at Right Track and
RPM over a period of six weeks. Sterling Morrison of the VU
came to New York and played guitar on two songs, Friendly Advice
and Great Jones Street. Bewitched was released in 1994.
Luna¹s third album,Penthouse (1995, was recently deemed
one of the 150 best albums of the 90s by Rolling Stone magazine.
Most of the record was recorded by Mario Salvati at Sorcerer
Sound in New York. Penthouse features a secret hidden track
which is a duet with Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab and a cover
version of Serge Gainsbourg¹s Bonnie and Clyde, and the
record also features Television guitarist Tom Verlaine on a
couple of tracks. The record was mixed, with some additional
recording and production by Pat McCarthy.
In 1997 Lee Wall
replaced Stanley Demeski on drums. Lee had in fact been working
at RPM making coffee and sweeping the
supply closet during the Penthouse sessions, and he (like Sean)
had attended North Carolina School of the Arts. His first assignment
was a short but hellish trip to Spain. Upon returning the band
recorded demos for the Pup Tent album. Pup Tent was recorded
over a period of 14 weeks at seven different studios, mostly
in New York but also including a three week stint in Cannon
Falls, MN in the dead of winter. It was painstakingly produced
from beginning to end by Pat McCarthy (R.E.M.¹s current
In November and
December of 1998 LUNA recorded their fifth album, The
Days of Our Nights, produced by Paul Kimble at Sear
Sound and RPM studios in New York. After much discussion, the
powers at the Elektra Entertainment Group decided that they
did not want to release The Days of Our Nights. It was released
on schedule in Europe by Beggar¹s Banquet, and the band
were quickly signed by the Jericho label in the U.S. The album
was released domestically in October,and went to Number One
on the college radio charts.
In December of 1999 Justin Harwood returned to New Zealand
for good. He was replaced on bass by Britta Phillips. The band
recorded one of their very best records Romantica in fits and
starts during the year 2001. The record was done at Jolly Roger
Studios in Hoboken, with Gene Holder recording, and was then
re-mixed by Dave Fridmann at Tarbox Road Studios in upstate
New York. Once the record was completed, Luna signed a worldwide
deal with Jetset Records. For the Romantica tour, Luna added
keyboard player Lara Gray to the band, she has been performing
with them whenever possible.
Romantica was followed by the mini-LP Close
Cover Before Striking,
which features cover versions of songs by the Rolling Stones
and Kraftwerk, a handful of new Luna songs, and two video clips.
At the moment Luna are writing songs for their seventh studio
album, as yet untitled.
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