Posted by: will | May 30, 2007

Band Interview – Lemuria…

Lemuria are a great pop-punk band from Buffalo, NY. I recently had the pleaure of interviewing Alex Kerns, drummer for the band. Alex also runs a great record label called Art of the Underground. Lemuria recently released a split 7″ with The Ergs and are currently on tour with the band as well. I reviewed the band’s split album with Kind Of Like Spitting last year here. Check out songs and tour dates at Lemuria’s myspace page here.

I am a huge Discount fan. I assume that band was at least a small influence on Lemuria. What are some of the band’s other influences? And how would you describe your sound?

We all enjoy Discount a great deal, although I we got more into Discount after the band formed and people kept comparing us to them. I had a couple songs on compilations that I liked, and then ended up picking up their albums and was like, “ok, yeah, I can see where people are coming from.” When it comes to bands that we’re all collectively most influenced by, I would mention Superchunk, Jawbreaker, Jawbox, and The Lemonheads.

What’s the Buffalo music scene like? Any up and coming bands to watch out for?

The Buffalo scene is excellent. Whether it’s a house show, or a bar show (Mohawk Place is the best bar to play). Buffalo show-goers are very supportive. At the moment some bands that I really love from Buffalo are The Exit Strategy, who are very DC post-hardcore influence. They sound like they should be on Dischord, if they were from DC. There is another great alt-country band called The Old Sweethearts who write very tasteful music, although I don’t think they have any ambitions to play outside of Buffalo. But they’re very Wilco influenced.

How does the song-writing process go for the band? I know all three of you sing in the band. Do you only sing songs you write or is there a crossover? What factors influence the band’s songwriting?

We all sing, mainly it’s Sheena and I. The singer doesn’t reflect the songwriter in the band, the singer is decided when we’re writing the melodies, it’s usually Sheena. Usually our songs are written based around an idea that one of us brings to practice. We build most of our songs from start to finish and write the songs from start to finish figuring out what each of our own parts are going to be. There are a few exceptions where the songs are more based off of a song that one of us brought in and it needed the instrumentation strict to what one of us had in mind. We have our own practice space, which is nice. For awhile we were practicing in the basement of our house, but I felt like our music was influenced by the fact that our roommates were listening in. Which possibly could result in the songwriting becoming timid, and us not having the courage to take more risks when writing the music.

Your label, Art Of The Underground, seems like a throwback to the great vinyl labels of the past. How is the band’s relationship with the label and how important is vinyl to the band?

We like to have all our songs available on vinyl. There a couple songs that are only available on CD, which are compilation tracks. But they’ll eventually someday be on vinyl. Art of the Underground is the label I’ve been running for about 5 years. The relationship with the label and the band is very simple, because we don’t have to ever worry about being on the same page.

How are things going on tour? Any good tour stories to tell so far?

We’re actually not on tour yet! But we’ll be leaving this weekend with The Ergs from New Jersey. We just released a split 7″ with them. It might seem like we’re already on tour because we’ve been playing weekend tours every weekend for the past month. But we’ve been home in Buffalo for the weekdays. I’m sure there will be plenty of good stories once we’re on the road for the long haul.

What’s the band’s opinion on file-sharing?

I’m pro-file sharing. I personally like to have the album with the credits, thank you’s, lyrics, and artwork. But if somebody else doesn’t care about that, then I’d rather them have the music than not have it at all. I’ve definitely popped albums from other peoples computers on tour onto the Ipod we have with us, but I usually end up buying the album if I enjoy it. And if I really love the album, I end up buying a lot of copies of it and putting it in the AOTU distro. Also, a lot of times people download albums off of Soulseek, and then they find out about a band they would’ve never heard before. Then when that band comes through town they go pay to see them live, and pick up a shirt or something. I think it all works out.

What’s been playing on the band’s collective stereo lately?

The new Dinosaur Jr. Beyond, the new Lemonheads s/t album. Thin Lizzy Black Rose: A Rock Legend is an album we always have on rotation. I’ve personally been listening to a lot of Paul Westerberg lately.

How can I get a hold of all those out-of-print singles from Art Of The Underground?

Depending on which ones you’re looking for! Some are pretty impossible to find, there are a few I see floating around though. You can ask No Idea, Ebullition, or other distros that are known to have them if they have any around.

Any last words?

Thanks for the interview! If you’re ever in Buffalo, go eat at Amy’s Place. 99 cent breakfast.

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Responses

  1. […] the great Asian Man Records. You can check out the interview I did last year with Alex from Lemuria here. As with everything around SAL lately…review upcoming (when I actually find the time to write […]


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