July 13, 2021
Tune-In Tuesdays #112: Luna Blue on Heavens Gates and their Hot, Summer ’21 Line-Up
UK alt-indie band Luna Blue sitting peacefully in a field of yellow flowersSource: Luna Blue
In gearing up for their hot, summer 2021 line-up of releasing a new album and touring through the United Kingdom, the Brighton-based alt-indie band Luna Blue released their latest, emotive single, “Heavens Gates.”
Recently, we spoke with the band via email to get a behind-the-scenes peek of the recording process behind “Heavens Gates.” We also briefly touched upon their upcoming album and their tour in August.
Let’s start off with a bit of an introduction. Who are you, what role do you play in Luna Blue, and what does it mean to you to be in a band?
Hi there! I’m Ryan and I play lead guitar in the band. For me, being in a band means camaraderie, passion, lifestyle, and a fantastic creative outlet. The other band members are Tom (vocalist), Seb (drummer), and Nick (bass guitarist).
What sparked each of your musical journeys? When did you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Personally, I have always been obsessed with music of many different genres – I began playing guitar at the age of five! The tipping point which made me pursue a career in music was working in my Dad’s engineering workshop: I would listen to music for eight hours a day and gradually thought how amazing it would be to do something like this myself.
Eventually, I took the plunge and began my journey by studying music at college (where I met Luna Blue drummer Seb). We both then studied a Music degree at University, where we met Nick and Tom – the rest, as they say, is history!
Who were some of your biggest personal and musical inspirations growing up? Who did you marvel at as a kid and go, “WOAH, I WANT TO BE LIKE THEM SOMEDAY!”
This would have to be Red Hot Chilli Peppers! I definitely played the Californication and By The Way albums to death! The cherry on the cake was watching their “Live at Hyde Park” (London) live set which my brother showed me on DVD.
Jumping forward to the present day, can you give us a bit of a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what your writing, recording, and producing process is like?
For the writing, Tom (vocalist) and I meet on a regular basis with fragments of ideas. We hash this out between us until we have something which represents the beginnings of a song!
From there, we take it to Nick (bassist) and Seb (drummer) who will write their parts and help us refine the tracks. Once we have a handful of demos, we will take them to our producer and get them recorded.
What have been some of your favorite moments in the studio together? Were there any songs in your discography that were particularly a blast to work on?
All our songs were great to work on for different reasons. Some were a challenge to finish, others took only 30 minutes to write! For me, my favorite memories are from our first year of university, where we were discovering the magic of a recording studio for the first time.
Tell us a little about your latest single, “Heavens Gates.” What’s the story behind the track?
I’ll leave that one for our vocalist Tom (who writes the lyrics) to answer:
The track finds the protagonist driving away from the city and her troubles in pursuit of a better life. With the winds of change around her, and the concept of Heaven described to us from childhood as somewhere where the grass is greener on the other side, she arrives at her destination (Heavens Gates) only for reality to hit hard as she finds that ‘Heavens Gates are closed tonight …’ With lyrics written in April 2021 (during the pandemic), the song reflects a personal experience of people nearby feeling scared and wanting reality to be anywhere but here.
The press release for “Heavens Gates” states that it “reflects a personal experience of people nearby feeling scared and wanting reality to be anywhere but here.” Considering that it has a pretty heavy meaning behind it, did you find any parts of the song challenging to write or record?
This answer’s from vocalist Tom, too:
The studio recording process of the vocals was the hardest part as I had to revisit feelings I experienced when the first lockdown hit and recapture the passion that was behind the lyrics when writing them back in March ’21.
The vocals were tough to record in the middle 8 … it was certainly a challenge walking a tightrope between expressing a yearning in my voice whilst trying to maintain good vocal technique in that part of the male voice! – I’m looking forward to giving this a try for the first time live this summer.
I’ve also heard that you have an upcoming release this summer, “Run to Tomorrow.” Is there anything you can tell us about it so far, or is everything still on the down-low?
I don’t want to give TOO much away! It could be something slightly different from what you might expect from us, but still maintains the signature Luna Blue sound.
Additionally, you’ll be touring throughout the UK by the end of the summer! Have you played at these venues before, or will it all be a new experience for you?
Poster for Luna Blue’s fundraising gig in support of Animals Asia on August 26, 2021Source: Luna Blue
Several of the venues we have played a few times – especially The Horn, a much-loved music venue in the Home Counties area of the UK (the counties surrounding London).
A lot of the venues will be new to us, though – and we’re traversing the country from the south up north to Yorkshire (headlining the Unsigned Stage at TribFest) then across to the South West, playing a brilliant charity fundraising gig for our adopted charity, Animals Asia. That one’s in the beautiful and historic naval city of Plymouth … which is actually where the Pilgrim Fathers set off for the New World (USA) in the Mayflower back in 1620!
Big celebrations were planned for this year, sadly postponed due to the pandemic – but Luna Blue is bringing the music in August!!
Are there any venues you’re particularly excited to play at? If so, why?
We’re all really excited to be playing the main stage at Amprocks – it’ll be our first experience on a big festival stage! The headliners – McFly and Ash – are playing the same stage, so it feels kind of amazing and scary at the same time. We can’t wait to see how a big festival crowd will react to our music!
What are you most looking forward to about playing live?
For sure the interaction with the crowd! There is nothing quite like seeing an audience react really positively to something you have slaved away at for years… it’s a massive adrenaline rush!
Switching gears a bit, how do you hope to impact your listeners and/or the industry through your work?
It’s clear the pandemic has not only hit the industry hard, but undoubtedly had an impact on mental health and wellbeing, too. If our music can be used by people going through a difficult time to help them feel better, that would be really awesome.
I would also like to think people out at parties / celebrating big occasions now restrictions are beginning to ease will want to play our music to enhance the experience. Basically, we’d LOVE Luna Blue to be the soundtrack to peoples’ lives!
What piece of advice would you give to any of our readers who may have always dreamed of starting a band but have been hesitant to?
Absolutely, 100 percent just go for it! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before or you think you’re terrible at music – just DO IT! The experiences and memories you make from being part of a band are amazing.
After “Run To Tomorrow” is released, and you wrap up touring, what’s next for you guys? Any plans for this fall?
We already have a whole BUNCH of new demos ready to get recorded. We all think these will be the best music we have released yet, and we genuinely can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Do you have any additional comments or final thoughts to share?
Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date with us … there’s lots happening! We can be found everywhere; you can sign up through our website @ www.lunablueofficial.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube… Even TikTok!
See you all there – Ryan (with Tom, Seb & Nick) – LUNA BLUE x
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