Interview with LUNAR

Back in November, a progressive death metal project from Sacramento, Lunar, launched their debut album “Theogony” via Divebomb Records. We talked with drummer and songwriter Alex Bosson, and below is an interview where he tells us more about the release, gear, future, and more.

Hey folks. How are you doing?

Doing very well, thanks for asking.

You have recently launched an album titled “Theogony.” How do you feel about the release?

I feel great about it!  I’m really pleased with how the album turned out.   And the response to it has been fantastic!

How much of a challenge was to work on the album?

It was definitely challenging, often overwhelming.  With all the writing and recording it took almost 3 years to complete the album.  Trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules, write the parts and hire all the guest musicians was extremely difficult.  Plus trying to ensure that I found the right guest musician for each specific part.  So it was definitely the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.  But, I will say, despite all that, I wouldn’t have had it any other way!  I’m really proud of the final result.  And even with all the difficulties, it was some of the most fun I’ve had in my life doing this!

LUNAR - Theogony

What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Sacramento are you friends with?

There aren’t really any progressive metal bands that I’m aware of in the Sacramento area.  There’s a prog metal band called Sea In The Sky that I think is from the Bay Area somewhere.  They’re really cool.  I’ve seen them live once, but I’m not friends with them.  Never met them.  Haha!  There are some other metal bands in the Sac area that I’m friends with, just not progressive metal.  I also play for a power metal band based out of Sac called Helion Prime.  So obviously those guys are good friends of mine.  And playing with them I’ve gotten to meet some other local power metal acts.  Jason (from Helion Prime) is good friends with the guys from a group called Niviane.  I’ve met them a couple times.  They‘re a great band.  Alex Bent is an old friend of mine from my hometown of Modesto, just south of Sacramento and he’s playing with Trivium now.  And if you’re into some good technical death metal, Andrew from Alterbeast is a friend of mine and they’re awesome!!  Their second album drops in a couple months and I’ve heard some of the material and it’s amazing!

What is your opinion about the current progressive metal scene?

The prog metal scene seems to have a presence throughout the world, but locally here in Sacramento, there’s not a huge fan base that I’ve seen.  I think the prog metal scene doesn’t ever really get the credit it deserves.  It’s very diverse and features some of the best musicians in the world.  The creativity within the genre of prog is just incredible to me.  But most of the time (not all), it seems the only people that really appreciate it are other musicians.  At least in my own experience.  However, it also seems that the scene may be opening up to a wider fan base.  When you have artists like Steven Wilson who can write albums like “To The Bone” with a very poppy vibe, it may appeal to some more people that wouldn’t generally listen to him.  And then, hopefully they’ll want to dive further into his back catalogue and see the wider range of stuff he’s done.  Then maybe they’ll hear some of the more metal influenced stuff he did in the Porcupine Tree days and even the work he did with Opeth.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

My biggest influence is definitely Opeth, which I’m sure can be heard in the Lunar material.  I discovered them around 2001, right after “Blackwater Park” came out.  It was one of those albums that changed my life forever, and still, to this day, remains one of my favorites.  I listened to a lot of death metal in those days, but was always interested in the more progressive stuff, long before I even knew what Prog was.  And, like I was saying before about discovering other music through an artists different work, it was because of his work with Opeth that I discovered who Steven Wilson was and discovered Porcupine Tree that way.  Opeth and Steven Wilson I’d say are definitely my biggest influences.  I also really love Haken, Tool and Ayreon.

What are you listening to these days?

Well I always have the bands I mentioned before in the rotation; Opeth, Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Ayreon, Tool and Haken.  But new stuff for me as of late; I’ve been digging the new album from The Faceless, “In Becoming A Ghost.”  I recently got the latest album from Lunatic Soul, “Fractured” and it’s really great!  Really emotional.  And the most recent for me is the new album from Intervals called “The Way Forward.”  I’m extremely impressed with that one!  I didn’t think he could top his last album and he definitely did!  It’s still technical and has incredible musicianship, but there’s so much more feeling and groove to this new album.  It’s catchy in all the right parts.  Really great stuff!

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

That’s such a hard question for me to answer…  it seems like that answer for me can change on an almost daily basis… haha!  But right now, I’d have to say it’s probably (in no specific order):

Opeth – “Blackwater Park”

Haken – “The Mountain”

Steven Wilson – “The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)”

Opeth – “Pale Communion”

Tool – “Lateralus”

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “Theogony”?

I used my Tama Starclassic Performer kit.  It’s a solid birch set, minus the snare I used which is a Tama S.L.P. 7×13 maple snare.  The configuration I used for “Theogony” was a 22” kick drum, 3 rack toms (8”, 10” & 12”) and a 16” floor tom.  I also used a 6” Tama Octoban, but it’s only used on “Thalia.”  I use all Zildjian cymbals.  Mostly K Customs, but a few A Customs and an Oriental China Trash.  I use Pro Mark 727 Oak Wood Tip sticks and use all Remo heads.  For “Theogony” I used Coated Emperors for the batter heads and Clear Emperors for the resonant heads.  I also used a fair amount of other percussion items, most of which you hear on “Terpsichore”, like shakers, guiros, a djembe, a doumbek, chimes and I also used a Roland SPD-SX for the digital sounding stuff.

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

Well since Lunar is a studio project without a full lineup, there’s no plans for tours or shows.  That may change someday in the future, but for now, no plans for that.  So the next step is just going to be the next album.  We’re still riding the wave of the current release, but another album will happen in the future.  I’ll be doing a lot of work with my other band, Helion Prime, in the coming months, but hopefully by late 2018, if not sooner, Ryan and I will start the writing process for Lunar album number 2.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Really the biggest thing is to say thank you to any existing or future fans who check out the album!  Anyone who’s planning to check it out, I would say the album is very diverse (in my opinion) and to go through the entire thing to find what you like.  If you’ve read this interview I think you’ll have a good idea of the influences and what type of stuff you can expect to hear in the music.  And I hope you all will enjoy it!!

Thanks to you all at Rocking Charts for taking the time to do this interview with me!

“Theogony” is available from Bandcamp here. If Facebook is your thing you can follow them.