Interviews: Lunarscathe

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Extreme Metal/Melodic Metal band Lunarscathe from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, did you plan it or come out just like that?

We were named differently before 2010, but after significant lineup changes in 2010 felt it was time. I've always been enamored by the moon and felt it fitting for our music style, and proposed 'Moonscathe'. My cousin/our drummer, Taylor, proposed swapping out 'moon' for 'lunar', and 'Lunarscathe' was born.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

I grew up on a mix of 80s rock & metal like Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Warrant, Ratt, from my family's influence, and was a young lad when the 90s nu-metal movement captured my pre-teen heart. I wanted to keep digging darker and heavier, finding my way to Scandinavian metal, from bleak Norwegian black metal to the Gothenburg sound, ultimately wanting to play a mix of genres capturing elements of everything I enjoyed.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

We're currently playing live as a duo/2-piece, myself and my cousin, so we've known each other our whole lives. While we both grew up in north-central Wisconsin, we've drifted in and out of each others' lives as adults. Music has brought us back more than once & kept us together despite living a few hours apart.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

That'd be hard to narrow down to just one! Gojira & Meshuggah are huge influences for both of us. For me personally, I'll drop Dominia, a doomy melodic death metal band from Russia and I love their use of violin.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

It's almost exclusively melodies first, just from noodling on guitar, or piano, or just mapping things out in the Guitar Pro software I use for putting final song drafts together. Lyrics and ideas typically come thereafter, and have ranged in our catalog from monsters, cryogenics, afterlife, technology, medicine, and taxes - we cover a wide gamut. I have historically written all the lyrics, and take influences anywhere from fantasy & mythology to daily news stories.

6. Where was your last gig? 

Writing this at the start of February 2024, our last was December 22nd, 2023 at Sabbatic in Milwaukee, joining our new friends in the local black metal band Want of Sin & post-punk band Destros. It was our first time in Milwaukee proper, and the place was packed for every band!

7. Where would you like to act? 

We've had our eyes on other Milwaukee venues like X-Ray Arcade and The Rave, as well as some regional favorites like Reptile Palace in Oshkosh, Crucible in Madison, and Q&Z Expo near our hometown of Antigo. We try to stay open-minded as we've had excellent experiences at places for which we had set a low bar. We'd love to get out of state, but the financial realities of doing one-off shows & trying to find time off work make such an endeavor not easily viable.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

There are dream bands like Gojira for which it'd be awesome to be an opener, but more realistically, some of our favorite regional bands we've enjoyed sharing stages with (and hope to share again soon) include Illusion of Fate, Cast in Fire, and aforementioned Want of Sin. We're doing a 3-show run in early April leading up to the solar eclipse on April 8th and had the privilege of picking bands we wanted to play with (Amillennial, As Bullets Baptize, The Hard, and Ghidora).

9. Whom not? 

Not going to get into calling out specific bands we didn't get along with or would avoid, but as a general theme, we fit better with death & black metal bands than we do metalcore & deathcore. Bands in the -core genres tend to come more from that emo, punk, or hardcore background, which in my opinion shares very little in common with where we trace our roots to. So not only is it a musical gap, but often a mindset gap, and it generally isn't a good fit. Also will throw out 'party' bands that just want to get wasted. We have careers and families, and while we enjoy a drink or two, we're there to play & enjoy music and not get totally messed up. We've had drunk people fall onto the stage before - some people find it hilarious, but I find it hugely disrespectful.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Neither of us really have had stage fright. Admittedly, I'm more frightened to be in the crowd and talking to strangers than I am performing. We've seen people performing where you can see the nerves, and my best advice is to remember that it's local music; people are generally understanding if something goes wrong, and our scene tends to be generally supportive of one another.

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

Speaking again to influences, Korn was huge for me growing up and kicked off my journey seeking bands that meld brutality, melancholy, and groove. Cradle of Filth, Gojira, Meshuggah, Dark Tranquillity, At the Gates, Strapping Young Lad, Behemoth, all come to mind as the 'big name' influences of our younger formative years.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

We got a message last year from some dude looking for worn clothing from me! Haven't had too much else, folks we've met are often weird, but not bizarre, in the sense that most people into metal have a reason to not be 'mainstream' and have their own eccentricities.

13. What do you think of your fans?

We love them, every like & comment on social media we watch & respond to personally, same for sales on our Bandcamp page, and anyone who says they streamed our music somewhere. We love what we do on its own merits, even if we had 0 fans, but the energy and excitement of other people showing an appreciation for what we're creating helps fuel our passion even further.

14. What do you think of our site?

It's great, I appreciate the integration of various playlists and themes and the huge depth of bands & interviews. It's cool seeing Lunarsea, for example, a band I really enjoy, right in that spot where 'Lunarscathe' could possibly be.

15. Something to add? 

We have been on & off with Lunarscathe since 2010, but mostly off in a hiatus from 2014 - 2022. After going over 9 years without a show, we hit the ground running and hard, and we're very excited about 2024 with bigger shows & a new album on the way. As we've gotten so quickly back into the Wisconsin scene, we're amazed at all the talent & variety of metal bands. I encourage everyone to support local & regional bands!

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