Finishing their fall tour this past November across the Northeast, selling out of the first printing of their album, Ghost of You, and well on their way to releasing more content in early 2019, Columbus-based alternative group Hello Luna have a lot to show in 2018 in terms of growth and success. However, that level of success wasn’t always guaranteed. With each member coming from different musical backgrounds, fate may very well have played a part in bringing the band together.
While lead vocalist/guitarist Kenzie Coyne and guitarist Eric Morgan are originally from Columbus and drummer Michael Neumaier comes from Lancaster, Ohio, bassist Diego Villasmil hails from Venezuela, and all four of them were in the middle of different projects in the Columbus music scene before getting together in early 2016, and Diego says they’ve been working non-stop since then as Hello Luna.
Taking influence from bands such as the Yeah Yeahs and Metric, Hello Luna has a varied discography and sound, and doesn’t pin down their band to any particular genre.
We caught up the band via email to discuss their beginnings, highlights from their tour and looking forward with new projects and content.
“It’s always so hard for us to assign a genre to our music, because we all come from different backgrounds with different influences and our sound is constantly evolving,” Morgan said. “Generally speaking we are alternative rock, but our newer music definitely has some progressive/post-rock tendencies.”
“Our sound is inspired by my very wide spectrum of musical taste,” Coyne added. “I never got locked into one genre and I think that shows through our music.”
One of their more well-known songs, “Sound and Sorrow” was the first song written by Coyne for the band.
“It was my first shot at creating something completely new and foreign. I felt very out of my element,” Coyne elaborated. “The lyrics in the song describe a state of pain, but the type of pain that’s not ready to come out yet. The pain that sits on you everyday and makes you stronger. It’s not a hopeless pain, it’s manageable, familiar and always there. The line ‘I still got fight’ is a battle cry of sorts about accepting the pain, but never accepting defeat.”
“Sound and Sorrow”
“We were pleasantly surprised to be invited to such a cool and original event,” Villasmil expounded. “We were worried about the rain but it ended up being perfect outside. Thankfully, Cleveland is always very receptive to our music and on that day we definitely absorbed the crowd’s energy while performing. We’d definitely do it again!”
Speaking of energy, the band agrees that they always try to bring a high energy to their live performances, as well as take the audience on an emotional roller-coaster of sorts.
“We bring [an intermixed vibe for] some very intimate vibes,” Neumaier added. “Some of our songs we play can be really in your face, especially some of our new ones that we just started playing out, and there’s a few songs that can get really somber that build into something huge.”
“Half Asleep” live performance
Coyne remembers their first show outside of Columbus resulted in something she never thought she’d see from a performance of theirs: a mosh pit.
“[We were in] Cincinnati playing and people were really into the music. Then someone started a mosh pit, and by the end of the night someone threw a chair. It was rowdy,” Coyne recollects. “Coming from a background of acoustic folk, I had never had anyone react to my music like that. I try to put my everything into every performance, and to have a crowd that accepted that and reciprocated that energy had us buzzing for days.”
Hello Luna sets to start the new year with some appearances throughout their home base of Columbus— January 4th at the Big Room Bar (1036 S Front St, Columbus) and January 21st at Woodlands Productions (1200 W 3rd Ave, Columbus) for performance presented by Live Loud Concerts— and expect a new EP towards the beginning of next year.
“Our new music has a lot of the same elements from our previous EP, but we’ve also incorporated some hard/prog rock elements, Villasmil explained. “This time around we felt more like experimenting and adding layers to songs, all while keeping it straightforward to the listener. No title at the moment, but we’re hoping for a release early 2019.”
The band hopes next year to also tour to new destinations and expand their horizons to new venues, new friends and new experiences to channel in their sound for projects to come.
“It would be great to score a set at SXSW next year!” Morgan said.