INTRO BY ALEXIS ROGERS
INTERVIEW BY CAMI LIBERTY
Ashes of Luna describe their style of music as ‘alternative dance rock.’ This rising music group blends a variety of influences in their music, such as rock, electronica, and classical. Their main goal is to create unique music that takes listeners on a journey. The band was born in Los Angeles, California in 2013 by members Brandon Apgar (vocalist) and Lauren Samuels (bassist/guitarist/vocalist). Other members of the band include Kris Persoon (percussionist/programing), Matthew Nelson (guitarist), and Augustus Hoovenstal (guitarist). Their first album, "SI-963 Hz,” was released in 2016 after previously releasing only singles. The band’s most recent releases include two singles, “Touch the Sky” and “Wild and Free,” as well as an EP titled “The Awakening.” Their music can be found on YouTube, SoundCloud, and iTunes. Follow along with their musical journey on Twitter and Instagram: @ashesofluna.
How did you first come together and start making music?
"We have known each other for about 5 years now. I (Lauren) was in a different project but not really happy with the direction they were taking. I started reaching out to friends in the music community asking if anyone new of a band that needed a guitarist or bassist or if anyone wanted to start a new music project. Thats when I was introduced to Brandon. ASHES was brand new at the time so it seems the stars had aligned. Once we got together and started practicing we knew we had something unique and magical happening creatively. To top it off, we both share the same birthday. We have been musical soul mates and best friends since."
How would you describe your music in three words?
"Alternative dance rock."
What is the story behind the name ‘Ashes of Luna’?
"Brandon actually came up with the name. There isn't really an amazing story behind it. He wanted something different...not your typical name. Both of us are extremely connected to the moon and all her phases she goes through and how she has a huge influence on the human body and our emotions...thus was born ASHES OF LUNA."
You recently released your songs Touch the Sky and Wild and Free. Can you tell us a little about these songs and the inspiration behind them?
"We were fortunate enough to be able to go to Nashville to create these songs. We spent a week there and created 4 incredible tracks with our amazing producer Matt Bronleewe. We went during the solar eclipse and it turns out that Nashville was the number one location in the country to witness the eclipse so our creative juices were definitely put into overdrive because of the eclipse energy that was all around us! The songs are about self empowerment and living your best life which is what we are all about. The writing process was new and totally different from how we usually write but we definitely accomplished what we sent out to do!"
Both of these songs have very similar cover art, as they have your logo in the center, but also have different images in the background. Is there a specific reason why you chose the image of the lightning with Touch the Sky and the sunflowers with Wild and Free?
"We both love nature and all it has to over. Our music we feel sets a tone, it sets a vibe. Touch the Sky definitely has dark undertones in the music so we wanted to use imagery that had that feel to it. It is dark and moody, a little scary looking even but we feel it fits the song perfectly. It is like "I am here. I am powerful and intense and I'm a huge entity in my life. Nothing can stop me."
As far as the Wild and Free imagery goes... when we were in the studio writing the lyrics we pictured a huge collective of self aware, self conscious awakened people just letting loose in nature. Just loving life and living.
WILD and FREE. Beautiful scenery and beautiful surroundings just seem to make your soul feel amazing and connected to everything. This song is exactly what that is about. Just letting it all go. Being yourself. Connecting to source and others and loving YOU."
Do you find that you have the exact same process every time you create a song or does it change often?
"It changes every time for sure. We never write a song the same way. Sometimes we might have the majority of the song created on paper before we head into the studio but sometimes we think we do and it totally changes once we are in there. The studio is a very personal, intimate experience for us. We give our all to what we write. Depending on the day, the time, what is going on in the world, what is going on with us personally and what is going on metaphysically it definitely varies. But that is all what it is really about. The unknown. Music comes how it wants to."
If you could tour with anybody, who would it be and why?
"Man this is a tough one. Both of us have huge influences that might not even reflect how our music is written but we are both huge Muse fans. So that would be incredible. They're obviously on a level of their own talent-wise but if we opened up for them we believe our music would fit perfectly and do it's job of bringing people together and helping people forget about what's going on in their day to day lives and just helping them to be present and to not think about anything but the music."
Is there anything else that we can expect from you in the near future?
"We are definitely going back to Nashville to create and record some more tunes. That is a definite! We are also hoping to go on tour. Playing live is an incredible experience! To be able to connect with other souls on a music level is just something that is unexplainable. Music saves and helps and connects people. That's our main objective. We want to get out there and connect with our fellow people."