When was the moment that you realized you wanted to be a musician?
LUNA SHADOWS: “There’s never been a revelation, it’s something I’ve always just known. The shape has shifted from singer into songwriter into producer and so forth, but the idea has always been there, for as long as I can remember. I had the dream well before I had the means. I’ve always had the interest, the drive, the passion — but it took me a very long time to supplement those things with a skill set, a mission statement, and a real perspective.”"
How would you describe your sound in three words?
LS: “Light, dark, and Californian. I feel the guillotine coming down because you said only three words, but if I were allowed more, I’d say all that sprinkled with a New York cynicism.”
You recently released your latest song “god.drugs.u”. Can you tell us a little about the song and the inspiration behind it?
LS: “Writing ‘god.drugs.u’ was like creating a process of elimination love song. What I mean by that is this: you know when you’re hungry, and you don’t know what you want to eat, but you know it’s not tacos for the third time that day, or spaghetti for the second night in a row, etc…. and eventually, after you’ve gone through the whole list, you realize it’s sushi that you’ve been looking for? That’s this song, but with love as the subject. It’s very difficult to speak about love in an original way. Someone somewhere has already said it all. This song is me going through the process of finding out what love means to me.
I found myself trying to describe love in a non-cheesy, innovative way, and I naturally started thinking about what it wasn’t for me personally. Not for anyone else, just me. And my experiences of love are very present moment & secular. So the chorus of this song is me crossing off what love is not in order to get to the bottom of what it is. I personally have not found any comfort in spirituality or chemical experiences. So it’s my own diary of earthly ecstasy: ‘what they want in god I found in you, I found a lot/and what they need in drugs, I keep in you, I keep in love.’”
You also released a music video for the song with an all female team – what was it like working on that?
LS: “Yes, nearly exclusively all female-identifying + queer. It was absolutely awesome and a huge learning experience for me. When I first presented the idea, people around me doubted that I would be able to find enough talented & willing female-identifying skateboarders. Not only did I find them, but I had to turn down about 15 other skaters because every single person I reached out to wanted to do it. So that was my first lesson. And since then, I’ve found that there’s an entire community of female skaters in LA — they host meet ups & group skates etc. (See: @brianaking on insta — her meet ups are truly inclusive & welcoming). It’s truly beautiful & inclusive - and totally the opposite of the skate environment that I grew up around, where teenage boys made fun of me for eating shit on asphalt.
So that was the cast. And the crew was amazing as well — again, didn’t know if I’d be able to find enough girls to fill the BTS roles, but I found them almost immediately.
There is a stereotype that women are emotional — if emotional means empathetic, thoughtful, attentive to detail, passionate about the work, and deeply invested in the result, then this is a fair description of my team. Everyone left set telling me that our shoot was one of their favorite shoots they’d ever been a part of, and that’s something I’m really proud of.”
Where do you find most inspiration when creating music?
LS: “Music itself, really! A lot of my sessions start by listening to music that I like — not just new music, but super old music. Nostalgia tunes. It’s the craziest when you forget about a song and then it re-emerges with new life. I’ve just rediscovered Avril Lavigne, for example. I was obsessed with her when she first came out. Begged my mom to bring me to her concert (something she still jokes about til this day). Her vocals at the end of ‘I’m With You’ are really making me want to write a song with some heart-on-sleeve cries at the end. That’s the kind of thing that gets me going… then once I get going, the road bends in many unexpected directions and I just follow along.”
What do you hope listeners take from your music?
LS: “Whatever they need most. I might’ve had certain intentions, but if they mishear lyrics or cherish an alternate meaning, I support that. Some of my favorite lyrics from my favorite artists were ones that I misheard. As long as the message they get is not hateful, then I support any interpretation of my music.”