10 Questions With... LUNA PINES
This week we caught up with the girls of Luna Pines to discuss their plans over the next 12 months and how they find being a DIY girlband on the Leeds Music Scene!
Luna Pines will be headlining our launch night too! So don't miss out on a chance to see them live!
#1 So what is your story? How did you girls start working together?
Lotte (Drums/Sampling/Synths): I initially started the project in my room in my second year at Leeds College of Music two years ago, just as ideas. We then got it to work live last year with a completely different line up, made up of three boys, Ellie and me. We only did a couple of gigs, and when uni finished most of us went back home. That’s when Ellie and me got Olivia in, and we just knew everything about it was going to work.
Ellie: (Synths/Violin): I initially just played violin on a couple of tracks when we were a 5 piece, but when the boys left, me and Lotte definitely wanted to keep going. We brought in looping on my violin and I started doing synths too, and its been super fun to become a fundamental member of the band.
Olivia (Guitar/Vocals): I remember we were all chilling in the lounge when they didn't know what they were going to do (after the boys left), in my head I was thinking “am I good enough? shall I just go for it?” and I’m glad I did, the girls have really helped me with my confidence and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can create.
#2 We love the name 'Luna Pines'... where did that come from?
Lotte: I came up with that name with our old singer, George. I can’t tell you how many names we went through before we landed on it! We each came with lists of names, and came up with Luna Pines. I think it’s cool because I feel our music is quite atmospheric and that goes with the nature vibe of the name. But it can kind of mean whatever you want it to, I guess.
Olivia: As I came into the band later on I didn't have any input in choosing the name, but I agree with Lotte, I like it. I think it links pretty well with the style of our music.
#3 We absolutely love your single 'Off Your Island'! Tell us a little bit about the process behind this song!
Lotte: That song was written and recorded in like a day, and I was collecting a lot of MPC drum samples at the time, so I just created the beat and bounced it out loads of times to batter the quality and give it a more lo fi sound over the more polished production of the track. I then started going over it with melody lines, and we added loads of detuned layers to the vocals. I also used this synth called Kairatune, which is free and you can create really cool sounds on it. We really wanted an 80’s vibe to it, so I sent it to a friend of ours and he recorded some incredible saxophone over it, which I think really makes the song. Lyrically it became quite ambiguous, but it’s basically about feeling unable to move on from people who are no longer in your life.
#4 You guys seem to be gigging alot lately, am I right in thinking you are very DIY and do alot of the gig booking & management yourself? If so, how are you finding that side of things?
Lotte: Playing live is definitely my favourite part, but booking gigs and getting people interested in your band is very hard, and you get ignored a lot. But it’s not supposed to be easy, or everyone would do it. I think we’ve definitely learned that it’s a networking game, and once your on certain promoters radars and you can prove your band is different and reliable, you will be asked back to play other shows. Perseverance is always key!
Olivia: I haven't gigged a lot before Luna Pines and I’m definitely learning a lot in regards to getting gigs and making sure we are professional and committed to playing a great show wherever we are, and having a great time with it too!
Ellie: Lotte definitely had a talent and commitment when we first started gigging- she seemed to have a knack for getting us great gigs and getting in with the right people. It has made the moving forward and getting more known so much easier now. We all definitely have an air of professionalism that we have always understood is essential. I suppose that comes from having studied music at uni, but you won’t get asked back if you don’t treat some situations like its business.
#5 Your sound is very unique, which music acts do you draw inspiration from?
Olivia: I think it works really well because we do all have an oddly similar but very different music taste, which is the main reason why I believe our sound is unique.
Lotte: Thank you! Personally I’d say I draw most of my writing inspiration from acts like Bon Iver, The Japanese House and Tycho. I also love 80’s music like The Cure & Cyndi Lauper, as well as Post-Rock bands like Explosions In The Sky.
Ellie: First and foremost I’m violinist and instrumentalist, I have always been in love with the alternative- instrumental music scene of the trip-hop era (90s- early 00s) ; Groove Armada, Portishead, Hooverphonic, Bjork etc. I guess that’s part of the sound that I bring to the table.
#6 You girls seem to be making big waves in the Leeds Music Scene at the min! How do you find it, being a DIY act based in the north?
Lotte: The music scene in Leeds is great! Coming from Leeds College of Music we have so many friends in bands and it’s all so diverse so it’s a very special thing to be a part of. It’s definitely hard being DIY in a big city with so many bands, but we love the challenge!
Ellie: I feel like there’s almost more appreciation for DIY acts, maybe its because of the very welcoming Leeds bubble, but doing everything yourself to me has always been something to show off, although it does have its difficulties.
#7 What does the next 12 months look like for Luna Pines? Are there any new releases on the cards?
Olivia: We have releases coming out and working on new material which is all really exciting. Even though we have only recently formed as a band in the past few months I can see our progression already so I'm mega excited to see what we can achieve in the near future.
Lotte: Yeah I’d say predominately we’re focussing on creating a very expansive and interesting live set, as you don’t see many bands with our setup around, so it’s something we really want to hone in on.
Ellie: Yeah, we’re definitely working on new sounds within the set. I’m excited about the next twelve months to be honest, we’ve already moved forward so much and incorporated our different styles, and that’s only a matter of months with the new line-up.
#8 As women in the male dominated music industry, what advice can you give to other women in music?
Lotte: I think women should see it as an advantage, not a hindrance. There are so many male focused bands out there; it’s hard to tell them apart sometimes. Being a woman in the industry automatically makes you stand out, even though it really shouldn’t. I find it easy to look past the people who get confused or laugh about me being a female drummer & producer, you’ll usually find you’re better than them anyway.
Ellie: Although I have not really had anything face to face, there is definitely a way that men talk to other men when it comes to ‘technical’ things. Unfortunately, with all the gigs we’ve done, we’ve only encountered one female sound engineer- its definitely a problem, but I think something within our generation that will be soon to change if women keep just being completely unapologetic about it. I really hope so anyway.
Olivia: Just go for it mate.
#9 If you were to create your own music festival consisting of only female performers, who would be your top 5 headliners?
Lotte: The Japanese House for sure, she’s amazing. Also probably Marika Hackman, Camp Cope, Maggie Rogers and definitely Julien Baker, she’s incredible and her lyrics have a huge influence on ours I think.
Ellie: I’d have to include Bjork in there- she’s about as female-head-strong as they come, and a bit of an idol of mine instrumentally. Maybe Imogen Heap, Ainslie Wills and Lianne La Havas. But I’d end the festival with the Spice Girls, because, it’s the Spice Girls.
Olivia: I’d definitely add Corrine Bailey Rae, Jorja Smith and London Grammar.
#10 Best song for heartbreak?
Olivia: ‘You Could Be Happy’ by Snow Patrol is lit.
Ellie: Lost & Found by Lianne La Havas lyrically is the most emotional break-up song out there to me. But in terms of getting over heartbreak, nothing cheers me up like some classic 70’s disco.
Lotte: “Pictures Of You” by The Cure, or “Palm’s Backside” by Toothless & Marika Hackman, that’s one of my favourite songs ever.
If you want to hear more, check our Luna Pines on soundcloud here! - https://soundcloud.com/lunapines