“We try and make songs that are beautiful,” explains Dean Wareham, frontman for Luna. “We are not trying to change the world, shock anybody or hit people over the head. I'm trying to write music that I would want to hear. Exactly who buys it, I don't know.”
Wareham, born in 1963 in Wellington, New Zealand, moved with is family to New York City in 1977. It was a bustling time for NYC music, with bands like the Ramones, Blondie, Television and the Talking Heads. It was an unforgettable scene that the Strokes and Interpol are now reinterpreting. After absorbing those sounds, smartypants Wareham attended Harvard, larked for a year in Germany and moved back to Boston in the fall of 1987.
“I guess I formed most of my musical opinions in the late ‘70s and maybe [it was] the most exciting period of rock music,” he proposes. “There's so much coming out these days. Just take the whole world of electronic music-I think a lot of it's wallpaper, but some of it's cool.”
Wareham formed the venerated dream pop band, Galaxie 500, which recorded three albums. It disbanded in 1991 and Wareham assembled Luna in NYC a year later.
“If you'd asked me when I was 25 if I'd be doing this 14 years later, I would have said, ‘Probably not,'” he admits. “I've made six Luna records and three with Galaxie 500 and I can't like everything I've done. It's like going back and reading your diary from 10 years ago. You'd say, ‘What was I thinking?'
“[But] sometimes it's precisely your weaknesses as a musician that allow you to do something interesting,” he continues. “There are thousands of musicians who went to music school and can play anything but can't play anything interesting.”
With drummer Lee Wall, guitarist Sean Eden and new bassist Britta Phillips, Luna completed their newest album, Romantica. Jetset Records, owned by former Go Betweens bassist Robert Vickers, released the album earlier this year. It's all love, lust and the hazy ethereality that is Luna.
“I think Romantica is one of the most personal albums that I've made and I also think its one of the best,” Wareham says. “I suppose in moments when you are writing about yourself, other people connect. The challenge is to write about things in an interesting way and write lyrics that haven't been written a thousand times before.”