Interview: Lemuria

Lemuria - Photo by Ryan Russell

Lemuria - Photo by Ryan Russell

After a five-year European hiatus, punk rock three-piece Lemuria, which hails from Buffalo, New York, returned to Berlin as a stop on its more than month-long tour. The band is touring in support of its full-length album, “Pebble,” released earlier this year as a follow-up to 2008’s “Get Better.”

According to drummer, sometimes singer, and original member Alex Kerns, the new album is a continuation of the direction the band has been heading, in that it serves as an extension of the first.

“Some songs are reflections from the past,” he said. “[It is] basically a diary of our lives as we go along.”

For “Pebble,” the band collaborated with indie rock veteran, producer and engineer J. Robbins, whose studio is based in Baltimore, Md.

“He really helped us get our natural sound down on the tape,” Kerns said. “This tour has shown us that has been well-received, as people have been singing along to the songs, which is very exciting!”

Shortly after the album’s January release, No Idea Records put out a split featuring Lemuria (which also consists of guitarist and vocalist Sheena Ozzella, and bassist Max Gregor) and longtime friends Cheap Girls – two bands that are currently touring Europe together.

“We have played so many shows in the states with Cheap Girls and we have become very close friends with them. We knew we got along and it wasn’t a risk to dedicate ourselves living in a van with them for five weeks,” Kerns said. “The response for the split and this tour has been great; I think it made sense to a lot of people because our bands seem to have very similar influences.”

The tour’s Sunday evening stop – this past weekend at Lovelite – was the first Berlin visit for Cheap Girls and the second for Lemuria. While rain put a damper on the sightseeing aspect of things, Kerns said the band still appreciates the opportunity to play in Germany.

“It’s beautiful [in Berlin], and it’s one the cities we are the most excited to be in,” he said, adding that Hamburg has also been one of the highlights of tour thus far. “We love Germany. [It] provides the best hospitality for bands on tour, and the venues here are some of my favorites to play at.”

And although the band has taken what some may consider a longer route since its 2004 formation, preferring to release singles or splits as opposed to album after album, Kerns insisted this approach is methodical, as the band is committed to putting out only the very best representation of itself.

“I like to hope that we are always getting better as musicians,” he said. “We all practice our craft and strive to become better at what we do. We don’t want to ever move backwards or start writing music to only appeal to our audience because of what has worked in the past. We want to always create what is natural to us and an album that really reflects who we are today.”

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