8 Apr


“So Long, Lumerians – It’s Time That We Began”

“They are free to indulge in electrifying oscillations to the fullest extent of their vibrations.” Those words were originally used in a press release for the debut album from the Silver Apples in 1968, but it seems appropriate to revive them in a discussion of Lumerians in 2011.

Vibrations – both good-good-good and bad-bad-bad – are central to the otherworldly language of Lumerians music, vibrations that shake the body and the mind. Describe the sound of Lumerians? We’d rather take on a less daunting task, like achieving total Zen consciousness. Suffice it to say Lumerians are a band for whom “music is a continuum and should interweave freely between past, present and future” – and the odds are your listening experience with the band’s recently released album, “Transmalinnia” on Knitting Factory Records, will have you wondering where this band has been all your life and how you will resist falling under their complete control moving forward. Resistance is futile – we submit to the spirit of Lumerians, but not before Jason Miller submitted to our questions and concerns.

Wikipedia tells us that the concept of Lumeria – a hypothetical “land of the lost” located somewhere among the Indian and/or Pacific oceans – has been rendered obsolete by an advanced understanding of plate tectonics. How does applying the name of the residents of a largely-dismissed, probably non-existent land to the band relate to your music? What are some elements in music that you feel have fallen by the wayside? Would you seek to resurrect any of these ideas or ideals?

There is a lot of unheard music being unearthed now. Whether Lumeria existed or not is of little importance, really. It is the idea that it could have existed and the mythos of it that is particularly interesting. What we are finding now is that there is a lot of fantastic music from all over the world that never entered the Western canon. That music never existed here until now.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Further, the Lumerian concept has been adopted – and perhaps kept alive – through various relationships with magick and the occult. How, if at all, do these relationships relate to the music of Lumerians? Do you think of music as an avenue to connect to deeper spiritual or cosmic concerns?

Exploratory music seems to have always served that purpose. The occult has only ever been hidden as long as there has been a dominant resistance to a prior or competing idea. We all love to connect together and create something bigger than the sum of its parts. Spontaneous creation is the moment is magick. If a band can share that space with their audience and that audience reciprocates the energetic exchange, that ecstatic moment is really what it’s all about.

What can you tell us about your own personal musical evolution? What were the bands that made the greatest impact on you as a youth or in your adolescence? How has your view of this music changed over the years?

From adolescence to early adulthood, chaotic visceral music was really attractive. Things that are abrasive and heavy for the sake of being abrasive and heavy. Freakouts that were completely untethered and launched without plotting coordinates first. I think that what changed is that there is still a love of visceral music, but not there is a greater appreciation for intent. We all kind of come from different places as far as what music we were into in our youth, so its difficult to cite specific bands, but we were are are all attracted to the same basic elements of music.

Following through with the previous questions, what are the bands or artists that brought the members of Lumerians together as a collaborative musical entity? How has the music you make as Lumerians changed since you first began? Do you anticipate any additional changes in the immediate future? The long-term future?

We came together with a unanimous appreciation for Krautrock, shoegaze, the more fringe psych acts of the 60s and 70s, and the melody/noise collisions of bands that got labelled punk, post-punk or industrial for lack of better descriptors. The most influential thing that those all have in common is the free-form probing and experimentation. Everyone playing more or less simple things that create a complex and evolving whole, taking an influence full on and then adding to it or modifying it as opposed to mimicry or imitation. Terms like “retro” and “neo” seem like the crude tools of club-handed historians. Music is a continuum and should interweave freely between past, present and future.

What music have you been listening to lately?

More recently, in the last couple of years, we’ve been taking in a lot of African, Latin and Middle Eastern rock music, mostly from the 60s and 70s, as well as some contemporary stuff. A lot of the releases on Sublime Frequencies, Analogue Africa and Finders Keepers, as well as staples like Broadcast, Wire, Chrome, Swellmaps and soundtrack composers like Morricone, Goblin, Roy Budd, and the Gainesbourg/Vannier stuff.

Given your interest in the realm of lost worlds, would you care to react to the rumor (the rumor that we are attempting to start right here) that Lumerians will soon be recording a version of the Donovan underwater classic, “Atlantis”?

Well, somewhere in the tangled threads of lost civilization mythology is a notion that Lumeria and Atlantis were at war at some point, possibly leading to the demise of one or both civilizations. We’re still weighing the details of these hypothetical trespasses against our spurious motherland, but don’t hold your breath – Lumerians will not be “hailing Atlantis” any time soon.

How does your home-base of Oakland, California, contribute to the sound of Lumerians? To the outside observer, at least, Oakland seems to never get the recognition of its Bay Area sister city, either in matters social or musical. What are the advantages and disadvantages to being based in Oakland?

It is a lot cheaper. You get more space for less money, even if you have to defend it. Extra space and extra money are both very important when you’re trying to make things. I’ve noticed that creative people are often not the most creatively savvy, so you get a lot of very interesting and resourceful artists San Francisco’s unrefined little sister. The disadvantages are mostly that San Franciscans are generally terrified of crossing the the bay for some reason, as if it’s a huge time commitment on the Orient Express as opposed to a 15 minute BART ride. Getting robbed isn’t very much fun either.

How did you first hear about Austin Psych Fest? Are there any bands in particular with whom you are excited to have the opportunity to share the stage?

Spectrum, Roky Erickson, Cold Sun, Black Moth Super Rainbow and Indian Jewelry for certain. It will be an honor to share the stage with everyone there.

In his book, “This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of Human Obsession,” author Daniel Levitin says the following regarding the history and culture of music in South Africa:

“Singing and dancing were a natural activity in everybody’s lives, seamlessly integrated and involving everyone. The Sesotho verb for singing (ho bina), as in many of the world’s languages, also means to dance; there is no distinction, since it is assumed that singing involves movement.”

Your thoughts? What is the Lumerians approach to diffusing the energy created by performing live?

That sounds about right.

What’s next for Lumerians?

Our new LP came out on March 1. This one took quite some time to realize and we are excited to have it out there. We are planning on a national tour and recording another album. Touring the UK and Europe is something we would like to do this year as well.


2 Responses to “LUMERIANS”


  1. LUMERIANS (via Revolt of the Apes) « mr. atavist - April 11, 2011

    […] LUMERIANS (via Revolt of the Apes) Leave a Comment Posted by mr. atavist on April 11, 2011 LUMERIANS "So Long, Lumerians – It's Time That We Began" "They are free to indulge in electrifying oscillations to the fullest extent of their vibrations." Those words were originally used in a press release for the debut album from the Silver Apples in 1968, but it seems appropriate to revive them in a discussion of Lumerians in 2011. Vibrations – both good-good-good and bad-bad-bad – are central to the otherworldly language of Lumerians music, … Read More […]

  2. DREAMTIME | Revolt of the Apes - April 21, 2013

    […] mentioning the chats we’ve had with this year’s repeat offenders – bands like Lumerians, Indian Jewelry, Night Beats, The Black Ryder, Holy Wave and Elephant Stone (well … […]

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