Atlanta band, Lunar Vacation, is a five-piece "pool-rock" group who is quickly gaining attention in Atlanta and around the country. Despite being a young band both in age and in the formation of the band(The band has only been together since summer 2016), Lunar Vacation already gave us a glimpse of their potential with their EP "Swell" I mean they're in high school, and they're already this good, AND they still have so much room to grow. Do you know what I was doing when I was in highschool??Not recording amazing music. I was probably hanging out in a Taco Bell parking lot or something. Lunar Vacation is made up of by Grace Repasky(lead singer) , Maggie Geeslin(guitar) , John Michael Young(bass) , Connor Dowd(drums) and Matteo DeLurgio(keytar? I'm Saying keytar. Matteo, you play keytar now. and mayonnaise) We recently got a chance to talk to the band, check it out!
Born Loser.: To start off can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Grace Repasky of Lunar Vacation: Our names our Grace Repasky, Maggie Geeslin, John Michael Young, Connor Dowd, and Matteo DeLurgio. We all hail from Atlanta!
Maggie Geeslin of Lunar Vacation: Grace and I met in 8th grade (2013) through a mutual friend and became aquantited because we both liked the same kind of music. We became close friends sophomore year of high school because we were in the same guitar program at our school. Our teacher suggested we start a band after writing a song for an assignment and that we should hit up a drummer in the marching band named Connor. Well, turns out Connor was best friends with John Michael, who had just become friends with Grace through music. Fast forward to the summer of that year (2016); Grace and I had written a little demo and ended up jamming with John Michael and Connor. It just kind of snowballed from there. After our first keys player moved away for college, we recruited Matteo, who knew Connor and John Michael from marching band, in the summer of 2017. There ya have it. BL: I’m going to take a guess as to where your band name came from, and you tell me if I got it right or not. One night you and your friend Patrick broke into your friend Sandy’s tree dome to spray alien repelant on her rocket ship’s windows. Patrick inadvertently entered the rocket, and you followed. After playing with the ship's various features, you accidentally started up the rocket, which looped over the moon and then came back to Bikini Bottom. You and Patrick convinced that you were now on the Moon, thought that the aliens were projecting their memories onto the environment to trick you.You began catching everyone with Sandy's net guns believing the citizens of Bikini Bottom were aliens. Eventually, after capturing everyone in Bikini Bottom, including Sandy, who attempted to explain the truth to you, you were convinced that Patrick was an alien. Patrick attempted to shoot you before you had a chance to capture him but ended up shooting and capturing himself. You started the rocket again to return home, and when it reached the moon, the rocket crashed on top of it, having run out of gas. Noticing things were different, you looked out the window to see the Earth and realized your mistake and decided to sit back and relax. (Like a vacation.) M: Nailed it. Then Grace wrote down the name in case she ever started a band, told me the name once at a Mac DeMarco concert, then used it a year later. G: That concert was also the first concert where Maggie and I discovered what moshing was. BL:You guys are a fairly young band, and you have already accomplished what some people take years and years to accomplish. To what would you attribute your success as a band so far?
JM: It’s all a team effort. As an independent band, we do all the work ourselves which is time consuming when balancing it with school and jobs. We all have dedication to each other as a group and to the music as a band. But we could never be where we are without our family, friends and local scene who constantly support us by coming to our shows, buying our merch, and listening to our music. It’s always rewarding to play shows and meet new people. BL: Can you talk to us about your recent EP “Swell” ?
G: That EP is a collection of our first songs we ever wrote, most of them back in 2016. It’s a nice EP and we are all very proud of it. I think it perfectly encapsulates the changing emotions and feelings one has growing up, or just through high school. BL: What was the experience of recording that EP like?
M: Well, we did not really plan it out. Which could have helped speed up the process, but in retrospect, I think it really added to the sound. We recorded at our friend Chris Senador's (from Antartcicats) house in downtown Atlanta over the span of a few months. We recorded drums in his kitchen and everything else in a tiny bedroom. He moved out of that house while we were recording, so John Michael and Grace recorded additional parts in John Michael’s room. The process was kind of piecemeal, but we are all very satisfied with the end result. G: Stressful and there were some times where we wanted to give up but it came together in the end. BL: My favorite lyric is “Am I too much or just not enough. Keep telling me both, and I’m sure I’ll catch on.” That's so clever! What is your writing process like?
G: Thank you so much! That was about mixed signals that were being sent to me between me and another person, and it came to a point where I was just so confused on the situation and how to feel, you know? I think everyone can resonate with that in some way. My writing process is usually coming up with a chord progression or having John Michael or Maggie send me music they have without words, and then we figure out what phrases and the melody. Then with that, I usually pick a central idea and go and write the lyrics myself. I think writing about what you feel is a extremely vulnerable thing to do, and you have to craft it so you’re happy with it, you know? It’s a very independent process and I love it! I have pages of notes on my phones of phrases or words or just ideas to write about. M: Grace writes the best lyrics :) BL: Do you feel like the songs on the album are mostly autobiographical or do you extrapolate from experiences that you’ve had?
G: For this EP, almost every song was autobiographical, but I tried to write it from an outsider’s point of view- or like someone is telling a story. Every song has a story behind it, many that are exactly how they sound in the song, and I just wanted to make songs that everyone can listen to and think “wow I’ve felt that way too”. You know? BL: What do you want the takeaway for this EP to be for someone who listens to it?
M: I think we just want people to resonate with it. Whether its with a particular lyric or just the feeling of a song, we want people to listen and be like, “hey, me too!” G: I agree. This EP is what highschool sounds like. BL: What’s your favorite part of the process; writing, recording, playing live?
M: All of it is great, but I think playing live is the most fun for me. It’s always great seeing our close friends, random peers, and complete strangers dancing together in the audience.
G: I love sitting down with my bandmates and fleshing out ideas for songs then having it all come together, and everyone’s so excited and giddy and proud of what we made. It really is a beautiful thing.
BL: When I think of the Atlanta music scene, I automatically think of rap. What is the Atlanta music scene like for you guys?
G: There is definitley a huge rap scene, but there’s also a cool hip artsy music and art scene too. We got the best of both worlds. BL: Have you guys watched Donald Glover's Show “Atlanta” ? Great show.
M: Yes! It’s so great. He is a talented dude. G: What a beautiful man. BL: I watched your music video for “Anna” and noticed that dope (what I think was) Danelectro pro. What’s that guitar’s story? I love it.
G: Thanks so much! There’s actually an interesting story behind that. So last year was kind of rough and there was a lot of changes going on, and I found myself without a guitar. So after scouring the interwebs of Ebay and Reverb, my guitar teacher reached out to me with an offer. He said that he has had this guitar (Danelectro Pro) with him for the longest time and doesn’t play it anymore, and I could have it- as long as I promised to play it and take care of it. And that's what I’ve been doing and it’s a beauty. It’s name is Cosmo. BL: Who or what would you say has influenced you the most as a band?
M: Sound wise, probably Alvvays and Tame Impala.
BL: What do you do to try to ensure a good show?
M: Good energy and many rehearsals before. We also like to change up parts of songs so every show feels a little different! BL: If you could tour with anyone, who would it be?
G: Wow that’s a tough one. We love so many bands, but if we were to narrow it down, probably Alvvays, Twin Peaks, Hinds, Post Animal, Triathlon, or Hippo Campus. They all seem like good chillers.
BL: Weirdest onstage moment?G: Connor (our drummer) sometimes takes his shirt off during shows. He’s done that three times I think. But one time John Michael accidentally stepped on my chord and pulled it out of my guitar mid-song. Also we sometimes hit each others head stocks.
BL: What has been your greatest accomplishment so far as far as music goes?
M: Probably putting out the EP and playing the release show for it. We packed our favorite venue with our favorite people, played alongside our friends, and just had a really spectacular time. G: Three of our teachers came to it with their wives. It was sick. BL: Is there something that you want everyone to know about lunar vacation?
G: We want everyone to have a fun time at our shows so please dance if you feel it. It makes me sad when people want to dance but are scared of being judged. Also we are always down to meet new people!
BL: What are you guys currently working on, and what can we expect to see from lunar vacation in the future?
M: We are starting to play out of town shows, writing another EP, and planning a tour for this summer! Catch us in your city!
And to wrap things up, we have some rapidfire questions for you.
Rapid Fire Questions 1. Why is Ray Romano the greatest person to ever live? G: Is he?
2. Do you think The Boss Baby will win an Oscar?
G: I never saw it M: I hope so
3. What music have you been listening to lately? G: Lots of Cosmo Pyke, Twin Peaks and Mild High Club. M: Lately its been Whitney, The War on Drugs, Grateful Dead, and Girls
4. Which US president do you think that you could beat up in a fist fight? G: James Madison; he was really short M: Millard Fillmore for sure
5. My friend Derek has an unhealthy obsession with the game “Kingdom Hearts” but he keeps calling it “Kingdom OF Hearts.” Do you have any advice for him? It doesn’t have to be about the game. M: Derek, I do not know of this game you are playing but I support your obsession. My main advice would be to keep it real.
6. Can you do a cover of the Doug theme song. Do you know what that is? Am I old? Oh man. I’m old. G: I don’t know what that is. But we could learn it for you
7. Do you guys want to add a keytar player to the band? (me) G: We are always open to new things M: Yes please
8. Can one of you guys teach me to play the keytar? G: Of course M: Believe it or not, Grace and Matteo are pretty proficient in keytar
9. Last show you went to? G: Last local show was TOFU fest, organized and put on by our friend who has a clothing line, Oliver Skelton. It was a fun time. M: Me too!
10. Most useless fact you know? G: Dogs get stressed out when you hug them M: The average person’s hair grows ⅛ of an inch per week. I think.
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