"Luna and Its Independent Spirit"

by Dan MacIntosh
Sponsored In Part By
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Lunaís latest release (The Days of Our Nights) is its fifth, and first for the independent label Jericho. Although its preceding albums were on a major label (Elektra), Luna -- with its rich guitar textures and literate songs -- always retains an independent spirit, no matter how big or small its label happens to be.

This current album was a done-deal when Elektra decided to give the band the boot. But like a knight in shining armor, Jericho came along to release this dazzling new collection of Luna-enlightened songs.

Leader Dean Wareham, who also spearheaded the band Galaxie 500 in a past life, says itís probably too soon to gauge the success of his new label home.

"I havenít been with Jericho for long," he says "and I havenít dealt with Jericho while making a record, at sort of an A&R level."

While he hasnít had the chance to watch Jerichoís involvement from point A to point B, heís still been pleased with what he has seen so far.

"I will say that Jericho seems to be doing a much better job at the retail level than Elektra did. Although theyíre a small company, they still distribute through WEA (also the distribution wing of Elektra). When I was on tour, all the people from WEA told me Jericho supplied them with much better stuff than Elektra did."

Smaller labels may lack the size and power of a major, but they can usually give bands plenty of special attention, which is a commodity oftentimes in short supply at the majors. On major labels, it can sometimes seem like survival of the fittest.

"Every month they (the label) get together where they have these meetings and priority lists," Wareham explains. "Then they determine what is important for them to work that week. So, for instance, we were always up against Third Eye Blind and Natalie Merchant."

But just when you think youíve made it to the center of attention at your label, the bottom can drop out. Thatís because turnover is a given within the music industry. Your friends today, might be long gone tomorrow.

"We were at Elektra longer than just about anybody I know," says Wareham. "By the end of it, I hardly knew anybody."

Fortunately, Luna fans arenít so fickle. They wait anxiously for each and every new album, no matter the label.


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