After twelve years of shimmering minimalist rock, Luna are calling it a day. The New Yorkers’ new album, Rendezvous (due October 26th), will be their last, and they will play their final U.S. and European dates through early 2005.
“Anyone who has ever been in a band knows why,” says frontman Dean Wareham of the breakup. “This is what bands do. There was no incident, no fight, or anything like that. We’ve been around for a long time. If you look at the other bands that stay together this long, they are usually making millions of dollars.”
Wareham formed Luna in 1991 after departing the influential Galaxie 500, and, throughout Luna’s nine albums, Wareham continued to evolve his somber, moody sound. While Rolling Stone named 1995’s hypnotic Penthouse one of the best records of the Nineties, Luna gradually grew warmer and more upbeat, particularly on 2002’s Romantica and the new Rendezvous, helmed by producer Bryce Goggin (Phish, Pavement).
Despite several lineup changes and record deals, Luna — now Wareham, guitarist Sean Eden, drummer Lee Wall and bassist Britta Phillips — soldiered on. Over the last two years, they’ve released two albums, an EP and the Wareham-Phillips record L’Avventura.
Though matter-of-fact about the breakup, Wareham does acknowledge that there is an emotional side to calling it quits. “I can see why people are sad,” says Wareham. “I was very sad when the Clash broke up. It’s kind of like when a friend dies. But it’s difficult to organize your life around a rock & roll band. And I want to stop when we all like each other.”
After Luna’s final tour wraps up, Wareham plans to begin writing a second album with Phillips, and he may do another project with Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung, who recorded Wareham-penned songs for her recent film, Clean.
Wareham will also continue to pursue his budding acting career. He played a credit-card thief in the indie film Piggie and appeared as a bartender on an episode of TV’s Law and Order. He says, laughing, “As David St. Hubbins said in This Is Spinal Tap, ‘Got time for all those projects now.'”
Luna tour dates:
10/30: Hoboken, NJ, Maxwell’s
11/5: Cambridge, MA, Middle East
11/7: Toronto, Lee’s Palace
11/9: Cleveland, Beachland Ballroom
11/10: Ann Arbor, MI, Blind Pig
11/11-12: Chicago, Abbey Pub
11/14: Minneapolis, MN, Fine Line Music Cafe
11/15: Madison, WI, High Noon Saloon
11/16: Champaign, IL, High Dive
11/18: Newport, KY, Southgate House
11/19: Nashville, Exit/In
11/20: Atlanta, Echo Lounge
11/21: Carrboro, NC, Cat’s Cradle
11/22: Baltimore, Ottobar
11/27: New York, Irving Plaza
12/31: New York, Southpaw