New York has a long history of churning out smart guitar-driven rock bands, from the Velvet Underground to Television to The Strokes.
In the ’90s, when most rock fans’ attention was focused on Seattle, Luna was one of the few New York acts keeping that spirit alive. Ten years after breaking up, they’re coming back to the city for three sold-out shows.
amNewYork spoke with singer/guitarist Dean Wareham.
Why did you decide to reunite Luna?I get that question a lot. It’s always the first question. There’s a couple of things going on this year. This label Captured Tracks got in touch about doing a box set of Luna vinyl. … Another thing is that it’s 10 years exactly since the band broke up. The whole thing got set in motion by a Spanish promoter who emailed me and said, “I hear there’s a rumor Luna is reforming. If it’s true, would you play this festival [in Spain]?” I said, “Actually that’s not true, but it could be true.” It was a nice offer and it seemed like a fun thing to do.
What are your favorite Luna songs to play live?
It’s all been fun to play live. After 10 years away, all the songs you’re sick of are fun to play again. The albums we play the most from are “Penthouse” and “Rendezvous,” our last album. At the time, I didn’t like it that much. Now I’ve come to really like it.
It’s from a period where we were fed up with each other and the band was pulling apart. You hear the things you argued about in it. But you go away for a few years and come back and you go, “That’s really nice.”
A lot of ’90s bands have been reuniting …People do it for different reasons. For some people it’s enormous amounts of money. I think the Pixies made enormous amounts of money. … We play shows when we want to play, either because we’re going to make money or because we’re going to go somewhere interesting. We don’t have to go all over the world promoting a new album since we don’t have a new album, so we do things that are fun or lucrative. And after 10 years away, there’s a thrill in playing the music and being onstage listening to each other.
Are there any plans to record a new Luna album?No, not new recordings. … I just feel like we made our albums in our time.
If you go:
Luna is at Bowery Ballroom Wednesday and Thursday at 9 p.m., 6 Delancey St., 212-260-4700, $30
The band is at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday at 9 p.m., 66 N. Sixth St., Williamsburg, 718-486-5400, $30