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Swan songs (continued)

"The good thing about doing press lately is that finally thereís something to talk about," Wareham says, only half joking. "Most of the time, they send you out to do eight interviews and thereís really not much to say about the making of a record. You know, they ask you about the lyrics and I talk about that. Other than that, the story of hereís our seventh album and itís good like the last one really isnít very interesting. Most people from magazines usually come back with, ĎWe need an angle, whereís the angle?í But now, with the band breaking up, I guess thereís finally an angle. And I have plenty to talk about."

In the past, Wareham has indeed been a reticent character. It was as if heíd said all he had to say in his songs and there wasnít much else to talk about. But having made what amounts to a big career decision, he now has plenty to say. And he makes a lot of sense even as he finds it hard to put his finger on what brought him to the point of wanting to put Luna to bed. "There was a cartoon in the New Yorker with a picture of a snake in front of a judge in a courtroom, and the snake is saying, ĎItís what I do.í And thatís what bands do: you start and then you break up. Unless youíre making a ton of money off it, and then itís something else thatís more than just a band ó itís a corporation and a business and a bureaucracy that grows. I think the reason for that is that there are all kinds of things you tolerate in a friendship, and usually when youíre starting a band, youíre just friends. You donít expect that itís almost like getting married and youíre going to spend years together. And then you see all kinds of qualities that only come into play in creative situations or business situations. I mean, I might have a friend whoís angry or a control freak or whatever, and I donít have to deal with that day in and day out. But when youíre in a band together, those things crop up."

Still, Luna are bringing a filmmaker along to document the final tour, and Wareham is planning to release some kind of greatest-hits CD once the tour has ended. "We [long-time Luna guitarist Sean Eden and drummer Lee Wall] have grown apart somewhat, but we still enjoy each otherís company. And sometimes we drive each other crazy. Making music together is sometimes fun and sometimes very difficult. But this isnít as acrimonious as the Galaxie 500 break-up. With that, if all I had to do with Damon and Naomi was be friends, then we could have been friends for the rest of our lives. But there are things that can drive you crazy about people when youíre spending all your time together and your differences in personality start coming out. One thing that gets tiresome is making all your decisions in a committee of four. Choosing a photo can become an endless process. This is the only art form I think where you collaborate with the same people again and again and again and again. When you make a movie with someone, once the movie is over, you all move on.

"So this wasnít a rash decision. I think with Luna we all knew it was coming. Sean, our guitar player, was pushing for us to be on the road six to nine months a year. Iíve always felt that if you had to make your money in the music business by playing live, that is a tough way to earn a living. And I have more responsibilities now than I did when I was 25. Being in a band is just different as you get older."

On the bright side, Wareham has no intention of giving up music. He says he and Phillips will "almost definitely" record again as a duo, and heís been speaking with former Spaceman 3 member Sonic Boom about collaborating on some sort of project. His relationship with Krukowski and Yang has also improved, he says, but he hasnít given any serious thought to a Galaxie 500 reunion. Heís happy that heís been hearing from kids living as far away as Sweden about their fondness for Galaxie 500. And heís happy, in a circumspect sort of way, when he looks back over what heís accomplished with Luna. "Well, weíve provided kids with good music to take drugs to," he laughs before giving it a bit more thought. "The records are what we did," he finally says. "We didnít change any landscapes or anything like that. But thatís not what we set out to do."

Luna perform this Friday, November 5, downstairs at the Middle East, 480 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square; call (617) 864-EAST.

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Issue Date: November 5 - 11, 2004
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