In Conversation with Scrapyard Radio about A Luna Red and Soft Riot

15 November 2023

Musician and radio host Kaine Delay of Scrapyard Radio reached out to discuss A Luna Red, a Vancouver-based synth-punk/industrial band I was in from 1999-2003, as well as happenings with Soft Riot.

A Luna Red — SLMZK! — Video Still
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Musician and radio host Kaine Delay of Scrapyard Radio reached out to discuss A Luna Red, a Vancouver-based synth-punk/industrial band I was in from 1999-2003, as well as conversation about more recent activities with Soft Riot.

The audio contains the interview part of the show only.

A Luna Red in its somewhat short tenure released a few records, including the albums The Death Birds (Global Symphonic, 2000) and SLMZK! (Action Driver, 2002) as well as a 12″ split EP with the San Francisco post-punk band Ghost Orchids (Global Symphonic, 2003) and a 7″ single called ELCTRK! that was released in 2003 on the now defunct, influential US label Gold Standard Laboratories before the band, after going through increasingly numerous line-up changes, dissolved later in 2003. The band also embarked a few shorter tours, mainly on the west coast of Canada and the USA.

Starting as a two-piece recording project between myself (bass guitar, vocals, programming) and Erica Neumann (synths, vocals, electronics) back in the first half of 1999, the project was an outlet to create experimental, darker electronic music – pulling from sounds from the old 4AD catalogue as well as from the roots of electronic/industrial music, while still retaining a post-punk/post-hardcore ethos and approach. Eventually the line-up would expand to include William Winslow-Hansen (synths, programming, electronics) in 2000 and then numerous other musicians, including Graham Jackson, Jean Hebert and Larissa Loyva, the latter who current continues releasing music under her Kellarissa moniker.

In this episode from Scrapyard Radio, Kaine and I talk about the band from back in the day, reflect on the records as well as the evolution of the general synth, darkwave and post-punk scenes in the 21st century in Vancouver as well as internationally, and touch on topics relating to Soft Riot as well.

Scrapyard Radio airs regularly on Radio Free Fargo. The host, Kaine Delay, is also a musician in the long-running Vancouver-based synth-punk/industrial band Left Spine Down.

You can also find a retrospective about A Luna Red published in late 2021 by Vancouver-based journalist Gregory Adams here:

“The Death Birds”, originally released in 2001 on Vancouver’s Global Symphonic label (Frog Eyes, The Organ), was the first of two LPs by this short lived Vancouver experimental electronic post-punk outfit. The tracks that comprise this release were written in a short, condensed period of three months from what was at the time three musicians from varying backgrounds looking to forge a tense atmospheric sound that was simultaneously urgent and distressed.

This album is a small yet noteworthy blip in Vancouver’s world renowned “industrial” music scene, which is also the home to a first wave of artists such as Skinny Puppy, Moev and Front Line Assembly to newer artists such as Left Spine Down and Stiff Valentine. aLUnAred also had sensibilities in the “nu wave” scene that came out of a renewed interest in synth music by indie/post-hardcore musicians that in a larger context brought on the wave of post-punk revival that caught on in the early noughties.

With almost 25 years of hindsight it’s fair to say that “The Death Birds” is a difficult, even fractured listen but full of interesting sounds and accidents that is always the stuff of magic with younger, experimental musicians. One feeling that is still strong from this record is the sense of millennial tension that perhaps was the foreboding sense of paranoia and dread in a world that would soon change drastically with the events of 9/11 in New York that fall morning.

The original CD of this is long out of print and so as a start to an archival digital release project by former aLUnARED vocalist/bassist JJD (who now lives in the UK and plays as the successful Soft Riot), “The Death Birds” is now offered as a digital release for all interested in hearing it.

-Bruce Lord, I Die You Die

Video Trailer

Below is the video trailer for the show.

SLMZK! Music Video

The above trailer pulls clips from the below 2003 video created for the title track SLMZK! off of the second A Luna Red album of the same name. The video was shot and edited by Vancouver musician/videographer Lyndsay Sung.

The Death Birds

The entire first album is available on BandCamp for archival purposes, which you can listen to here:

The second album, SLMZK!, is unavailable on streaming services and for purchase but perhaps in the future, when time and enthusiasm permits, that will go up online in an archival format.