La Luz - Q and A


La Luz are a fascinating band. It’s a brilliant mix of theatre, craft and musical vision. Their music has the rare ability to instantly take you to a place, and into a particular period / scene. Have a listen and you’ll understand!

We spoke with Shana Cleveland (Guitar) and Lena Simon (the new bassist - congratulations to her!) about naughty stories, trailer parks and good ol’ Texas brawls!

To get the stragglers up to speed, who are you guys, and what’s ya’ game? 

Shana: We’re La Luz, we call ourselves a surf band. We live in rainy Seattle, Washington - which you may know from such luminaries as Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and, of course, Kenny G.

Where have we caught you, and what are you up to? 

Lena: We are currently in Omaha, Nebraska on tour with Entrance Band who have been killing it every night. Marian and Pamela (our merch girl) are playing Boggle in the greenroom. 

You’ve coming to the UK later this month (March) as part of your European tour. What can people expect to see on stage? 

Lena: The 2-step?

Shana: Pure unbridled passion. Lots of hair, most of it black.

Can you tell us a (preferably naughty) story about a time on the road? 

Lena: This tour was planned around us performing in Austin, Texas at SXSW. While we were there we got to hang out with my girlfriend Zoe a bunch who was there taking photos of various events. After an early evening of rooftop-open-bar-supposed-Lil’ Wayne-performance lingering, we got pretty “jolly” and somehow Marian and Zoe decided that they were going to throw down a wrestling match between the two of them. I have to say, it was much more physical than I expected! There was face smothering, rolling around in the grass, attempts at throwing each other in the icky water pond, necklaces were broken… this really happened. I got it on video. It was all in good fun, but now they’re both complaining of multiple bruises. I guess there’s nothing like a good ol’ Texas brawl. 

Your debut LP ‘It's Alive’ is out on March 31st. I thought it was brilliant, and had a real atmosphere. It’s probably not the sort of music I’d put on in the car whilst driving a girl to the cinema for our first date. What kind of setting do you think it would be best in? 

Shana: Dancing on the beach. Or crying in your bedroom. I actually think it would be a great record to drive to, especially in the desert. 

[Boatshed ass-covering - It would be great driving music, but the emphasis was more on the first date bit. It obviously depends on who the date is with, but it would be a bold “this is my vibe” statement to begin on]

I’ve heard that you recorded the album in a ‘steamy trailer park’. Can you tell us more about this? Sounds great! 

Shana: Thanks! We recorded the album (and all of our recordings so far) with our friend Johnny who lives in a trailer park outside of town. He’s the greatest. 

Tell us about ‘Big Big Blood’ - the song and the video. 

Shana: Big Big Blood the song is about crushing so hard on someone that your blood feels too big for your body. The video was directed by Carlos Lopez, our friend in Seattle. He envisioned it as the soundtrack to a series of B horror movies.

If I were to turn on your iPod now, what would be playing?

Lena: I was JUST listening to the newest Glasser album, but I plan on listening to Entrance Band as soon as this tour is over. I can’t get enough!

Shana: Mississippi Records tape compilations, my boyfriend Will Sprott’s new record, Tina Turner, Caethua, the Growlers, Indonesian pop.

If you had to put on a theatre production about the band, what would it be called? 

Lena: PoopTalk.

What is next?

Shana: When we return from Europe we’re gonna start working on our next album.

La Luz are over in The UK VERY soon. Here are their dates. By all accounts it is a formidable live performance.

30th March - Green Door Store, Brighton

31st March - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

1st April - Mono, Glasgow

2nd April - Gullivers Bar, Manchester

3rd April - The Windmill, Brixton, London