Imagine being 4869 miles away from home for 50 days, for the first time in a completely new area, and with only five other people that you know. It would be a completely different experience, and you might just feel lost or homesick. It seems like it would be miserable at first, right? Well, not for the band LOUNA all the way from Moscow, Russia. With the help, love, and support of all of their fans LOUNA has found a way of making America like their second home. Louna is made up of five incredibly talented musicians; Lou Geucrkian as the lead vocalist, Vital Demidenks on bass guitar, Rouben Kazanya and Sergey Ponkrate on guitar, and Leonid “Pilot” Kenzybursky on the drums. They are a close family that comes together to do what they love the most; make music that speaks. The musical influences behind the band are scattered all over the place! Their favorites range from Metallica, Bon Jovi, Billy Talent, Green Day, Blink-182, Pearl Jam, and so many more. They take their influences and create a sound of punk rock, hardcore, and metal.
They are touring in America for the first time ever as a part of the Going To Hell Tour with Heavens Basement and The Pretty Reckless. One of their many stops on the tour was here at Pittsburgh’s very own Stage AE on October 30th, 2013. While at Stage AE they put on a superb performance and had an amazing reaction from the crowd. No member on the stage stood still, even their drummer “Pilot” had his moments in which he would make funny faces while playing. Lou jumped and skipped across the stage, while Vital, Rouben, and Sergey put on every trick in the book! It was nothing but good energy coming from them, and there were stunning reactions all around.
Louna is known to create music that speaks to people, and music that can fight for a person’s right. While on tour, Louna received news that their MTV show “Rebel Music” was going to be canceled. “Rebel Music” was to tell the story of the protest movement with music in Russia. It was about Russian people being able to say what they want to say. When Louna heard that the show was being canceled, they felt that someone has decided that you shouldn’t talk at all. They were pretty angry about it at first, but now Lou says they are just going to try to figure everything out when they go back home. For now, She tells us that, “Day by day we are just playing, just singing, and just fighting as ordinary people. We are just doing it the way we can do it.” They have no exact point, but they have many points. Their goal is to just spread their message through their music and see what happens; in the mean time, they will continue to just make albums, make songs, play on stages, and just go day by day. One prime example of fighting for rights through music is their hit song, “Fight Club”. Lead singer Lou Geucrkian tells us that it is a song about all about the things they hate, and the things they want to fight, not only in Russia, but everywhere. “It is a song about being behind the mask. It became the main song of the album because of the phrase ‘behind the mask’”. In spite of all of that, Louna is still keeping their heads up!
They have a little bit of everything in their music and in their lyrics. It could be a song like “My Rock-n-Roll”, which is about their lives, or it can be the song “Storming Heaven”, which is about musicians that died at the 27 Club. “We want to talk about different things in all of our songs. We like to pull out our emotions and like to see how people are solving their problems with us. That is the way we are trying to do some changes. We just want to try and show them a way to move.”
As for Louna’s first time touring in America, they love it! Lead singer Lou describes it as beautiful and different, “Every state is like a different country. You go to a different state and it is changing so fast! It’s amazing! Huge cities, small cities, the people are different. Regions and distrcits are different. The weather is different, and it is all a different nature!” It is really good that they are loving being here since it is such a huge tour for them, especially compared to when they tour in Russia – which apparently is very different than touring here. “When touring in Russia, it is a very big country and it is hard to play a lot of gigs one after another because of how big the territory is,” Lou Explains. “You have to go from one city to the next by plane or by train, because it is impossible to do it by van or tour bus because of the roads and forrest.” Even though they are away from home, they make themselves at home here because they love to play their music, and they love the awesome people that come to see the shows. “They love to hear new music, and it is very important for us as musicians who have never been to America and nobody knows us…yet.” What matters the most to them is that everyone is having fun and just enjoying him or herself. The best part of it all is that Pittsburgh reminded them of the streets of Amsterdam. They don’t have many chances to explore the different cities, and to see the different sites individually, but they try, “It’s like going to an event and trying to look in the windows, or trying to catch any site of what is going on.” And while Louna may not have had to chance to explore and see every corner of Pittsburgh, they still found the city to be interesting.
After being able to sit down and talk with Lou from Louna, and being able to see such an unforgettable performance, it was no surprise that this band had made it this far. They treat their fans as family, they are outstanding people all around, and they are really brilliant musicians. As for the future of Louna, there will be many more great things to come, and I personally cannot wait to see what they have in store. Lou had one final thing to express, and it was to any band that wanted a shot: “Be honest to your listeners, and to yourself. If your music is not honest, then it has no point, no meaning, and no sense. And in that case, there is no way to be a musician. If you have this sense, you should fight for it. If you do no have the strength to fight, then maybe your music has no sense, even for you; if it has no sense for you, then you should show it to each other, to other people, and maybe then, your music will win some of the problems. If you believe in yourself, and your creation, then fight for it.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!