It’s been ten years already since Lemuria released their debut full-length, “Get Better”. To celebrate the occasion, they have now re-released the album and are about to finish up a short run of the UK. We caught up with drummer/vocalist Alex Kerns to revisit the album that put them on the map. Starting with the obvious question...
PRT: Looking back ten years later... did things get better?
Alex: Definitely. The band is always evolving and reshaping in sync with who we are as people. I think we have all grown a lot in many ways.
PRT: At the time "Get Better" came out Pitchfork wrote that the album sounded just like 1993 and that 'by being slightly behind the times, Lemuria might just be ahead of the game.' The first part is kinda harsh, but that last part turned out to be true with tons of new bands being influenced by music that came out in the 90ies. Where do you think that interest to bring those sounds back comes from?
Alex: It wasn't really an active decision to sound like a band from the 90s, it's just the music we grew up with so we all naturally were heavily influenced by it. I think it's a cycle though. I'm sure in 2030 bands are going to be nostalgic for the music of 2017.
PRT: The album was released early 2008 but leaked in 2007. Do you remember the first thing that went through your head when found out that all your hard work was up for grabs way ahead of the release date?
Alex: My first thought was that I hope Mike Park from Asian Man Records isn't mad at us and still wants to release it. Luckily, he's the best and still wanted to!
PRT: It actually took you quite a while to get round to your first full-length. Was that a conscious decision to wait that long?
Alex: We really wanted to make sure we had time to develop chemistry and figure out the sound that most accurately represented how we moved forward. Releasing a bunch of EPs and splits for the first few years was a good way for us to all ease our way into an album.
PRT: I read that you were dealing with your father passing away shortly before you went and recorded "Get Better". I'm guessing that in your mind the album will always be closely associated with your father. Was it hard to revisit the album?
Alex: It wasn't too hard to revisit because a lot of those feelings have softened over the years. Many of the songs on the album are about my dad's passing and I'm thankful I wrote them and had the band as an outlet for the emotions at the time.
PRT: Are there songs that have taken on a different meaning for you since you wrote them ten years ago?
Alex: They have, it's a luxury for me to have a lot of the songs act as old journal entries where I can look back at how I dealt with things then and how I'd deal with them now
PRT: Do you have a personal favorite on the album? If so, why?
Alex: I really love Sheena's lyrics in Dog, and Wardrobe will always hold and important place in my heart because the lyrics project a crystal clear image of memories I don't want to lose.
PRT: What was the biggest lesson you learned while recording "Get Better"?
Alex: Honesty, transparency and humiliation are important elements in songwriting.
PRT: Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
Alex: I wouldn't. I try not to dwell on what is already done and I'd be afraid if I had a magic genie lamp to change anything the butterfly effect would have us all in a dark place. Sometimes the wrong things we do end up working out to be right.
PRT: And also, what part of "Get Better" are you most proud of?
Alex: I'm proud that Sheena and I both said a lot of things that we weren't comfortable saying.
PRT: You are currently working on a new album... can you already tell us a bit about that?
Alex: We just finished it up. We've been working on it for a few years and recorded it with Chris Shaw who recorded the Weezer blue album, Bob Dylan, Cypress Hill, Ice Cube, Cheap Trick and a ridiculous amount of great musicians. We are so lucky we had this opportunity and so excited for people to hear it.