Sheena Ozzella – Guitarist/Vocals
Alex Kerns – Drummer/Vocals
Max Gregor – Bass
How did Lemuria start as a band?
Alex: We started in 2002 when Sheena and I were both playing guitar in a band called Paladin. On the side we started to write songs together and later on we found a bass player.
Who or what inspired you to become a musician?
Sheena: I always liked music and appreciated it. I used to spend a lot of time being around many talented and inspiring musicians. After seeing what they can do, I wanted to find people who I could also play music with.
Alex: I remember being in my grandfather’s house doing puzzles together and he would let me pick out the music like They Might Be Giants and Weezer. I remember listening to them and wanted to write lyrics to express myself. But first I needed to learn how to play an instrument and my brother got one for Christmas that he never used. But man, I would break the strings and he would always get upset.
Sheena: You played trombone as well!
Alex: I did, that’s how I learned how to read music. I don’t play much trombone anymore…
Max: The street I grew up on in Vermont had a music store. I came home from school one day and I became friends with a guy who worked there. He always had a guitar with him and I just ended up hanging out with him. He was a person who could write a song on the spot with no formal training. He was very passionate and into songwriting and the wordplay and I picked up on that. He taught me scales on piano, how to play acoustic guitar and exposed me to bands like Radiohead. From there my sister brought me to my first show and got me involved into the punk scene and it just kind of developed.
What was the first concert you attended?
Sheena: My first concert was probably No Doubt when I was like 13 years old
Alex: I saw a local band called Counter Clockwise at a high school battle of the bands but my first club show was NOFX, High Standard and the Ducky Boys.
Max: AFI perform with Hemlock Verdict at 242 Maine in Burlington, Vermont.
Sheena what drew you to moving to D.C.?
Sheena: I moved here about a year ago to be with my boyfriend, who lives here and he’s the drummer for a band called Sick Fix
You recently announced that you were spending time in D.C. recording demos; can you tell us more about that?
Max: We’ve been writing for a while and just started to go through the process of recording demos. We have an idea of a record in mind but we’re not trying to think of any hard deadlines at the moment.
Sheena: Alex has his own studio that he’s built so he brought a lot of his equipment up so we have a really nice practice space that is super comfortable! We’re just trying to get down whatever we get down.
Alex: We don’t really want to rush anything, we just want to make the album we really want to make.
What are some of your favorite venues to play here in D.C?
Alex: One of my favorite places actually closed down, I loved Warehouse Next Door. That place was awesome!
Max: I’m a big fan of Black Cat, I feel like the staff there is great and it’s a great place to see a show. They are very accommodating to bands and the place sounds great.
Sheena: I’m a really big fan of St. Stephen’s Church for shows; it’s huge and kind of awkward sometimes. I think it has a lot of character.
Your album “Pebble” has been really successful, especially here in D.C. What has changed for the band since its release?
Alex: Nothing too major, we’re still touring and playing shows. We’re really happy with the success of “Pebble” and happy people are singing the songs.
Sheena: It’s starting to catch on where we play shows and people are sing those songs too instead of “Get Better” songs. We thought people didn’t like “Pebble” since they’re not singing along. But we had to give them time to get to know the words.
Can you explain the meaning behind the songs of “Pebble”?
Alex: It’s about a particular person in my life that effected my relationship in a negative way. She believed that she was really beautiful but she didn’t really understand the world around her. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are on the outside, eventually gravity is going to destroy you. It matters how you treat people.
Alex: Kind of an extension of “Gravity” but more so the song “Bloomer”. Just a really upset song about the way someone is, it’s hard to explain sometimes.
Alex: The songs centers about a friend that always gives you the answer you want instead of telling you the truth. Always saying whatever they thought would please me.
Alex: It’s about my girlfriend and while the band was on tour. We were driving through Yellowstone Park and she was very far away. It’s definitely a fun song about how would our relationship work if we move far from the city.
Alex: The song is a reflection about people’s desire to see other people’s misfortunes.
Alex: It’s just a love song I wrote about my girlfriend Melissa.
Alex: The songs speaks about being far away while in a relationship and of course the imagination of what is really going on tour. When really we’re in a van all day then we play a show and after the show we are exhausted so we fall asleep on someone’s floor. There really isn’t time for a real spark of a relationship and sometimes I think people view the lifestyle of tour is all sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. The root of the song is just conversations I’ve had with my girlfriend and her uneasiness sometimes while I’m on tour.
Sheena: But it’s also non gender specific as well.
Alex: I wrote this song about a child who was living in my house for about a month when I was younger who had sexual problems by an adult male.
Sheena: Durian has my favorite lyrics that Alex wrote on “Pebble”
Alex: It’s about the cliché saying “the grass is always greener on the other side”. The main line is “I could always do better until it’s too late to have anything good” – that’s basically what it means.
Alex: It’s my hometown where I was born and extends to the relationship I had with my father. I love my father as he’s one of the most inspirational people to me. But at the same time he also had a lot of issues and it’s a song wishing and hoping that he’s proud of what I’m doing right now with my life.
Sheena: It’s the only song on the album that I wrote. It’s about pretty much knowing or feeling that I am annoying at somebody and wondering how they can love me. Sometimes I know that I don’t treat them as well as I should but they still care about me.
Sheena are your vocals in “Chautauqua County” a Ramones “Gabba Gabba Hey” tribute?
Sheena: Ha! I think we’re trying to add more vocal harmonies that sound cool or make up words that don’t exist. It’s a good way for a three-piece to add instrumentation without it being lyrics.
What do you enjoy doing the most when you’re not performing?
Sheena: I work at a bakery called Sticky Fingers and I enjoy hanging out with the dog in my house called Fiola.
Alex: I have a dog Bellafazer, I like to ski in the winter, baseball games like my hometown team of Buffalo, New York.
Max: I like swimming since I live in Texas – I like to stay cold!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Max: We’re doing a week’s worth of shows here in the U.S. and then in about a month we’re heading to the U.K. for a week. There are some tentative plans but nothing definite for rest of the year.
Big thanks to Lemuria for allowing us to interview them, please check out their music and at a show near you!