Luster | High Class Beats

Chicago is very clique-y, too, but I don't think it’s so much among the bands as it is among the people buying the tickets.

I have the distinct advantage of getting to discover bands before other people. Sure, I run a magazine, so there’s that. But I’m talking even beyond well-publicized releases. I also run a venue where I book bands both known and unknown.

Such was the case in January when a Chicago band called Luster played the club. I only caught the end of their set but I was smitten. These four guys know their shit.
(And here’s the part where you play along. Open another browser window, type in, and give “High Class Beat” a spin. Utterly addictive, isn’t it? Now where were we...)

Luster’s got an inviting rock-on-the-indie-side sound; it’s a pleasing listen, and one easily enjoyed. Live, they’ve got a palpable energy, electric and catchy. Their brand-new release, Run From Dogs, has been on my frequently played list since I got it.

I e-chatted with singer/bassist Jeremy Mederich (the band also includes Jeremy’s brother Bryan on drums, Jonathan Brubaker on guitar/backing vocals, and Robbie Senti on keyboards/guitar/backing vocals) about what drives Luster.

How long has Luster been around?

My brother Bryan and I started writing songs together in 2001. There have been numerous lineup changes, but what we have now is what we really always wanted for Luster to be.

You’ve just released Run From Dogs. Is it your first album?

We did release a self-titled album in 2004 which we still market, but Run From Dogs is definitely our first real effort at a professional, full-length studio album. We are plugging away at trying to get more and more industry exposure with this release.

You’re from Chicago. Do you feel you fit into any sort of “scene” up there? Speaking of said scene, how is it in Chicago?

Although we have been very well received among the music listeners and people in Chicago, I wouldn’t say that we fit in with any specific scene back home; if we do, it’s more of the indie crowd. Chicago is very clique-y, too, but I don't think it’s so much among the bands as it is among the people buying the tickets.

Is music something you currently do full-time? Is it a reasonable goal, do you think, for you to do so?

Yes, this is a full-time deal for us now. Reasonable? Yeah, why not.

How much touring does Luster do? What are your strong markets? What do you like best/least about touring?

As of now we are on tour indefinitely. Our strongest market outside of Chicago would have to be Kansas City; L.A. and Seattle are looking pretty good as well as far as fan base. What I like best about touring is obviously the shows, but more specifically connecting with new people in all these new places. Worst part about touring is doubling as Luster’s front man and vehicle maintenance technician. Outside of Chicago we don’t mind playing in Florida…but Cicero’s is definitely up there on the list. (Editor’s note: Awwwww…)

If you weren't doing music, what would each of you be doing?

I don’t think I would have trouble getting a job as a mechanic at an RV shop, thanks to life on the road. Bryan would probably go back his old standby, dancing; Jonathan would maybe become a nun or something; and Robbie would be in Mexico at a meeting. | Laura Hamlett
Luster plays Cicero's March 23, 2009. Doors 8/show 8:30, $7/10 under 21.



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