Interview: Lust Era

"Raw, wiry and dark romanticism” with an honest approach, Lust Era is the “two man orchestra” of David Arraya (vocals, multiple intstruments) and Melvin Reyes (guitar). They debuted their first album "The Lost Art of Murder” in 2015 and quickly gained international recognition through independent radio programs. They debut was quickly followed by three more in the years that followed. They just released their latest EP “Ausencia” March 17th on Sacred Hands Records.

I caught up with Lust Era front-man David Arraya to talk about his inspirations.

Both guitar, bass, keyboard and drum players.  When and how did you learn it?

It was a natural progression I guess. As a young kid growing up in Puerto Rico in the 80's and 90's I was heavily influenced by all the Hip Hop, New Wave, Disco and Freestyle culture that surrounded me at that moment. I started breakdancing around that time and music always affected me in a very visceral way. From there I started DJ'ing electronic music thus crate digging voraciously. That, of course, made me start learning a lot about different producers, samplers, synthesizers, etc...It wasn't until several years later that I picked up instruments (guitar, bass, percussion, computers, etc.) out of necessity and started putting songs together. So to finally answer your question, I learned it out of necessity. 

How did you get into this post-punk, synth pop tendency particularly in Puerto Rico? 

I grew up with a single mother that always played what was popular at that time. Artists such as Cindy Lauper, Michael Jackson, The Cure, INXS, Eurythmics, Pet Shop Boys, etc. were always on heavy rotation. I guess being exposed to those sensibilities at such an early age always left a mark on my musical DNA. It wasn't until I started developing my tastes and searching for more that I discovered other genres of music that resonated with me at that particular moment. Punk and all its derivatives came later for sure.

Can you describe your experience in South America? 

South America is our favorite place to play live so far. We have nothing but fond memories of our experiences in Perú, Colombia and most recently, Costa Rica. We really want to go and play Mexico in the near future. We've had many people asking us to go there but we haven't had a formal invitation just yet. So Mexican promoters, hook us up!! 

Raw lyrics? How do you manage to write down all your thoughts, emotions and life-lessons?

The way I write my lyrics is by a stream of consciousness. Music almost always comes first. However, on occasions, we might have images, themes, colors or characters (real or fictional) that might inform a song.

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La Lupe, Wu-Tang Clan... I'm not here to question or invalidate your sources of inspiration, in fact, the results are "phenomenal"!  But... why?**

.Wu-Tang Clan for their mythology, shuffled beats, minimalism, and overall grittiness. La Lupe for her incendiary performances and amazing voice. We are drawn to strong personalities and people that create their own realities. 

Who's the femme' vocalist on Peter Pan (Track no. 10 - "Pray, You'll Never Know" album)?

Her name is Lesly Almeida. She used to have a band called Rebecca Kill back in Puerto Rico. She moved to New York City a few years ago and we still talk every once in a while. We recorded that pretty quickly back in San Juan while we were both living there. 

You've been around for a long time,  what can you say about this Post-Punk and Synth-Pop revival? 

 We've been around like 5 years and the band has shapeshifted several times. About the Post-Punk/Synth-Pop revival, I think is great. It has never been a better time to make music. 

Can you tell us of any current project if there's any? 

 I feel like I'm always running out of time. We are always recording so you should be expecting more songs, albums, videos, objects, etc...

Thank you so much for your time, space, and sinister art.  Any random message for our readers? 

 Thanks so much for your time. See you in the trenches!! 

You can find Lust Era on Bandcamp and Facebook. And if you in the Portland area, be sure to go see them at the Out From the Shadows Festival!

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Obscura Undead is a volunteer based not for profit project run by a handful of DJs, bloggers, and enthusiastic goths around the world. Our goal is to promote new and obscure music and do our best to keep vital the scene that means so much to us. We are always looking for passionate and reliable people to join our team.