The Luxury to bid farewell this weekend

BMS talks with frontman Jason Dunn about the band's forthcoming hiatus

, Staff

For the past five years, The Luxury have been the gem of the Boston music scene. After opening for Coldplay at the TD Garden, the band road a wave of local buzz and won the 2009 WBCN Rock ‘N’ Roll Rumble. Next came the release of their stellar sophomore album In The Wake Of What Won’t Change and lively shows all across New England, including a memorable headliner at Boston’s historic Paradise Rock Club. The Brit-pop rockers were at the top of their game but changes in the band’s lineup shifted the band’s momentum, ultimately leading to the decision earlier this year to go on an indefinite hiatus.

The Luxury will say goodbye for now to their fans with pair of intimate shows at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s show will feature 2009 Rumble participants Gene Dante & The Future Starlets and Sarah RabDAU & the Self-Employed Assassins, while Saturday’s show will feature friends Oldjack and Roman Traffic.

With that in mind, we caught up with lead singer and guitarist Jason Dunn to discuss the band’s forthcoming hiatus and final shows this weekend.

Boston Music Spotlight (BMS): What led to the decision for the band to take some time off?

Jason Dunn (JD): A lot of things, really. After a solid year of rapid progress, we lost our drummer to a drumming job on a cruise ship, right as we were recording In The Wake Of What Won’t Change. He came back a few months after the record’s release and rejoined the band, but soon decided to follow his lady to the west coast, and the two things combined meant a lot of lost momentum both internally and externally, with all of the frustration that you’d expect. As things got more frustrating, the rehearsals and shows became less fun, we started getting at each other’s throats, I wasn’t happy with my writing… and after a talk between PEZ and myself it was agreed that we were running this ship into the ground.

BMS: It’s being called an indefinite hiatus – do you have any sort of a timeline for a return in your mind or is just see how it goes?

JD: Well, to continue an admittedly weak metaphor, the reason we’re docking the ship now is so that it has the chance to set sail again again when the time is right, if you will. Personally, I need to get my head together and handle a lot of things that I’ve spent years pushing aside, which is more common than you might think among our ilk. If we get to a point where I’m holding a bunch of songs and everyone’s itching to play and record again, I’ll make a round of calls, send people the demos and see what’s up. If we put a timeline on that it would be forcing the issue, and that would only make things worse. I’m betting that we’ll all come to a place where it feels natural to come back together. The point is that when we return, we need to come out swinging. The people that love us are used to a certain level of energy from us, and we have to deliver that.

BMS: Looking back at the band’s history over the past few years, What were some of the best memories?

JD: Obviously, playing Boston Garden with Coldplay was massive for us. Stepping on that stage required a massive wave of support from our fans and all of their friends and family, and that was the beginning of a huge upswing for the band. My family bought up a luxury box at the show (which they briefly thought was renamed in our honor), and a bunch of our friends actually paid the scalper prices to be in the crowd. Coldplay bought us a ton of champagne. Then we took the money from the gig, bought up plane tickets and a van rental and toured California. I’d never even been there, and I can tell you nothing beats swimming in the ocean in September when your friends back home are busting out the long-sleeved shirts. Then of course, to our complete surprise, we came back and won the Rumble in the spring. It was a tremendous year.

BMS: And what about some of the biggest struggles?

JD: Without a doubt, losing Foster on drums was our biggest struggle. We went through a handful of ridiculously talented sub drummers, but until we found Brandon Erdos, our current drummer, it never felt quite right. Unfortunately for poor Brandon, things had already soured internally… but we know that we’ve got the right man on the kit when we get it back together. I’ve got my own issues (“Straitjacket” is autobiographical), and that whole mess didn’t help, there were some poor business decisions made as well as some missed opportunities that dragged morale down quite a bit, but lacking our lineup when everyone was finally paying attention and the doors were finally open was the hardest thing we had to face.

BMS: During the hiatus, what other projects will the guys be working on?

JD: PEZ is in a piano/organ-based pop/rock band called Hey Now Morris Fader – they’re amazing and everyone needs to seriously check them out, preferably now. I’m playing in a new band called Dirty Bombs that’s been described as dance-rock for the apocalypse, and we’re picking up a lot of speed and about to release our first EP this fall. Brandon’s always busy, he plays drums for St. Helena and Parlour Bells, both great bands. I’m sure Daanen and Borek will lend their talents to deserving acts as well… If there’s anyone good enough! Heh.

BMS: What can fans expect to hear at these final shows?

JD: Everything. We’ve got two nights, and we’re playing everything. Totally different sets each night will cover the material from both albums, a few unreleased tracks, and some surprises. If people want encores, we’ll probably wind up playing a solid 70+ minutes each night. We don’t mind. It feels pretty damn good now that the pressure’s off and we know that we get a long vacation from ourselves.

BMS: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

JD: If you’ve been a fan for years, we can’t thank you enough. Your support has meant the world to us and has at times literally propelled us to moments we didn’t think we’d experience. We quite seriously love you all. And if you’ve never heard us before, well, take a listen and hurry up and grab a ticket if you like us – we picked a small, intimate venue with great sound for our sendoff and it’s filling up rapidly. And finally, just a reminder to everyone: We’re stopping this now so that we can potentially pick it up again later. It’s not our plan to disappear forever. And if and when we do come back, consider us armed and dangerous – in the best way possible, of course.

The Luxury will perform at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge on Friday and Saturday, July 9 and 10. A limited amount of tickets are available through brownpapertickets.com for $10 in advance ($12 at the door, if available).

One Comment

  1. Pingback: The Luxury to bid farewell this weekend | Christopher O'Hare | I Hate Me Too

Leave a Reply