Nearly six years ago, early seeds were planted to start a band after the Niagara group The Audiovisuals called it quits. A love for 80s Roland Junos and Korg synth sounds brought a group of high school friends, partners and peers to form a band together (again).
Parts of this group had been making music together for over 20 years, and in the most sincere form, they just enjoyed playing together. They jammed every Wednesday night for years, until they decided to apply for the In the Soil Arts Festival in St. Catharines. But they had never brought the band out of the basement. What should they call themselves?
“It was in 2016, and Stranger Things came out. The whole soundtrack for that television show triggered our decision to name the band Eleven,” explained James Hein, guitarist.
“It was sort of a placeholder name that stuck. When we added our singer/synth player Drew Williams, we could see that it wasn’t for us. We could sense that something needed to change and we slowly started thinking of band names.”
Hein and drummer Christopher Koop grew up in the late 90s playing in a band called Parsin, and on one night, ended up in London performing at a high school.
“Since that night, we’ve carried this memory of these kids in a band called Lunipeer. They were just wizards of rock ‘n’ roll. They just destroyed the room and blew everyone out of the water. These kids were amazing,” recalled Hein.
“We mythologized them for years and years. They were epic and incredible and we’re happy to pay homage to that moment. We’ve always talked about their name, and we just took it. We stole our name from a bunch of 17-year-olds from the 90s,” laughed Christopher Koop.
Eleven, now known as Lunipeer, are rounded out by Mike Enns (bassist), and Brittany Koop (vocalist and synth player). The name change signals a change of form for the band. A new beginning of sorts. One that’s out of the basement and into the world.
The group just released their first single “Pyramid”, which was recorded in William’s garage and the single is part of a three song EP titled Wednesday Night that is full of ‘synthwave indie-rock’ that the group hopes to release in the near future.
With a new name and an upcoming EP in tow, this basement band has finally figured out who they are. But what does Lunipeer mean? Why did those mythological teenage rockers choose the name in the first place? Does it matter?
“The one thing that I liked about the name is that it doesn’t mean anything. If you look it up, you won’t find much. That allows us to turn that word into us,” said Brittany Koop.
“It sounds like it might mean something, but we really get to own that name now and make that name what it is – whether it’s good or bad, that’s for people to decide,” said Williams.