Including computers in a band setup is nothing new, but San Francisco-based Lunagroove has completely replaced the traditional drum kit with two iBooks. Two of the bands members sat down with MacCentral at NAMM on Friday to talk about the band’s setup.
Alex Theory, who runs the iBooks on stage, said he uses two 1GHz iBooks to power the band’s drums and overall feel of the music. Using Albeton Live, Reason and Pro Tools, Theory mixes and assigns beats to his iBook keyboard, changing beats on the fly depending on the mood of the crowd.
“We are completely interactive and fluid with the audience,” said Theory. “We have taken what a DJ does and incorporated it into a band.”
The band’s guitarist (and Guitar Player editor), Jimmy Leslie, said that the band doesn’t stop throughout the show. With Theory setting the beat, the band can quickly transition what they are doing based on the vibe they get from the people. Leslie still rips out solos like a live jam band would, but the overall feel of what they hear is different.
“People still love guitar solos, but they are just tired of hearing it done the same old way,” said Leslie.
Leslie said that Lunagroove differs from others who have tried to use computers on stage because they either sound too electronic or they are trying to make traditional instruments sound electronic. Lunagroove’s approach is to try to seamlessly incorporate the effects into the music.
“The way the band works is like a futuristic jazz trio,” said Leslie.