Chris Lund – Indian Summer (Q&A)

Indian Summer, the second record released by Chris Lund this year, is an ode to the days when life was a little less complicated. Eleven hard-rocking Power Pop songs that make you long for the time when you drank a beer with friends and listened to Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, and Van Halen.

Indian Summer is the second record you released this year. How did that happen?

I wanted to do a new Lund Bros record (Across State Lines) to reboot things after the disappointment of all the reunion shows we had booked that got canceled due to the Covid pandemic.  Also, Sean and I hadn’t put out a true studio record in about six years, though we did have the Live records and Remasters and Rarities in the interval. I thought we were well due to getting a studio album out there and it contained many of the songs we would incorporate into our live set. Being unable to play live post-pandemic due to my brother, Sean, being in WA and me having recently moved to AZ, a record was simply the best and quickest way to get back on the radar. 

Regarding the solo record, I usually have more songs written than I can put out at any one time, so I had enough material to do both projects. I had a bit of mixing still to do on the Indian Summer tracks, but that came together rather quickly.  Additionally, the songs on my solo record were very much part of a concept/theme personal to me, so I felt a solo record was appropriate. I am very happy with both records.

Is Indian Summer an ode to the time when life was less complicated, and why did you want to sing about this period right now?

Yes, absolutely. I put my mind back to the time of my teenage years to come up with a lot of these songs. “Time Runnin'”, about the last day of school and meeting up with a girl, is a perfect example. I suppose it is a nostalgic take on life as I remember it as a teenager, when the most important things were Rock and Roll, girls, hanging out with your buddies, and looking cool. 

The whole tech thing, especially after it increased during Covid, has been a real soul-killing thing for me and a lot of people I suspect. The loss of many record stores, clubs, bookstores (and even shopping malls, for that matter) is such a shame.  This is what modern teens are missing – places to celebrate youth and congregate. I don’t believe online gaming and online relationships come close to replacing those former cultural meccas of youth. 

For me, the Indian Summer concept boils down to an extended summer, where you get that extra bit of time to enjoy it and the freedoms it offers.  Symbolically or by analogy, I feel like that is where I am at this point in my life.  I’m a bit older now, but I now have my Indian Summer, a second coming of the golden age of youth, so to speak. I still have a good amount of time to make good music, feel cool, and get back to the simpler pleasures.  I came up with the title to this record several years ago before I wrote any of the songs. That set my songwriting in a certain direction and within a given set of parameters, namely the  Indian Summer theme.  Usually, it’s the other way around, where the album title is imposed on a group of songs afterward.  It was interesting to have the discipline to stay on theme in writing for this album. I think the songs benefited from it.

You sound so young, Chris. Your voice doesn’t seem to age. Many singers have to adjust the emotion and energy of songs at some point as the singing becomes more difficult.

I have heard that I sound young, and I think it’s kind of cool. I am grateful that is the case.  I’ve never had any trouble getting what I want on the recordings in the studio.  The only thing that can be challenging is getting ready for live shows after a substantial hiatus or break from playing live. That requires rehearsals, getting the vocal chords in top shape, and working out the phrasing, so you are comfortable in performance – ready for long sets and multiple shows.  As a result, I approach preparation and rehearsal in a very workmanlike manner to avoid any of those potential issues.

I hear the influences of Cheap Trick and The Knack, and the twin guitar on Please Me reminds me of Thin Lizzy. Did I hear that correctly? And how have these bands influenced you?

Yes, you heard it right for the most part.  Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy are both heroes of mine. More specifically, the guitars on “Please Me” may have been inspired by the kind of approach Brian May of Queen might take – harmonized leads in three parts with neo-classical lines. Thin Lizzy does the harmonized guitar thing very well, too. Their Black Rose record is amazing. 

Vocally, I must say that  Robin Zander has been an influence on me. John Lennon and Allen Clarke of the Hollies were too.  Cheap Trick and the Beatles were always favorite bands of mine, and I don’t mind that those influences may sometimes be apparent in the music.  Just as the Beatles influenced Cheap Trick, we all have our heroes. The Raspberries were also a big influence for me along the way. Van Halen, too, as far as my use of the whammy bar on some of the harder rockers and even the songwriting.  My Stratocaster is all over this record – things like” Down the Line”, “Mary Jane” and “Military Girl” for example.

Where You Goin’? sounds just a little different from the rest, a little more psychedelic. How did that song come about? And how did the outro of that song come about?

“Where You Goin’?” is one of the few songs on here that dates back a few decades – the 90s, actually.  I always kept it around, planning to use it on a future record because I thought it had a good chorus and some interesting guitar. The ending was originally part of another song – notice the key change.  I wanted some kind of modulation at the end and the piece of the other song seemed to fit well. Particularly on the last few records I have used some synthesizer. I thought this song lent itself to some spacey wild sounds so I used the Korg in the breaks and on the outro. The key change combined with the synth give it a kind of sci-fi vibe, taking the song into another dimension as the record fades out. 

It’s kind of funny; when we performed this song live years ago, long before it was recorded, I used to use a violin bow on the guitar in some of the sections that now have the synth.

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