Someone once said while watching all-female trio Luma Junger perform, comparing them to another, more pop-sounding group, "The other band makes music 'cause they want to; they make music because they have to." They are a band that doesn't beg to be accessible to the masses but rather is an expression of something deeper.
Teresa Liberatore originally performed as Luma Junger alone and worked with Kent Hernandez and Psychic Mirrors. She found performing live very stressful, and for the August party "Summer of Weirds," she asked Dracula's Dorys Bello to drum for her. "I felt like it was still really incomplete, and at the time, I was still working on new songs, most of which I felt would be complemented with a guitar component," Liberatore says.
A Facebook post requesting one resulted in a message from Autumn Casey of Snakehole. "I was like, 'Bingo.' And when 'Weirds' was over, we kinda just kept practicing." Liberatore says, "Dorys and Autumn really add a unique, stylized magic to the sound."
Liberatore doesn't think it makes any difference working with all women as opposed to men. "As long as you're having fun and band practice is about hanging out, having fun, and being productive instead of being a pain in the ass or feeling like it's a choir, then it's fine."
She is, though, surprised by how threatened some men are by women playing instruments. She referenced a review Reed Fischer wrote for New Times on Ricardo Guerrero's "Death to the Sun" event. Apparently, it drew a "plethora of boob comments." She says, "It's sorta empowering, though! To me, Luma Junger represents the 'bitch[es]' everyone underestimates. So, keep 'em comin', assholes!"
Together, they make music that is different from their other sonic projects. "Dorys is known for her beautiful, angelic voice and high range in Dracula, and in Luma Junger, she's playing drums. Autumn's known for her edgy, badass, rockin' guitar style in Snakehole, but in Luma Junger, she gets a little weird with it and even harmonizes," she assesses, adding, "I've always been a lo-fi, toy-keyboard freak and poppy vocalist for producers, but I play a synth in Luma Junger and unleash the diva I only used to hear in the shower."
This March 10 will be the third time the band performs at the Snooze Theatre in Lake Park. Liberatore is a big fan of the venue and the guys who run it and sees them as helpful, resourceful, and no bullshit. "But to be honest," she says, "what really stands out for us is the sound. We've played in both rooms, and after each show, we'd always leave really impressed with the sound."
You're also probably wondering about the band's name. "Luma was what I planned to name my son Andrew if he was born a girl. Junger is a German play on the word 'younger.' I guess a year ago, it was more about being a younger mom to the daughter I never had." Liberatore explains the personal side of their moniker, adding jokingly, "Deep."
Mayo Factory and Church of Chill are presenting Luma Junger, Guy Harvey, the Jameses, and Universal Expansion on Saturday, March 10, at Snooze Theatre, 798 Tenth St., Lake Park. Admission is $5.
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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.