"For our second album, we wanted to do something different. I also wanted and needed time to come up with new ideas for new lyrics. Paul wanted to release a new album very quickly after Many Miles Away, but we had nothing - no music, no lyrics. I started thinking. I’d had an idea for a song floating around in my mind for several years: the story of a man or a woman who couldn’t die, no matter what. At first he/she thought it was a blessing: the dream of eternal life… But nothing lasts for ever, not even our Earth… what would happen to him/her then, drifting alone in space?
I pitched the idea to the guys and they liked it. So, I started working on the lyrics for the first song of the new album… Only, the more I wrote, the more I realized this couldn’t be a five-minutes song, or even a 10, 15 or 20-minutes song. This was a concept album.
Would we be brave enough to release a concept album for our second effort? What would the others think? Would they agree? (Spoiler alert: they did).
So I divided the lyrics into ten songs.
The whole process tookfour hours. Yes, I wrote the lyrics for the whole album in four small hours. I still can’t believe I did that… I’m so proud of them…
I didn’t even want to make a second album, after Many Miles Away. I loved it so much - how we could top it? Now that we have finished C.A.S. I don’t know how we’ll be able to do better next time. I don’t think we can. Maybe we’ll need to do something different."
"When I joined the group to work on Many Miles Away, almost all the songs were already written. I was like a session musician, in a way 🙂 Well, not quite. Paul and Seb were smart enough to give me space and allow me to compose or rearrange certain parts, but the album was 80% finished. I got to know Paul, to understand how he composes, how he works, the kind of person he is. I had fun working with them, and, yes, we were a band. A strange band living in three cities, in two different countries, but still a band. Different styles, different approaches, but the same passion and the same drive to make great progressive pop songs.
So when we finished Many Miles Away, it was clear that it would not be Lunear’s only child. What wasn’t so clear was that we’d start writing new songs a mere few weeks after Many Miles Away was released! And this time, I would partake in the process from day one! A new challenge. And it worked!
Our process is quite straightforward, really: Seb writes all the lyrics, I compose half a song while Paul composes the other half (and about 3 more songs), Seb asks me to re-record Paul’s guitar, Paul changes all the bass… Straightforward!
The idea of a concept album was also very exciting because it forced us to make something different from Many Miles Away, to find new ideas. I hope it will be the same for Lunear #3 (hint: we already have some ideas… but do not expect it for 2021 🙂 )"
"Being in a band was never my choice. Been there, done that when I was 18, and I hated all the fights. With time and the help of technology, I’d managed to play practically everything I wanted to hear… And when I wanted real drums, I knew I could ask Seb 😉
But I started to work more and more with Seb. Then, JP joined us. Seb and I had been working on Many Miles Away for a while, but JP fit in seamlessly. He was patient, he liked the songs and learned them quickly, and he made them better and more beautiful. I enjoyed the process so much that I pushed really hard to start working on a second record without interruption. Miraculously, Seb wrote the lyrics in a flash! Composing the music took another four months. It was quick… And then, I had to learn patience! Patience because I’m very fast at composing, but it’s important to give everyone in the band the time and space to make their contribution. Our richness lies in our diversity. What Seb or JP compose can be so different from my own writing. And patience because I sang all the lead vocals on this record, and Seb knew exactly what he wanted to hear… In terms of voices, and in terms of composing too. I don’t remember how many parts I threw away… Many… Many… But we’re gentlemen 😉 In the end, it was totally worth it. I see this record as a second step. Many Miles Away was more “classical”. Curve. Axis. Symmetry. is more ambitious - it explores other territories. My hope and belief for album #3 is to go even further and deeper."
"It was the first piece of music that we wrote for the album and it really kickstarted the whole thing. I wanted something different from Many Miles Away so I started playing with loops and sounds and noises with Logic and called it “Infinity Loop“. Then Paul changed my chords, obviously, and JP added the guitars and suggested the name Lemniscate, and that brought about the idea to ask Paul’s niece, Kora, to recite the maths formula for the infinity symbol." - Seb
"When Seb and JP shared their first ideas for Lemniscate, I came up with several different introductions… which were all rejected. Seb and JP imagined something different. At first I didn’t see this particular piece of music as the introduction to the album. It was long, atmospheric, very ambient. But they convinced me, and I loved working on making it shorter, on finding a chord sequence which is used right after as the verse for First Death. In the end, Lemniscate works really well and is a beautiful opener for the album. At first, Seb had the idea of using OS X’s speech voice. But I wanted a human voice… That’s when I asked my niece Kora to do it." - Paul
"When I listened to Seb’s first demo, I immediately thought about adding some big chords and developing an atmospheric intro, like in “Sorrow“ by Pink Floyd. For that, I NEEDED a Stratocaster… so I bought it! And my fellow companions had to learn patience 🙂 I also quickly imagined a little guitar that would play “between the dots“, to add movement to the loops. The album deals with cycles and infinity, and I soon had the idea of spreading repetitive guitar patterns to evoke these notions on another level, less literal, so as to touch the listener subconsciously. At the beginning, the two loops of drums were more “out of tempo“. It was fun, and I liked it, but the final version is more listenable." - JP
"No, in spite of its name, it is not the first song in the album. To be honest, Lemniscate and First Death are the same piece of music to me. I can’t see them as different tracks. And I love everything about them. My favorite moment is what we referred to as “the Genesis bit“: the small instrumental between the chorus and the second verse. I love when the time signature goes from 12/8 to 4/4, and I dig the moment when the drums go half-time. A really powerful song to start the album." - Seb
"After reading the lyrics Seb had written for the album, First Death was one of the first songs I started working on, and it came very quickly. It’s divided in four parts, two for the verses played in ternary. I used a bass sequencer to help me write these parts, thinking we’d erase it in the mix, but in the end, it adds a good groove to the song. The two next parts are more “classical” with a guitar/synth melody reminiscent of Genesis. The piano chord progression at the end of the song may sound like an homage to my mentor Tony Banks. It was completely improvised, and luckily, I was recording it. It’s the first and only take. Perfect, in my opinion. " - Paul
"In this song, at the beginning, I continue my exploration of Gilmour’s sound with a little pattern in clean tone with 8th dotted delay, like he often played in “The Wall“, for example. I love the pattern on the second verse - a simplified version of the riff in Lemniscate. It contributes to making this debut more coherent. This song is beautiful and powerful. Paul found, as usual, very strong chords and melody. As a guitarist, I only had to follow the line. And the final is so Banks…" - JP
Same Player.Shoot Again.
"There’s always a problem child… This song we struggled the most with. The chorus was there from the start and never changed. But the verse… oh boy! We came up with maybe 10 or 15 different versions… But JP was never happy with them. We had to change everything, forget everything, and start all over again. And then we got it. And it’s so much better. JP might not have written the music, but without him, this song would not be the same, and it wouldn’t be this good. He was right to challenge us." - Seb
"Seb had this idea: a very straightforward, simple chorus. I liked it, but as can be heard in JP and Seb’s acoustic version, the chords were a little too obvious. So, I changed the bass. For the verse, Seb and I came up with many options. In the end, Seb used one of my suggestions, but he changed the end. It’s always a matter of adding a magical touch, and he was right. Still, even with a good verse and a good chorus, the song wasn’t reaching a good climax. JP was really adamant, and one day, Seb and I gave up and told him to come up with something better… Which he did. The verse became more atmospheric and worked great. You may think, “Ok, now they had it!” Nope! Seb’s story was very clear in his mind: he wanted me to express all the feelings the way he had imagined them, so he pushed me hard on the singing. Overall, this record was really challenging for me in terms of vocals. There again, Seb was right." - Paul
"As Seb said, it was a tough one. It’s very difficult to make an “easy song“ sound not too common and it’s even more difficult to keep it simple. I think we succeeded on that one. It was a long and painful process for Seb, but it was worth it. The result is a song that’s direct, rock, with a touch of electronic – melodic and powerful. An obvious single." - JP
Nothing Left To Do
"This song and From its Sky are related. It’s the little brother. They are mirror songs from key points in the story. " - Seb
"I actually wrote the music from Nothing Left to Do for From its Sky. But Seb wanted something darker. JP loved the song and he proposed to use it for another song… Great idea!! I wrote the song with my 12 strings… The chorus for me was very “Eagles” and JP’s guitar give justice to the spirit of the song. Very West-coast “sunset” song… It’s 90% the same as From its Sky, but the arrangement is so different, I bet few people will notice. I like that." - Paul
"When we worked on From its Sky, Paul made different versions, different arrangements. We chose a calm and progressive version for From Its Sky, but I loved that one so much that I insisted we use this arrangement in another song. I love the laidback feeling here. Finding the guitar lines was so easy! I tried to capture a Fleetwood Mac / Dire Straits vibe. I heard them in my mind before I even played it." - JP
A Passage Of Time
"This is 100% JP. I had nothing to do with it except finding the title. It’s beautiful and serves a perfect role in the story." - Seb
"Fantastic chord progression with a strong lead mellotron from JP. The end of Nothing Left to Do leading to A Passage of Time works so well. I loved it instantly! Something else I’m thrilled about about being in a band like Lunear, because I could never have composed this kind of music." - Paul
"My little and modest tribute to Genesis 🙂 Two guitars and a mellotron. I wrote this one day and didn’t know what to do with it. I only knew that I wanted it to be as simple and smooth as possible. It finally took its place as a small interlude. I think it works perfectly with Nothing Left to Do, especially with the little chords progression linking the two parts. Thanks, Paul." - JP
The Rise And Fall Of Earth
"Amazing atmosphere. The groove in this one is mind blowing. This is JP. Obviously. Fun fact: JP (Paul did that too on Nothing Left To Do) didn’t have enough lyrics so he repeated some lines… It sounded great but it meant nothing for the story. So I had to write extra lyrics here and there." - Seb
"I remember the first time I listened to it!! I was really exited by the challenge of working on something so different. It’s almost funky, with an unstoppable growing groove. And the bass sound is gorgeous. To sing it was pretty challenging too. The first half relies on the rhythm produced by the bass/guitars/drums. Almost no keyboard. This song has a strong Prince style, which is no surprise, as JP is a great Prince fan. The ending changes everything, offering an explosion of sounds and powerful melodies and contrasting with the more groovy first part. Love it!" - Paul
"Blame me for that one. I wanted something groovy and dark, atmospheric and rock, the missing link between Depeche Mode and Phil Collins. Seb was a bit surprised by the result. He didn’t imagined this kind of music on these lyrics. But he loved it. Paul found some cool chords for the chorus, and it’s a pretty good thing because I’m very bad at writing choruses." - JP
Earth Population: 1
" Such power! A perfect introduction for the second side of the record! And of course we struggled with the 7/8 bit... The melody is to die for. It’s such a catchy and powerful song. I love it. It might be my favorite on the record but I could say the same for First Death, Rise and Fall and From Its Sky… I can’t decide." - Seb
"JP had a an interesting introduction idea that we began to play with, but we all felt it could be a little bit more Yessy. We did some 7/8 during the “mad” moment of the intro and switched to 4/4 for the song. I remember making a complete demo with electric guitars and all… but it’s only when Seb and JP played it that the song reached its power. I also remember fighting hard to do a good job on vocals. Whereas in Many Miles Away the vocals were shared, Seb wanted only one singer on this album, because of the way the story is told. And we didn’t want to use autotunes for the vocals. So my singing had to be more precise. I have always liked to use first takes for vocals too, and, from time to time, gradually change some bits here and there. Not this time. I can’t imagine how many takes I made. But the result is good, and we didn’t need to cheat, and that makes me really happy. I also like that Seb is able to drum harder in this song." - Paul
"I remember playing with this little synth loop and having the idea of putting something massive and progressive pop, with big straight and shiny power chords, like what Trevor Rabin did with Yes. I added a little guitar passage in 7/8 because, hey, it’s progressive pop and it’s fun to put a little strange passage in a song! But my ideas stopped there, and Paul took over the project and turned it into a really great song. We modified a lot the “7/8 section“, searching for the perfect balance between weirdness and clarity. It was difficult. But all the rest flowed naturally." - JP
"Very much "my" little song. It’s a transition song, both musically and lyrically... I remember JP’s first comment when he heard my demo: "I guess we are not going to head-bang on this one either..."" - Seb
"Seb wrote some chords sequence and began singing. The demo was interesting but, with the same arpeggions always, it was a bit repetitive. I changed all the basses and wrote a different chorus… I call myself the bass changer in this record!! For example the melody of the flute hasn’t changed at all since the beginning. But the changes in the bass sequence helped give this moment a sensation that it is growing and growing. " - Paul
"I love this little track, even if I’m not playing very much on it. The acoustic guitars are Seb’s. I only doubled one line, made some strange noises with a reversed guitar and put some big chords at the end of the song:) But the atmosphere is so beautiful…" - JP
"1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3. I don’t remember much. I remember being unhappy with the song, finding it too long, not liking the ending. The guys corrected everything I disliked. I love them and I don’t deserve them. I must have recorded drums for the first half at least a dozen times. But never nailed it. I was never able to achieve what Paul and JP wanted. So we decided to have a drum machine play what they wanted instead. I just didn’t have it in me. And it works quite well. It might even be what was best for the song." - Seb
" Once again, this is what I love about Lunear. The fact that I wouldn’t be able to write this kind of songs alone. I loved it from the first time I listened to the demo. The first guitar sequence is so beautiful. I fought hard to sing it properly, but again, JP knew what he was after, so I tried to go along with what he had in mind. The second part of the song works great too, I think, and in the end it is a soft and sensitive song. I feel this part has a very soft prog 70’ atmosphere. " - Paul
"My little contribution to Seb’s adoration of ternary music 🙂 I love ternary music. It’s what comes first to me when I compose. I’m proud of that one: the chords progression, the solo, the guitar sounds, and the strange way of singing the melody… As usual, Paul added great strings chords and found a beautiful second part that pushes the song even further away, switching it from 6/8 to 4/4. When the time came to record the album (as opposed to producing demos, even though, it is in fact the same process for us because we share our projects online and modify them constantly), I thought I’d re-record the acoustic guitars. But those we already had were great, and I didn’t want to lose the magic of this first take, so we left them in the mix." - JP
From Its Sky
"This song and Nothing Left to Do are related and this is the big Sister. She was born first. I’m very proud that at this point in the story, the protagonist hopes to be able to do again all the very things that he/she found boring to death in Nothing Left To Do. Mirror songs for the music but also for the lyrics. When I wrote the lyrics, I had the vocal melody in my head. So I sang it and sent it to Paul who composed the music to go with it. That was the easiest song to play the drums to. This album has been very challenging for me, drumwise." - Seb
"As mentioned before, I adapted Nothing Left to Do for the piano, trying to give it a more dramatic feel. The composition of this song is maybe more “classical”… A long piano sequence, some acoustic guitars, and after two choruses, a beautiful big solo guitar from JP. All very Floydish, but I love it. And I think it works well! I loved singing this song, even if Seb made me record the verse countless times!" - Paul
"I remember Paul saying: “There is space for an epic solo, so, go on!“. I’m not sure if it’s epic, but I love the creamy, warmy sound. Very 70’s. It’s one of my favorites in this album." - JP
"Like Adrift, this is Paul’s and JP’s song. A great way to end the record. Such power. I love every bit of it, especially when the Forever chorus kicks in. Amazing. I was, once again, a pain in the ass for that one. The way Paul sang, the sound of the guitar in the first half… " - Seb
"When JP sent the instrumental with the guitars of the first part of what would become Forever, I immediately loved it. It felt like listening to Jeff Buckley… Working on that song was tough, and if JP’s part never changed, I had to come up with many different sketches and versions... before Seb and JP approved them. Initially, my idea was to finish lighter, with more rhythm, because I worried about the last songs of the record being too dark. But Seb had his idea of how it must end, and finally, we agreed and I proposed something different. I guess he was right because the ending is beautiful, with a fantastic 1 minute long solo guitar from JP… The end is epic for me!!" - Paul
"This was the most difficult one for me. The first part came quickly and became the starting point for the song, then Paul composed the second part. But all the guitars in the second part… my God… Paul did some guitar demos, but I wanted something a bit different. So I had to think and search for a long time before recording a single note. I knew what I wanted - some interacted patterns that would build up the final gradually, like a whirlwind - but I didn’t know how to achieve it. At the end of the song, four guitars play different riffs at the same time. For the “forever i cannot die“ part, I spent a lot of time finding the right arpeggio too. It’s the last song we finished. Or, should I say, the last song I finished." - JP
First Death (epilogue)
"Paul is many, many amazing things: singer, keyboardist, songwriter. But he’s not a great guitarist, and I was a total jerk to him, vetoing his guitar on this last track that he’d written on his own... Hearing the final result now, I still believe I was right to do so, but I apologize nonetheless: I’m the bad guy, there." - Seb
"I admit that I was pissed at the idea of JP recreating my 12 strings guitar... I loved my guitar. It was something I wrote in a few minutes, and recorded, first take. I am a very bad guitarist, but I like to compose on the guitar because it offers me a different approach. When I listen back to that part, I cannot help thinking about “Pigs on the Wings” from Pink Floyd. I mean, the chords are completely different, but it ends the album marvelously, giving a burst of fresh air… I resisted long to save my guitar… But Seb won… JP made it… And he made it magically… I admit… So, no Paul’s guitars on this record 😉" - Paul
"At first I wasn’t convinced about the idea of remaking Paul’s guitar. Because it’s impossible to re-create the magic of a first take, and it’s even more difficult when it’s not your first take but someone else’s. In this case, the original take was a free take, fluctuating very much on the tempo (or, in fact, without any tempo at all…). But Seb insisted so much that I finally accepted to try it. So I listened a few times to the original guitar, so as to capture the spirit and the inner groove, and I recorded mine free, without the vocal as a guideline, and of course without the original guitar as a backing track. The first take was the only one, like Paul’s. I aligned the vocal and the guitar at the starting point, and pressed play… it was perfectly synchronized, except for one or two words. Incredible… I finally made a second take to overdub the first one and give more presence, because Paul’s guitar was a 12 strings, and I haven’t got one. The result is quite good I think." - JP