Hello Luna
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Hello Luna

Columbus, OH | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Columbus, OH | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Rock Alternative





Hello Luna: If you like yourself some angsty garage rock with polished production with clear vocals (like a more aggressive Eisley) you’ve arrived at the right place if you’re listening to Hello Luna. Pay attention. They have a full length dropping soon. -Ryan Getz - Ryan Getz

"Columbus’ Own: Rock outfit Hello Luna has folk ukulele roots"

Before she started local rock trio, Hello Luna, Kenzie Ryan was a part of The Ukulele Club at Ohio State.

Ryan joined the club seeking an audience for her original songs, song covers and self-described “terrible poetry.”

After college, she moved to stages in local cafes and small venues and then to a studio for her first two solo albums, “Stand Alone” and “Everytime,” under the name Kenzie Coyne.

“Everything I wrote on my ukulele album (Stand Alone) was extremely happy,” Ryan said. “Maybe because it was the only thing I could do.”

In January, Ryan contacted drummer Michael Neumaier and bassist Diego Villasmil of local bands Fisher and Vianova, respectively. She sought a different kind of band, bigger than she and her ukulele. Thus, Hello Luna was formed.

“We asked her what she wanted the band to be, she said ‘I want a band to sound big,’” Villasmil said.

The band mixes Ryan’s folk music background with Neumaier and Villasmil’s rock influences.

“Relax and submit yourself to have your face melted, ever so gently,” reads the band’s bandcamp profile.

Not long after its formation, the band put out its first single, “Stitching Holes,” in April.

Hello Luna submitted “Stitching Holes,” the only song it has released thus far, to local alternative station CD102.5. As a result, the band landed in the finals of the station’s annual local artist showcase.

“The reception has just been incredible.” Villasmil said. “People were like ‘wow you guys are so tight,’ but the truth is that we spend so much time on each song.”

The band is currently working on its first EP, with the intention to touch upon emotions such as disappointment or resignation. Ryan is the chief songwriter, but the trio works together to put the full songs together.

“The first time we sat down and really worked on a song, I thought I was back at high school” Ryan said of the comradery of the band. - Adrien Lac

"Hello Luna (Artist Review)"

Alternative rock trio Hello Luna began as separate entities – Kenzie Ryan (vocals/guitar) was recording a solo project and was introduced to Michael Neumaier (drums) as her session drummer. After recording, the duo decided to form a full band underscored by soft-pop vocals with more rock influenced instrumentation. Ryan and Neumaier met Diego Vilasmil (bass) through mutual friends in the Columbus music scene in January this year and after a quick audition, it was decided he would make up the final line up of what is now known as Hello Luna.
The Columbus-based trio have been involved with music for more than a decade and it is something that they have all gravitated toward throughout their lives in one way or another. Ryan has always been an avid music lover, but never thought she would pursue a career in it. However, with the support of friends and family; they encouraged her to pursue it. Neumaier meanwhile was always around music growing up and it felt very natural to keep playing music outside of the casual bit parts in bands formed during high school; whilst Vilasmil credits his mother as a significant inspiration in him pursuing his musical dreams. Vilasmil’s mother never pursued a career in music, but he absorbed her love for it and her drive in everything she does.

The three individuals that make up Hello Luna means that they all have different musical influences that all come together to create the alternative rock sound of the Columbus natives. Ryan draws inspiration from a wide variety of bands, including Cat Power, The Pixies, The Shins and Silver Sun Pickups. Neumaier grew up listening to punk bands like NoFX and Blink 182 that led him to pick up playing instruments. These influences later shifted to more visceral bands such as Radiohead and Mars Volta. If you ask Vilasmil, music is always evolving and he loves being influenced by new bands and genres. However, growing up and learning how to play; his main influences include Blink 182, Story Of The Year, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse. These influences combine on the demo track from Hello Luna called Stitching Holes. It was the first song Ryan wrote on electric guitar and the track itself encapsulates the meaningful lyrics from her singer/songwriter music, but with the energy and excitement indicative of a rock song. The process of song writing more broadly for Ryan sparks inspiration from delving into a completely different genre of music then what she was comfortable with.

The band only really started in January this year and thus their first out-of-town show is a real career highlight. It was in Cincinnati on a Thursday night and they thought nobody was going to show up. However, once they started playing; the room started filling up with complete strangers who really loved their music. They made lots of new friends and fans that night. Understandably, Ryan, Neumaier and Vilasmil all had huge smiles on their faces the entire drive home. One could think that the experience Hello Luna had that night will be the first of many to come. Perhaps that will mean one day, the trio won’t have day jobs as they do now – Ryan is a cosmetologist, Neumaier thinks he would be pursuing an IT career if it wasn’t for music and Vilasmil would take more of an interest in music production.

With their whole career ahead of them, there is still a lot left to achieve for Hello Luna. Neumaier would like to release an album – one that really resonates with people and is supported by people who have not witnessed the band play live; whilst Vilasmil would love the opportunity to tour with some of their aforementioned musical influences. It is not out of the realms of possibility that one day Hello Luna could grace the famed Wembley Stadium stage…if Vilasmil has anything to do with it. If he is short of inspiration on any one day, his default will always be watching Muse live at Wembley from 2007. Maybe one day he and his band mates will be kicking back watching a recording of Hello Luna live at Wembley. There is a long way to go before that happens, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming big. - Maggie Sapet

"A Rising Star in Columbus"

Meeting the members of alternative rock band Hello Luna at a coffee house in the Short North district of Columbus seemed like the most natural place to sit down and talk about the music, their upcoming EP and plans for 2017. We spent over an hour covering many the facets of the band.

Whether listening to their music or having a deep conversation with them, Kenzie Ryan (guitar/vocals), Michael Neumaier (drums) and Diego Villasmil (bass) come across as a polished band that has spent years honing their sound together. But, many would be surprised to learn that they’ve been together for just twelve months.

“We met one year ago,” says Villasmil, “but I don’t think things started to take shape until March (2016). When we met, it was basically just conversation. It was more me trying to understand what they wanted out of the project. They had already established that they wanted to start something, and I just came in as a bassist later.

“So, I was like, ‘What do you guys want to do?’

Well, the first order of business is that when you are in Rome, you do as the Romans do. That meant ordering three coffees for Kenzie, Michael and I. Meanwhile, Diego ordered a sandwich, once again proving that bass players are always hungry.

“I came from a singer-songwriting project I had called Kenzie Coyne,” Kenzie continued. “When I went in to do my first EP, Michael was the session drummer. After that, I was like, ‘That went really well. Why don’t we do something with this.’

“It just really kind of happened organically. We unanimously decided we really didn’t want to the softer stuff. Diego’s background has a little bit of a harder edge to it. After doing Folk music for as long as I did, I was kind of sick of it. I mean I still love it, I still love to play it, and a lot of my lyrics are still influenced by a lot of that. But, I think I was ready to expand and start something new. We all kind of felt the same way.”

And while their sound is uniquely their own, the musical influences of the three ranges wide and far. Kenzie comes from writing and playing folk music, incorporating some of those elements, lyrically speaking, into Hello Luna.
Yes, they like to be goofy, adding to the band's charm (Image: Hello Luna)
Yes, they like to be goofy, adding to the band’s charm (Image: Hello Luna)

“I learned how to play bass by listening to Pop-Punk like Green Day and Blink-182,” Villasmil says. “Then I tried to get more technical like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And then, I even got into some Prog Rock stuff.”

“When I met Kenzie, she showed me her singer-songwriter stuff. It was very mellow sounding. She said, ‘I want this, but louder and edgier.’ And I was like ‘Hell Yeah! I’m your guy.’

To this point, Michael had been quietly absorbing the collective conversation. At the mention of NOFX, he chimed in.

“That was an addiction of mine in middle school and early high school,” Neumaier says, “like on the bus just listening to all of their music. All their songs had just cool vibes to them.”

The disparity of their musical influences is what helps to give them a solid, unique sound. Everyone will have a band or two that they will hear in Hello Luna‘s music. Their sound, for this author, harkens back to The Pixies and Magnapop.

“When Diego and I met,” says Kenzie, “some of the stuff he listened to was a lot different than what I listened to. I think we’ve really influenced each other. I used to have a writing process that I really stuck to, as that’s all I knew. And then, when I started writing with them, everything shifted.”

For any band, finding their sound is a milestone. That’s especially true when trying to meld vast musical influences.

“It took a long time and a lot of conversations to find our voice and find what we wanted to sound like,” says Villasmil. “What Kenzie used to play sounds nothing like what we sound like now. The same goes for me. It was a lot of conversations and a lot of trial and error.”

“We even played a couple of shows with songs that we didn’t record and you probably won’t hear them… ever. We were testing them out. And that’s what we do with everything we do.”

But, how difficult is it for a band to find their sound, standing out in the crowed musical landscape?

” It was easier in the sense that we knew what we were striving for,” says Kenzie. “But it was also harder. Because once we got a taste of that, it got more technical. So, then we started dissecting songs. It was a whole different process.”

“As soon as we found our sound,” continues Diego, “the sound that we felt comfortable with, we were like, ‘Yeah, let’s do this.’ That helped so much.”
Their music is pet-approved, as well. (Image: Hello Luna)
Their music is pet-approved, as well. (Image: Hello Luna)

The strength of the first single, Sound and Sorrow, from their debut EP showcases the polished tightness of the band, while highlighting the cerebral quality of Kenzie’s lyrics. Although they’ve been together a relatively short time, they’ve found a sound they are comfortable with.

” It’s one of those things where even from the beginning,” Kenzie says, “when we couldn’t find the band’s sound that we wanted, we’d not mimic (other bands), but it’s something to look off. The material that we continue to write keeps us on our toes. We’ve found our sound, but at the same time it’s always evolving.”

With Kenzie, Michael and Diego coming at the art of songwriting from different directions, they’ve found a way to meld it into a cohesive blend of emotions that move the listener in ways that few bands can accomplish.

“Michael and I think the instrumentation of it is really important,” says Diego, “and then the vocals. Kenzie thinks the other way around. She puts a lot of effort into the lyrics and melodies, and we just kind of combine the two and make sure it’s balanced.”

That balance is the driving force in ensuring they write songs that aurally pleasing. With their EP slated for a March 11, 2017 release with a show at The Basement in Columbus, the anticipation for what more of Hello Luna is palatable.

Like ancient sailors looking to the stars for guidance, the band uses their fans to guide them in the proper direction.

“This whole project has been community driven with everything we’ve done,” Kenzie says. “It’s definitely not just us. I think that’s been one of the cooler things in developing Hello Luna.” - Rick Gethin

"Local Limelight: Hello Luna"

Hello Luna's sound might be best described on the nascent band's Facebook page: "We are here to melt your face off, gently."

They're soft rock, and they're hard rock. They're quiet; they're loud.

The dichotomy comes from a band whose members — who met and began writing music in only the past few months — have different influences.

“We all have very different tastes in music,” said Kenzie Coyne, who, at 21 years old, fronts the Columbus band and plays guitar.

But those influences converge, and “we all find that common ground in alternative rock. We can chill with that,” she said.

What also makes it work is that the members — Diego Villasmil on bass, Michael Hajdin on lead guitar and Michael Neumaier on drums — have dedicated themselves to honing the Hello Luna sound.

“I think that we all found immediately common ground on the songs that we made. We could immediately play as a band,” Coyne said. “We’re in this because we want to make the best music we possibly can.”

The four-piece band has been performing around central Ohio after releasing its first single, "Stitching Holes," and plans to enter the studio this summer to record its first EP.

Q: Where did the name Hello Luna come from?

A: The band name was one of the hardest things that I had to come up with.

I’ve always loved that name. I knew I wanted to incorporate Luna in it somehow.

We all kind of thought about it and thought: ‘Hello Luna?’ It was one of those things when you hear it, you’re like ‘Yeah, that could work.’

Q: What does your music sound like and what topics do you address in your lyrics?

A: Our music sounds like softer rock. I do a lot of quiet-to-loud, a lot of buildup. It’s generally about the frustration of trying to push reason into people, trying to be rational with irrational people.

Q: You recently released your first demo, "Stitching Holes." Tell me about that.

A: "Stitching Holes" was neat because it was one of those things where I wrote the song, but I brought it to the group, and they made a lot of alterations to it.

"Stitching Holes" is really about getting into an argument and going in circles and circles and circles.

The ending part gets way bigger and louder than I’ve ever written a song before, and that comes from Diego. ... He definitely brings in more of a rock element.

The ending of it is really talking about the bigger picture, just dealing with your anxieties and problems in general. It’s just talking about trying to fix what got broken. - Eric Lagatta

"How is it May already? Ponder that while you check these songs out."

“Stitching Holes”: Leading off with a guitar riff that subtly reminds me of Jimmy Eat World’s “Evidence,” the new alternative group from central Ohio rocks us gently with a sound that simultaneous recalls Eisley and the indie rock/shoegaze of Starflyer 59. The song takes us on the journey of feebly self-medicating or trying to cover our flaws, with an attitude that meaders between obvious angst and quiet acceptance. - Ryan Getz

"Locals: Hello Luna at the Basement"

Kenzie Coyne ditches the acoustic guitar and gets angsty on Hello Luna's debut EP

In high school, Kenzie Coyne bought a ukulele and began playing her own songs and folk covers in coffee shops, eventually graduating to acoustic guitar and bar gigs with a solo endeavor she dubbed the Kenzie Coyne Project.

But after forming a musical bond with session drummer Michael Neumaier during a recording session, Coyne got the itch to start a full band, and in January of 2016, she auditioned bassist Diego Villasmil, who clicked well but also came from the opposite end of the musical spectrum from Coyne — punk rock, prog rock and other "fast-paced, loud, heavy music," Villasmil said recently at a Downtown coffee shop, seated next to Coyne.

The challenge was to find some common ground between Coyne's folksy roots and Villasmil's heavier influences. "I went into this thinking [the band] would be more mellow, like a Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson vibe," said Coyne, 22. "I had never played electric guitar live. But I had a Daisy Rock electric guitar laying around, and one day I brought it to practice and immediately was like, 'I'm never touching the acoustic guitar again.'"

The trio reworked some of Coyne's older songs for its first gig as Hello Luna in March of 2016. A month later, Villasmil had a revelation while watching Welsh alt-rock act the Joy Formidable in concert.

"They just hit me in the face. Their set was amazing," said Villasmil, 28. "I was hearing a lot of things in their music that we were already working on. I was like, 'Guys, this is a band we can focus on.' We don't mimic them, but we definitely look up to them."

"It helps to have somebody to base off of rather than basing [Hello Luna] off my love for Beirut and his love of Blink-182," said Coyne, who'll join her bandmates for a release show at the Basement on Saturday, March 11.

To write Hello Luna songs, Coyne periodically decamped to her sister's place in the Van Nuys neighborhood of Los Angeles, where she stayed in an extra bedroom with a balcony and basked in the California sunshine. Despite those sunny vibes, when Hello Luna began recording songs for its debut EP, Ghost of You, in July of last year, Coyne was able to channel darker emotions that had previously felt out of reach.

On EP track "Tell Me," Coyne describes wanting to rip out her own hair and rip someone else's head off. "That song was like, 'Let's be angsty. Let's actually express what I'm feeling and not hold back,'" she said. "When you're writing on a ukulele or a mandolin, it's hard to bring angst into that. But when you have an electric guitar, you can express that a lot more. It's been cathartic and a whole new experience for me." - Joel Oliphint

"Hello Luna’s “Ghost of You” makes good angst for a rainy day"

As I was sitting here getting ready to begin this review, the phrase “rock and roll for a rainy day” came to mind. My surroundings definitely had something to do with it. My clothes are damp, its grey and steadily raining outside, and a protest march just passed Mission Coffee (where I write this) on High Street. Angry people in the rain.

Hello Luna eschews the typical notions of rainy day music while at the same time falling under that umbrella (no pun intended). The album’s single “Sound & Sorrow” might be the best embodiment of this. A simple guitar melody begins the song in a calm way yet signals looming conflict in the distance. Of course, the song gets louder and we get the full taste of what that melody implies.

It is worth noting that vocalist Kenzie Coyne has the ability to communicate what she wishes without much effort. She is in your face without yelling at you. It’s like when your parents sit you down after you did something wrong and they tell you that they they’re not mad, just disappointed – instead of getting into a yelling match at you. Except, the effect on the listener is positive in the case of this EP.

Songs like “Tell Me” demonstrate succinctly the band’s prowess at that straightforward, driving rock sound that has been captivating folks across central Ohio. In an era of synth-driven indie pop and washed out rock and roll it’s nice to hear something straightforward that is also polished – though I very much enjoy bands in of the aforementioned sounds as well. “Half Asleep” demonstrates this philosophy further, ending the EP with the most triumphant sound we hear during the whole experience – a fitting climax to this “rainy day rock and roll.” Fittingly, as the song was ending I glanced outside and I noticed the sun trying to poke through the clouds. - Ryan Getz

"Hello Luna - Ghost of You"

If you didn’t catch the sold-out show at The Basement in Columbus this March, I’m sure there will be plenty more opportunities as the Alt-Rock locomotive, known as “Hello Luna”, is gaining steam. The recent release of “Ghost of You”, showcases solid compositions and dynamic layering of voice and instrument. The opening track, “Sound and Sorrow”, lures you in with a dreamy intro and subtle vocal lines by Kenzie Coyne(front-lady), only to 180 into the full force of what is “Hello Luna”. “Tell Me”, is personally my favorite off the EP. A revolving verse laced with a laid back voice, once again opening up to powerfully catchy switch. Each member of the band definitely brings punch to the table, which is satisfying because of the juxtaposition of the gentle touches early on. A must have in songwriting and perhaps even life itself. “Hello Luna”, are a sweet, talented bunch, and I feel a Columbus must-see. We’re all here, so lets be a part of it shall we? - Jack Harper

"Lunar Evolution: The progression of the indie rock band Hello Luna"

The best things in life are often juxtapositions—maybe it is skinny-dipping in small a pond in the middle of November or hot boxing your parents’ car in your old high school parking lot.

Almost naturally, humans crave the unexpected.

Take Kenzie Coyne for instance—the 23-year-old starlet who fronts the Columbus indie rock band Hello Luna. There is an abstract relationship between the perception of an artist and the appreciation of their product. At first glance, it’s hard not to be conditioned to make assumptions about the nuances of her songwriting before she even plays her first note; expecting lyrics about young love and living forever, a string of trite clichés you might expect to overhear at an artisan cafe.
But this is not a coffee shop band. Instead, let’s replace the cafe with an old repurposed warehouse crowded with raucous guitar riffs and heady by drums and bass loops—a sound that transports Coyne’s mellow Karen O-style vocals into a hard rock plunder, a slow-to-fast juxtaposition of sound akin to the likes of The Pixies or Cat Power.
Meet Hello Luna—a budding indie rock band from Columbus whose interesting dichotomy of sound has created buzz around the local music scene, evolving from a light-hearted acoustic folk aesthetic into a more actualized lo-fi rock concept. Sure, the four-piece utilizes your typical instruments for an indie band—electric guitar, bass, drums—but their sound is transcended by those aforementioned thoughts of normalcy, and most importantly, Coyne’s melodious vocals aren’t lost in the chaos.

“When we started playing together, that sound—in a way—organically started developing from us,” Coyne explained. “And we weren’t going to stop that or be like ‘Let’s be softer! Let’s be more folk rock!’ This seemed more like the direction we wanted to go towards.”
Villasmil explained that the band didn’t discard the folk style music of before, rather, mixed it up a little bit.

“Immediately after [Live at the Garden], we were already cooking on other ideas like, ‘How about we take that folky guitar riff and do it on bass,’” he said. “When we wrote ‘Empathy,’ the three of us—because Eric wasn’t in the band yet—looked at each other like, ‘Yeah, this is more like it.’”

When we talked to Coyne and the band in their cozy studio tucked away in a back office at 934 Gallery, she explained how they were still doing her solo stuff at that show and after they began to get heavier and edgier. After writing “Empathy,” Villasmil and drummer Michael Neumier both agreed with Coyne that the sound they had just produced was the direction they wanted to head in thus the EP “Ghost of You” was born, boasting a sold out release show at The Basement a few months back. Fast forward, and the band added another member, guitarist Eric Morgan, finalizing the genesis of the next big indie rock band out of Columbus.

What is the perfect after party for Hello Luna?
Kenzie Coyne: “Salsa dancing at Diego’s. That’s dead ass. I fell asleep in a closet…There was like 100 people in this tiny apartment, and I was overwhelmed so I was like, ‘I’m going to the closet.’”

Where is your dream venue?
Diego Villasmil: “My answer for this is always Wembley Stadium in England.”

What band member is the most difficult to please when you are on the road and trying to grab some food?
Eric Morgan: “I have a sensitive stomach!”

Whose mom is the biggest fan?
Diego Villasmil: “It’s between Kenzie’s mom and my mom … I’m going to say Kenzie’s mom, though. She’s made us food before and driven us around.”

Katy Perry’s marry one, bang one, kill one:
3. Kill Diplo, 2. bang John Mayer, and 1. marry Orlando Bloom.
Kenzie Coyne: “Like John Mayer, he’s not a good companion. He has a high turnover rating. Look what he did to Taylor Swift… but she did write a whole album after it and it was No. 1 so…”
Michael Neumier: “Maybe one of us needs to bang John Mayer and we will write the best thing we’ve ever rehearsed.”

Describe Columbus in one word:
Kenzie Coyne: Eclectic.

If you are not a crazy person and enjoy quality indie rock, stream their EP on Apple Music and Spotify, or do your duty as a music fan and help support a local band by buying their album on Bandcamp. For more information about their upcoming shows, visit helloluna.band. - Mitch Hooper


Still working on that hot first release.



Full list of Upcoming Showshttp://www.helloluna.band/
"Sound and Sorrow" Music Video -  http://bit.ly/2w5uE3M
"Half Asleep" Live - http://bit.ly/2xY4zQI

Hello Luna is an alternative pop-rock band from Columbus, OH. The band combines smooth pop vocals with alternative-rock instrumentals. After navigating the local scene for over a decade with separate projects, the members came together in January of 2016 to form Hello Luna.

On March 2017, Hello Luna  played to a sold out crowd of over 300 people celebrating the release of their first EP titled "Ghost Of You", featuring the lead single ”Sound and Sorrow”. Following that success, the band has been invited to play with acts such as Holy White Hounds, Them Evils, and countless artists at the acclaimed Bunbury Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello Luna has been featured in The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive, and Ohio State University publications "The Lantern" and "1870", in addition to airtime on radio stations CD102.5 and 99.7 The Blitz.

While still promoting the debut EP at a regional level, the band is writing new material to be released in 2018.

Band Members