Carlos Hernandez is the son of a ‘70s New York soul DJ. After a detour playing in punk and noise projects, he returned to his soul roots and formed Ava Luna, a band of three girls and three guys, to explore a sound that combines all those ideas. Effortless in their compositions, unforgettable in their live performances, Ava Luna is at the very vanguard of modern pop itself, bending it to their own uncompromising will. We were joined by Ava Luna’s drummer, Julian, before their show at DC9.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
Pete Seeger when I was a really little kid. The first loud rock show I went to was Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deep Purple, and Ted Nugent at Great Woods in Mansfield, MA. My dad and I left during Free Bird to beat the traffic.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
The drums are really difficult in Ava Luna and I’m pretty sure I screw something small up every show but I DID have a “perfect show” when we played at the Mohawk in Austin on our January tour with Twin Sister. That might not be the best gig ever though…my personal favorite was a show that Carlos and I played with in one of our old bands called Randy Numens. We played at the now-sort-of-defunct Market Hotel in Brooklyn sometime in 2008. We had two drums and two guitars and two basses and we were under-rehearsed but we were really loud. We mostly emptied the room out but everybody who was left at the end seemed to think it ruled. We’re legends in our own minds.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Richard Thompson acoustic, somewhere down near the South Street Seaport in 2005. When he plays acoustic, it sounds like it’s three guitarists playing. Or Dinosaur Jr. at the first ATP New York. Or Jay Reatard at the Matador offices in 2009.
What is the gig you would most like to play?
Fuji Rock festival in Japan, because Carlos and Nathan want to play it so badly. It’s been the unofficial band goal for longer than I’ve been in the band. Fuji Rock…get in touch!
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deep Purple, and Ted Nugent.
Catch Ava Luna, August 6th @ DC9