Lunatic Calm

Lunatic Calm Biography

It all started "calm" enough, Shack (Simon Shackleton) and Howie Saunders holed up in the luna module South London 1996 penning the debut album Metropol - all on a tiny recording budget that they happened to spend all on equipment and create the base that in turn has become the creative nucleus of Lunatic Calm. Now comes their poignant sophomore album, Breaking Point, at a time when the title could not be more appropriate.

So when did the "lunatic" come into full force? It's actually difficult to tell. Could it be when America woke up and unfortunately coined the phrase "electronica?" Memory from the inner circle can recall that by mid 1997 things started to move at a very crazy pace indeed. Right off from the first live outing by the band at a warehouse in East London packed to the rooftop with sweat - through to two full European tours including crazy Spanish raves in the middle of mountains with more than 5,000 fellow break heads - being escorted later along the way by US State Police happy to see the circus cross a state line. Oh, and not forgetting two full North American tours with The Crystal Method, who at the time even had wives of vice presidents condemning the vision! By the end of 1998, the "lunatic" had truly taken the lead over the "calm" and in some ways has continued to float above the heads of Shack and Howie ever since.

In a time of continued struggle for many artists clashing their creative heads against the corporate pop dominated world and wall, it's probably best to let the band themselves explain how the road continued on the creative front. Explains Shack from the studio, "Never will there have been more apt a title for a record than this. It's a record that's been a l-o-n-g time in the making..." The initial recordings actually took place as early as February 1998 with prototypes of tracks such as "Beatbox Burning" and "Sound of the Revolution" being premiered on the road in '98. Other tunes that never made the shakedown onto the final album were also road-tested back in '98 in various remix forms ... tracks such as "Quicktime Culture" and "Whitelinefever." Then there were the versions and tunes that acted as stopgaps, appearing on one-off 12" inch singles ["One Step Over the Line"] or in the digital domain alone ["Basement Level"]. Most recently, there have been remixes, such as the Elite Force remix EP when Shack’s alter ego was responsible for busting out radikal remakes of "Centista" (Lunatic Calm’s debut vinyl foray back in '96) and the much-vaunted 10-minute epic re-reub of "Basement Level."

Continues Shack, "Little of this apparent prevarication has had anything to do with the band ... indeed, what the band would have liked to have happened could not have been more different from the course of events that have unfolded over the past four years. Huge corporate conglomerations merging and squeezing the pips in the middle was only the start of what evolved into years of knockbacks, delays, re-recordings and mainly, waiting. What was strange was seeing our public profile soar on the back of tracks dating back almost five years now, through movie tie-ins on the likes of The Matrix, Charlie’s Angels, Mortal Kombat, The Jackal, Arlington Road ... and the list goes on. We hadn't been idle during this time, and when (at the beginning of 2001) we finally had the opportunity to jump in the fire and craft a definitive version of those tracks we'd lived with for so long, we nailed them hard."

To think this may all be starting again sends shivers through the inner camp, the only problem being that maybe it's been a little too "calm" lately and the lust for danger is about to start all over again.



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