Dean Wareham never intended to permanently revive his 1990s alterna-combo Luna, which he disbanded in 2005. But three years ago, he received a substantial offer to reconvene for a one-off tour of Spain, which the members happily accepted. Then Luna just kept right on chugging. “It’s not even a reunion tour we’re doing anymore, it’s a follow up,” he says. The band has two new records: the all-covers “Sentimental Education” and an instrumental EP “A Place of Greater Safety,” about which Wareham says, “I didn’t have to write a single lyric.”
How do you go about selecting favorite covers?
I generally always keep a list going of songs that I might be interested in covering. And when you hear a song you’ve never heard before that you like, you have two choices: one, you can cover it, or two, you can steal from it. And I’ve done both. So some of these songs on our covers album are pretty obscure, like Willie Alexander, who I knew of when I was living in Boston. Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band was this legendary punk outfit, and he was also briefly a member of The Velvet Underground after Lou Reed quit. He got in touch with me on Facebook; I have to send him a copy of the album.
And you covered the brilliant Mink DeVille.
That’s another band that got lumped in with the punk movement, even though they really weren’t punk — they just happened to play CBGBs in that period. And of course we had to do The Cure’s “A Fire In Cairo” from its first album. Some of these songs made a really big impression on me when I was a teenager.
Why do an additional instrumental record?
It was Sean Eden, our guitar player’s idea. He just thought we should do something else, put out a recording that gave people something completely different. And some of those songs are reworkings of pieces that we wrote for the 2006 documentary “Tell Me Do You Miss Me,” and the others we just quickly did in the studio. I’ve seen a few reviews complaining that it’s lazy or whatever. But I personally like both the records, and we’ve done two things we’ve never done before — covers and instrumentals.
And you can get “Sentimental” in red vinyl on Luna’s website, plus signed lyric sheets, even a Spanish translation of your memoir “Black Postcards.”
It’s the changing landscape. The music business changes every three years, and there are all these new things you have to learn. So we’re really grateful for our direct-to-fan sales: They love it, and we actually get paid a lot quicker.
IF YOU GO
Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Jan. 26
Contact: (415) 346-6000, www.ticketmaster.com