The Lebanese electro-rockers prepare for their long-awaited Dubai gig and reflect on their most successful year to date over a chat with us.
The gig you were set to play in Dubai in May was stopped by the Lebanese conflict. How’s it feel to finally be coming here? Marc: We were actually pretty frustrated by that, because our concert in Dubai was supposed to be for the launch of our debut album and once again we had become hostages of a situation that we did not choose. Now I’m just hoping that nothing will happen and we will finally be able to do this gig!
You’re on a tour right now, yes? Marc: Yes, in fact I am checking into an airport at this moment. We have played Barcelona and Paris, and now we’re going out to Berlin. After that, we will play Belfast, London and Beirut, and then on to Dubai.
Last time we spoke, you were holed up in your Beirut apartment so his must make a nice change. Marc: Yeah, exactly. But this is perfect – the reason we do this isn’t to stay in our room, it’s to explore everywhere and see how people react to our music, and to lift them into action. This is what motivates us. So I guess this makes sense.
What’s the reaction been like? Marc: In Barcelona we played a festival and although they didn’t know our music we had a great response from the audience, which turned into a positive response from us, like this wonderful cycle. It was a bit easier for us in Paris, because Mayaline used to live in Paris and I have a lot of friends there, so they would tell friends who would tell other friends. It was a small club – there were only 200 people there – and that means that people are very close to you and the way the energy flows in the room is very straightforward compared to the way it flows in a big venue. When you are very close to people, it is a great experience. I have to go check in now – I’ll put Mayaline on.
Hi Mayaline! How’re you doing? Mayaline: We’re sick and tired and we have too much baggage [laughs].
Last time you said that you might leave Beirut forever if the conflict kept up. How do you feel now? Mayaline: I’m quite happy that we have the chance to travel and see the world, and I think we would be happy to come back to Beirut also. My dream now is to always travel – to have a permanent base in Beirut for sure, but to travel frequently.
Has it been a good experience? Mayaline: Yes. Playing live, our show has become more and more solid. So we have a base, something that we’re sure of, and it’s getting more and more solid with time.
Can you describe the show? Mayaline: I don’t like to do that because I think it’s different every time, but we’re playing in a club in Dubai so I’m hoping it will be a pretty ‘dancey’ show. And now there are four of us on stage, so it’s pretty much like seeing a rock band playing.
Are the two others just session musicians or have they become part of the band? Mayaline: They are getting to be more and more part of Lumi because we have all this interaction on stage. Marc and I wrote the album together, but now we’re going to do new tracks, the four of us, and I’m very happy with the way things are.
Finally, what will you be playing? Mayaline: I think we’ll be playing most of the songs on the album plus two or three surprises. I don’t want to say any more than that!
Lumi plays Alpha on July 15. Their album, Two Tears In Water, is available in stores.