Interview: Sheena Ozzella of Lemuria

By Joshua Robbins

May 1, 2015

Indie punk-rock band Lemuria hailing from Buffalo, New York was formed in the summer of 2004 by guitarist/vocalist Sheena Ozzella and drummer/vocalist Alex Kerns. The band has had their share of bass players before the entrance of Max Gregor, who joined the band in 2011.

Touring non-stop since their inception, they’ve traveled the world playing in Russia, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America more times than one can count.

Recently the band released their most recent album, The Distance is So Big, via Bridge Nine Records in 2013. They are currently supporting Tigers Jaw on a national tour for their 2014 album, “Charmer.” The tour stops in Charlotte, NC at Visulite Theatre on Monday, May 4th.

We had a chance to chat with Sheena Ozzella of Lemuria about a few things.


CLTure: For those who do not know, how did Lemuria form?

Sheena Ozzella: Lemuria formed in 2004 by Alex kerns and myself. We were looking for something to do musically and practice our newly learned instruments.

CLTure: How do you all manage to keep it all together with one member in Buffalo, NY, another in DC, and the other in Austin, TX?

SO: We buy a lot of plane tickets and travel often to see one another. This last year was a busy one for us, so we kind if scheduled everything closely so it would be cheaper and more efficient to tour.

CLTure: How do you all write songs, given the distance?

SO: We just take time to demo and make it priority for a few weeks at a time. We lock ourselves into a studio or practice space and hammer songs out best we can.


CLTure: Lemuria has been a band for more than ten years, how do you feel you all have changed in those ten years? Do you feel like you approach the band in the same sense or is it different now?

SO: We all have become more comfortable expanding the sounds of the band now, and writing what we want, not what’s expected. We have gotten to be better musicians in the 10 years also, so I think that’s changed us a bit.

CLTure: How do you feel that you are received in the South, specifically North Carolina?

SO: We love the East Coast, and have the best time all along it. Our North Carolina shows have been great so far! It’s always a nice state to drive through, too.

CLTure: Was the last time you played Charlotte like 2011? Was it when you played with Meth Mountain and The Mongoloids at The Milestone?

SO: I think so! We have played in Raleigh and Durham a few times. Asheville too!

CLTure: Pancakes vs. Waffles?

SO: Donuts?

CLTure: If you had to choose, what is your favorite Lemuria song?

SO: My favorite Lemuria song to play is “Lipstick”. I don’t think we have had one set since we released that song without it. I’ll never get sick of playing it. Especially when we play it with a keyboardist!


CLTure: Are you all doing this tour with a keyboardist, and if so is that a permanent thing?

SO: We aren’t doing this tour with a keyboardist, but we have done a few shows with our friend Tony, who plays on our recordings!

CLTure: What are you listening to right now?

SO: Mark Maron podcasts, Madonna, ABBA, and Leatherface

CLTure: This isn’t so much a question, but to see if you like [the podcast] WTF with Marc Maron… You should also check out You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes and also Turned Out a Punk with Damien Abraham (of Fucked Up).

SO: Will check out! I’ve been more into podcasts lately in the van on tour than music. Thanks!


CLTure: Do you listen to Maron’s monologue’s in the intros or do you all skip past them?

SO: I love all of the Maron stuff, I think he’s great! Don’t skip a bit!

CLTure: How is the tour with Tigers Jaw going?

SO: Amazing! Such a great and talented group of people! Crowds have been sweet too. Respectful, and nice!

CLTure: You released The Distance is So Big in 2014 via Bridge Nine Records. When can we expect a follow up?

SO: We plan to spend this next year writing. Hopefully release something next year!

CLTure: Where do you see Lemuria in another ten years?

SO: Hopefully with a few more full lengths and a couple more countries toured!

CLTure: Any neat stories about recording with J. Robbins (vocalist and guitarist of Jawbox)?

SO: J is a great guy. I can’t remember any specific stories, but his studio is amazing and it was an honor to work with him a few times!


CLTure: Do you know if Lemuria will work again with J. Robbins for the next record or is it too early to tell?

SO: Too early to tell, but I would say we will try someone new for the next record. See what else we can do with our recordings. Hopefully go back to J for some other projects too, he is so great to work with!

CLTure: Anything left you want to add?

SO: Can’t wait to be back to Charlotte! Thanks for the interview!

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