Indie foursome, Luna, is on the road again and heading for Mass MoCA

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NORTH ADAMS >> Indie-pop giant Luna was once called by Rolling Stone magazine, "the Best Band You've Never Heard."

That, fortunately, has changed.

The foursome is known for its intricate guitar work, rock-solid beat and Velvet Underground-style lyrics. (No surprise; Luna opened for the Velvets on an early tour in the '90s.)

Luna will be at Mass MoCA Saturday night as part of its North American tour.

Begun in 1991 by frontman/guitarist Dean Wareham, Luna has morphed into a critical and popular success. The band made nine alums and four EPs from 1992-2004. But shortly after their ninth LP, the band split up.

Wareham, who is usually the spokesman for the group, has insisted the decision to break up was amicable, citing burnout as a principal cause.

"After so many years together, you're not just friends anymore," he told Rolling Stone in a 2015 interview. "You're business partners, and sometimes that can be a burden."

The band is composed of Wareham, bassist Britta Phillips, guitarist Sean Eden and drummer Lee Wall.

In 2014, eschewing major fanfare, Wareham tweeted that the band was re-forming to play a few dates in Spain in 2015.

That may sound a little casual. And according to Wareham, it was. He told an interviewer that Eden flew into Los Angeles in 2014 to attend a barbecue hosted by members of the band.

At the barbecue, "we started jamming and it was really fun," admitted Wareham. Shortly thereafter, the band entered into an agreement with a Spanish promoter for six overseas dates.

"We didn't want to rent a van and do date after date and let it run our lives again," said Wareham of the Spanish tour. "And it turned out to be really enjoyable."

The 2015 tour has led to a 2016 tour in the United States. Wareham reports that the set list will be a compilation of songs from throughout the Luna catalog. Although he did not foresee a new Luna record, he released a solo effort, "Dean Wareham," last year. He and Phillips, now married, also tour as a duo.

But Luna will continue to play from time to time, he said.

"We make music pretty well together," said Wareham.

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.

IN CONCERT

What: Luna — indie rock quartet

When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Mass MoCA, Courtyard C or Hunter Center, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams

Tickets: $32; preferred — $40

How: (413) 662-2111; massmoca.org; in person at Mass MoCA box office


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