Readers of Shindig! will be well aware of Mike Stax from his ’80s garage legends The Tell-Tale Hearts and long-running publication Ugly Things. THE LOONS have been active for many years too, and are one of the best bands in the psychedelic firmament. ‘Memories Have Faces’ is their latest single, released by Munster
The Loonsof Southern California keep growing, learning, creating, evolving, but never compromising. Whether tearing it up onstage or working on new material in the recording studio, their commitment to the wild spirit of ’60s garage, freakbeat and psychedelia is total.
Their latest seven-inch release, an exclusive to Munster Records, presents three new and diverse Loons creations: ‘A Dream In Jade Green’ is an intense, high-energy psychedelic number; two parts hallucination, one part seduction. ‘Memories Have Faces’ is a primal, percussive, jungle workout with wailing steel guitar and Yardmerizing harmonica, while’ Don’t Make Me Wait‘ is a straight-ahead, hip-shaking ’60s beat number.
Formed in San Diego more than 20 years ago, The Loons have recorded and released four albums – Inside Out Your Mind is the most recent – along with a slew of singles, and played gigs in more cities around the world than they can keep count of. They’ve collaborated with original ‘60s music icons like Glenn Ross Campbell of The Misunderstood, Dick Taylor of The Pretty Things, Randy Holden of The Sons Of Adam and Blue Cheer, and Michael Stuart-Ware of Love.
Mike Stax, who also publishes Ugly Things magazine, is the lead singer. Anja Stax plays bass and sings backing vocals. Marc Schroeder and Chris Marsteller play guitars, and Chris Cancelliere is on drums.
Mike Stax was already a veteran of several other San Diego bands, including The Crawdaddys and The Tell-Tale Hearts, when he first formed The Loons in 1997. Ebbot Lundberg of The Soundtrack Of Our Lives produced the group’s debut album, Love’s Dead Leaves, released by Get Hip Records in 1998. Anja joined on bass after relocating to California from London, where she’d been playing with The Diaboliks, and Marc Schroeder and Chris Marsteller joined soon afterwards. The Paraphernalia album was released in 2004, followed by Red Dissolving Rays Of Light (Bomp, 2010), which included two tracks with Glenn Campbell of The Misunderstood on steel guitar, and Inside Out Your Mind (Bomp, 2015). Chris Cancelliere became the group’s new drummer at the end of 2018.
The Loons just returned from a successful tour of Spain, including appearances at The Barcelona Psych Fest, and The Wild Weekend on the island of Mallorca.