Photos and Q & A by Jose Serrato
“Hope! That’s our message. That is what Celestial L’Amour is.” – Luis Lopez
Celestial L’Amour is a new band in the Fort Worth scene born during the 2020 pandemic. Even though this new project consists of two core members from the disbanded “The Straits”, don’t expect to hear the same sound. “We have a little bit harder songs, but still have a lot of the soft stuff that gives that dynamic feeling.”
I met up with Celestial L’Amour, Luis Lopez and Jack Emery at Tulips, the great new music venue in the Near Southside, to get to know them a little bit better.
Aside from the more obvious influences that one can hear listening to your music, what are some that may not be as clear to others?
LL – I love metal, but aside from that we listen to a lot of 70’s music or old school 60’s. That’s what we listen to all week, all the time.
JE – Being a saxophone player, I do a lot of jazz stuff in my bass playing. I try to create jazz melodies to go along with it.
LL – You will hear throughout the set a lot of Spanish influence and our guitarist adds on so much to that Spanish influence.
I hear in the tracks you have on streaming sites how they’re not all the same. Is that a conscious decision in doing that or just whatever happens, happens?
LL – Whatever happens, happens. But I also don’t want people to hear the same song over and over on an album. There’s a little bit of something for everybody and we haven’t even gotten the best songs that we have out yet.
How did this lineup get together?
LL – Tanner Moseley, our drummer, was part of The Straits for one show, but schedules didn’t workout with him being a full time college student. I brought him back in when he was done with college and we had left The Straits. We had 4 other members before getting Jack and Kris. It was really hard to find committed members that will put in their all. Jack was really good buddies with Tanner but I didn’t give it a thought because he was a saxophone player.
JE – They asked me to throw a sax solo on a cover of Yellow by Coldplay for a competition. After that I didn’t get a call. That was fine. (laughs) There’s not much room for sax, but I was hanging out with Tanner and he said their bass player was not in the band anymore. I had just learned bass and once Tanner brought that up, I weaseled my way in.
CL – He was a perfect fit.
LL – for Kris, we put out an ad and a mutual friend hit him up. He came to audition, learned the songs in 30 minutes and there was no point in looking for anyone else.
CL – The connection chemistry was really important. He hangout a lot after practice.
What’s the song writing process like?
JE – Oh my God! Don’t… (laughs)
LL – I meditate a lot. Once I have an idea in my head for a while, I sit down with my guitar and whip out a chorus. I get the melodies together and I bring it to her and see if it works with her vocal range because sometimes I go too high. Once we establish that, we bring it to the band. I talk really stupid at rehearsals when I try to explain something. Just do the ‘do de do de de…’ and they figure it out. They figure out the code.
JE – Being a classically trained musician, my ear is pretty good but I asked for some chord sheets or something to guide me when I first joined. He sent me a whole bunch and it made my brain hurt. Every other one I pulled up I thought why did you do that? I know what you meant but why did you say it like that? C’mon. (Laughs)
LL – That’s one thing I never learned. I’ve been all ear. I’m self-taught.
How long have you been singing?
CL – Since I was around 5. I started singing in church. My dad is a pastor and my first time singing in front of people was at church in front of 3,000 people. I started going with my dad to homeless shelters and sang before he preached.
I read you don’t want to be labeled as a Christian band, but you do want to spread the gospel through your music. How do you balance that and decide how much you want to put out there?
LL – Here’s the thing, not everybody in the band is a Christian and I’m not going to label us as Christian if not all of us are. And not all of the songs are Christian songs. They’re mainly about personal struggles, but on the songs that are directly Christian, I let it be direct. We’re definitely faith based, but we will not label ourselves as Christian. I definitely don’t want to turn everybody off from listening to our music.
CL – We’re not going to shove it down people’s throats, but we also don’t want to be ashamed of our faith as well. So we balance it and be smart about it. We don’t want to turn people off.
LL – Our songs messages of hope. That’s essentially what I want it to be labeled as.
4 singles are out on streaming sites. Studio time in September. Album coming out soon?
LL – No. Just the singles right now. In the future the singles will be an EP so we’ll be able to have something out to distribute.
JE – I would love to do an album, but it’s expensive in there. Unless someone wants to fund us to go in there for a whole album…
LL – We’ll do it.
CL – The singles keep people’s attention. If we just put an album out it has a retention for that moment, but if we release singles every 2 or 3 months it keeps people’s attention.
How have shows been post pandemic?
LL – It’s going really good. They just keep coming. We have a lot of shows coming up. I didn’t expect the attention that we’ve been getting now as fast. It’s going really good.
What do you want your fans and future fans to know about you?
CL – My purpose is to reach out mainly to the younger generation. There’s a lot of brokenness right now in the world. Be as uplifting as we can be and give messages of hope and encouragement.
LL – There’s not a lot of that going around right now. There’s people committing suicide right now and we definitely want to give that message of hope. The brain is very strong. We have experience with that and the music we were listening to at the time didn’t help. It pushed it a little more. So that’s why we are doing messages of hope in our songs because people need to hear that. There could be someone wanting to commit suicide tonight and they listen to our song and think there is hope. Tomorrow is another day.
CL – Music has a very big influence.
Celestial, Luis and Jack will be back here at Tulips along with Kris Lopez and Tanner Moseley to perform on August 14th. I’ll be there and you should be too. Tickets available now. You can listen to Celestial L’Amour tracks across all streaming platforms.