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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Lunar Year Talks ‘Hey! Wait!,’ Working With Mark Hoppus, And Nostalgia!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Lunar Year Talks ‘Hey! Wait!,’ Working With Mark Hoppus, And Nostalgia!

The Lunar Year

If pop-punk is the genre for you (same, obviously), then you are in for a real sweet treat with this one! Ever heard of The Lunar Year? Most of you probably have (that’s why you’re here, we know!), but if you haven’t, allow us to introduce you to your next pop-punk obsession!

Connor Ball and Sasa Macek make up the dynamic pop-punk duo – The Lunar Year, and these two crashed onto the scene ready to prove that they have what it takes to join the rankings of some of pop-punk’s finest, not only did they join the rankings, they have masterfully taken over!

Connor is no stranger to pop-punk music as that is his favorite genre of music – posting many covers on his YouTube channel and TikTok- so we were 0% surprised (and 1000000% excited) that he decided to venture into the genre! The Lunar Years’ latest single, ‘Hey! Wait!’ showcases how effortlessly they fit into the genre like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle. The song has all the hypnotizing elements we lose ourselves in in pop-punk music: fast tempos, killer guitar riffs, fierce drum beats, and lyrics so raw you feel them in your soul. It’s iconic, and we know it’s going to be a fan favorite! Check out the video below and stream the single here!

If you can’t tell, we are big fans of The Lunar Year, and having the chance to interview them about their music (including working with Mark Hoppus) has felt like a dream (seriously, someone pinch us😵)! Okay, enough of our rambling – let’s dive in and get the buzz from Connor Ball himself!

Connor, you’ve posted a ton of pop-punk covers on TikTok and YouTube over the years, do you feel that those videos sort of initiated the desire for you to form your own pop-punk band? How did you and Sasa get together to bring The Lunar Year to life?
Pop punk has always been my favorite style of music ever since I was a kid, getting into it through bands like Blink, Sum 41, and Panic. Even before The Vamps, I was in a school band that was pop-punk based so I think it’s always been something I knew I was eventually going to do again. The YouTube videos were definitely a way for me to stay in touch with that part of me whilst being so busy with Vamps stuff. Me and Sasa got together through doing a cover of an MGK song and then we just started bouncing ideas off each other which then led to wanting to make an actual band!

Lunar years happen every four years and are noted for how lucky or special they are. How do you feel the connotations of a lunar year relates to your group as a whole?
The name ‘The Lunar Year’ definitely feels very fitting when as you say, it’s a special thing and this band feels very special to me in many ways! I feel very lucky with the way it’s all come together and where everything is headed in the near future.

The Lunar Year
Image Source: Victor Gelius

How do you feel your artistic approach has evolved since you first started with The Vamps, into creating The Lunar Year?
So much has changed with my creative process over the years, I feel like it’s an ever evolving thing that as you learn more and more about music/production it changes the way you think about songwriting. I think over the years I’ve definitely learned to be a lot more honest with my songwriting – taking a lot more real life experiences into account. I also think a lot more about the creative direction as a whole these days, the songs are one thing but it’s looking at the bigger picture (ie. the artwork and content around the song) that really brings it all to life.

And, we saw you take to the ice for Dancing On Ice 2022, that must’ve taken a lot of courage, especially in the face of injuries. Do you feel that courage has spilled over into other areas of your life and impacted your approach to songwriting or life in general?
Haha, Dancing On Ice was a lot of fun! I definitely had my fair share of injuries which I don’t want to relive! I’ve definitely been quite fearless with a lot of things in life, always up for pushing myself in everything I do and I’d like to think this has spilled over into my songwriting!

The Lunar Year just released their newest single ‘Hey! Wait!’ that was written with Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus! We know you’ve been a pop-punk fan for ages, and we’ve loved getting music recs from your covers and social posts throughout the years! What was it like to get to work with Mark Hoppus when he’s someone you grew up listening to?
Working with Mark was honestly a dream for me! It’s funny when people say don’t meet your idols because what if it’s not how you expected it would be, but Mark was an absolute legend. For him to come to do a writing session not long after getting his all clear from cancer was such an honor and I feel like it was a special moment in the room when we wrote ‘Hey! Wait!.’ It was awesome for us to write about a subject that I feel we can both relate to so well having been in touring bands for so many years. It was funny because when we were in the room writing and he would sing his ideas I was like “OMG, it sounds like a Blink song!!”

How did you two get connected with Mark Hoppus and what was the biggest surprise in working with him? Can you share a favorite memory of you all from the creative process?
So our producer Matt worked with Travis Barker for a long time and also on the Nine album for Blink so Mark is a good friend of Matt’s. He hit him up and asked if he would be up for writing a song with us. Mark came over to Matt’s whilst we were out in LA and wrote the song within about 2 hours. My favorite memory was just talking with Mark about his touring experiences and what it’s been like for him being in a band as big as Blink!

The Lunar Year
Image Source: M3 Recordings/ Courtesy of Public City PR

‘Hey! Wait!’ also sees you reuniting with Matt Malpass, who’s worked on TLY songs like ‘Back For More’ and ‘Boys Will Cry.’ What’s your favorite thing about working with Matt? Was there anything different about working with him on ‘Hey! Wait!?’
Matt is one of the coolest and most talented people ever. Since day one of working with him he’s been amazing to us and been so supportive of everything we’ve done. His production has such a distinctive sound that has really shaped the direction of The Lunar Year music. I feel like every time I’m in a session with Matt he surprises me with a new sound or a new idea that inspires me to write differently or think in a way I wouldn’t have before. ‘Hey! Wait!’ was slightly different to some of the other songs in the way it came about. The day before Mark came in to write, we recorded two instrumental tracks without lyrics and played him both of them and we decided on the one we wanted to go with which ended up being ‘Hey! Wait!’

‘Hey! Wait!’ makes us feel nostalgic and reminiscent of all of our younger years that came and went in the blink of an eye. If you could pinpoint one significant moment from your life (or career) that you feel most nostalgic about (or one that you could relive again) what moment would you choose?
There’s been so many moments I would love to relive. I feel so lucky to have experienced a lot of the things I have but there’s definitely been times where I wish I’d been more present. It’s hard to pick one specific moment! I think the feeling of everything being new when I was 16/17 just coming into the music industry is a feeling I would love to have again. Being so naive to everything and trying to take it all in whilst living at 100mph was crazy when I was so young.

A big theme on ‘Hey! Wait!’ is the anxiety of growing up and trying to figure out your purpose in life, which is so relatable. Hearing you speak up about your anxiety over the years has been so helpful for so many fans – what has it been like for you to get to use your experience to help other people feel less alone in what they might be going through?
I’m so happy that from speaking up about my experiences with anxiety/mental health so many people have come to me and told me how much it’s helped them with their own struggles. For me, that is mission accomplished because the only reason I’ve ever spoken out about my experiences is so that it can help somebody else. I think to hear from someone else that what they’ve been feeling is such a normal thing really makes all the difference.

What is the message you hope fans take away when listening to ‘Hey! Wait!?’
I hope when people listen to the song it reminds them all of the amazing moments in your life pass by in the blink of an eye, so just to be a little more present with these times going forward. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything when life is moving fast, but just remember to take a moment and appreciate the present!

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There you have it, honey poppers! We cannot express our love for this duo enough! They are phenomenal songwriters and musicians and also exceptional human beings, and they deserve all their success and much much more!

Thank you to The Lunar Year for chatting with us!

We want to hear from you now, honey poppers! Do you have a favorite song by TLY? What do you think about their latest release ‘Hey!Wait!?’ Did we ask the duo any of your burning questions?

Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Buzzin’ for more on your faves? We gotchu, HONEY!


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