Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Love Letter to Lutheran Heat

Dear Garth, Sara, Matt and Justin,

This is Damien from Piñata. This is a little bit awkward, but I just have to get these feelings out, and this is the way I chose to do it. I'm in love with your music, and also with you. It all began in 2014 when I read about your single for Shoot Into the Sun on Hymie's blog. As soon as I got off work, I raced over to Hymie's and bought the record. I listened to it over and over, and told my friends and loved ones about my favorite new band.

Your band name and the artwork on the 7" spoke to me as well. I grew up spending every Sunday morning in the Lutheran church. My mom is a Lutheran Deaconess, and is now an ordained pastor. This image is ingrained in my head:

I saw Lutheran Heat play at the Hexagon Bar a few times after that, and became smitten with your sense of humor and obvious friendship. From the outside, you guys seem to have the kind of camaraderie that makes a fan want to be part of the band. Like the fictional version of The Beatles in Help! (or maybe the real Beatles in Hamburg).

In January of 2016, you sent Piñata a link to hear your new album, Louder From the Other Side, asking if we'd be interested in putting it out. I'll always think of the first sentences of your e-mail. "We’re a dumb band called Lutheran Heat, and we just recorded a full length album that we’re looking to put out in 2016. Despite our band being full of absolute ding-dongs, our new album is pretty freakin’ good." We loved it immediately, and told you so. The songs had a perfect mix of nostalgic jangle and wistful romantic lyrics, steeped in keg party good times.When Trevor and I finally got to meet you all in person, it was a relief that your affable demeanor expressed on stage was real. I'd like to think we all hit it off and became friends pretty easily. I think Piñata and Lutheran Heat were a good match.

We began the long, boring wait for vinyl records to be manufactured. It was better because we did it together. My group text thread with Sara and Garth was the highlight of many long days waiting for test pressings to come. Finally the records arrived, and sounded incredible. Sara, Matt, Trevor and I had a lovely time assembling finished records together above the Nomad Bar, cracking jokes and drinking beers. Just a bunch of "ding-dongs", am I right? The release party at the Eagles Club was a great time, with Lutheran Heat supplemented by keyboards and extra guitar. You were stellar that night, and I think your beautiful music saved me from the food poisoning I had that night.

As we were packing up at the end of that night, I jokingly told Sara, "Well that's the end of our relationship. It's been fun." Ever since I said this, I've wished I could take it back. I'd never want our friendship to end. Let's find lots of reasons to get together again. Like, maybe we could go out for beers and bowling and talk about a tour. Or we could pool our Spotify royalties and rent a video? Just let's stay friends, ok? Never you mind, we'll keep comin' back.

Love you guys,