John Luna

Rock Star

Hi John –

  • When did you start playing music and what instruments do you play?

“I was 6 years old … it was required in the school I attended. I moved from cello to piano to guitar, and now I play base, guitar and sing.

“I’ve been playing instruments and singing probably the majority of my life – it’s just how I grew up.”

  • When did you start your first band?

“I was a teenager when I started my first band, and I’ve been in six or seven bands since I was 15.”

  • What’s your current band … and when and where do you perform?

“Johnny and the Nukes. We mostly perform on the weekends, and it can be anywhere from Downtown Denver to Pueblo. This is my first band where it’s just a weekend warrior kind of thing.”

  • Now that you have a family, has that changed your rock star lifestyle?

“Yes! I like to play once a month or maybe twice now. Once a month is plenty. On the nights we play, I stay up way past my bedtime, which is normally 8:30 p.m. … so I am up until 2:30 in the morning, and I’m wrecked for most of the following week. It’s just different.”

  • What do you like most about music?

“It’s something that can change your mood immediately … not only listening to music, but playing music gives you an outlet for creativity.”

  • Are any of your family members involved in music?

“My brother-in-law and father-in-law. They mainly play in Pueblo and at big state fair shows. No one on my side of the family is big into music.”

  • Do you sing in the shower?

“I do! When I wake up, I have a different song in my head every morning. It could be a song I heard before or what’s on TV at the time.”

  • What’s your favorite musical genre … and how has that changed over time?

“I used to only listen to punk rock … now, it’s a lot more. There’s just so much music out there, so I listen to everything from reggae to Motown.”

  • Who are your favorite artists?

“My top five recording artists are … Mike Ness, Marvin Gaye, The Clash, AFI, and The Beatles.”

  • Where do you see your musical career in five or 10 years?

“In the basement with my son … Cash loves listening to his mom on stereo. He and I will sit there and play guitar, and we’ll just hang out and sing. He sings as much as he can right now. He does a lot of ‘la … la … la.’”

  • What’s the easiest way for kids and others to get involved in or learn about music?

“Just picking up an instrument is probably the easiest way … that first step will get you where you want to go faster than just picking up a book about it. A lot of my friends just play by ear.”

  • What’s a funny or interesting story from one of your performances?

“The craziest thing that happened is we won a Battle of the Bands competition a few years ago. Another group was mad they didn’t win, so they went outside and started shooting a gun. Someone ended up getting shot … so we moved all our equipment out the back of the building and took off.”

  • What was your best performance?

“We played at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre. A lot of bands will go there and not announce that they’re going to be there … people just hear about it that day. There’s this giant wood stage – it’s huge and then you look behind you, and the river’s right there.”

  • Do you ever have stage fright?

“I used to get sick before every show … my other band members had decided that if I didn’t puke, it wasn’t going to be a good show. Now it’s every now and then, but for the most part, it’s not a big deal. We play once a month now, but most of those time, we have cocktails before the show. Liquid courage always helps.

“I still get nervous, just not as nervous – we’re doing it for fun!”

  • Is there anything you would like to add about your musical career or music in general?