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ATL rockers mix it up in Gainesville
Five questions with Luna Ashlee of The Lunatics
Members of The Lunatics include Luna Ashlee, Randy Reider, Patrick Dortch and Rodney Beaubouef.

The Lunatics

When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: AJ’s Food, Fun & Friends, 322 Spring St., Gainesville
How much: No cover
More info: 770-287-3030

Luna Ashlee started her singing and performing career at 9 years old, after she had to stand in for a lead male in a school play.

Since then, she’s wanted to be center stage, and that’s exactly what she’s doing as the lead singer of the band The Lunatics.

The Atlanta-based rockers have performed in Gainesville before and are set to perform again on Friday night at AJ’s Food, Fun & Friends.

We spoke with Luna Ashlee, who splits time between music gigs and her makeup artistry career, to ask her a few questions about what fuels her and the band musically.

Question: How did the band come together?

Answer: Randy (Reider) and I were in a band prior to putting The Lunatics together and we decided we wanted to do some different things, so we got Patrick (Dortch) and Rodney (Beaubouef) together. Randy pretty much got Patrick with us, and I got Rodney on board and it just worked out. We’ve been together almost two years.

Q: What do you think makes The Lunatics different from other rock bands?

A: We play danceable rock, not just the stuff that the frat boys want to hear, not just the stuff that the girls want to hear. We play ’80s, ’90s — not just one thing. We’ve got a decent variety, but everything that we do we try to make it danceable. But I think it’s also our chemistry on stage. The people that come to see us get involved in the show, and that’s what they love about it.We wouldn’t be there without the audience, and they’re getting something from us. And we want to give them everything we can. Part of interacting with them is kind of making them feel like they are as much a part of the show as we are.

Q: What is it like to be a female lead singer for a rock band?

A: I think a female’s role in a rock band is completely underestimated, but for me I wouldn’t be anywhere else. And there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. Rock’s my heart, so there is nothing that drives me the way that rock does, and I don’t care what anybody says, I’m going to do it.

Q: What are some of your favorite bands that you model your band after?

A: Tina Turner is definitely my role model — absolutely love her. Favorite bands? Depeche Mode, Stereophonics, Queens of the Stone Age, Incubus. Definitely Incubus; Brandon Boyd is one of my favorite rock singers out today and have nothing to do with the fact that he’s hot ... I swear. Soundgarden was huge for me when I was growing up, that part of the reason I’m into rock was Soundgarden. Recently, Bow Wow Wow.

Q: Do you change your show for each venue you perform?

A: We do; some locations respond better to certain types of music. So, we’ve got a huge list of songs that we pull from. Wild Wing (in Gainesville) goes for a lot of ’80s stuff, but AJ’s people are just ready to party. You can play the ’80s, the ’90s, you can play the stuff from today ... they are a really fun crowd.