Lunatic Calm was a collaborative project between Simon Shackleton and Howie Saunders (featuring additional member, Jez Noble on live drums). The band formed in 1996 and ran through to 2002, releasing two diverse albums of hybridized electronic-rock. In 2019 Lunatic Calm announced their intention to begin experimenting with some new material, although that has yet to happen.
Lunatic Calm formed in 1996 out of the ashes of mine and Howie Saunders' previous project, Flicker Noise. Whilst Flicker Noise had a decidedly rap-rock feel to many of its tracks, we'd created a series of new demos in late 1995 that was influenced more by the likes of The Chemical Brothers, NIN, Massive Attack and Underworld as opposed to Rage Against The Machine and Faith No More. We wanted a blank canvas and chose 'Lunatic Calm' as the name (this was derived from a song we wrote whilst demoing ideas as Flicker Noise).
Over the course of the next year or so we signed to MCA Records and wrote and recorded the Metropol album with the assistance of a shiny new studio. The album dropped in 1997 and our second single, 'Leave You Far Behind' came close to hitting the Top 40 in the UK, but when it didn't the record company forced us into having our music used on a Lucozade advert mocking The Prodigy, who, at the time, had just released their seminal 'Fat of the Land' album. We were mortified. The press lambasted us. The record company distanced itself, and we then focused our efforts on licensing our tracks to TV and movie soundtracks. The biggest success of that era was the use of 'Leave You Far Behind' in The Matrix, although we also secured licenses to around 30 other movies, including Charlie's Angels, Arlington Road, The Jackyll, Lara Croft and The Bone Collector, amongst others. We also toured the US extensively in 1998 with our good friends The Crystal Method and made a lot of new friends as we traversed the States.
After the MCA debacle, we were somewhat stymied; trapped in a contract with a disinterested label, but still creating new music in the hope of contractual release. When this eventually happened in 1999, we had already written the bulk of the Breaking Point album but were becoming increasingly frustrated with our situation. Eventually, we signed a deal with LA-based City of Angels Records, who secured funding from Virgin's V2 wing for our second album. When the aptly-named album was finally scheduled for release 2002, City of Angels imploded days before its release in spectacular fashion. V2 paid lip service to the contract by fulfilling their minimum contractual obligation to the record (500 copies available in stores across the US) and the band, exhausted with it all, folded.
In 2019 conversations began to examine the possibility of a reboot of a project that we both feel has stood the test of time remarkably well. We've also rescued and remastered a whole bunch of rare and unheard content from the Lunatic Calm studio sessions from the late 90s that may, at some point, see the light of day.