Elephant Walk is a brand new band from the mind of hardcore virtuoso and multi instrumentalist, Luna Rain, previously known for her work in bands like KIND! from Boston, Massachusetts and more recently, Grip and Masque in Portland, Oregon.
Having already released two demos in 2023, the fast, lo-fi hardcore solo project has manifested itself into a zine and a live lineup.
Having recently played their first show, with Luna at the vocal helm, I wanted to chat with the singer about the new endeavor.
What is Elephant Walk’s mission?
I wanted to give myself an outlet to scream about the trans community under attack. In the spring of this year the first bill against trans rights was passed, furious doesn’t begin to describe my rage. But there was also fear. I clawed through years of substance abuse, hate from others, friends dying from trans violence or killings themselves, and for what? To see it all ripped away?
That first demo is seeping in despair and anguish, like throwing a rock at a boulder. I wanted revenge for all of the friends I’ll never see again, for the years stolen from me, for what they were beginning to steal from me now.
Vengeance was the mission and still is, though it quickly became apparent to me that this project was so important to my soul, I wanted to be a voice for the youth—the kids who can’t come out, the kids being murdered, the kids being gaslit, the kids being told they’re weird and wrong. It’s revenge for them, it’s a beacon for them to look at and see someone who did transition and who isn’t dead, to see a future.
And to understand that future is a fight, one that they need to be ready for and one that they can see me fight as hard as I can for them.
Tell us about a Bid to Combat: The War Against Us - A Trans Zine. What inspired you to put together a zine as part of this project?
When I dropped the AIR RAID demo I was already writing interest zines, mostly about goth culture or poetry. I wanted to write a short blurb for the insert when I would eventually make physicals, so I sat down to write a paragraph about the war on transness. Three hours later and I had written so much more than I anticipated, I had no clue what to do with it.
I had been xeroxing old pictures from WWII with typewritten catch phrases like “TRANS LIBERATION FRONT” or “NOT ONE MORE MISSING TRANS WOMAN” to make art that looked like war time propaganda. I figured I would marry the two, make a zine and someone might read it, get a better idea of what it’s like for trans people right now and how fucked up it is.
I sold out of it the first night I tabled with it and felt inspired to keep going, so I made more copies, wrote a second zine “INFORMATION WARFARE: DISMANTLING TRANSPHOBIC MENTALITY IN YOUR INNER CIRCLE; A TRANS ZINE” and I’ve begun work on a third.
What are your main musical influences for this project?
Coming from Boston, I’ll always carry Outbreak as my biggest musical influence. They were pissed off, fast, and heavy, like good hardcore should be. Definitely other NE locals like Mountain Man, Chain Rank, 2X4, Glory are in there too.
There’s also all the old school stuff that really got me into speed, fastcore and all that jazz, like Scholastic Deth, Surf Nazis Must Die, Find Him and Kill Him. Also anything Trejo touches is fucking perfect–Veil II, Cadaver Dog, Life Support…
Tell us about your process for recording a solo demo.
Honestly, I don’t have a process, it’s pure chaos. Sometimes I get a drum part in my head, other times it’s around lyrics I’ve written. I just lock myself in the 306 and go from there. It’s usually been having lyrics and trying to fit stuff to it lately since I’ve had so much to get angry about, but for the most part chaos.
I record everything on its own, so I have to lay down a drum track, then play it back and record guitar and bass separately and finally hit the vocals. I want it to sound like something you’d find in the dollar bin at a record store, something from the '80s made in a DC basement blown the fuck out and grimy as hell. I think I nailed it!
What can we expect from Elephant Walk in the future? More live shows/tour?
I’m going to keep recording solo stuff, going to keep writing zines, going to keep advocating for stomping TERFs into concrete and creating safety for my community. I have a rotating group of musicians and am always looking for more trans musicians in the PDX area who are interested. We’re going to play as much as possible. I have two drummers, two bassists and four guitarists, I can play anything and sing if I have to.
Trans hardcore deserves to be front and center and since I have a mic and some kind of attention I’m raising this flag high. Listen to our sister bands State Violence, The Names of Our Friends, Crust Cunt, It’s You! It’s Me! And There’s Dancing!, Percolator. Listen to Tolls, Eteraz, Senza, Chueko, Vueltas, Reat Without Relaxation, Bohemian, Lazer Bullet, Atomic Prey, Earthen Altar, Simian, Blushbutton.
Trans music exists in Portland and fucking beyond. Find me on instagram and hit me up if you’re trans of any age, going through anything. We’re all we have and it’s all we can do to keep each other safe.
It's really important to me that any trans people reading this understand my personal instagram, my email, my band instagram are all open 24/7 for you. I will do everything I can for you. Please. Reach out.
TRANS HARDCORE FOREVER!