INTERVIEW: Lady Lightning

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? 

 We’ve been great! Happy to be chatting with you.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hero”?

Absolutely. So Hero is sort of of a “coming of age” “coming into your own” type of song set to what could be most aptly described as an 80s montage song. It’s that moment that hopefully each person gets to experience, where they decide that all the permission, empowerment, love they need is inside of them. And as cheesy as that idea can be for some people to digest, it is one of the most universal truths we subscribe to.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Not any one event specifically inspired the song. This was more of a cumulative effect. It was just one of those themes that can be spoken into your own existence, but until you start stacking up life experiences and really connecting the dots, it doesn’t quite resonate. There is something about getting over the hump of understanding that focusing on yourself is not inherently selfish. It ultimately can be one of the more selfless things you can accomplish. It just allows you to serve everyone around you at a higher capacity.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

No solid plans yet, but we do actually have a very cool concept for the video. We just need the right people to pull it off. Stay tuned thought. We will do it at some point in the near future.

The single comes off your new album Sleepover – what’s the story behind the title?

So the story behind the title is quite bittersweet actually. We stylized it SLEEP/OVER on purpose, and it was our band name to begin with. It sort of encapsulated us a couple on multiple levels. Our decade long friendship was highlighted by us sleeping over visiting each other throughout the years. And then the turn of phrase is that the SLEEP is OVER. We’re essentially waking up to the most authentic versions of ourselves. No more sleeping on who we are meant to be. No more hiding from our gifts and ducking the responsibility to share as much light with the world as we can. BUT we decided against using it as a band name because there were a smattering of other groups that had used it before us and took some legal advice to avoid bringing any potential headaches our way by changing it to Lady Lightning.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was unique for us in a lot of ways. Collaborating with people on your art is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. Collaborating with your significant other takes that idea to the next level. Because you already start with that inherent trust and understanding that it takes to be vulnerable. And being vulnerable is where the best art comes from. Granted, we went through some growing pains, learning how to communicate as collaborators, learning where the lines between partners and artistic collaborators exists. In the end, it is one of the most rewarding experiences to create something with the person you love.

As far as the recording process goes, we could not have been happier with it. We had SOME idea of what we wanted to sound like going in, but it was in the studio where our sound really crystallized. We recorded with Avery Bzdyk out in Hicksville, LI (he has since moved to LA). And he is one of the most talented, authentic, kind people we’ve ever worked with. He’s a self-taught, multi instrumentalist, engineer, songwriter. And there is absolutely no doubt he will do big big things. Fantastic ear for arrangement, instincts you can’t teach, and the perfect disposition to organize the sometimes erratic ideas that we can come up with.

What role does NYC play in your music?

Well Graci moved here almost a decade ago to pursue acting (which she has done quite successfully). And before we started dating, she convinced me to come and pursue music. And just like with anything else, we could go back to our hometowns and be big fish in a little pond. But I think we both agree that it is a much greater adventure trying to be big fish in a big pond. Plus there is just no replacing the experiences you can have in this city. There is such a rich marketplace of ideas and people. It leads to no shortage of inspiration.

How your acting background does influence your music and the other way around?

Both require a level of openness and vulnerability to pull off well. So the overlap of understanding that being yourself is the greatest skill you can have is pivotal for art in general.  So the ability to riff and create and be silly is a great advantage to collaboration and writing. The biggest difference (most of the time) is that in acting, you’re interpreting a character through the lense of your own life experience. But with most songs, you are the character. You’re talking about you. And that can be a different level. But of course, there are also songs that you can create around a character as well.

What aspect of relationships did you get to explore on this record?

That’s an interesting question, because while this was an EP, I think it’d be shorter to answer what aspects we didn’t explore. We explored the most blissful love aspects. We dove into a period of time where we essentially broke up for a couple months in the song Blame. We explored what it was like to find God in another person, and letting that someone reflect back to you on the song Heaven. We cover most of the parts of a relationship you can experience really.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The second largest topic that we took on was personal growth. You can hear that very specifically in Hero. And we also spoke on it in a much more analogous fashion with Blow. We used the idea of an embarrassment of riches in sort of an ironic way to articulate what real wealth should be. Having an abundance of spiritual capital should be the goal. Physical wealth feels like it should be more of a literal representation of your self worth. Not the measure of who you are as a person.

Any plans to hit the road?

Nothing like a full tour yet. We’re still crafting the live show and working on new material. We will continue playing regionally throughout the end of the year and assess then.

What else is happening next in Lady Lightning’s world?

We are flush with new material at the moment. We have a couple more songs to release by the end of the year. We have new songs we would like to record in the very near future. We also have our drummer and our bass player, Jared Miller and Jon Ewing, in the process of moving here full time. Those two are uniquely special people to us as Jon, Jared and I (Tony) were in a band together about 14 years ago, which is how Graci and I met. So they were there from the very beginning of both Graci and I, and our musical journeys.

Listen to the full EP here

Follow on instagram @ladylightningmusic

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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