INTERVIEW: A Thousand Lights

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

I’ve been well, just working hard at the new record release.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Love Song For The Lonely”?

Yeah, it was really the song that gave me a direction for the rest of the album, I had been writing for other artists and trying to find the right vibe for my record, and this was one of those songs that kind of kick started the musical direction and approach. I think it’s a good introduction to the record, thematically and musically.

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

The song was written about conversations I had been having with a friend that was going through a divorce. I was sympathizing  with their newfound loneliness and it informed the lyrics and the spirit of the song.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

I wanted to try and shoot a video all in one shot, my friend Dan Coronado who help film and edit the  Speak The Truth… Even If Your Voice Shakes videos was nice enough to take on the challenge and help me figure out how to get it done. We wanted it to be in slow motion, which means that the band has to play the song at double speed for the footage to line up with the music. So it was interesting to try and nail a take where everything works perfect for the band performance and the camera work. It was very fun to get it right!

Why did you name the album after this track in particular?

No particular reason, I think it represents the intent of the record, and it’s got a ring to it I guess.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote very quickly over a number of months, trying to obey my muse and when an idea came I was able to receive it and put it to work. I made a deliberate decision to not demo any songs, I would just record a quick scratch version of an idea on my voice memos and if the song felt like it had merit, I would jump into the studio and start working on producing the final track. I tried to do that each morning and hopefully by the end of the day I had captured a moment and had a real track finished. Of course, more than one day of work went into each song, but I was really trying to capture a moment by not allowing myself to make a mediocre demo of an idea, If the song was speaking to me, I’d drop everything that day and work it till I had a finished track.

I’m a big believer in trying to write everyday. I don’t want to wait around for inspiration, it takes work and commitment to write good stuff and arrive at work you’re proud of.

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?

Sure, it’s different because it’s my voice and my lyrics, I’m interested in writing in the most honest way I can at any given time. I’m not big on writing things that are super abstract. Other artists are good at it and they create compelling material. When I sit down to write, that’s not what comes out. Musically, I think it’s similar to my past work in the sense that it’s a guitar driven, punk/emo influenced thing, but every record I’ve been a part has always felt like it’s own separate musical moment. But, yea, it’s a rock record in a similar vein to what I’ve done in the past.

As a staple of the early emo scene – did you get to revisit and use some of the ethos of the genre in this new album?

Well, that’s difficult to answer because I wrote, recorded and mixed this record by myself, there was no scene around me, no hustle and bustle of that sort of thing. It was a very insular process. I suppose musically and lyrically it sits in the same space as the scene I came from because they’re not party songs. They’re personal reflections and honest statements… I suppose that may be in line with some sort of punk/emo ethos. But I don’t think that is in any way exclusive to the emo scene, you can find heartfelt honest songwriting in any genre of music.

What aspect of love and loneliness did you get to explore on this record?

I think there is a longing in all of us to find a place where we belong, maybe with friends or family or the work we do, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my life and over time those things can make you feel separate and alone, I wanted to explore that. I think it’s important to write what you feel, to be honest with your audience, and the truth is, I had a lonely year, but that’s ok, I got a record out of it. That’s why I Iove writing so much, it’s great therapy. I also wanted to explore love. I really do have an affinity for a good love song and it’s always a challenge to write and I wanted to jump into that as well.

What made you want to touch on some of these dark themes?

I think it just comes natural, ha! You know, you write what feel and you hope that what you write makes you feel better. I think that means that you gotta get the dark stuff out onto the page.

How did you balance the dark subject matter with the uplifting tones?

Musically speaking, I love the major scale, which is a happy and uplifting set of notes and intervals, probably because I grew up listening to alot of The Beach Boys and Weezer. My ear naturally wants to write that way and I enjoy the juxtaposition of happy chords and emotional lyrics. Plus, to me it’s musically boring to write a bunch of minor chord, dark material to match a dark lyric. It’s easy to write something that sounds weird and call it creative, it’s hard to write something melodic and meaningful, that’s what I’m always chasing.

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

Much of the record is me kind of talking to myself, trying to encourage myself or ask questions of myself. I think a lot of inspiration came from me just trying to figure out why certain things have happened to me in my life, what those things mean to me. You know, can you take the bad things and turn them into something good? My way of doing that is songwriting.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, I plan to play shows in 2020.

What else is happening next in A Thousand Lights’ world?

Well, I’m always writing and so I’m sure I’ll have a new record or an EP or a couple singles ready to go pretty soon for next year.

Stream HERE

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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