Lights

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A few days ago, I reconnected with one of the most talented people I have worked with so far in my career. That girl is Lights. The last time I caught up with Lights was at Warped 2009 in Montreal where she had already achieved gold status on singles and was killing it at Warped every day. Since then she has toured the UK countless times, released her debut record '€œThe Listening'€, toured with Owl City, headlined several tours and when she sold out her show in Boston a few nights ago with the longest line I'€™ve seen yet at that venue, I knew we had a lot to catch up on.

Honestly, I wasn'€™t sure what to expect going into this interview but it feels like she has gotten more and more down to earth the more and more success she has and is constantly smiling through everything. We talked about everything she'€™s been up to including her cameos on the new Bring Me The Horizon record to her own record coming in 2011. Read our exclusive interview below to see how the journey has been for the incredibly hardworking Canadian songstress and catch her on the rest of this tour because she'€™s about to head into the studio to record some new music for you!

So obviously a lot, a lot has gone on since Warped '€˜09. You'€™ve gone to the UK several times, spent a lot of time on the road with Owl City, you'€™ve put out your record '€œThe Listening'€ which has already been out for over a year. How has this journey been for you? Did you ever imagine it would get to this place so fast?
Well the journey has been fantastic though it doesn'€™t feel fast (laughs). I will say that I mean I feel like I'€™ve been working every day of my life for about three years now. I mean since I saw you at Warped Tour, we haven'€™t stopped touring basically and it'€™s incredible. You know it'€™s a really great example of when you pour everything into something that you have and put in all of this time in then you can actually see some results. Encouragement to everyone out there it works!

And then how has the natural progression been? I mean I know you have been certified gold and you'€™re constantly playing bigger rooms. How has the progression been?
It'€™s been good. I mean it really pays off in these shows and coming back to the same places. You can see the difference when you go to a place and then come back maybe five, six months later and there'€™s people at your show, a few more people at your shows you know. It just goes to show that if you have something good, that you'€™re really proud of, people will come out and in a natural way.

Then the record came out a few weeks after your run on Warped '€œThe Listening'€. How has that been going over now that it'€™s been over a year? How are kids, sales?
Um, I mean I don'€™t ever pay attention to sales. It'€™s one of those things I never look it.
It seems like that a lot these days which I love!
(laughs) Yeah exactly.
But I mean obviously it'€™s grown. I mean I saw you a few months back when you were here with Paper Route and Owl City I was working with Paper Route. The show was insane, sold out, everyone singing your words-
Oh yeah!
And not just Owl City'€™s. How has it grown?
It'€™s been amazing. Well in one way, on twitter. You know I'€™m on twitter and I'€™m getting more followers every day that'€™s a good sign. It'€™s good, I think it'€™s going the way that I want it to. The best thing is seeing people saying that they really identified with a song or this song has really helped them through like stuff and that way you know it'€™s resounding with some people and that'€™s what really matters. It'€™s really hard to gauge the success of something especially now in a time where nobody'€™s really buying records. You look for it in other ways like who'€™s coming out to your shows, how many people are coming to your shows you know, how many views you have on something when you put it out. That'€™s the only way I guess you can gauge it nowadays.

And then I know the album is in the works to come out in Spring 2011.
I haven'€™t announced anything yet (laughs).
That'€™s what I was going to ask like. Is it still obviously in the works?
Yeah it'€™s definitely not done. Well considering that I'€™ve been on tour ever since, it'€™s been awfully tough. Ever since before the record came out right?
Oh yeah you'€™ve been out constantly.
So where do you find time to do a new one and it'€™s definitely one of those things that'€™s weighing down on my mind because I want to make something really good and amazing but when you'€™re always on tour it'€™s impossible. So after this tour, I'€™m going to take a little time off and it'€™s not really time off when you'€™re making a record but I'€™ll be working on a record over the winter and hopefully something will come out next year sometime. I mean there'€™s no set date and I think the reason that the rumor is probably flying around-. Well it'€™s not necessarily a rumor because there is something coming out eventually you know what I'€™m talking about. I just put out a new song a few weeks ago '€œMy Boots'€.
Yeah!
Yeah so that'€™s always an indicator that something new is in the works and it is and I knew I was ready for that when I put it out so I'€™m definitely working on it. Not anywhere near done though!

And then how do you normally go about the writing process? Is it different every time, does it just depend on where you are? How does it come about?
The songwriting process? It'€™s different all the time. With '€œThe Listening'€, it was much different because I obviously wasn'€™t really touring. I didn'€™t have a solid fan base and when you'€™re writing for yourself, you'€™re not writing for anyone but yourself. I think that'€™s the way it should always be. You always make the records you want but it gets harder to not focus on what other people are saying the more of a fan base you develop. So I'€™m trying to ignore that as bad as that sounds (laughs) in working on the next record. It will be different. It will be a different place that I'€™m coming from. I'€™m not in the same place that I was a few years ago. You grow up, you want to get better and after two and a half years of straight touring you'€™re better at what you do. You'€™re better at singing and you'€™re better at knowing what'€™s going to come across your path so there'€™s a lot more, a lot of different factors that are going to come into play that weren'€™t there for '€œThe Listening'€ and we'€™ll see what happens. I'€™m excited!

That'€™s really exciting and then you dropped your acoustic EP in July of this year and I know you came back here. I know you'€™ve played here a lot at the Mid East I believe actually.
Yeah, oh yeah! It'€™s weird like I always come here. The only time I didn'€™t play here was with Owl City.
And now you'€™re downstairs so obviously it'€™s growing.
Yeah!
Why did you decide to do this? Because it'€™s obviously a different side of you and your music?
Yeah! Well a couple of reasons actually. One of them being that it was a direct result of the ability to answer to what fans want based on multi-media platforms like twitter and you tube. I was getting good response on acoustic videos that I was putting on you tube. People were like '€˜Oh I'€™d buy an acoustic EP if you put it out'€™ and I'€™m like '€˜Hmm'€™ (laughs). So there'€™s that and people seem to really resonate with what I was doing acoustically and it brought people closer to the songs and that'€™s exactly the other reason why I did it. I put a lot of effort into the way the songs are written. You know the structure and the way that all the lyrics go with the melodies and sometimes it'€™s lost a little bit in co production. I mean that'€™s my sound and that'€™s what my music is but it'€™s nice to strip that away once in a while and show people exactly what you are. You know and it was a little vulnerable and I was a little nervous at first. I was like '€˜Are people going to like this?'€™. I just made it on my own at home and I just put it out and it was like putting out a picture of yourself naked only less scandalous.
Well it is really scary to do!

Then maybe where'€™s the strangest place you think you'€™ve found inspiration like someone said something to you, you experienced something? What was like the weirdest place you'€™ve been inspired from?
Probably '€œHeavy Metal'€ magazine. I don'€™t know if you'€™ve ever read that but it'€™s like this kind of adult fantasy sci-fi metal magazine that'€™s been out for, or issues have been coming out since like the sixties, seventies. I find it really inspiring to read those (laughs)!

Then you'€™re obviously, it'€™s very talked about, on the new Bring Me The Horizon record which is something maybe seen as strange by some of your fans. I know though that from the past, you'€™re in to bands like that like Gallows but some one probably wouldn'€™t expect that from you especially with Oli. How did that come about? I mean you'€™re on two songs on it!
Well I mean I think that the people that follow my music mostly do kind of expect that from me. I just put out a song with Silverstein earlier so it was similar right and it'€™s something I really enjoy doing and it'€™s branching out into a different thing. Those things always have to happen really naturally. I can'€™t be like oh I want to do something so different from my music. I can'€™t call up Cradle of Filth and see if they can let me sing on their new record like you can'€™t force things like that. You just have to let it happen organically and happen when they happen so basically that was a result of, well I met the Bring Me The Horizon guys a couple years ago. We just randomly met on tour in like a blizzard in Rhode Island and we were snowed in and I didn'€™t know who they were and they didn'€™t know who I was and we just hung out and we had a good time. Played video games you know and this summer, their manager was on face book who'€™s a good friend of mine through all of this. Through all the connections and just people you meet along the way and he said we'€™re finishing up the record and I was writing in LA at the time and he said '€˜we'€™re finishing up some vocals here. Oli took a day off Warped Tour and we'€™re doing vocals if you want to come in and do some too'€™ and I was like '€˜Sure?'€™. So he sent me the song and with in literally like forty eight hours, I learned the song and we went in and did it and then while we were in the studio, they were like '€˜do you want to throw some thing on the end of Crucify Me?'€™. I'€™m like '€˜Sure!'€™ so it was so spur of the moment and it was really natural and cool and Oli'€™s really chill with the melodies that he'€™s coming up with. It'€™s neat!
No it'€™s a great mix because it sounds so angelic compared to Oli.
Oh it'€™s so cool. The juxtaposition is nice! That'€™s why I really enjoy metal, you know, and like hardcore (laughs) because there'€™s that sort of sense of gentleness that you can somehow find in all of it.

It sounds really great and as a singer songwriter, maybe that was the collaboration for you but is there anyone that would be like a dream collaboration for you?
Yes (laughs)!
Truth comes out!
Um well it'€™s not really a secret but I do have this big thing for DeadMau5 and I would love to do something with DeadMau5. I also recently have been listening to this awesome deejay from France named Mondkopf and I think it would be really neat to collaborate with him.

Then you'€™ve toured with a lot of big names in the past when you were just starting like Boys Like Girls and Cute Is What We Aim For, obviously Owl City and a bunch of different guys. If you could pick maybe any three past bands to tour with, who would they be like on a dream package today?
Any band that I'€™ve already toured with?
Yeah any bands that you'€™ve already toured with.
There'€™s like a million on Warped Tour I don'€™t know if those all count. I would say, I mean we did a little tour with Protest The Hero. I would say them because they'€™re just such good guys and their music is so good. They'€™re so talented right? Let'€™s put this crazy tour together. It would be Protest The Hero, Keane, we toured with Keane last fall and Paper Route! That would be an awesome tour.

Then maybe what'€™s the strangest or wildest thing you'€™ve seen at one of your shows like in the crowd because you do have a really wide varied fan base. You have like the frat boys and you have like the ten year old girls so maybe what'€™s like the strangest thing you'€™ve seen at one of your shows?
I mean mosh pits have broken out before in '€œFebruary Air'€ right? Um, the hard core kids come out and butt it out in a little mosh pit. There'€™s a kid that comes out to all my shows in London wearing a banana suit and carrying maracas so that'€™s pretty sweet and he'€™s always there. There'€™s little things like that. You know there'€™s familiar faces along the way. There'€™s like this one motorcycle dude that comes out to a lot of my shows and brings me sweet motorcycle style shirts with like eagles on them. He'€™s awesome he'€™s from like the Detroit area. It'€™s weird like everything I see excites me. There'€™s never a show that'€™s just a normal show.

And then what can kids look forward to? Obviously it'€™s not a break recording a record. I'€™ve been talking to a lot of bands that are doing that as well right now.
Yeah exactly but I am going to take a little week of vacation with my family. It'€™s been years so I'€™m looking forward to that.

So do you think you'€™re going to be back on the road after the record? Going to go back right into this insane cycle? Are you going to take like your time on this record?
It'€™s a pretty consistent flow at least for the next five or six years. It'€™s going to be tour, tour, tour, record, tour, tour, tour, maybe a week with my family, tour, tour, tour, record. It'€™s very intense but it'€™s my job and it'€™s what I do and I can'€™t complain because I'€™ve been very, very blessed that I can actually do something that I really love for a living. It'€™s intense and it'€™s a lot of work and you get tired but I get to completely indulge in it and make exactly what I want to make and make the whole world listen to it.

What was the first concert you went to and then the first cassette or CD you bought?
(laughs) Okay, okay! The first concert was actually this girl called Rebecca Saint James when I was eleven and she'€™s a christian artist and it was at like a school gym or something. It was very inspiring to me. For days after I was drawing her on the computer, in pen. Like pictures of her with her hand up in the air in these really epic like silhouettes. I was really excited. In fact one of her songs, I adapted the lyrics into a short like paraphrase, translated it into german and I tattooed it on my arm so that'€™s written on my arm. She'€™s a very, very talented woman. For cassette slash tape, it was definitely a tape! It was definitely a cassette and it was, in fact, by a band called DC Talk and it was their first record which was like a rap project thing and it was really awesome.

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