We recently had the opportunity to sit down with LIGHTS before her Atlanta concert. We chatted a bit about her music, her fashion, and what she has coming up. Here’s what she had to say:
So how’s the tour going? You only have four dates left right?
LIGHTS: Yeah, after tonight, three more. Then we’re gonna to be in Canada, but the tour’s been soo good. That’s the weird thing about touring is that you make such amazing friends, and then you have to leave them! It’s so weird.
Awe! So I read your blog, and it seems like you’ve done a bit of everything musically, with Metal and R&B and Pop. How has that, I guess, gotten you where you are now?
LIGHTS: Well, I think, not only with music but with everything, you kinda have to drift around a bit before you find your place, and that’s exactly what I did in music. Like you said, I was everywhere; I was in a metal band, I was in a pop punk band, I was doing the acoustic thing for a while, some R&B stuff, and I just dawdled in everything. And it was inevitable that I would eventually land on the one that worked. But I feel like everything that I went through contributed to where I am now, because I learned what I liked about that music and everything that I didn’t, and I applied it to the music that I have now.
So in a way, instead of looking at it as the genre that works, this is a combination of everything that works from all the other genres I’ve been involved with. And it’s concentrated down into the perfect music that describes me and makes me feel good.
Now how did you get hooked up with Warner Brothers Records? How did you get discovered?
LIGHTS: It would’ve been through MySpace.
LIGHTS: A lot of discoveries through MySpace, including Old Navy, which gave my first boost into America, a lot of collaboration with Old Navy. It actually started with Doghouse Records discovering me on MySpace, and driving up all the way from New York to one of my shows in the blistering cold winter’s night, to watch one of my shows in Toronto. So they were really cool, we were really into them (me and my manager when I say we).
There were a lot of people coming towards me with lots of ideas from different labels as a result of MySpace, so we kind used that as a tool to get other interests going on. Doghouse then brought us to Warner Brothers and Warner’s sent one of their inner people to another one of my shows, on another blistering cold night. And we sat down in this lounge, and talked just had the best connection ever. They are the coolest company.
So tell me about the comic. Do you do the illustrations yourself?
LIGHTS: Yes. I do. If I wasn’t doing music, I’d be a comic artist. I think the comic is more interesting then if I just wrote my bio, no one would want to read it, it’s so dry.
How do you do it? With an Illustrator?
LIGHTS: I simply, it’s the amateur way to do it, I draw it with marker and color it all on the computer with a program I have, which is pretty ghetto.
That’s cool. Are you gonna keep doing that?
LIGHTS: Definitely. I actually did ten pages of this comic, and we’re selling it at the merchant table. But after that’s done I’m just gonna keep doing one page in that a week.
Cool. Now the video blogging… What made you decide to do that?
LIGHTS: I remember I started to do that, it was something different than music, another creative outlet, and I started getting experimental with it. The first was with like a puppet, the second was like a comic. And I thought, there’s no limit to what you can do in a video blog; it’s 3 minutes of whatever you want to do. So, that’s how it started and then people started to identify with them, and I discovered it was a great way to communicate with people on a one-on-one level. It was great to let them know what was going on, using my creativity.
So it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to communicate with everyone.
It’s really cool because most artists have some one else doing it for them, and it’s cool to see someone actually sitting down in their hotel room and doing it.
LIGHTS: That’s awesome, thank you for noticing that. I think I’m confusing my record label, because they’re asking me what can they do. I’m like, just wait for me to send you a file.
So I know you bought an 8-track recording system. Why that?
LIGHTS: Well, like I said in the comic, I had a thousand dollars and in major recording equipment, I didn’t have much money to deal with. I know a song starts with two things- an instrument and a voice, and I knew, ever since I started writing music, that there’s more than that to music.
And I had a mind for production, everything I wanted on top of it, the drums, the bass. I knew that I needed a way to layer it on top of just those two things, so I went and explored some options in a music store with the thousand dollars, and this recording system was like $895. Then I had some extra money for a pair of headphones, you know? And there was 8 spots, for 2 plus 6 more, right? So i could have 6 of whatever I wanted layered on top. I mean, it’s a super ghetto way to record, but it totally got me my start.
That’s awesome. So what is your favorite some to perform?
LIGHTS: ‘The Last Thing On Your Mind’.
LIGHTS: Honestly, I identify with it the most. I look to it for encouragement when I’m down. Like a couple days ago, I got this really rude comment on myspace, and you’re bound to get stuff like that on there, but it still hurts. And I was like, ‘It’s only one part of the story, just let it go’. So singing that feels so honest to me, and what I have inside of me.
That’s cool. It’s a good way to get rid of the negative.
LIGHTS: Totally, it just feels like I’m talking, opening my mind.
So I saw on your myspace, World of Warcraft, do you play?
LIGHTS: Yep. Yes, I do. I’m a level 68 demon warrior.
That is awesome! Do you still do that?
LIGHTS: Yeah, I try to fit in time, but recently my account got hacked. So when I finally got it back, everything was destroyed. I’m in the process of rebuilding my characters. Sucked so bad, my guild still hates me. But it’s so much fun to play.
You see so many musicians who know nothing about computers, and it’s cool when you see someone who actually knows what’s going on.
LIGHTS: That’s awesome. I’m definitely the one behind my whole youtube and editing my website, and I’m learning so much, all the html coding and stuff. If I wasn’t doing music and comics, I would be a web designer.
Ok, so tell me about you fashion. You have such an awesome outfit on.
LIGHTS: Thank you. Honestly, it’s based on Wonder Woman, I’m telling you. She wears such tight little outfits that she can still battle the world with. She wears boots and a tiara, so I translate that into tight little outfits, boots and a headband. I think she is just such a symbol of everything that I want to represent. She’s strong and beautiful. She fights for love, peace, honesty and justice. She doesn’t kill, she does everything in a really moral way, and I think that’s all a metaphor for what I want to do in music and in life. And that, subconsciously, affects my fashion, I suppose.
So what’s like your favorite place to shop?
LIGHTS: Honestly, if you know what your style is, you can find something anywhere. Anywhere from a vintage store to American Apparel to Urban Outfitters to Wal-mart. If you know what you’re looking for, you can find anything and make it work for yourself.
So, television shows. FanBolt has a huge TV fanatic fan base, so I have to ask. What are like the TV shows that you have to see?
LIGHTS: To be honest, I don’t actually watch TV that much. But, when I do, it’s cooking shows, SpongeBob, Sticking Around, I love kid shows.
Turner and Cartoon Network is like 3 miles from here.
LIGHTS: Really? That’s the best network ever! It inspires me so much.
It is addictive! So after this tour what are your plans?
LIGHTS: After this tour, we’re doing about a week in Canada, some more dates, and then I’m taking two weeks to do more writing and recording. I’m going home for two weeks to do nothing with my family; they live in Vancouver and I live in Toronto. I don’t get to see them very often. And then upon arrival back home, I’m doing a Canada wide tour, and then hopefully going overseas.
Interview By: Emma Loggins