Warped Tour Toronto (er, Mississauga) was a resounding success for any number of reasons one could gather, but one that stands out in my mind is the variety of artists. In amongst the expectation of heavy rockers Alexisonfire and Anti-Flag were some venerable newcomers and refreshing sounds. While not exactly a newcomer to the music scene (her single Drive My Soul hit the airwaves over a year ago), LIGHTS was one of these refreshing faces. I got the chance to chat with LIGHTS about all things music, life, art, and beef jerky next to a rather large orange tractor. Hop over the break for the interview.
After my failed attempt to con LIGHTS out of telling me who her astronaut “accessory” was for the MMVAs, the following ensued:
Eggplante: Your album, The Listening, is set to drop September 22nd?
LIGHTS: September 22nd, it’s coming out a week before it comes out in the States. ‘Cause Canada’s special. ‘Cause Canada’s the reason I love life, and so I figured why not release it a little earlier for the reason I love life?
E: Is it the maple syrup and the pow wows?
L: Yeah, there’s that, there’s the beef jerky, Tim Horton’s, the people, Celine Dion, and Bryan Adams, and….
E: …and this could go on and on…..
L: … this could go on forever!
E: So I saw the stickers of your album and I understand why your mouth is covered up, but why the nose? I like smelling cool stuff.
L: Smelling is good, especially when you crack open a new bag of beef jerky, it smells like a fart!
E: A fart?
L: Try it; go into a closed space and open a bag of beef jerky with some friends. *laughter* So the main concept of the artwork was kind of a collaboration of The Watchmen meets 28 Days Later meets Sailor Moon. The original idea behind taking away the nose and the mouth was not because it lined up with the title – that just happened to match. The main concept with art for Sailor Moon is that their eyes are dark and their faces are light purple. When you actually see the full album artwork, the cover is only one piece of the three piece panel art. When you see the whole thing, it all comes together, and it was exactly the way I wanted it to be.
E: So you’re just weird then?
L: Well, there’s that, but it actually makes sense because when you see the cover, I become more of myself, and it will make more sense when you see it. Basically, the concept is that you learn a lot more by just listening. And plus music is one of the best ways to think and not have to talk.
E: Music is one of the best ways to think and not have to talk. It’s funny because you said you had trouble mixing synths with one of your songs. You start with guitar or piano and layer on the beats and such afterwards. Did you ever find a way to do that for Pretend?
L: I did. On the record, there are two versions. The last song is the piano version and there’s a produced version with a six synth solo on it, so it will be awesome. I did a few versions before I managed to nail it but I figured it out!
E: Okay, so I don’t ask the questions like “what’s your inspiration for such and such” because everybody asks it and nobody cares. If I wanted to know, I’d Google you right?
L: Totally hit up Wikipedia!
E: So here’s the hard hitting question: who would win in a fight, you or Kim Kardashian?
L: Oh that’s a good one. She has longer nails than me. I cut mine because if they’re long then it shows how dirty I am. So she would win in a scratching fight for sure. However, had we had a Muay Thai fight, I would trump her because I’ve been taking Muay Thai! So it really depends on the environment and what kind of spin kicks we’re allowed to use, how many combo points you can get, you know…
E: Alright, alright…. digital or analog stick?
L: Digital. Better Graphics.
E: Fair enough. You brought up the “clean” thing; what’s the deal with the facial wipes?
[For those unaware, LIGHTS has mentioned numerous times on Twitter and various interviews that face wipes are the way she “showers” on the road]
L: Dude, literally since tour started, I’ve showered twice!
E: Thanks… I’m… gonna… go…
L: But those face wipes save me because it’s a way to maintain decent skin and still look alright on Warped Tour and not shower.
E: Well it’s tough right, because a day like today is 28˚ so don’t you kill from the heat?
L: This is nothing because we were just in Texas and it was like 43˚ and it was so hot and I almost threw up after one of the shows in Houston. You do wanna shower but you can’t. I could shower in a room with a bunch of guys, so I could wipe down and be private or expose all and yikes.
E: One last question, nothing hard hitting, but still very serious: nutella or peanut butter?
L: Uhh, depends on my mood.
E: But there’s gotta be one, like I literally eat spoonfuls of nutella.
L: Okay here’s the deal: nutella for me is like Kraft Dinner.
E: Oh so then nutella always wins!
L: Well the thing is like I could eat a couple bites and then I get tired of it. Nutella is good for two bites and then it gets really rich. Peanut butter is just classic all the way through. The acceleration is a little slower, but once you get up to a moderate pace, you can stick to it, right?.
E: Awesome – thank you so much!
L: You’re hilarious, thank you guys!
For the record, I have since figured out who was beneath the astronaut getup. Epic win on my part. (No, I’m not telling you.)
UPDATE: Here is the audio from the interview! LIGHTSinterview.mp3 (5.8MB)
Be sure to check out The Listening when it hits Canadian stores September 22nd. It drops in the US September 29th October 6th (’cause we’re the reason she loves life, remember?)!
This image is copyright of its respective owner.
Photos of LIGHTS were taken by Woodbridge Correspondent Serafim Nanos.