Q&A with Old Lights

Photo cred: CincyMusic.com

Band Bombshell is all about local music. So when a band local to another Midwest city comes through, we’ve got to take some time to talk with them.  Old Lights is hitting the Vaudeville Mews on Saturday, October 13th at 10pm. They’re a St. Louis-born four-piece indie band (John Joern, drums/bgvs; David Beeman, guitar/vocals; Kit Hamon, bass/vocals; and Beth Bombara, keys/bgvs) all between the ages of 25-35. And according to them, they’re all in their “spiritual, social, and sexual prime.” Watch out, Des Moines. There’s a new band hitting town…

Band Bombshell: Where did your musical career begin and how?
Old Lights: Well, we’ve all been playing music in various forms since childhood, and we’ve all been on the road in various bands before: David Vandervelde, Berry, Fattback, Samantha Crain, and others.  As far as Old Lights goes, we’ve been playing with this lineup for three years.

BB: If you had to describe your sound in three words that begin with an F, what would they be?
OL: Fortune Five Fundred.

BB: You’ve been given the nod of approval from Paste magazine. If you could choose any one magazine to be featured in, which one would it be and why?
OL: Interview magazine, but only if we can be interviewed by Bill Murray.

BB: From what I’ve heard there have been some changes with the songwriting duties… How do you expect this to change your sound? What can listeners expect to be different from previous albums/music?
OL: Beeman/Hamon split songwriting duties now.  The band’s the same, so it still sounds like Old Lights.  The only real noticeable difference is that you’ll hear us sharing lead vocal duties from tune to tune.

BB: Where is your favorite place to play and why?
OL: Red Rocks. Because it’s Red Rocks.

BB: What’s next on the list for you guys?
OL: Well, in the immediate here and now, we’re sitting at Native Sound, our studio.  Currently working on a vocal track for a fellow St. Louis band, Kentucky Knife Fight. And we’ve got another artist from Philadelphia coming in later today to work on his record. Also, in the next few months, Old Lights be releasing a new single, an EP, and early next year we’ll put out another full-length record.

BB: Where do you think the best local music scene is?
OL: Of course we have to say St. Louis. There’s a bunch of cool shit going on here, a handful of great venues to play, mostly because its cheap as hell to live here and people can afford to work on music and use this as a home base for getting out on the road.

BB: If you could tour with anyone, who would it be?
OL: Anyone? Neil Young, probably. Or Conor Oberst solo, just him and us in a rundown 1993 Saturn sedan with a broken radio and only the sounds of the wind to keep us company.  Or U2.  Maybe our buddies in Delta Spirit.  Probably just Neil Young.

BB: What advice do you have for fellow local musicians?
OL: I don’t know, we’re still figuring ourselves out, so we don’t really feel qualified to dole out wisdom.  For us, if we’re talking about “local” music, it can have a real positive or really negative connotation.  A local music community can be great to get inspired and push you forward, or you can fall into the big-fish-in-a-small-pond habits.  If you’re serious about what you do, at some point you’ve got to leave the local scene (not permanently, of course) to vet your performance and songs in front of people who aren’t already your friends and don’t have any vested interest telling you you’re the best thing ever.  Oftentimes criticism is more helpful than unabashed compliments.

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