Our Interview with Lightouts: Do more drugs
By: Tim Baker
Lightouts are one of those new bands that just gets all under my skin in all the right ways. They have a way about them that peels back my senses and leaves me an open vessel waiting to go where ever they chose to take me. There is something that brings me back to the source of my love of music, and the desire to surround myself with the tones and melodies that soothe my soul and unleash my inner sex god.
While I haven’t heard much of their collection, maybe 3 songs; those songs are promising as Fuck. Gigantic pop/rock anthems that harkens back to the days when bands could be pussy hounds and still dress like Del. It is the magic that Mike Damone was selling all those years ago when trying to collect enough funds to pay for an abortion for Rats’ lady friend.
Lightouts have that thing to them. It helps that they have that sort of cult leader/serial killer look about them. I am a sucker for the bad boys.
SYFFAL: Since the vast majority of our readers are only allowed to use sites that skirt around V-chip controls, they are forced to use SYFFAL.com as their only source of information, so please help us inform our readers by answering the following:
– Who the Fuck are you?
GREG: We are Lightouts, two men that emerged from the depths of the Gowanus Canal with a name that elegantly evades pronounceability and is engaged in an epic and eternal battle with spell-check programs worldwide.
SYFFAL: Who does what in the band?
Lightouts: Greg sings and plays guitar. Gavin writes the songs and plays guitar, bass, and does drum programming.
SYFFAL: When you guys are on the road and the driver of the van farts does he lock the windows to torture the rest of you? (if you answer no you are not a real band)
Lightouts: We are a bougie band, so our tour van is actually a classic british roadster. We can fart at will with the top down. And still look stylish.
SYFFAL: The Eloise Suite is a nice explosive piece of LoFi alt rock deliciousness that has caused me, on more than one occasion, to bloody my own nose while attempting to do one armed pushups from the sheer rush of testosterone. Was it your aim to have a middle aged man bleed in front of his children? if not what were you hoping to convey with this EP?
GREG: LoFi? You must have missed the high-tech Echo Effect liberally applied throughout the chorus which emits high density radio waves optimized to the exact frequency to bloody the noses of men 35-plus. If you are younger that and the effect still applies, it might be time to recline yourself and cough for a doctor. We are trying to save lives.
SYFFAL: I don’t appreciate your tone Greg. I met Joel, my partner in all things SYFFAL at Wrigley Field after the now infamous Bartman game. Joel being a diehard cubs fan and possible drifter was outside weeping at the feet of the Harry Carey statue and asking why God was cursing him. I pulled him to the side, gave him a few smacks and handed him some pamphlets on coming rapture and then took him to an Irish pub around the corner. We got to talking, mostly boring shit about how he likes to make his own beer, but when he told me he loved the music of Rubberoom I knew I found a kindred spirit. Chop cut to 10 years later and here we are running SYFFAL.com. How did you guys meet and when did you know you had something special?
Gavin: Our joke is that it was through a Craigslist Casual Encounters ad, which it might as well have been considering the crazies that you get when you post a band mate wanted ad. Gavin posted a cryptic flyer in the Gowanus area with the title “Robert Smith / Emily Haines where are you,” and Greg was one of the few to answer. He was in the midst of a year-long recording project with his other band Luxe Pop and just wanted to make new music while keeping it local to South Brooklyn.
I knew we had something good going when Greg came up with the vocal melody for the chorus of our first single, “See Clear”, which is brilliant and a total earworm.
SYFFAL: I like the name of your band, and the name of your EP, and the name of your songs. In general I like your naming ability, so I am going to give you the opportunity to name my left and right balls(I expect proper titles, for example I call my wang Professor Stuffy Draws). GO:
Lightouts: We’ll split this one.
Gavin: For your lefty, I pronounce thee Lord Regent Huan Hung Lo the Sinister.
GREG: Depending on your situation I propose Lord Regent Huan Hung Higher the Omniscient or if you are in the 85% of most gents, Junior.
SYFFAL: I often drink myself into a stupor and wonder where it all went wrong. I usually come to the conclusion that it was sometime between dropping High school Spanish and quitting my well paying job to make subpar rap music. This leads me to thinking of the advice I would give my younger self. If you could go back and tell the younger version of yourself three things that would help in your music career what would they be?
1. Be patient. Things don’t happen overnight, unless you win the lottery and are catapulted into the spotlight of fame. Even in those cases, there’s always a back story of trials and tribulations that most people don’t know; no one gets famous on their own.
2. Just rid yourself of inhibition and rock it dude. Don’t overthink it but have confidence in what you’re doing regardless of perceived response. And if you believe in what you’re doing be willing to push it to a sometimes annoying level – I’ve realized over time that the saying “the cream rises to the top” is bullshit. Both cream and crap is pushed to the top – if “cream” just rose on its own every song, movie, book we heard, watched, or read would be fucking awesome. Everything is not awesome and that sucks.
3. Do more drugs.
SYFFAL: So 9 times out of 10 EPs are dick teases for full lengths, the 1 out of 10 obviously being GnR Lies. When do we get a full length from you cock gobblers and what can we expect from it
Gavin: Right now the plan is to release two more singles in early 2012, and then a full length after that. It’s called Want. It’ll have all of the a-sides we’ve put out, a few of the better b-sides, and some new tunes.
Being a baby band, we haven’t been in a rush to come out of the gates with a full length. With the media’s attention span being that of a meth-head that’s moved on to huffing gas, young bands face the danger of putting out a debut album and it becoming stale within a few weeks. Our series of singles has allowed to put out a steady stream of music that gets some attention each time.
SYFFAL: I have a friend named Del who writes for the site and likes to claim that he was the first to discover things. For example when you sent me your EP I told him it was awesome and he said, “Yeah I already featured songs from it”. It is not that I mind that he knew about you guys first, but his fucking facial hair and the spittle on the side of his mouth while talking down to me pushed me over the edge. Do you find your creative process to be peaceful and easy, or are you guys constantly at each other’s throats like the rest of our writing staff is with Del?
Gavin: For the most part, there’s an effortlessness about our collaboration. We work a bit differently than some bands; I write all of the music, and then give demos to Greg, who comes up with the vocal melodies and lyrics. Sometimes I’ll give him a very rough demo, which comes with the caveat that the structure needs to change, we need a bridge, etc. But Greg frequently comes up with something that fits over that initial structure and doesn’t want to change it. That can lead to some strife, but we manage to work it out without coming to blows. That’s what gives some of our tunes a unique structure- a song like “Faces, Places” is not verse-chorus-verse, its a-a-b-c-b-a-b-c-b.
I think if you’re passionate about the things you do, you’re going have clashes here in there with your creative partners; if there isn’t any tension something must be wrong, i.e. you’re in a band with a bunch of limpdicks.
SYFFAL: On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the smug look Matt Bauer gives after he interviews the gossip editor from People Magazine and 10 being how much every man wants to Fuck Janice from the Muppets, how awesome is our site?
Lightouts: It’d be easy to call on the Spinal Tap trope and say you guys are an 11 out of 10, but that shit is for amateurs. In
Our book SYFFAL’s rating is a solid ∞…
SYFFAL: You are too kind. Seriously, it is creeping me out. Speaking of our site, we started as a small group of friends who like to hide in are garages to get away from our kids, smoke pot and share the music we love. In this spirit who are three acts, outside of yourself, that we should be checking for?
1. Brown Shoe- these guys are from Northern California and sound a bit like Band of Horses. They’re our Audible Treats roster-mates and their new album is awesome. The band is made up of 4 brothers and a friend and they’re all very man-some. Ladies look out.
2. The Horrors. “Endless Blue” is probably my favorite song of the year
3. We’ve got some buddies in a relatively new band called “Dear Lions” – a bit mellower than our stuff but kind of a Smiths-meets-Wilco kind of thing. They played the loft party with us that you saw in the Eloise vid and sounded great.
SYFFAL: Please promote anything you would like.