POZ Interview: LIGHTS

by Zack Zarrillo - Nov 7, 2012


LIGHTS is halfway into her US fall tour, and PropertyOfZack had the chance of speaking with her right at the start. We discussed the end of the Siberia cycle, plans for a new record, going back with Warner, taking more chances, and much more. Check it all out below!

Your fall US tour is about to kick off, and this will be your second of the year. Are you excited to hit a bunch of markets that you didn’t the first time?
Yeah, for sure. It’s weird because we are actually going to a lot of places we went earlier this year, so it’s going to be interesting. We’re changing the show for people that may be coming back. We’re trying to come up with something different, and that’s fun in rehearsals. It’s always exciting when you don’t know who was going to be there in contrast to last time. It’s always fun. It’s the last tour of the Siberia run. It’s the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

Siberia has been out for a year now. Are you happy with fan reaction a year out?
Absolutely. I looked back as I was gearing up for the tour, and it’s been insane. I’ve done a lot of overseas run and have gone to a lot of places I wasn’t sure I was going to go. Our fan base is so good to me and loyal. It always grows slowly and steadily. I think we’ve been on six overseas runs and to see everything grow has been amazing. It’s amazing to see what you can do independently. I paid for this thing out of my own pocket. 

The slow build is important. Doing it independently can be nerve-wracking, but did it end up being worth it?
There are two different point of views in this industry right now. One is a long term build, and the other is a quick one. That’s two different kinds of music. The first one, which is the approach we’ve taken, is always making decisions that invest us in places we haven’t been. Not writing the stuff that may not work right now, but writing the stuff that you hope is going to last. It’s way less of a payout in the current, but in the long run I hope I still have people listening to my music and coming to the shows. When you can look ahead and see that you want this in ten years, that’s when it’s worth it. That’s very meaningful and what I’m in this for.

You’re doing this tour to wrap up Siberia. Is staying independent something that we’ll see in the next go around too, or no?
I’m back with a major label on this one. What happened with the last record was that I signed to Warner a good number of years ago. We weren’t seeing eye to eye on the record for various reasons, so they said I could do this for one cycle and that I’d do it all on myself. So I’m back with them now. It’s very interesting. It’s an awesome thing to experience, putting your own record out. If I could choose to do it again, I would, but when you’re standing next to a major label, you have to use those resources too. They really are worth something. It’s the connection to people who could potentially bring better things out of you. There’s a wealth of talent out there. It’s looking at those things. Every time you make a record is scary. It’s exciting, and that’s the world I’m in. 

Have you begun writing for the next record?
A little bit. I’m getting a vibe for it. It’s very hard for me to write on the road. I like to have my little studio around me, so it’s hard to get alone time on tour. After this tour I’ll really be diving in. I’ve been putting my toes in, and it’s cool and exiting. It’s a new era and it’s scary because you don’t know what it’s going to be. You can go in with a vision, but it’s going to morph. It’s going to evolve, and you have to be open to it. I hate change, so it challenges every aspect of my personality. But it’s a good thing to experience.

So the foreseeable future for you after this tour is diving into the next record?
To hold people over, because now is a time where you need to keep putting stuff out for your loyal fan base. That being said, I’ll be taking a break for writing, but I have a special release planned for early next year. 

What’s your timetable for the next release? 
I don’t know. It’s really hard to say. I’m stuck somewhere between pop and indie and this weird world that falls between the cracks sometimes, but I love it. In the more pop world of things, you can’t make the record before you have the songs. If I was still in a metal band, I’d just write a bunch of songs and go record them. It really depends. I do want to make a more traditional record. I want to write a song, make a demo, and then fixing that up. I’m loving the energy of our live show, and I want to get them on this record to capture their energy. I’m thinking about doing this more traditionally. I want to record it like an old-school record.

You said you like the mentality of a slow build, but labels want a skyrocket. If you are going back with your label, do you think you’ll be taking bigger swings?
You have to be careful. It’s their job to want to make you bigger. It’s your job as an artist to stand for what you know is right. You can’t bend too far for the sake of making someone happy. I’ll be defending my artistic integrity till death. It got close last summer, but it’s so important to me. I have that vision that goes a lot further down the road. I’ll take that to the grave with me. I’ll be defending good songs and will be saying things I want to say. It’s important to be strong about it. That being said, I’m going in open-minded. I just want to make a great record. You can’t deny that at all. I’m open to try new things, and that’s the beauty of a company with Warner. It’s a worthwhile struggle. There’s nothing that’s worthwhile that isn’t a struggle.

Regarding your small release, could that be your acoustic project?
I’ve been dropping hints so much, and I haven’t officially said anything. So yes, I hope that that’s what that is.

And these will be your last US dates for a while as well?
There will be some here and there, and potentially around the release of something special. Who knows. Stuff may come up. This is the last big chunk of dates until next year. 

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    I don’t see how people have no respect for Lights. She is incredible, and I love reading all of her interviews. She is...
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