Q&A with Night Lights
Indie rockers Night Lights can simply do no wrong. The band kicked off 2016 with the release of their catchy, arena-ready new single, "Take My Hand," with plans to release new music throughout the rest of the year. After four years together, the four Berklee graduates have grown considerably and developed a sound all their own. Listen to "Take My Hand" and read our entire interview with the band below!
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
You guys recently released your new single, “Take My Hand.” What does this song mean to you?
Mau [vocals/guitar]: "Take My Hand" is a good transition song for us. Not only is the song itself an awesome reminder of how important a close knit community and friendships matter, but this release marks a sort of evolution for us. We finally worked with a producer outside of the band and found a new corner of our creativity that was unvisited before. It feels like were stretching our legs a bit and testing the waters for new sounds and new aspects to our music.
What do you hope listeners take away from “Take My Hand”?
Jeff [bass]: "Take My Hand is special to each of us in different ways because we can apply it to different experiences in our lives that make us who we are. Our hope is that it means something to our listeners as well. I know that each of us in Night Lights is passionate about music because we grew up listening to songs that mattered a lot to us, musically, lyrically, emotionally and so on. So we expect Take My Hand to mean different things to you based on where you're at in life and who you are deep down, but one way or another, we'd like you to take away an experience that matters to you and keeps you coming back for another listen!
I know you guys first met when you were attending school at Berklee. When you first met, was the spark just there? Did you know right away that you had to make music together?
Mau: Well, there were lots of coincidences that led us to be the 4 members we are today, but for sure it was something like a spark. Dag and I met first week of school and bonded over our beliefs and where we wanted to take music. We talked about what we wanted to stand for and stuff beyond the music and really connected on that level. Once we were locked in, we knew we needed to find other people that also had the vision of not only the music but the message and the heart that goes into what night lights is. That's how we found Jeff and later Drew, who is unfortunately no longer in the band.
Eventually after a year of having Night Lights be a hobby that felt like an outlet of everything we felt, we decided to start taking it seriously and got into the studio through one of Jeff's classmates in production. It was a class project for them and we needed to be 5 members in the band. Dag thought back to one of his first friends at Berklee, Yusuke. Ever since we have all been in love with what we do. So much so that we dropped everything and came out here to LA to pursue it. So i guess we didn't know that it would get so serious, but we knew from the start that we loved making music together and hoped it would translate to others as well.
Night Lights has been together for about four years now. Over these past few years, how do you feel that you’ve grown as musicians and people?
Yusuke [guitar]: The last four years we've learned a lot through the experience of getting through problems we had to face. At the end of the day, it has only made us realize how much we have to learn and to grow. Kind of like we can see much clearer towards the direction we need to go instead of wondering in the mist.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned in the past few years?
Jeff: Personally, I'd say creating a budget haha. But I think this applies to us as a band too. Being able to budget not just our finances but our time and our energy. It's something easy to overlook when we're caught up in the creative flow or running around promoting new releases and playing shows, but we've all worked hard to figure out what a healthy balance looks like to each of us. I function a lot better when I've got a clear schedule planned out for myself to get me through the week and help me stay on top of things. Managing time, money, energy, relationships, diet, exercise; that's the kind of stuff they don't really teach you in college, but it's easily the most essential to maintaining a career in music without losing your mind.
With the new single, can listeners expect some more new music soon? Maybe a new album this year?
Mau: Well, we have enough material to put out a new album and its all in the works, however for now, we have a couple more singles in line that will be coming out soon. I think the next one is the one we're more hyped for. It will do justice to my first comment because we believe it shows a new face to Night Lights.
Do you have any big goals or plans for 2016?
Mau: Always! We are firm believers in hard work and strategy. The market as it is today makes it really hard to just happen upon a deal or a huge concert or anything really. So were always planning. Most plans don't make it through, but it leaves a clear goal in mind and we always work towards it. For now I guess it's booking tours, releasing our singles, making ourselves known and playing festivals, when possible. We also want to get our songs on tv or film or radio. And of course, always write ahead of the curb, so were writing always to have new content for us and for everyone following us in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yusuke: We would like to add that we truly hope that our music bring ease and happiness to your life :)