Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Interview: An Army Of Lights

Described in the NME as a "clean cut Midlands four piece producing tight, snappy indie songs", An Army Of Lights are in the process of mastering their highly-anticipated debut album. Vocalist Chris and guitarist Dan spoke to Bedge about the forthcoming record as well as everything else the band have got planned for 2013.

I see you've been recording your debut album. How's that been going?
Chris Serbyn: Finished. It's all recorded.
Dan Smith: We were in the studio for about two days and it's being mixed at the moment so we're waiting to hear the results. The recording went really well though. What we heard we were happy with.
Chris: It's at the stage where we're happy with the recordings we've got really. We recorded the album at Far Heath Studios just outside of Northampton town and we're really pleased with what we've heard so far - we're just looking to mix it and record a little bit more. It's all our own work so it's nice to have control of it completely.
Dan: We've got about eight tracks done I think.
Sounds good. Is there a name yet?
Dan: Not yet.
Chris: It's a work in progress.
Dan: It's got to be right. That's probably the hardest thing actually.
And is there a release time planned yet?
Chris: Probably the end of September ready to fill the Christmas stockings.
Dan: We're looking to do an album launch and gig around it.

An Army Of Lights have been together as a band for quite a few years now. Why has it taken this long to get to your debut album? Is it a matter of being happy with your sound or finding the time and money to make it?
Chris: Our sound has definitely progressed to where we want it to be so we're ready to record the album. We've got enough songs that we can choose some of our best ones. But we recorded an EP initially which we sold out of. I just think we've got to the stage now where we're ready to do the album.
Dan: We've done quite a few singles, four or five I think, but now we've got the material that we're happy with. It's the next natural progression really.
Bringing out the big guns. So how was writing the album? What's your writing plan in general?
Chris: I tend to write the material myself whenever I feel inspired. Then once I've got the nucleus of the song I'll take it to these boys and we'll rehearse it and it all comes together from there really. Either I play a few chords and they don't like it or I play a few chords and they do like it. There's nothing more depressing than turning up to band practice when I've worked on a song all week and no one likes it.
Dan: And then he says, "Well you do better then."
Chris: And there's nothing better than them saying it sounds sweet and we work on it from there. That tends to be how it goes.
Dan: He brings the nucleus and we build around it, add our own parts, and just navigate through it that way.
Great. Shall we move on to last week when you supported Miles Kane at The Roadmender?
Chris: It was a really exciting thing to do. Because of the recording of the album it had been a little while since we'd had a gig and it was a really good show for us. Nice to say that we've performed with Miles Kane, we're all fans of his music anyway.
Dan: It was a good turnout: it sold out actually. We've supported quite a few acts at The Roadmender, so it's always a good slot to have.
Who else have you supported?
Dan: Dog Is Dead. Great band I love them. The View. No comment.
Chris: They've had the same shit song for ten years now.

Coming up we've obviously got festival season. Well it's started really hasn't it? Where are you playing over the summer?
Dan: We're playing a local one, aren't we?
Chris: NNestival which we're quite looking forward to. I know there's some other local artists on the bill.
Dan: It's always fun playing locally if you've got your mates playing as well.
Chris: And then we're going on Jamie Oliver's Big Feastival which we did last year as an acoustic set and we'll be doing a similar sort of thing this year. We'll be playing over three days doing a set each day.
Dan: Last year we did a couple of sets, two or three. It worked really well I think.
Did you lose count?
Chris: Pretty much. We were playing in like a rum shack so we played the first set and it sounded really good. Then we had a couple of mojitos and the second one didn't sound so good. Then we had a few more mojitos and we can't remember the third one.
Dan: Hopefully everyone else was drunk as well.
What motivates you guys to get out of bed and make music?
Dan: Just the love of doing it. Always wanted to it, always liked doing it. Going to band practice and doing gigs is what I'm really passionate about.
Chris: It's the enjoyment of being with your mates and writing music about the stuff that's in your head at that particular moment in time.
And would you say you prefer gigging or recording?
Chris: It's all different really. So I like the studio because you've got time to hone in your skill and really think about what you're doing so you get it right. And I like gigging because it's spontaneous and it's fun. And it's loud.

So are you the sort of guys who go into the studio and lay everything down straight away?
Dan: We usually have a plan, don't we?
Chris: Well our drummer and bass player are pretty good at doing their takes and we usually play live as a band and then Dan takes forever to re-dub all of his guitar parts.
Dan: It's because I'm a perfectionist you see. These lot aren't.
Chris: We know what we're doing straight away.
Dan: But my part is a lot more complicated so I have to take my time over it.
Chris: It works for us because we can usually perform our stuff live as a band so the recording process is - like you say - get in there, sort out the song and then...
Dan: Overdubs afterwards. Anything we want to add or anything that needs improving we just pick it out and do it. But don't go into the studio without a plan.

Have you got any other news that you want people to know about?

Chris: We're just about to sign a publishing deal which basically means we'll be able to sync our music with advertising campaigns, film, TV and stuff. That's quite exciting.

Dan: We're going to be re-recording and doing some new recordings for that, especially from the album, approached from a slightly different angle because it's for TV and film. So we're very excited about that. We'll be starting in the next couple of weeks.

Chris: I think syncing is the new radio almost because, with things like Shazam on your phone, if you hear a song in a department store or on the telly you just get your Shazam out and pick up music like that. We're keen to get our music out to as many platforms as possible.

And finally if you had to describe An Army Of Lights using words that only begin with A, O and L what would they be?

Chris: Awesome.

Dan: Amazing. O-mazing.

Chris: Lovable.

Dan: Luscious.

Chris: Loud. We rehearse at Audio Works and we have a reputation for being the loudest band to practise there.

Dan: My ears just go eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek for the rest of the week.

Chris: Awesomely Overly Loud.

An Army Of Lights' awesomely overly loud debut album is expected later in the year. To hear more follow the links below:


No comments:

Post a Comment