At Slam Dunk South we caught up with Lights, the musical pocket rocket who, following on from the release of her latest album Skin & Earth, has also turned her hand to creating graphic novels. Lights has also just announced the release of Skin & Earth Acoustic; featuring stripped-back versions of fan favourites “Skydiving”, “Until The Light”, “Savage, New Fears”, “We Were Here”, ‘Kicks” and “Almost Had Me”, alongside three brand new tracks. We chatted with Lights about Slam Dunk Festival, Skin & Earth and all the creative goings-on in Lights world.
Hi Lights, how was Leeds for you yesterday?
It was fun! It was kind of like the fun time we’ve been at a festival for years out here so it was nice to play for people who really hadn’t heard my music. That’s the best thing about festivals, it’s probably the first few rows that were singing along but the rest weren’t so it keeps you on your toes as you’ve got to make sure you keep the show really good. We’ve just come off the tails of the London show a couple of days ago, which was so good and I was pretty spoilt. But it was awesome!
Have you had a chance to catch any acts at the festival yet?
We’ve mostly just come up for the show and been running around trying to get our sh*t sorted out. Yesterday there was no service so you couldn’t communicate with your friends, as I have a lot of friends on the bill, but I couldn’t see them or talk to them, but hopefully today we have that sorted out! Yesterday, I was like, “Let’s meet up!”.
You mentioned your huge London show a couple of days ago, how was it for you?
It was so awesome. It was like one of my favourite shows. It reminded me how awesome the crowds are here when they care. Everyone was singing every word. I put a song out not even a month ago called “Lost Girls” and they knew every word. It was that boost of confidence that gave me like, 2019 is going to be good.
Your last full-length release was 2017’s Skin & Earth, how did you find the reaction from fans?
It’s been amazing as it’s actually opened a tonne of doors for me because Skin & Earth I have grown and drawn an entire comic series that went with it so it’s allowed me to go to Con’s. I went to London Comic Con a couple of days ago for the first time and had a panel and it was full and the signing was full. It’s nice to be able to do those things I love and I have loved doing for years. Then bringing music to those and letting it tie into everything I do, it’s the best. I would say Skin & Earth is probably the first record where I feel like it’s a full embodiment of who I am. It’s fun playing live, it’s fun taking to cons and seeing them in cosplay. It’s great to see them seeing along. It’s my favourite record I think just because of all of that and everything in between.
How did the idea for a graphic novel alongside the album come about? It’s not your average album promo material!
I just love comics. I’ve always loved comics. I always wanted to be a creator. But it’s a lot of work and it takes skill, I never saw myself as someone who could pull it off, but I guess we are our own worst enemies when it comes to achieving our dreams as cheesy as that sounds. If you love something, why not try it and I did and found success with it. I think that’s what I pass on to everyone now after the last couple of years. The only thing holding you back from all those things you’ve ever dreamed of is yourself, so just try it.
Do you think you’d try this for other releases or is this just for Skin & Earth?
The story will continue for sure as I’m working on the second part right now. It’s so awesome but because it’s just me that does everything it takes a long time so it’ll be a while, but we’re working on a TV show for it. This is just the beginning of Skin & Earth world.
This sounds AMAZING, you’ve got this covered. We love how passionate about it you are as well.
It’s just so much fun. I care about it so much and enjoy it in the process. I think the cool thing about it is when the music gets exhausting and you run out of ideas and you’re uninspired, you move into a different art form and then you get exhausted on that and move back all fresh again. I’m just creatively flowing. Creativity doesn’t bottle up and go away, you just have to rehearse it and practice it and then it just flows.
Across any of your releases, what’s been your favourite lyric?
Oh my gosh, to this day I think there’s a song in Little Machines called “How We Do It” and the lyric is “I want to be happy, I want to die in love” and I think I live by those lyrics every day.
Can you sum up your sound in five words?
Electro. Boss. Very. Mom. Pop.
What’s next on the cards for this year?
I just announced a Skin & Earth acoustic counterpart for this album and the tied it into the Skin & Earth world is the locations from within the comic are associated to each song, I went and tracked in locations similar to the corresponding comic locations. So I tracked in the rain, I tracked in a desert, I tracked in a forest, I tracked on a cliff so it’s like a very immersive experiential acoustic records. There are a few new songs on it too, that’s out in July, there’s going to be an acoustic tour but only in North America. I’m sure we’ll come out here at some point with it, this is the next place on the list! Then, this fall I’m touring with Deadmau5 for five months and might be coming to Creamfields with him too.
So it looks like you’re going to be super busy and we’ll hopefully have plenty of chances to see you live!
Super busy but lots of time in between to be creative on the next comic, write new music, hang out with fans as the acoustic album is so location coordinates orientated, the merch has all the location coordinates where I’ve recorded. It would be cool to go out into the wild and play with some fans. I have lots of ideas. It’s going to be a fun year!
And finally, as we’re at Slam Dunk Festival, what’s your festival anthem?
I’d love to see Wonderwall at a festival, I feel like that’s the ultimate festival song. I can’t imagine how good that would be!
Skin & Earth Acoustic will be released on July 12th via Fueled By Ramen and can be pre-ordered now! Lights is heading out across North America over the summer, for all the dates and tickets links you need for her headline shows, head over to her website.
Check out our review of Slam Dunk South here.
Will you be pre-ordering Skin & Earth Acoustic by Lights? Tweet us @CelebMix and let us know!