Interview | The Bigger Lights



May 23, 2010
By: Rebekah Rosado
Label: Doghouse Records
Video Interview: Available here.

* Your self-titled debut album came out recently.
All:
Yeah!
Ryan: We’ve been playing most of the songs off of it on our live shows.
Topher: It’s more fun to play our new songs than old songs.

* Why?
Topher:
Because they’re better.
All: (laugh)

* Better, as in?
Dan:
Well, they’re also fresh. We’re just happier.
Topher: I think, honestly, we just found more of who we are as a band. It’s alot more fun to play songs that come more natural to us anyway, than when we play songs that we wrote two years ago when we were like, “who are we?”
JK: We are officially a “no rules” band as of this last record. I think our biggest problem when we started off was we put restrictions on ourselves, in terms of the kind of music we’d write and the kind of tempos we’d use, and the kind of instruments we’d use. It was the worst idea in the entire world. It’s like, from a creative perspective, it really strained our personality. It kept it so we couldn’t–I don’t know. Looking back at our restriction lines, as artists, it was a really bad idea. We thought that was the way to form an identity we could relate with, when actually we later learned that the best thing we could possibly do for our band is just say “no rules.” If we want to write a song that sounds like one thing, great. If we write a great song that sounds like something else, then great. Be a band of diversity. There’s not many of those out right now.

* You guys played acoustic the other night in Orlando because of a problem. How did that go?
JK:
I think people liked us without our rhythm section, better.
All: (laugh)
Topher: It was so much cleaner, and less loud.
Ryan: I know Dan and I loved just staying behind with the trailer for hours.
Topher: I think kids love when we play acoustic but we really don’t like it.
JK: Let’s be more specific about it. We hate when we’re on a rock’n’roll tour and circumstances force us to play acoustic. That’s like the worst thing. It just feels awful.
Chris: Especially because the band that’s opening right now, Down With Webster, is the most energetic band you’ll ever see. So, they like hype the crowd and then we come out on our acoustics. So we’re like, “Alright, here’s some towels for everybody. We’re going to get intimate.”
Ryan: “Let’s get intimate everyone.”
JK: “We’re going to get Indian style, and you guys get to sweat a little less.”
Ryan: “Snap your fingers.”
Topher: “Everyone just cool off, and relax.”
Chris: “Here’s some green tea.”
Topher: Friday Night Boys really enjoyed that, they were right after us. The energy was so high and then we were like, “we’re just going to chill.” They were like, “Well, shit.”

* True or false. In the “Hey Summer” video, that’s real snow.
JK, Dan, Ryan:
True.
Chris: Yes.
Topher: Fuck yeah, it’s true.
JK: The pneumonia was real too. The pneumonia we got after the shoot was real too.

* How did that work out?
Topher:
Honestly, it was scheduled for a specific day right after we finished a tour. It was in Jersey and we got there and there was snow, so we did it.
JK: I thought it turned out cool though…
Dan: Nature created some irony.
JK: Yeah, it kind of worked out cool with the visual of the real snow and the kind of bleak surroundings. It sort of ended up fitting the concept of the song and the video alot better than if we had a beachy summer theme. Yanno?
Ryan: We didn’t want it to be predictable.
Topher: We didn’t want to play with a bunch of our friends jumping around in an empty pool.
Chris: During summer.
Topher: Yeah, we didn’t want that video. Yanno?

* I don’t know if you guys watch MTV, or TV period. But, The Buried Life. Yes, no?
Chris:
Yes, I’ve watch it.

* Do you guys have anything you want to do before you die?
Chris:
It’s a bucket list.
Topher: Oh, okay.
Chris: It’s like three or four kids–I don’t know–they have a bucket list of things they want to do before they die. It’s all really big stuff.

* Nothing cheesy. But, what would you guys have on..
Chris:
…do we have stuff to do before we die?

* Yeah.
Ryan:
To tour everywhere that we haven’t played before.
Chris: Wembley Stadium.
Topher: Wembley Stadium, dude! I want to record a live DVD at Wembley Stadium.
Ryan: Sold out. Minor details (laughs).
Topher: I want to make a line of shoes called the Topher Loafers.
Chris: Yeah.

* Okay. What exactly are they?
JK:
They’re tight shoes.
Topher: It’s a mix between the regular classic gangster loafer and the Michael Jackson penny loafer.
Chris: With Tophers face on the sole.
Ryan: I want to play an acoustic set on the moon before I die.
Chris: I’d love to jam with Freddie Mercury right now.

* That might not happen, but that’s okay.
Chris:
Shut up.

* So you guys like Freddie Mercury alot? I’m getting that.
Dan:
Yeah.
Ryan: I would actually like to meet Paul McCartney before I die.
Dan: That’s true. That’d be awesome.

* Lastly, what would you guys like to say to your fans that support you, come to your shows, get your CDs–what do you want to say to them?
Ryan:
Thank you so much for coming to our shows and getting our CD and…(laughs)
Dan: I like how you threw it at them. “Thank You.”
Ryan: Thanks for just… the more times you guys come back, the more times we’ll come back.
Chris: Absolutely.
Ryan: This is the only reason why we’re here. It’s because of you guys. So, thank you.
Topher: I also want to say thank you to whoever bought me this (pulls out a nerf gun from behind the couch).
Ryan: You put it up here?
Topher: I put it back there. I didn’t know the interview was going to be up here.
All: (laugh)
Topher: Buy our record if you didn’t. If you stole it, I will shoot you. (shoots nerf gun at camera)
All: (laugh)
Topher: So, yeah. If you like the record, you better buy it! Other than that, thank you. Honestly, seriously, thank you for everything. You guys are the reason for everything.
Dan: We’ve got the coolest fans.
Topher: We really do. We have people who drive like ten hours. Someone told me, like, “I’ve seen you guys ten times in 2010 already.” I was like, “Holy shit.”
Chris: We’ve only played ten times in 2010.
All: (laugh).
Topher: Stuff like that means more than people know. Just drawings–anything that someone does that goes out of their way. Our fans are amazing. So, thank you.