Q&A: Bright Light Bright Light


Following the release of the Cinematography EP last year, Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light is Back In The Habit in the studio creating some more incredible 80’s inspired covers. This time Rod has taken to 90’s cartoon The Raccoons, Mannequin and Lisa Loeb’s iconic debut single, Stay (I Missed You). Ahead of the EP’s release on April 28th, Rod answered some questions for us on his inspiration for creating, the state of pop music in 2017, and his opportunity to rescore Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.

ASBO: Hi Rod! How are you doing?

Rod: I’m great thanks! The sun is shining in NYC, so I’m very happy today.

Since 2011, you’ve released a collection of work every year as Bright Light Bright Light. How do you get so inspired, to be consistently creating and releasing material?

Well, music is my main love in life, really. Whether it was my career or not, I’d still be making music, buying music, doing something in the music world … so it’s just something that comes without thinking too much. I’m inspired by who I meet, and where I am, and, as I’ve been travelling so much over the past few years, there has been a lot to be inspired by.

The Internet has played a huge part in carving your path as an artist, and establishing your fanbase. How do you feel that has changed over the years?

It’s changed an awful lot. While in many ways, there’s more opportunities from the increase in social media platforms, online media outlets, and ways to get music out to fans, it’s also overwhelming. There are so many social media platforms to keep on top of, and there’s so much content everywhere, it’s very hard to stay afloat sometimes. While the internet quickly became a great way to showcase what you do, one now has to spend so much time maintaining it, that a lot of the time that was previously spent creating, is used to maintain an online presence, and that balance is very tricky.

What advice would you give to someone starting out now, in 2017?

I’d say, work out exactly what you want to achieve – creatively and practically – before you “launch”, as it were. People expect a finished product, or a wholistic artist, upon first presentation, now. There are so many immaculately presented artists, who know exactly what they’re doing, that it would be a rookie mistake to start showing the world who you are, if you haven’t worked it out for yourself yet. The internet is an incredible stage for an artist, and personally, I think it’s important to take to the stage only when you’re fully confident that you’ll give a great opening number, and know what it leads into.

Has pop finally run out of tunes?

No. But, someone needs to change the preset of keyboard and drums sounds used at the moment. I love that tropical vibe, but a little break, please.

It made us so happy to hear someone reference The Raccoons for the first time since the 90’s! How did you come about picking the songs for the Cinematography I and II EP’s?

I picked the songs from films and TV, which really influenced my tastes growing up. I chose scenes that stuck in my head since the first watch; characters that made me laugh or cry, or songs from the screen that really affected me. The songs I chose for these two EP's, were all songs that got under my skin from the first time I heard them. ‘Run With Us’ in particular, is a song that’s not regularly mentioned in popular culture, so, I wanted a mix of songs that people would know and love, and that people would have forgotten, or perhaps not heard at all, if they weren’t born at a certain time, or growing up in a particular era or place.

Which of your songs would you use as a theme to your favourite TV show, or main soundtrack release for your favourite film?

I’d say, ‘Symmetry Of Two Hearts’. I really love the energy of that one, especially when we play it live, so I think that would be a really fun opening track for a TV show.

If you could rescore your favourite film, who would be included in the soundtrack?

Let’s go with, Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion. I’d have MUNA, Ballet School, myself, of course, Shura, Goldfrapp, Flock Of Dimes, Twin Shadow, Scissor Sisters, Sondre Lerche, RuPaul, Pointer Sisters, Yelle, M8s and Mariah Carey.

Cinematography II - Back In The Habit is out on now on iTunes.

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Joao Vasconcelos