Two seconds — that’s all it took to sell me on the sound of Brightlight City — a fresh, energetic, dynamic indie band from Surrey, England.
I happened on the video for “Finish Line” and I haven’t looked back since. The sound of the song grabbed my ear immediately. I couldn’t wait to hear more.
It was also cool that the band was active on Twitter that day and loved my immediate feedback on this and “The Charm Offensive” and “Reaction,” each tune a quality piece of work.
Jamie Giarraputo, vocalist for the band, was more than happy to talk about the band — how it’s grown and where it’s going. Here is the chat we had:
OK, to start, tell me how the whole band thing started in 2013?
So, myself and Justin (Giarraputo) are brothers and have been in bands for a few years. Jono (Staunton) the lead guitarist I’ve known since I was a baby.
Ben (Bell, drummer) joined in 2013, with Tom (Stock, bass) joining last month.
So we’ve had a few member changes, but 2013 and Ben joining was the start of it properly for us as Brightlight City.
Do you think you’ve got the lineup perfected now?
I think so, yeah. Tom joining on bass has added that missing element, that energy live and also he has a great voice so our backing Is spot on now.
So he is fitting in just right all around?
Definitely, energy and passion live is what we are all about, and he has just added to it so it’s pretty intense — in a good way!
I’ve watched a few of the live videos and there is definitely a lot of energy when you are on stage. Are you most comfortable there?
Definitely, it’s kind of release for all of us. You can be who you want to be and just escape.
How often do you get to play? I see you have shows lined up through March and April.
We play at least 4 to 5 times a month, so most weekends, plus we rehearse twice a week.
That’s good. Do you have a regular circuit or do you add new venues?
It’s a mix. We play some places regularly on rotation, but also add in new venues as well
In and around London and then beyond.
Your songs definitely have that “big sound” — the kind that can sound amazing in huge settings. What’s the biggest venues you’ve played so far?
The most people we’ve played in front of is around 7,000 at a festival in Canada. The biggest venue are probably the university venues.
So around 1,000 to 1,500 capacity, but we love the smaller more punk DIY shows.
Yeah, those sound like a lot of fun. So, the festival in Canada was last year? Ever been to the U.S. yet?
Yeah, that was September 2015. We’d love to play in the U.S! We’ve been on vacation and visited a few places, but never played there.
It’s a dream of ours. Just to take our music outside of the UK would be amazing.
I think it can be done. I was hooked on the first few notes of “Finish Line.” It is so bright, and energetic, I just loved it.
Thank you! We loved recording that track and performing it too.
Needless to say, I had to hear everything else immediately. You’ve got a brilliant sound all your own. Has it changed since the start?
It has changed slightly, yeah. In our previous line ups it had a lighter sound, but with Ben joining it gave it that heavier edge — which we all love. We were writing newer stuff tonight and it’s sounding pretty huge!
That’s awesome to hear. That heavy edge balance the brightness well. So is the songwriting process a total group thing?
It depends. Justin will send guitar ideas over and I’ll work on melodies at home and likewise for the other guys with their parts, then we all come together and hone bits until we are all happy.
The energy in a room can add a whole new element.
Five guys can bring five different dynamic elements to any song.
Definitely, and we all contribute to each others “parts.” We’re not precious about telling each other our ideas for guitar lines, drum patterns, etc. It’s an open book.
Try it and see, if it doesn’t work, at least we tried it.
Yes, that’s how to do it. When you head back to the studio in May, how many tracks are you to work on?
Probably 5 tracks, depends on budget as we are still self-funded — but 5 is our aim. We have a new single out in March from a previous set of recordings and another in May from a previous set, so keeping things pretty constant.
Yeah, I’ve seen you teasing it. What can you tell me about it and when is it to be out?
It’s a quirky rock song, I guess. It’s written about putting all of your heart and soul into something but still people are wanting more, there is also a bit of social commentary in there — frustrations at aspects of society over here.
Release date is still under wraps, but the beginning of March is looking likely.
(After the interview, Jamie announced that Brightlight City’s new single, “You’ve Got Gravity,” will be out March 11 — see the video below)
That seems to be a frequent theme with music lately. Lots of frustration with the government. We have that here in the United States, too.
Yeah, I think music is the perfect way to voice that.
Yep. Have you applied for any festivals?
We have indeed, waiting to hear back. But it’s such a competitive area of the live circuit that you need some sort of financial backing or you must know the right people, or just be totally overhyped by the media that you get put straight on regardless of work rate!
It’s a fickle game!
Well, fingers crossed some pan out for you.
Hopefully! If not we’ll keep on doing what we’re doing — enjoy creating and performing music! That’s all that matters, it’s got to be fun.
For up-to-date show dates and times, visit the band’s website at http://www.brightlightcityofficial.co.uk/, on Twitter at@blcband , on Instagram at instagram.com/brightlightcity on YouTube at youtube.com/brightlightcity on SoundCloud at soundcloud.com/brightlightcity .