About a year ago, I heard Surrey, England indie band Brightlight City for the first time — and was instantly won over within the first few seconds of “The Finish Line.” The tune is electric and the band just gives off such a vibrant energy it was impossible not to like them.
They have consistently been putting winning songs out since then, including “Thieves” and “You’ve Got Gravity,” always changing, growing and evolving. Their sound is massive and singer Jamie Giarraputo is an amazing frontman.
He has fantastic support in brother Justin Giarraputo on guitar and vocals, Jono Staunton on guitar, Tom Stock on bass and vocals, and Ben Bell on drums.
Their newest single “Past /Future” is a hard hitter, allowing a heavier and punkier side of the band to be unleashed. The guitars are grittier, the vocals spot on and harmonies well blended.
Brightlight City has also started its own record label and will be releasing their EP, “Our Future’s Not Dead,” on April 7. They are also in the midst of a winter tour. With everything going on, it was the perfect time to catch up with Jamie and chat about the band.
Here’s our conversation:
You have a big year started — with a great new single. You are out of the gates running with “Past/Future” … Tell me about it.
Well “Past/Future” is a snapshot look at events that have occurred recently both in the UK and US. It’s a narrative as well. It’s about the struggle that a lot of refugees have to go through to find a better life. It’s also trying to give hope — if we all use our voices, stand together, we can make a difference. Brexit over here is such a big thing, and is totally going to change a lot, and not for the better. A campaign built on fear and hate won — which scares me.
Do you have friends who have directly been affected by the changes from Brexit or the U.S. election?
I work with young people who have come to the UK for a better life, and since Brexit, there seems to be this acceptance to treat them differently, in a negative sense. Who knows, maybe it’s coincidence, I just feel that there is a lot more hate flying around, a lot more flippancy in people’s negative opinions and views. I suppose “Past/Future” was giving a glimmer of hope to it all. After all, they want you to feel negative, it keeps the anger bubbling over, it fuels fear.
I hope Brexit ends up being a good change for the UK, as well as our US election. I am hopeful for good things to happen all around.
You are in the midst of a winter tour — how is that going?
I suppose the phrase is “I’d rather say you were right, then I told you so” and that applies now. It seems to be a negative situation over here from various points of view, it’s the hatred that I see every day that saddens me. It’s like we’ve gone backwards … Anyway, don’t want to get too heavy about it all! Everyone can draw facts and start forming opinions, not be fed information. That’s the danger, and that’s what happened over here … Anyway! Let’s chat about our awesome new EP, ha!
Sorry, I’m passionate about this!
Not at all, I love the passion — your music is filled with it. It’s something I love about your music — and the energy too!
Thanks, yeah we love to really put everything we have into every show. Regardless of turn out. This is our love, our passion and our release.
I hope you are planning to live stream some more shows — it’s the only way we can see you over here for now!
I think we will Saturday actually! Playing with an awesome band.
Cool! That would be great. Your new material is definitely dynamic, punk-ish and hard-edged.
Yeah, we’ve kind of gone back to our roots, and with Tom joining on bass, he’s made way for us to fully commit ourselves to a heavier punkier sound, which we all listen to and have grown up with, so it just feels right to do what feels right with the five of us. We’re all pulling in the same direction. No holding back, makes the live show even more intense.
I saw the magazine shot of an interview you posted earlier — what was your band like before? More what you are going back to?
Ah yeah, that was a metal hammer feature we got back in 2005, 17/18, fresh-faced! Ha! We were very heavy back then, this was the era of the resurgence of post hardcore, so we toured a lot with Enter Shikari, Flood of Red … loads of bands of the time. And I suppose we lost the love for it because we weren’t all happy collectively. 2004 maybe? Ha ha!
Oh wow! What was your name then?
We were called Year:Zero, then we changed our name for that article to meet.john.doe. But obviously, that was a completely different band (just me and Justin in that one). We’ve always been together in bands, he keeps me in check. We’ve been doing this music lark for a long time, because we love it. And yeah, I suppose we are going back to the heavier punkier element. We’ve always had heavy elements, but never really went all out because other members didn’t like the idea. Luckily those politics don’t exist anymore, we’re all feeling the same excitement for our new songs
It’s heavy, but very energetic and vibrant at the same time. I instantly smile when you come in my mp3 player in the car.
Ah that makes us happy! Yeah we don’t want to be too abrasive because we still like writing hook laden songs, but of course that punkier element helps with the energy.
I don’t think you could be too abrasive … But the hooks are always there!
Tell me about the record label you started — why and what all will it do?
The reason why is basically encompassed in our blog on the label site, I think it’s worth a read as it encompasses it all. http://www.undeadcollectiverecords.co.uk/single-post/2017/01/03/Starting-a-Record-Label
I will get on there and check it out. Lots of bands these days are starting their own labels, going DIY.
Yeah, it’s the way forward, and crazily we’ve secured major distribution.
Fingers crossed it’s a successful venture! I just read it … I like your way of thinking.
Do you have a big launch planned for the EP?
Not currently, but might be a possibility!
Have you gotten any summer festivals lined up?
Not currently, but it still may happen, it’s a difficult thing to get on.
What goals have you set for say, the next 6 to 9 months?
Release the single on the March 3 digitally, then the EP digitally and physically with vinyl and CD options, lots of merchandise, etc.
What’s a dream gig for you?
O2 arena headline slot.
I have no doubt it will happen. So, anything else we should talk about? Did I miss anything?
I think that’s everything. EP comes out April 7, it’s going to be big!
You can find Brightlight City on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/brightlightcityofficial/, on Twitter at @blcband, on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/brightlightcity, on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/brightlightcity and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/brightlightcity/.