White Lights - 01.07.09

Interviewed by
White Lights - 01.07.09The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer.

White Lights - (Mateo Vosganian) [myspace]

1. How did you get your band name?
We had a silly name from when we were in college and when we made the move to Los Angeles we decided to change it. It took us months. We tried going to Joshua Tree and doing mushrooms, but the only name that came out of that trip was Puppies and Kittens. After that excursion failed miserably, we chilled on the name search for a while. One night we were at some dumb party and the Velvet Underground came on. We started discussing the band and our love of them and their record "White Light White Heat". Then I suggested White Light as the band name, and we added an "s" because we're British.

2. How did this band get started?
The lead singer Nabeel and I (Mateo, the drummer) met in college at Emerson in Boston. We played music together there for a while, then I left school to go on tour. We kept in touch and played shows here and there. Years later, we decided to move to Los Angeles, where we met our guitar player Shane who actually went to the same college as us but we didn't know him, and we also reconnected with our old friend Andy who joined on bass.

3. What bands are you influenced by?
The Jam, Velvet Underground, My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, Cold War Kids, White Rabbits, Death Cab, old Bloc Party, Radiohead

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would it be and why?
Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, the Hold Steady, Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab, or the RX Bandits.

Radiohead because it would be absolutely ridiculous to be able to watch them from side stage every night for however long.

MMJ because they put on one of the most energetic live shows I've ever seen, and honestly it'd be fun to be able to jam with them. We played Coachella on the same day they played and just being able to watch them from far away was inspiring.

The Hold Steady because they are the band that can save rock and roll.

Ryan Adams is king.

Bright Eyes is prince.

JEW was the first band I ever discovered completely on my own. My brother didn't tell me about them. Neither did my dad. I found them on mp3.com one day and was like YES. This is music I can relate to.

Death Cab is a band that I feel like we could learn alot from. Just from watching them live a couple times and seeing their DVD, it's clear they are one of the most genuine bands around who have kept it together for a LONG time.

and the RXB because they are some of the best musicians I've ever seen and it'd be so awesome to get together with those guys and make some new music.

5. If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
As a band we decided we'd be an ostrich, because they are the fiercest killers in the animal kingdom.

6. Why should people listen to your band?
Because we care enough about being creative to do something with it. Also because it's really fun to discover new music. Sure, there will be hits and misses, and even if we're one of the misses, it's a valid part of the process.

7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
I personally would want a song picked where Shane does ridiculous things with his delay pedal, that way people who played the song wouldn't know where to start. Our songs probably wouldn't be that hard to get 5 stars on...we're not metal or Steve Vai.

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Ryan Adams because chances are if we win something, it's because he didn't release anything that year.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
How much cash it takes to do anything worth while. Recording, touring, even playing local shows. It's all fucking expensive. There are a ton of costs that many people don't think of at first, but it all adds up to a very expensive lifestyle that still leaves us living in squalor.

10. Memorable tour experience?

Coachella 08 our van broke down two days before so we rented a giant UHaul truck, put the couch from my living room in the back and propped the back door open for ventilation to get there. Three of us sat on the couch and it was awesome. Really dangerous, but awesome. Then we got to the venue and barbecued. Hint for bands on the road: invest in a travel barbecue grill. It's an easy way to make new friends and a cheap way to eat on tour.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?
I check it every day for news on some of my favorite bands / people. We're not exactly an AP.net coverage worthy band, but it's been a good resource of information, tour dates, and the new round ups are becoming increasingly more helpful. It's a community of a bunch of kids who love music, which is great to have these days. Even if we don't appear on many of these kids radars, it's still a good resource for us to use when we release our record. I feel so old alot of the time when I go on the site. Kids talking about the Maine and We the Kings and Forever the Sickest Kids can get old. I grew up in the punk and hardcore scene though, so I've been on this trip for a while. I've been reading AP.net everyday for years, it just so happened that I ended up playing music in a different scene.

12. What is your favorite song to play?
It's actually a cover. Our guitarist got arrested a while back during a tour of the midwest. Our first show back with the bands we were on tour with, we closed with a big band version of "I Shall Be Released" by Bob Dylan that blew the roof off. Since then, we've played that song a couple more times live and every time it rules.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?

In the van, on tour. It's the ultimate vacation. Some expenses are covered, and at the worst touring is simply this: You on the road with 3 to 5 of your best friends, playing music almost every night. Bands need to get this in perspective. To be able to tour is a blessing, and as much work as goes into it...it's NEVER "work".

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Styx, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. Also any 70s soul. My dad was cool. He was also the first person I knew that picked up the first Slipknot record. His musical tastes went awry as he got older, but damn...I could listen to Otis Redding all day every day.

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
The superpower I'd pick would be the ability to change the size of any thing. If anyone pisses me off, I'm shrinking them and putting them in my pocket. Problem solved.

16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?

In so much as we're able to tour, record, and live. We pay our bills (barely), and make music. We'll never stop moving and reaching upwards. We're happy to have reached the point we're at but at the same time, our accomplishments aren't much compared to most others.

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?

We were signed to and dropped from Columbia in the span of 12 hours. Before we could even put out a statement we were dropped. Hell yeah. That's rock and roll.

18. What's your favorite holiday?

Christmas is great because it's a time for family and friends. I'm always in a good mood around the Christmas holiday.

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I watch alot of youtube tutorial videos on afrocuban and latin rhythms. I'm a nerd. I also like to whoop all mighty ass in Madden 09 as the Patriots. I also write scripts and comedy things.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?

I can rap. No one believes me. I can also scream. I was in a hardcore band once and I have proof, but my bandmates still don't believe me.
Displaying posts 1 - 3 of 3
12:44 PM on 07/13/09
Hey! That's my line!
User Info.
rocktwin22's Avatar
These gusy sound down-to-earth. I've never heard of them, but I'll surely check them out.
12:56 PM on 07/13/09
No, I am not sorry
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Takk...Ros's Avatar
If anyone pisses me off, I'm shrinking them and putting them in my pocket. Problem solved
Lofl. I enjoyed this comment.

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