So I know things have been a bit quiet over here at the ‘Notes, but that’s partially because I have begun writing for a website based here in Denver called MileHighGayGuy.com (clever, right?). My contributions have been a mix of reviews and artist features, but my favorite so far is an interview with Rod Thomas (aka Bright Light Bright Light) as he prepared for a three-night stand in New York. You can check out the full piece here, but I couldn’t help but ask a few questions that were near and dear to my heart that didn’t make the cut:
JH: On a personal level, I have been drawn into single after single of yours because of how relatable the subject matter in your songs is. Does everything you release have a biographical slant, or is there a lot of fiction in your songs?
RT: A healthy mix of the two. I’m glad you said “biographical” and not “autobiographical”. People often assume that a record is like a diary. I tend to be more of a storyteller, so I write about things that friends have gone through, or ideas I get from things I overhear on the bus for example. ‘Feel It’ is based on Laura Palmer’s diary (Twin Peaks) and the idea of desire, passion and giving in to something. So I write about a mix of things, but put them all in first person.
JH: Is there any concern for you in 2012 about writing material that is blatantly about another man?
JH: “Moves” to me is one of the best “what comes next” break up songs I believe I have ever heard. How does the structure of a song like that develop?
RT: Completely by accident. We [Jon Shave from Invisible Men and I] wrote and recorded it in 4 hours. We sat down, talked about a kind of sound we wanted to create, found some synth sounds, played around with chords and I wrote the lyrics as we went along. It was maybe the most naturally made song we did together.
Bright Light Bright Light is making three appearances in New York this week: October 9th at Westgay (a dance pop set); October 10th playing a solo piano set at Mercury Lounge and premiering a brand new song; and October 11th DJing at Nowhere Bar. The official release of “Feel It” is on October 29th, but his full-length Make Me Believe in Hope is out and available now. For all things Bright Light Bright Light, check out the website at www.brightlightx2.com.