May 30, 2012
Bright Light Bright Light: Extended Play
Bright Light in his new video A New Word To Say
Rush over to Idolator to read my piece on Bright Light Bright Light, where you can hear the premier of an epic album track, Feel It. I did a bit of an edit for them, so here are some additional questions and fleshed out comments from Rod, who is releasing one of THE pop records of the 2012 on June 4 in the UK and June 25 in America...
You collaborate a lot, with artists like Del Marquis of Scissor Sisters and some amazing remixers. Give me some from your dream list.
I'd love to do something with Kate Bush, she's a huge favourite of mine, and I'd love to collaborate visually with David Lynch or John Cameron Mitchell, as Twin Peaks / Hedwig And The Angry Inch respectively were big events in my life. I'd also love to work with Royksopp, Kelis or Simian Mobile Disco. What's been great about the work I've done so far is that I have met some brilliant musicians, so collaboration comes along organically sometimes, like for the Blueprints EP [on iTunes US] where my friends Sound Of Arrows, Sunday Girl, Del Marquis and Allison from The Pierces all lent their vocal talents. Collaboration is one of my favourite things about making music as for me music is all about connection.
The remixes for Waiting For The Feeling are fantastic. You have our mutual friend Vinny Vero doing a mix and you also contacted the epic 90's remix team Trouser Enthusiasts for a long mix that is quite majestic and Bond theme-y. I know you've loved them for years, so what was it like to hear this entirely new version of your song?
I cannot explain how huge a fan I was of the Trouser Enthusiasts production and remixes back in the day, so when Ian Masterson [one half of the mix team, along with David Green] agreed to do a remix for me I was beyond excited. When he finished it, he invited me round to listen to it, and… I totally lost myself for the 9 minutes and almost forgot it was my song. It was AMAZING. It's so epic and so, so overwhelming that someone has done that for me…
The video for Waiting For The Feeling really hits a new level of style for you visually...
I love the colours. There are little nods to Beetlejuice, one of my favorite films. Alun Davies chose a really gorgeous color palette for the video, and Justine Josephs, the stylist, found some incredible clothes. The video's playing around with the idea of waiting - that being on hold - and what type of connections you can have; physical or emotional. I really like how the force of catching or throwing a ball is like being hit with, or releasing emotion. It was a lot of fun to make.
There is no mega record label behind this production. How did you craft such a big, professional sounding record on such a lean budget?
I make it work. Part of the reason the album has taken a little while to come out is because I've had to finance it… not in a "get your tiny violin" way, but I had to budget, and fundraise, and plan. Although to me it just seemed natural to do that, as it's my creative project, so it just seemed like the obvious thing to do. I don't believe in doing anything by half, what's the point? Especially for something pop. I don't think you have to go all out visually, or all out stage wise, to be in a great outfit - I know lots of bands who have simple stage set ups but still amaze me - but for this particular project I had an aesthetic I was interested in, so wanted to really push for it.
What should music lovers do on a trip to London, Rod?
Visit Berwick Street for the independent record shops, go to Rough Trade East and have a coffee while they eye up all the vinyl they have, and definitely stick East (London) for a night out as there are some great club nights... People in London work hard and play hard, and my FAVOURITE thing about London is that you can go clubbing on a Tuesday night to a full room that just wants to dance, have a great night, then everyone gets up the next day and carries on. It's brilliant. There are bars like Dalston Superstore that straddle being a bar and a club, and there are more underground places like Vogue Fabrics that are solely a club. There's a lot of fun to be had.
Club nights seem like such a cultural force there.
There is definitely a community around club nights. Lots of us DJ swap, so we guest at each other's night, which is great as it creates a real sense of co-habitation and we get to swap music tips, geek out a little, and make the experience a lot friendlier. I run a 90s night, Another Night with my friend, and am just starting Comfortable Shoes, a gay indie disco, with my friend Jen Long from BBC Radio 1.
You clearly dig a mashup- whose tunes have you mashed with your music?
I made two mashup versions of my record for DJing out and for my favorite blogs, mixing my tunes with artists like Billie Ray Martin, Britney Spears, Kylie, Brandy and Monica and Corona - all artists whose songs have an incredible sense of melody. I'm a sucker for a killer melody, that's something that is most important for me when I listen to music. A great topline always slays me.
Make Me Believe In Hope is out June 4 digitally via iTunes UK, June 25 on iTunes US or in multiple formats via Rod's shop. Full band album launch in London [tickets] 13th June / DJ Party [free guestlist] 8th June.
If you live in America, you can check out my short review of the album in the June/July issue of Instinct at the finest newstands near you. 5 stars! And don't forget to follow Bright Light x2 and me on Twitter!