An Interview With The Dublin-Based Band, STATE LIGHTS!
Posted On 30 Aug 2018
Meet the Dublin-based band, State Lights. They just released their single/video for their track, “Freedom.” It was mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons). The track which has influences ranging from Kygo to Coldplay encourages people to break free from oppressive and toxic relationships and coming to terms with ones sexuality.
Check out the video for “Freedom”: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjLHdepi3VE>
Bonded by their interest in 80s music and the common desire to write giant stadium-sized songs, State Lights formed three years ago at BIMM college in Dublin.
“Freedom” is the follow-up single to “Peace Will Come,” which was supported by 2fm (Ireland’s National Radio station), featured as the Homegrown Hero and Artist of the Week on Today FM and tallied substantial airplay and support from Radio X (UK) and a number of International radio stations.
Connect With State Lights Here:
Learn more about State Lights in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
Heading down to the countryside in Ireland to a place called Tipperary for some quiet time!
All Access Music is currently compiling a list of our artists favorite songs this summer so what is YOUR song of the summer?
I am quite a fan of ‘No Tears Left to Cry’ by Ariana Grande.
How has 2018 been treating you all? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year?
2018 has been a great year for us so far. We did a small Irish Tour, have played a handful of festivals and performed on Ireland’s biggest late night talk show called the Late Late Show!
A definite goal we had was to get added to the line-up of Electric Picnic, Ireland’s biggest festival. Which we achieved! We’ll be playing in a 12k capacity tent. We cant wait.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Has anything surprised you about this ride so far?
Yes, we were all in one of our early rehearsals and I think maybe Joe our guitarist just went…”we’re a band now right? We need a name!”
I suppose sometimes I get surprised by the length of times things can take in the industry. But it’s all about patience and sticking around, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
How did you come up with your name? Was it easy to come up with one that you all could agree on? What other names were you possibly considering?
The name State Lights comes from the idea of being in a plane, high over a city at night. We really liked that image and felt it reflected the expanse of the music somehow. It was quite a struggle to find one yes. There was a stage I wanted us it be called Night Fire. Which isn’t bad, but sounds more like a heavy metal band!
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? What is the music scene like these days in Dublin? Would you guys ever want to leave and move to the US?
It has influenced every part of my life. Dublin is in my bones at this stage. Some of my greatest heroes are actually from Dublin, Bono, Phil Lynott and Luke Kelly. It is an incredible city for the arts. And it is wonderful to be part of that tapestry.
The scene in Dublin is really thriving right now, so many great acts are continuing to keep Ireland on the map of the world music scene.
I want to see every part of the US and tour it extensively, it is a whole planet in one country. But I think Dublin will probably always be my home.
Let’s talk about your newest single, “Freedom.” Where did the inspiration for this track come from? How do you think it is different or similar to anything else that you have released?
Freedom is quite a personal one for me. The song is about freeing yourself from toxic relationships. The video for the song also acted essentially as a coming out song for me. I think it is sonically a bit different from past singles. It has a modern dance element to it. Inspired by modern Coldplay music.
What was it like working with your producer Mark Needham on it who has working with so many other incredible bands? Was that a little intimidating?
It was incredible working with Mark. He has produced and mixed some of our favorite tracks. He is a gentleman and a pleasure to work with.
How creatively involved were you guys with the making of the music video for “Freedom”? (I love the idea of someone walking around handing out free flowers! Who doesn’t love a free flower?!) ☺
Yes the band were heavily involved in the creation of the video, we work closely with a man called Peter Barnes. He is essentially a fifth band member and we collaborate with him on all our video content. It is a great creative relationship.
When do you hope to put out more new music and full album of new songs? I understand that you have plenty of material to go right now… Typically, how do you about writing songs? Do you work altogether or separately at first?
We will probably have another single out before the end of 2018. Not completely sure when our first full album will come. We have lots of material ready, just need to wait until our platform is large enough to launch it.
The songwriting process tends to vary. Sometimes it is the four of us in a rehearsal room, waiting for an idea to present itself. This method has written some of our favorite songs. Then other times a full idea will come to me and i’ll show it to the guys and see what they think. It can be different every time.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
We love all aspects but essentially we are a live band. We love chasing that mysterious feeling you get when you get lost in performance.
Do you have any upcoming summer or fall tour dates you would like to share with our readers?
Our next big performance is at Electric Picnic where we play the Saturday and the Sunday of the festival. We will play another headline show in Dublin before the year is out along with some support slots with some bigger artists hopefully!
How do you think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? What would you say is the most challenging part about it?
The music life is a choice, and not an easy one to make. But we have all committed to it now. I feel like I don’t have a choice actually. I have a strong faith and I feel like it is my purpose here to sing and perform. And part of that is fully accepting the challenges. Be they emotional/financial or whatever. I think we all feel like that.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? Or do you think it doesn’t? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
Our music is definitely influenced by the political and social landscape. Our last single ‘Peace Will Come’ particularly so. It was directly influenced by Trump’s America. One that we as a band are looking forward to seeing the back of. We want to see America return to it’s roots, as a country that accepts the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Like it did for us Irish years ago. There are some, but not as many as we’d like. Mainstream music has a distinct lack of social awareness at the moment. But acts we see doing it are Kendrick Lamar, U2 and Springsteen.
What musicians would you love to work with in the future? What artists have really been inspiring this group and your music since day 1?
I would love to sing with U2 someday. And also people like Bruce Sprinsteen, Florence Welch, Brandon Flowers and Chris Martin. The modern day soul singers! (Laughter) We’ve gotta return to that in the mainstream. Would also love to do a song with Kygo. We also love Future Islands, The Killers, The Smiths and Keane.
If you guys were all going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you want to take with you and why?
A battered acoustic guitar, so we could sing the blues in the straight up old school way. Because we are stranded on a deserted island…what else could you sing!
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
A message of Love and Freedom. We want people to engage, to think about life. To notice it’s struggles, but to ultimately overcome those struggles. But you can only overcome if you acknowledge them in the first place. Our shows are a place where we invite people to do that.
Where can our readers connect with you today?
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. Just about anywhere. But the best way to connect is to come to a show. It doesn’t matter where or when because we’ll be giving it our all. And if you want to connect with us, we’ll do it with you.
(All photography provided by A&R Worldwide | MUSEXPO)