Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Light This City Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Absolutely!  We went out on a super fun West Coast tour with our friends and label mates in GYGAX, and that was a total blast.  The shows were great and it felt amazing to play the new songs off “Terminal Bloom”.  We’re confirming an East Coast tour at the moment, and are planning on touring Mexico and Japan this year as well.  Hopefully Europe too if the opportunity is right!

2.Recently you have released a new album, what are some of the things you feel you have done musically with this new recording that you where not able to do with your previous releases?

Well we’ve grown a lot and learned a ton about recording/production in the 10 years since “Stormchaser”, so we just knew how to play better, how to trim the fat off of songs, what tones we preferred compared to previous albums, etc.  It was really smooth and easy for all 5 of us to agree on what we wanted.  To retain our sound with progressed songwriting, and to capture that as intensely as possible. The melodies probably most of all.

3.This is the first album in 10 years, what was the decision behind getting back together after a long hiatus?

Darkest Hour asked us to reunite to play the SF date of their 20 year Anniversary Tour and we agreed, knowing that it would be pretty fun to get back together and play our old songs.  However, the reaction was so overwhelming and felt so amazing that we knew we had to write another record.  Not just for the fans, but for ourselves.  We had never stopped listening to metal in the past 10 years, and something about that show and how much fun we had just started a fire within us that made us want to write more melodic death metal.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?

Musically, Ryan and I wrote the album.  We’ve progressed musically in a number of ways.  Mainly getting sharper and more honed at our instruments, but also absorbing new kinds of music over the last decade that changed our approach to writing heavy metal.  We knew how to retain our 90’s swedish inspired sounds, but in terms of the structure of the songs, our maturity level has obviously increased.   On Laura’s side, her lyrics area always super personal and delve into all kinds of topics.  She has a really intense song on the record called “Extinguished” about her brother dying recently, and she sings about anxiety, vices, etc.  Pretty relatable non-heavy metal type stuff, but basked in her furious voice and delivery, so it always feels fierce.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Light This City'?

No meaning, Laura and I came up with it when we were 14.  In hindsight I would have chosen something else.  It doesn’t sound like a melodic death metal band.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?

Yeah!  This dude Tony Midi cranked it out for us and totally killed it!  Laura sings a lot about life and death and the merging of the two metaphorically, so we had this idea of a ‘dark garden’ filled with serpents and ominous creatures, while there were flowers blooming representing new life, etc.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Our stage performance has always been rooted in punk/hardcore aesthetics, where we aren’t trying to put on some fake front, or act too serious or ‘metal’.  We just like getting up there and rippin’ as hard as we can.  Playing well and having fun are the most important aspects to us, and luckily that seems to be entertaining for our fans.   As for the best shows, obviously that 2015 Darkest Hour show I was talking about, our latest SF show at Bottom of the Hill was a real highlight, but there were so many amazing shows back in the early 2000’s at the White Rabbit in San Antonio, amazing shows in New York and Montreal, so many fun times in LA.  There were always certain markets that received us really well.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

East Coast, Mexico, Japan, and Europe!

9.The new album was released on Creator-Destructor Records', how would you compare them to your older label 'Prosthetic Records'?

Well, it’s my label so it’s so different.  Prosthetic is a great label, but every label is ran differently, with different aesthetic and approaches in mind.  I don’t knock anything Prosthetic does, and they helped us build our band immensely early on.  It was a simple choice of wanting to control the entire process, stick to our DIY roots, and use our own label as the medium so we could keep 100% of the money, reach out to fans more directly, and provide a reliable mail-order service that we don’t have to be in the dark about.   Also, I’ve ran Creator-Destructor for a decade now, I enjoy all the elements of putting out a record and didn’t really want to hand over those duties to someone else that I didn’t know well.

10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your comeback by fans of melodic death metal?

Amazing!  All the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and our fans freaked out and loved the album.  I seriously saw like, zero negative criticism save a few people here and there who never really liked our band (hey, Metalsucks!) and gave some funny feedback.  Oh well, those websites are better suited needlessly praying on the weak in the metal scene, like some kind of backwards ass  bottom feeder TMZ.  They’ll do just fine shit-talking numerous bands while never creating any quality content themselves…. Can you tell I love that website?

11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

Well, Ryan and I have WILDERNESS DREAM which is a blackened thrash metal band with HEARTSOUNDS drummer Trey Derbes as well.  Ryan plays in GLACIER EATER with our bassist Jon Frost, and they’re a badass thrash/power metal hybrid.  Steve Hoffman plays in MOHICANS and VIRAL, both incredibly heavy, sick bands.  And Laura plays in HEARTSOUNDS with me, outside of LTC.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Hopefully do another record in a few years and keep trying to travel to places we’ve never played!

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I listen to mostly hip hop, but we’re always listening to all kinds of metal, hardcore, punk, etc. My influences seep through in a lot of ways, that might not seem obvious.  Heavy music is heavy music though - It can be some downtuned death metal shit, or a simple beat and sample and a destroyer on the mic.   I know that Ryan and Steve listen to a lot more metal than me.  I don’t know WHAT Laura listens to, mostly true crime podcasts, haha.  Maybe that influences her lyrics?   Who knows.   When we started though, it was 100% In Flames, At the Gates, Dark Tranquility, Metallica, etc.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?

Podcasts, movies, exercising, food, being with our loved ones, and all kinds of normal-people type things.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks so much for the interview and support!  Check out and listen to a ton of awesome bands!  I think that’s it!  ;)

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