- Tue, 2010-11-23 13:02
Brothers Jay and Dave Thompson finally decided to hook up with their long term collaborator chums Kyle Smith and Nathan Dix to pursue a new musical direction. Enlisting Adam Fowkes for vocals and Drew Mills on keys, Blacklight Pioneer decided to focus on nothing but their music.
With their debut single Lucille set for release on 7th February 2011, we caught up with the band to find out more.
"I Like Music because… Without it we would be nothing.” Adam Fowkes, Blacklight Pioneer
"I Like Music because… everything else makes me sad.” Jay Thompson, Blacklight Pioneer
ILM: How did Blacklight Pioneer come to be?
Jay : We'd all known each other for a while, being involved with various projects. When they naturally came to an end we decided to get together with all the members you see now, thankfully it's worked out even better than we thought it would.
ILM: What’s the story behind your name?
Adam: Basically, we've always struggled thinking of band names. A friend's band had this idea for a name (Blacklight Pioneer) which we all liked, luckily for us they decided to opt for the name Lux, naming themselves after a brand of soap. We happily took Blacklight Pioneer off them. We'd like to say there's a grandiose meaning behind it but we'd be lying.
ILM: For those that have never heard you before, how would you describe your music?
Adam: I like to think that we're something different, something that all people can enjoy; fat, thin, black, white, woman, man or beast. On a serious note, I would label us as epic alternative rock.
ILM: There’s quite a lot of you in the band... Can you talk us through who plays what?
Jay: Yep, and we're nearly all as important as each other! There's me (Jay Thompson), I play guitar, Adam Fowkes on vocals, Dave Thompson on drums, Andy Mills on Keys, Kyle Smith on Bass and Nathan Dix on guitar.
ILM: How would you describe your music making process?
Jay: I'd describe it as a collaboration between all of us. It's very much all of us in the practice room trying things out until we hit on something we like, which at the moment is luckily fairly frequent.
Adam: I usually wait until there's some sort of song structure and then I come up with melodies. We then record and fine tune the song until we are happy, then I take the recording home and write the lyrics. Sometimes I come up with a vocal melody and we'll write a tune around that.
ILM: Who are your biggest inspirations?
Adam :As a kid I grew up listenening to a lot of soul music along with stuff like the Beatles and Bowie, all thanks to my dad. I've always loved lyrics by Ian Curtis, Morrisey, Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke. Does that make me a misery? I hope so!
Jay: I would say Radiohead, not that I actually want to sound like them, more the fact that they can go from a huge album like OK Computer and follow it up with something like Kid A, which would have probably given the record label a few sleepless nights, but was none the less a brave move for a band like that. Also Weezer - Pinkerton, for the fact it has the most horribly honest (almost too honest) lyrics, but based around what is basically a pop rock album.
ILM: What sets Blacklight Pioneer apart from the rest?
Jay: That's a tough question, personally I'd say it's the fact we try to concentrate on writing the best songs possible rather than worrying about whether we fit in with any particular sound or movement that's fashionable this month.
Adam: Yeah, I agree, we try not to let our inspirations get the better of us and try to write and perform honestly and be true to ourselves.
ILM: What music have you been listening to recently?
Jay: I really like the new Envy record (the Japanese Envy, not the rapper), The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart is still getting a lot of plays, even though it came out a while ago, and also Robyn's Body Talk series.
Adam: To be frank I hardly ever listen to music these days.
ILM: Out of all the live gigs you’ve seen, which have been the most memorable?
Jay: Recently I'd go for The Get Up Kids, purely because they remind me a lot of being into them at the time and luckily getting to see them back in the day.
Adam: I'd say Blur at Hyde Park last year, it brought back so many memories from my youth, or DJ Shadow on my 18th birthday the same night I got arrested for the first time...
ILM: What can we expect if we come to see Blacklight Pioneer live?
Jay: We try to sound as huge as possible, no matter how big or small the venue. We also tend to throw a bit more energy in there than most bands would.
ILM: What are your future plans?
Jay: World domination, to be bigger than Jesus and The Beatles put together. Starting of course with our debut single Lucille released on the 7th February 2011.