Music Q&A: The Blinding Lights

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The Blinding Lights’ Callum Lury talks about expanding beyond a band of brothers and trying to make “flaunt” rhyme with “count” ahead of the release of their new single, Can’t Get Enough.

What informs your music and songwriting?
We’ll take inspiration from wherever it comes and see where it takes us. At our core we consider ourselves an old school rock ‘n’ roll dance band. If we’ve managed to get you up and out of your seats then we’re doing our job right. But we veer to the opposite end of the spectrum too with songs like The Refugee from our upcoming EP, a seven minute U2-esque narrative that lyrically is entirely informed by the situation currently unfolding in Calais and a desire to understand how and why people act as they do in the situations that they find themselves in.

How has the band evolved over the years?
On the most straightforward level, the band has just got bigger! After initially just the three brothers, Will joined on bass guitar, and we’re currently training up a new guitarist to add to the line-up as well. The music itself is always evolving. From a very pure fifties rock ‘n’ roll foundation we’re gradually moving towards a bigger, more expansive sound. We’re still searching for a sound that we’re completely happy with, and that involves working on a lot of varied material – got a couple of possible gospel-inspired numbers on the backburner at the moment.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
As mentioned there’s that possible gospel number we’re working on in our spare moments. And generally we always have at least one song that is being worked on and developed. Callum’s got a couple of songs he’s working on currently but usually has a decent feel for when to get the band to start giving their input as well. With our new guitar player coming in, it opens up a lot of possibilities to develop the live show further as well, which is something we’re really working on. The possibilities that it opens up in terms of stagecraft as well as the actual sound of the band are huge.

What’s it like to operate in the music industry today?
It’s a learning curve. It’s one of those situations whereby you don’t know how little you know until you’re in it. Every day there are things we didn’t expect or situations we didn’t realise we’d have to deal with. Getting out of a pay-to-play culture which we experienced more of early on was a big turning point, just mentally as much as anything. Gaining a sense of your music’s worth and an appreciation of your own professionalism as an act makes a massive difference. There are a lot of people trying to make a quick buck, but the longer we stick at it the more people you find who are genuinely helpful, friendly people who want to see you succeed.

What’s on your rider?
Theo: War and Peace. To make him look clever.
Will: Shoe polish. Got to keep those shoes shiny.
Jack: Slippers. He likes being comfy.
Callum: A keyboard cable. I have a tendency of forgetting it.
In reality we’d settle for tea.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Any given night at the Trinity in Harrow. It’s our local and where the band got its initial experience playing live. One particular individual (who will go unnamed) told us we were great… and then proceeded to explain how he had single-handedly ended the Vietnam War, set up the NHS and had the internet stolen from him. Pretty much your average night down there.

What’s your worst lyric?
Some debate here apparently! Well, according to the band as a whole it has to be a rather questionable attempt to sing the words “flaunt” and “count” as if they rhyme. But perhaps more fairly, “What did he dream of, of love of course” – a little cheesy, even for rock ‘n’ roll.

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