The Light Asylum Interview
There was fog, there were fans, synths, sweat and a whole lot of ‘tude during Light Asylum‘s recent set at VIA 2011. And here you thought we had retired the issue. But nope, we’re here to tickle your memory strings and rehash the buzz on one of this year’s breakthrough acts. When I thought about who I’d most like to interview at the fest, Light Asylum was one of the acts at the top of my list. Their music is dark and the persona of front woman Shannon Funchess intrigues and intimidates me. What better way to de-bunk my perception than with a little Q & A? Fresh off a huge gig at this year’s CMJ, here goes:
Kymbo Slice: I saw you wearing Austra t-shirts during your VIA performance. What’s your relationship with the band other than through touring?
Light Asylum: They are really nice people and Katie is so very talented. We are friends and have mutual friends in common such as the director of their debut video, ‘Lose It’ M. Blash.
KS: What inspired you to start Light Asylum with Bruno Coviello? How does it compare to other bands you’ve been in?
LA: I formed the band two years prior from Bruno joining LIGHT ASYLUM while on a hiatus from !!! (chk, chk, chk). I had some shows booked and was tired of the material so, I rang him and asked if he was interested in playing live, he said yes! The rest is ‘herstory’.
KS: I’ve read you plan on releasing a full-length album in 2012. Can you tell us a bit about that?
LA: It’ll be released by Mexican Summer/Kemado records in early Spring 2012. We are in the process of writing new material and we hope to make a cohesive work of dance tracks and dark ballads. Other than this we just hope everyone will like the direction we are headed in with the music. It’s the same direction in our view with a bit more quality in the recording process without being over produced in any way. We don’t believe in recording anything we can’t pull off live.
KS: What do you do to stay grounded on the road? Any touring rituals?
LA: It’s important to eat well and thrift shop. Stretching is necessary as well a dj gig here and there is nice too. Sleep is important but usually we don’t get enough of that. A little sage goes a long way.
KS: What was the inspiration behind the video for “Dark Allies”? Why all the light sabers?
LA: Our good friend Grant Worth shot that video with “0” budget so we did what we had to do and used what we had which were “light sabers” and my dear, long time friend Jaime Coon was ‘Mary’. We weren’t on a label and had no support when shooting Dark Allies (our first official music video). An art collective named CHERYL lent us the space in a bank vault on Wall Street to shoot it in. There were wires pulled out of the walls and ceiling….the place was rough to say the least so we had to black out the room. It was a labor of love and it turned out very nice.
After hearing these answers, I must say, there’s a lot to respect about the way Light Asylum chooses to execute their band – from their fantastic DIY video, to their notion of not recording anything they can’t pull off live, to their experience and enviable level of talent. I’m excited to see what they put out in 2012. I’m sure it will be fantastic. They’re touring in the Spring of 2012 with YACHT, so keep your fingers crossed for a Pittsburgh date. And just for the hell of it, because it’s so good: