Before we come to your recordings which you are doing right now, please tell us something about LIGHTS & MOTION: when, why, ...
LIGHTS & MOTION hail from Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, located on the west-coast. It´s known for many different things, but in particular it´s influence on metal-music and what is famously known as "The Gothenburg Sound". The sound describes a very melodic and harmonised style of metal, influenced by the melancholy of swedish folk-music, and led by bands like In Flames and Dark Tranquillity.
I suffered from a mild case of insomnia and since I couldnt sleep I spent my nights alone in the studio. This was in the fall of 2011.
Around this time I started to think about LIGHTS & MOTION, or more precisely, what was yet to become LIGHTS & MOTION. I really had nothing except for a vision of something vast, big, heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. I didnt really think in terms of music, but more in images, movies, quotes, words and other things that inspired me. All of these different things painted a picture in my head that I could see so clearly. I wanted a name for whatever it was that I was going to do, something easy, just one word. It should resonate with this vision I had in my head, this sensation of being afloat, of flying.
One day it just came to me, and I can´t say that I remember how or why but I remember it feeling just right.
At the moment you are recording your debut record. When did the recording process start? When did you realised that you will start the recordings or when did you decided to start it?
Well, the recording process began some time ago but it´s just recently that I have been aiming towards an album. Before that I just recorded songs as they came to me, no more, no less. The thing to understand is that I never had any intention of making this a big project, and I could never have imagined that I would be on my way to record and release an album all by myself, especially considering the short time thats past since I first began this project. I´m currently working hard in the studio, slowly piecing stuff together and seeing how it grows into one body of work. I decided to start it when I realized that this had in fact grown into something bigger then myself and all the interactions with people online helped to spurr my creativity. In fact, I can honestly say that without these people there would not be a album. No question about it.
Can you tell us what your fans can expect, like will there be just new song on the debut or a mix of old and new ones?
I think that people can expect a cinematic experience in a way, like a series of images painted by the music. At least I hope so. I have thought long and hard about how I wanted this album to feel and how I wanted it to be perceived by the people listening to it.
I recorded this album by myself at night, when I couldnt sleep.
Sometimes I would like to tell people that this album will consist of my dreams. I wasn´t sleeping when they came to me, I just did my best to get them down on tape.
The album will consist of both old and new material. I have some new stuff that I havent released yet that Im really excited about and there are some old songs that will be featured. However, all of it will in someway be re-mixed and some songs might even be chopped up for different parts.
Since the beginning of LIGHTS & MOTION it was a so called "One-Man-band". Are there plans to expand LIGHTS & MOTION to a "real" band?
I never really thought of LIGHTS & MOTION as a solo-musician kind of thing. I feel that the soundscapes and productions are so dense that they are visually presented in a way through an image of a band playing live. I guess I feel more comfortable thinking about this as a band that just happens to have one member. I dont know why that is but that defines it in certain ways. For example, when we did the Visual for Home, shot and directed by the amazingly talanted Fredrik Sellergren, I decided that I didn´t really want to focus it on me, but more present it in a way that made the music be the center of the attention. That is why in almost every shot that I´m in, you either see me partially covered in shadows or just my silhouette. I dont want this to revolve around me, I want it to be about the music.
As far as a live-setting goes, sure I´ve thought about it and I would love to try it someday. It is however very important, and equally hard, to find able and dedicated musicians and I just feel at this moment that I would not be able to do it the way it should be done, and so for now, this is a studio-based project.
You are constantly posting news and updates at Facebook and you got over 1300 fans there. How important is Facebook for young music bands in your opinion?
I think that with social platforms of today, be it facebook, myspace, twitter or youtube, you get the tools to interact with people with whom you can share your music.
Its really an amazing time for musicians and so for me, it´s a very important part. I know it´s such a cliché, but the people that I talk to on the LIGHTS & MOTION facebook page, people that comments on my music, reads what I have to say and responds to me, these people are really what keeps me going. I am constantly suprised by the lack of appriciation that I encounter when I sometimes visit pages by other young bands. I will never take for granted the fact that people take time of their day to listen to what I have created, and not only that, but that they share this with their friends, they tell me how they feel about it and they constantly encourage me to be more creative in my composing.
I think that it is truly a special thing to share this with people that you do not know, but you get to know, in a way. I read and respond to every comment, and I love to interact with these people from all over the world, and it´s really rewarding when you start to recognize names around the page. It truly does feel like a little family and that means alot to me.
The first time that LIGHTS & MOTION caught my attention was at the Post Rock fanpage on Facebook. I really love this page because you always get to know new artists and he is really passionate with this site. What do you think about the post rock Facebook page?
I truly think that it´s amazing that Aytac who runs this community is so fair and open-minded, taking in bands from all over the world. No band is to big or to small to be featured on that page and that is what I love about it, you get so much different music and it always comes hand in hand with a great deal of mutual respect.
Another thing that I have noticed through the years is that post-rock fans seems to be much more commited and invested in the music then most.
They often seemingly goes through great lengths to connect with bands, big or small all around the world, supporting these DIY-artists by buying their merch, Cd´s, Lp´s and such.
It´s quite extraordinay.
As said above you are doing LIGHTS & MOTION all by ourself. What instruments are you playing and how many of them are self-taught?
I play whatever I can get my hands on really, all of it self-taught. My first instrument was a guitar, and I remember playing it for hours and hours every day, probobly driving my mom mad. But I started quite old, I was 16 at the time.
Instruments that are commonly used in my productions and in some ways make up for sound of LIGHTS & MOTION are; Electric Guitars, Acoustic Guitars, Piano, Organ, Synth´s, handheld Percussion, Drums, Bass-Guitar, Glock/Marimba/Xylofone, strings.
A big part of the sound is the production, and that is the one "instrument" that I pride myself the most to have learned by myself.
When recording a song, I would say that the time divided between the different aspects of the production is roughly, one half foundation, one half detailwork.
The foundation consists of getting the drums and bass down, because this is what everything else is buildt on and if it´s not sounding right, the whole thing is going to fall apart like a deck of cards. The guitars are usually pretty effortless and then the detailwork takes up alot of time. Alot of small sounds coming in in different parts of the song, reversed stuff, automating reverb-tales and delays to bounce and expand in stereo etc. Alot of it is probobly just for my own sake but I believe that its not one major part that makes up for my sound, it´s a 100 small ones.
How much time do you invest in LIGHTS & MOTION?
I certainly invest alot of time, both on the facebook page interacting with fans, and in the studio. My sessions are often 10-12 straight hours, usually into the night, and I never know what will come out of them because I never write anything before hand. It´s just pure in the moment creativity, and I really dont know if I should describe it as forced or organic.
I am very careful and invested in my productions and I spend a great deal of my time getting them to where I want them to be.
Are there any other bands in which you are currently playing? And which bands you played so far?
LIGHTS & MOTION is all I can manage at this time. I previously played in another band as a guitarrist and co-songwriter. We had garnered quite some attention, mainly online, where we early on realized the value of myspace, youtube and the fan-reach that one could achieve using these platforms. We wound up with over 120.000 plays on myspace and almost 1million views on our videos on youtube and the height of our bands career came when we got to play infront of a crowd of 10.000, as we were choosen to be the opening-act for the promotional event for the second film in the famous "Twilight-Series". We all expected things to take off after this but it didn´t and it slowly became very obvious that our ambitions, visions and thoughts about what the band should be went in completely different directions.
Please tell us something about the scene in Gothenburg. Do you have many contacts there? Are there some good Post Rock bands we should give a listen?
Gothenburg is great city with alot of great bands, and I have probobly played at the most venues around town. 2 great post-rock bands you should check out are Immanu El and Dorena.
Please name us some of your influences (music, literature, movies).
Funnily enough, when it comes to post-rock, I am a composer first and a listener second. But I do like Sigur Rós and EITS.
The movie Crash is a big influence for me, both in the visual aspect with the distant blue blurry lights that are featured constantly throughout the film, but also the score. It´s amazing.
U2 were gods in my head for a long time- Coldplay´s atmospheric sounds are always rewarding to listen to, although I mainly loved their Rush of blood and X&Y era.
Can you say when your debut record will be released?
I don´t have a release-date yet because I dont know when I will be finished. Im in the middle of the process right now, but I´m constantly recording new stuff and so there isn´t a certain number of songs that I will have to record before it´s done. It´s more a feeling of getting the vision across and I guess I´l know when I get there.
Again thank you very much for the opportunity and keep making such great music! The last words are yours.
Thank you, this has been great. I dont know what to say really, it feels like I have covered alot in this interview. Keep writing me, that is easily one of the best things about this project, getting to meet so many wonderful people. You will hear from me soon, and let´s continue to keep this about the music. Thank you.
Ich kann jedem Post Rock Fan und Musikbegeisterten Menschen nur empfehlen sich LIGHTS & MOTION einmal anzuhören! Hier kommt alles zusammen: Liebe zur Musik, Genialität, Fanfreundlichkeit!
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