Friday, March 24, 2006

Mini-Interview: the Lights From Here

Imagine listening to rain fall down on your rooftop on a lazy, Sunday afternoon. It starts off quietly in the background, the sun still up between the clouds, and then builds into a restless storm ... one where sheets of water begin to crash down above you in waves.

Take that and represent it using sparse guitar work, keyboards, and drums, and you have an idea what a typical song from the Lights From Here sound like.

But they have plenty more tricks up their sleeve, too. Enough to make this local LA act an obvious choice for a recent band of the week pick here on the site.

So we checked in with Andres Cruzalegui, one of the Lights From Here ’s five members (and three guitarists), to find out about where they came from, where they’re at, and where they’re going.

How long have you all been doing this as a group? How did you get together?

We've been together as the Lights From Here for about two years. Kim, Robert and Andres were playing music together in Santa Barbara for about a year and later added James and Rick after they answered our desperate calls for help via craig's list postings and cheap photocopies at various record stores. Somewhere down the line, Kim, Robert and Andres migrated south to the greater Los Angeles area.

What were you doing before?

Kim, Robert and Andres were in a band called Stromboli, a short-lived math-rock project based in Santa Barbara that disbanded after bassist Eric Blackwell left to join Go Empire. Rick was involved with various recording projects and electronic experiments under an array of obssessively changed monikers and James was involved in a number of Los Angeles bands playing guitar, bass and keys.

I’d guess that you’ve been inspired by a pretty wide variety of bands. What are some of them?

To avoid an extensive list, we would like to say that we are inspired by A LOT of bands ranging from Stafraenn Hakon to Pavement.

So the name of the band comes from what? I googled it, but I’m guessing there’s a story there.

When we first formed, we decided on the name Farewell to Hymns, which actually lasted for a quite a few shows. James eventually discovered the same name (or one very similar to it) was being used by a Christian band from the Midwest. Wanting to stay clear of evangelical connotations, we decided to change our name to the Lights From Here, a name suggested by Robert while the five of us were eating Mexican food one night after practice.

What’s next for the band? Are you working on new material? Any plans to tour beyond southern CA again soon?

We recently took a break in December while everyone began various side-projects. New material is always being conceived and right now there are a few circulating ideas in an embryonic stage. Touring, however, is kind of tough for us. Conflicting schedules and financial obstacles contributed to a couple of failed attempts to launch a small southwestern tour. We would love to expand beyond the boundaries of Los Angeles, but there are no current plans to tour. Right now we are more focused on writing new material and recording our next record, which will hopefully begin by this summer.

Good to hear. What’s another band in LA that you think people really ought to be listening to right now?

If we have to pick one it would be The Antarcticans. We’ve been playing with them since we started and they never fail to blow us away. Some other honorary mentions would include Timonium, Half-Mantis Group, Signal Hill, and Monster.

That’s it. Thanks for your time, Ricky.

You can see the Lights From Here play Zen Sushi at 2609 Hyperion in the Silver Lake neighborhood of LA this Sunday night, along with Te" (Japan), Snowbeast, Third Uncle, and BoS. (TLFH go on "around ten.")


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