On the cusp of breaking out with the recent release of debut EP Running With Scissors, pop-punk band In Lights are pretty busy guys right now. But thankfully vocalist Tanner MayDay took a moment out of their ever-growing schedule to chat to our writer Zandro Morreale about releasing their first record, lyrical inspiration and why Guns N’ Roses are his favourite band…
Zandro: You formed in April 2015, how long did it take you to find a sound and direction that you wanted to go in – was it something you knew beforehand or did it happen more organically?
Well, my band previous to this just broke up so I was looking for something new. When Ilya contacted me with those demos, I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I’m the kind of guy with the ‘throw everything at wall and see what sticks’ kind of attitude. So that’s what helped bring some of the different elements to the music.
Z: What was the recording process like for you? Did you find it easy to stay objective whilst recording?
My mind goes a million miles per hour but in music sometimes that’s a good thing. It was tiring no doubt; it was a month of nonstop recording.
Z: What was it like working with Josh Buckner – how did his insights and experience shape the recording?
Josh brought the heavier feel to things that we weren’t expecting. The first night I got to message him about the songs, he pretty much just got to know me. It was cool of him to really try to round me out as a person. I think it helped him figure out what we wanted. He fucking nailed it.
Z: What do you think sets you apart from the wealth of pop-punk bands already established?
I don’t think there’s one band that we sound like. I don’t know why, but none of us can quite put our finger on exactly what we sound like. We just make the music that we like and try not to impress anyone. I believe that sets us apart from the others.
Z: What are your plans after this EP drops on July 1st? Have you got any tours planned or festival appearances?
Sadly not yet. We are working on our full length and trying to get some management behind us. It would be a huge help for us at the moment.
Z: With the surge in popularity of digital music over the last decade or so do you think it’s important to sell music in different ways in order to garner more attention?
Of course! Relevance is the name of the game today. Everything is changing and you have to keep climbing along with it, otherwise you get left behind. Streaming seriously hurts record sales for bands, but the point is to get your music out to the fans, not to make money.
Z: As a lyricist where does your inspiration come from?
Everyday life. My lyrics are usually very sad or angry which is quite ironic. I’m a very cheerful, happy guy! I guess writing is where I get my emotions out. I’ve gone weeks with writers block and it all starts to boil up. It’s not very fun, needless to say!
Z: What inspired you to start playing music in the first place and, more specifically, what drove you into pop-punk over other genres?
I’ll give that one to my fucking amazing sister. My mother got me into ’80s hair metal and I was in love. Guns N’ Roses was, and forever will be, my favourite band (along with Journey, of course). I saw my sister singing and she always inspired me. To this daym I still want to be as good of a singer as her. She showed me Forever The Sickest Kids and Fall Out Boy. Those are still my two favourite bands. So, thanks sis!
Z: If you had to pick one song that had the biggest impact on your life what song would it be and why?
Maybe ‘The Past’ by nevershoutnever. It always got me through the day at school. Basically kept my mind of the fact that “I’m going to be playing stadiums full of kids one day…”
Z: As a band where do you see yourselves in 3 years? Will there be an album out or a few more EP releases, or will you be concentrating on touring to widen your fan base?
Pushing for an album or two. Work, work, and more work. We want to be touring the world and reaching out to as many people as we can.