Latest posts by Jon Berrien (see all)
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Austin, TX four-piece The Bright Light Social Hour continue to push the boundaries of psych-rock with the release of their sophomore album Space Is Still the Place. The album encompasses the vision of a “Future South,” where prosperity is abundant, an idea that was inspired after traveling across many southern states and seeing a common struggle among a young generation growing up in a financial crises. With an optimistic vibe GroundSounds recently caught up with frontman Jack O’Brien to talk about the bands latest album, musical inspirations and more, check out the exclusive interview below.
For those just discovering The Bright Light Social Hour can you tell us about forming the band and how you guys started making music together?
Curtis and I very first met and started playing together in college at Southwestern University in central Texas. We found Jo a few years later on Craigslist and Edward’s been with us now about 2 years.
What made you guys decide on the band name The Bright Light Social Hour?
Curtis was studying Indian activist Arundhati Roy who said some stuff about an activist’s job is to shine a bright light into the dark corners of society.
Can you tell us about working on and bringing your sophomore album ‘Space Is Still the Place’ to fruition? What was the most rewarding/difficult part of the whole process?
We’d saved up a little cash after 2 busy years of touring to make the record and started looking into studios and producers and came to the conclusion that we should just invest in a few pieces of choice studio gear and make the record ourselves out of our place. The most difficult and most rewarding part was recording everything over and over and over until we got the exact sounds we were going for, but we learned so much in the process for future recording.
Can you tell us about the creative and writing process for “Sweet Madelene?”
We were jamming on an early version of it and I heard Curt sing something that sounded to me like “Sweet Madelene” and I thought, what a cool name, I’ve never heard that before. Turns out he was just singing gibberish but we talked a lot about it, and Madelene came to be the embodiment of the past, our personal past and that of this southern part of the country, charming and sweet but with a lot of darkness hidden inside, something, or someone, that pulls you in but you know you’ve got to break away from.
You guys are currently on a Spring tour what do you enjoy most about being on the road?
Tendies for life.
What has been the craziest/most memorable moment of your current tour thus far?
The other night in Macon we were pulling our suitcases out of the van outside a motel and we heard this loud screech just behind us. We turned around and didn’t see anything but some headlights coming from deep in a ditch on the other side of the road. We ran down and found a little car, stuck way down there and pulled the drunkest person I’ve maybe ever seen out of the car. He asked if we were angels. Luckily he was alright, and a friend picked him up real quick, but it shook us all up pretty good.
What musicians/bands are you guys currently listening to?
What was the inspiration for your track “Slipstream?”
What do you guys enjoy most about life in Austin, TX? What is one thing every visitor should see or do?
Vibes. Hang out topless, it’s legal.
After the tour is over, what’s next for The Bright Light Social Hour? What can fans look forward to?
More touring, forever and ever amen.