Interview with A Light Within

Short introduction

With this interview a new section on metalunderdogs is opened up. Here we'd like to talk to new, young and upcoming bands about their current or past releases and take a little look behind the scenes.

Today we had the pleasure to speak with Jeff from the band A Light Within. Recently we did a review of their first EP called "Preface" and now it was time to take a closer look upon this band. Hope you all enjoy this new section of the site. Please let us know in the comments below or drop a E-Mail with your suggestions. If you're interested in setting up a interview I'd appreciate a E-Mail as well. Thanks!

Band introduction / player

(c) A Light Within, used with kind permission
A Light Within, are a Post/Progressive Alt Rock band from Kansas City, MO USA. The band started as did so many other bands before, from the demise of the band members previous bands. With no planned direction, a bond was formed and a voice/sound began to develop and be defined. The first EP “Preface “ was recorded by the band in 2012 and was mixed by Kyle Brandt and released in 2013.

The EP is a concept based upon a reflection of one’s life as the end draws near. “Aged eyes gaze upon the vast ocean through the window in the living room. Attempts to recollect life start with what little is known of birth. As these memories strive to keep the lungs breathing, and the heart beating, they slowly trickle from the mind one by one; releasing the will of existence. As questions of life arise, so do questions of death; for the first has been experienced and the latter may be welcome.”. (These notebook pages contain substance of a persons mind, body, and soul while their time was spent on earth.)

The Interview

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Can you tell our readers something about the equipment you use? Is there something special in instruments you use to create the sounds that can be heard on "Preface"?

Thanks for wanting to know more about us. We appreciate the support. Our equipment is nothing out of the ordinary. Guitars, bass, vocals and drums. Our setups are somewhat different. For starters, we have too many pedals (don’t think that can ever be said). Each guitarist has a multitude of pedals, the bass has a good amount and Kyle, singer, uses a couple of pedals for his voice as well as a microphone made from a old school payphone. It’s these different sounds/elements that helped to create our sound.

Did you record the whole album for yourselves? Did you also create the package on your own? The recording has a fine quality!

Both Kyle and I (Jeff, guitar) have home studio setups and since we’re using ProTools, we can easily pass files back and forth. The drums and vocals were done in his studio and the guitars and bass were recorded in mine. Kyle spent many hours mixing, so it’s always good to hear that people like quality of the recording. We’ve both learned a lot since then and can’t wait to get to recording the new EP. I’m a graphic designer and enjoy having the chance to create an interesting package for our music.

(c) A Light Within, used with kind permission
Where do you get your inspirations from?

It’s really difficult to pinpoint where an exact inspiration comes from, I know this may be cliche, but inspiration is all around you, whether it be a sound, a smell or something you see. We’re are inspired by the music we listen to, the people in our lives, our heroes we look up to or just the way your dog looks at you. In practice someone may be fiddling around with an idea and 20 minutes later a song is born. Sorry to be so abstract.

Was there a discussion in the band before recording the EP about the lyrics or how did it come together? Who works on the lyrics anyway?

(c) A Light Within, used with kind permission
The music was mostly written before Kyle was officially in the band, well 2 partially written songs. We’d send him the ideas and he started doing vocal demos and had this concept idea that we all really liked and went with it. Kyle writes all the lyrics.

How is the songwriting going on? Is there one band member that comes around with a idea for a song or is it more done as a collaboration between all the band members? Do you often jam around to find new sounds?

We are pretty organic when it comes to songwriting. Someone may have an idea that they start playing and we jam on it and see where it takes us. We all work on ideas outside of practice, but there’s not one main songwriter, it’s a full on collaboration. We have a few complete song ideas for the next EP and have 2 more that partial thoughts that we’ll finish up to complete it. We started recording drums and we’re really excited to get this EP completed.

The numbers of the songs refer to pages. Why aren't they set in line on the EP, or is it just that the songs fit better this way on the record?

The songs are sequenced how they are because of the way they flow together. There wasn’t a plan on how to place them on the EP, it just felt right.

Is the artwork also somehow involved in the lyrical concept? The backside image of the inlay has some relation to them with the clock and the lyrics in them.

I had the main idea of the artwork completed in my head way before the songs were recorded. I added the clock as a design element to tie into the lyrical concept a bit more. And I thought adding the lyrics was just another layer/texture to add to the visual aspect of our package to coincide with the layering/textural aspect of our music.

What are your plans for the future? Can you already give a little sneak peek on how the lyrical concept of the EP will be continued on the next record?

Right now we are writing and recording our next EP, writing new ideas with our new(ish) bassist and just trying to build our audience and get as much exposure as we can. We are extending the concept of the 1st EP into this one as 2 of the songs were written around the same time as the songs on the 1st EP.

Are there plans to visualise the concept with animations or something else in upcoming shows of the band?

(c) A Light Within, used with kind permission
We did a small visual teaser before the 1st EP was done and we plan on doing another one once we get a song or 2 recorded for the 2nd one. Maybe even do a full lyric video or full concept video, that would be nice. We’ve also talked about projecting some sort of animations on top of us while we’re playing live. We like the whole idea of stimulating all of the senses.

Where does the band play next? I am sure many people would like to experience the songs in a live concert.

We’ve had a few shows in the last couple of months out of town and we play next at Californo’s in KC in June. Then we play in St. Joseph, MO in July at Cafe Acoustic and back in KC in Aug at the recordBar.

Can people out there book the band if they have a event/Open Air where they would like to see the band playing?

We’re definitely open to play anything. I really think our music would sit well in the festival setting, just something about the expanse of playing outside really fits well with our sound. We missed a chance to play the Euroblast festival last year by the skin of our teeth in an online voting competition. (Now that would have been something amazing to have been a part of) Thanks… visit us online at facebook.com/ALWaudio or alightwithin.bandcamp.com

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