Interview: The Bright Light Social Hour

They might be the next big thing out of Austin, Texas. After winning Band of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year (for “Detroit”) at this year’s Austin Music Awards at South By Southwest, The Bright Light Social Hour have set off on a national tour to promote their debut full length, self-titled album. The tour makes a stop at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas on Tuesday night and in Kansas City at Crosstown Station on Wednesday night.

Bright Light Social Hour have created a unique sound by mixing together funk, soul and psychedelia. Their album features that expansive sound. They’re also gaining a strong reputation for their live shows and for Jack O’Brien’s impressive moustache. We were able to have a quick interview with them before they make it to Lawrence.

BeatLawrence: Have you played in Lawrence before?

The Bright Light Social Hour: Nope! This’ll be our 1st time in Kansas.

BL: I really enjoyed the album. Your music is a blend of so many different sounds. I love that you’re fusing together so many different styles. I’m having a hard time describing what I heard. How would you describe your music to new listeners?

TBLSH: We think of ourselves as a rock ‘n’ roll band first and foremost, but we work with a lot of different influences including funk, soul, dance, southern, house and psychedelia.

BL: Is there a distinct moment that you remember when you decided that you wanted this to be your sound?

TBLSH: Our sound has developed very naturally over the years. We originally started with more of a hardcore, experimental sound, very different from what we do now. We never made a decision to change our sound, but once it developed into more of what it is now, we all became very excited with it and noticed a much greater response in our audiences.

BL: What’s the origin of the name?

TBLSH: It’s just an amalgamation of different ideas and concepts that we felt represented our sound, live show and general attitude- forward-looking, community-oriented, and a rowdy good time.

BL: It seems like you could be a great festival band. Have you played many festivals? If Kanrocksas (music festival in Kansas City. Just had the first one this past August.) comes back next year, you’d be a good fit.

TBLSH: That’s funny you say that. We definitely feel most comfortable on festival stages. We’ve enjoyed playing Austin City Limits, SXSW, Antiwarpt and are looking forward to MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati later this month.

BL: The moustache…what’s up with that thing? Why? How long did that take to grow out?

TBLSH: I let the moustache do it’s own thing; I take more of an off-hands parenting approach. Been wearing it for about 2 years now.

BL: What are some other Austin bands that you like right now?

TBLSH: We really dig Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, White Denim and The Frontier Brothers.

BL: What would you like to say to the people of Lawrence and Kansas City (since you’ll be playing there the next night)? What should they expect to see (other than Jack’s moustache) if they come to see The Bright Light Social Hour?

TBLSH: We can’t wait to get in on the Lawrence music scene, even in Austin we’ve heard plenty about it. Yes, we’ll be in Kansas City too, very excited to get out there and have y’all start our tour off right. Expect lots of hair, sweat and a dang fiesta.

So, there you go. Tuesday night at The Bottleneck at 9 p.m., and Wednesday night at Crosstown Station in Kansas City, expect to be at a fiesta…with lots of hair and sweat. That’s always a good time.

Check out some videos of The Bright Light Social Hour.

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