The Kaje talks hope to Bright Light Bright Light

Bright Light Bright Light – Rod Thomas to his friends – has been on The Kaje’s radar ever since he unleashed the poptastic “Disco Moment” last summer, so we were thrilled when news of an impending single and album launch hit our inbox unexpectedly. Single “Waiting For The Feeling” is a slice of retro pop that blows your mind, while the album “Make Me Believe In Hope” does all that and more-here at The Kaje we defy you not to fall in love with the charm of “Grace” and danceability of “How To Make A Heart”. Given our love and respect for the man we hotly tip to be providing the summer sun of the music scene, we did not hesitate to join the queue to find out more from the man himself…

For those that don’t know about Bright Light Bright Light-can you tell us a little bit more about the project?

Bright Light Bright Light is my pop project. I used to release material under my own name which had much more organic production, but while I’m still young I wanted to explore my love of pop music and dancefloor classics, so I opted for a pseudonym to make a clear distinction between my old material, and this side of my music work. I wanted to have a very clear image that matched the sound I’d been working on. I spent a long time working on the production, teaching myself to be better at production, and focusing on what I wanted to sound like, so I wanted what people saw to match what they were hearing. I’d been doing lots of remixes, and DJing out a lots (as well launching my own night ‘Another Night’ – a 90s club night – with a friend), so I though a pseudonym could link all of these strands of my music career. So, the remixes tie in with my production, the production ties in with my DJing as I play lots of my influences / remixes when I DJ …  The songs are proper songs (rather than vocal hooks over a dance track), and some had more acoustic beginnings, but the project is about enjoying my love of the late 80s/early 90s and making something that works on a dancefloor, but has soul.
You have been working away towards your debut album ‘Make Me Believe In Hope’-can you tell us about the process so far?
It’s been brilliant. I was very lucky to work with some of my favourite producers and writers. Boom Bip (I was in love with his early EPs and Neon Neon) worked on ‘Disco Moment’ and ‘A New Word To Say’, Andy Chatterley (Kylie, UNKLE, Nerina Pallot) mixed a lot of the songs and I wrote ‘Love Part II’ with him, and Jon Shave of The Invisible Men wrote a few songs with me, and became a real sidekick in shaping the record. I had a blast making it, and doing it independently gave me a lot of freedom choosing tracks, mixes, and working on the visuals to accompany it.
Post-album experience-do you now believe in hope?
Haha, I like to think I always have, but I definitely feel a lot more optimistic after finishing it and hearing a release date!
‘Waiting For The Feeling’ is your latest single-how representative of the record is it?
In terms of it being a big pop number, it’s very representative of the energy of the record. There are some softer songs, but ‘Waiting For The Feeling’ is a song that definitely represents how the album will be in the live show – lots of energy and big beats.
How do you know what works as a single and what is simply an album track?
It’s difficult to know. Everyone has their favourite track. Especially when you have 4 other band members who all pick a favourite, fans talk on Twitter and people tag on Facebook… I try to mix trusting my own judgement and listening to what people feed back. For this one, I knew. When we played at SXSW last year, it was the first time I’d played it live, and a radio DJ told me it “melted her face off”, so I thought that was probably as good a sign as I was going to get that it should be a single!
Your sound is steeped in rich pop-who would you say were your greatest inspirations?
Artists with strong identities and a distinctive voice. Bjork, Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, Erasure, David Bowie … production wise I love what Filthy Dukes, Royksopp, David Morales and Todd Terry produce, so my 90s DJing really influenced the energy and dance-leaning nature of some of the tracks. Visually David Lynch and Tim Burton have been big influences. Lots of my friend have been big influences in terms of following your instinct and making something you believe in – James Yuill and Del Marquis in particular.
Returning to the notion of hope-what hopes do you have for 2012 and beyond?
I hope that the album lives up to what my fans want, and for me, I hope that my band and I have a great time touring the record and meeting even more brilliant people along the way.
The Single “Waiting For The Feeling” is out April 30.
The Album “Make Me Believe In Hope” is out June 4th.
Words by Jeremy Williams

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