Comic Books, Video Games, and Bomb Shelters: An Interview with LIGHTS

Brooke Nicholson | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Photo Credit - Matt Barnes

2017 was a busy year for Canadian-native pop star LIGHTS, who released her fourth studio album and comic duo with the same name, Skin & Earth in September, while going on tour. Ever since she released her debut album, The Listening, back in 2009, she quickly gained traction among listeners around the world, and has since gone on to release three more studio albums, has opened up for Owl City, and has performed across stages all over the world. Now, after releasing her very own comic book to go along with her latest album, LIGHTS opened up about how her music has changed as she’s matured, what she loves to do when she’s not singing, and where she sees herself in 25 years.

What initially inspired your comic book series?

LIGHTS: Yeah, just basically that. I’d always wanted to do something with comics – I’ve always been a fan of the medium and what you can do with it. So I had to learn a lot to put it all together and I’m really glad I did because looking back now I can’t think or believe what I’ve accomplished. It was really special to see and very empowering.

How do you think ‘Skin & Earth’ is different from your previous albums like ‘The Listening’ or ‘Little Machines’?

LIGHTS: It’s funny, I think the process making it can change because I had this whole, underlying idea of a story and what songs to sing, and I had this immediate creative logic I wanted to write during the songwriting sessions. I felt like I had enough control that I could kind of, let go of the reins a little bit in terms of production, and sound, and even some melodies here and there. So, I feel like this record is slightly different and more diverse than any other record. It was really cool to see where my music would go when I let go of the reins a little bit.

Where do you think you see yourself in 25 years? Do you think you will still be making music?

LIGHTS: Yeah, this is weird, but my dream in 25 years is to have a really really cool, giant, bomb shelter and have a studio in it, so I’m super safe from the apocalypse but also have a really bad-ass studio underground. I’d keep a safe place for all my favorite records, continue to make and comic books, and help make my daughter’s record if she wants to make one.

I understand you love gaming. What are some of your favorite games to play when you’re not working?

LIGHTS: Definitely artsy style games. Probably one of the most recent ones that I love is ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’. Anything from ‘Skyrim’ to the ‘Witcher’, or any ‘Zelda’ game, the new Zelda game is amazing, ‘Breath of the Wild’. Others like the new ‘Assassins Creed’ is amazing, although I haven’t played ‘Unity’ yet. But it’s cool because my husband and I, on our nights at home, will sit down with a pint of ice cream and play Diablo 3 on the couch.

Do you have any advice, not necessarily music related, for the Mace & Crown readers, or college students in general?

LIGHTS: Yeah, you know what, I do hope people know that you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, and I’ve discovered that on this record. But you’d be surprised what can be accomplished if you actually try something. You’re at a university, you can always learn more. Just chase those dreams, that’s the way it is!

LIGHTS’ latest album and comic book series ‘Skin & Earth’ is available now.