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Interview with the Band Light: What If Harry Styles, Travis Barker, Paul McCartney, and Eddie Van Halen Started a Band?

Music & Podcasts

Sun, March 17

Boyband mania seems to come and go in large waves spaced with five- to ten-year spans. Since One Direction 'went on a break' and never returned, the spotlight has remained vacant for the next young big act to swoop in and inspire Simon Cowell to get a new facelift.

Look, Simon. Everything the spotlight touches is our kingdom.

While others search for what they can take, a true manager searches for what he can give. At least that is the sentiment expressed by the guitarist, Garrett Goodrich, when asked how a relatively fresh new set of faces managed to play for a stadium of thirty thousand people (see question one).

Lead singer Konnor Dolberry, bassist Jack Glenn, guitarist Garrett Goodrich and drummer Trevor Young are currently based in the Music City and conquering one dream after another with their act, The Band Light.

Whether it’s playing a November Rain-esque solo on top of a burning car in a music video, or simply going to class (yes, some of these guys are still in college), the guesses about the boys’ origin range from rich kids to lucky chaps online. It is only when you do a proper search—or have a chat with them—that you realize all your assumptions are wrong.

Your next big obsession is a group of former glee clubbers.

Before you fall out of your chair asking yourself which one is Sam, which one is Kurt, which one is Blaine, and which one is Finn - they are not that kind of theater kids at all - they’re the Kevin Bacon ones. The OG ones.

The Footloose ones.

Photo: Courtesy of The Band Light's Management

Okay, boys, let’s get into it. Last year, you played your first stadium. How did that feel? How did you manage to do that?

Garret: Still pretty awesome. We got to do that thanks to our lovely manager, Rachel [Inglesino], who went to Penn State, so there was a connection there. It’s not a feeling you can describe. All of us are just so grateful because not only was it a great opportunity for us, but it was for such a good cause.

For sure! Konnor, Mr. Lead Singer, do you have any thoughts on this question?

Konnor: I’d just kind of repeat what Gary said. It was a feeling unlike anything you could describe, but at the same time, it felt like home. From the first time that we all practiced together, it has just always felt bigger than us.

So it felt right being on that stage. And ever since then, we've just been doing whatever we need to do to get back there.

I believe you, I can't imagine the feeling. But word on the street is that you are all theater kids and that's how you met, is that true?

Garrett, Konnor, Trevor, Jack: Yeah!

Any of you fans of Glee?

Garrett: I was in the equivalent of a Glee club. I did show choir all throughout middle school. And actually, if you're a fan of Glee, I’m from the town that's sort of based on the rival town, Carmel.

That’s hilarious. See? The mental link is already there.

But going back to how your band started, it formed during the pandemic. How do you think this very unique period influenced your music?

Konnor: I think it has influenced us in every way because we started … so I'm gonna abbreviate this story a little bit.

I’m all ears.

Konnor: Jack, me, and Garrett, we're in our high school production of Footloose. Which, you can see in Footloose, great soundtrack, 80s music. We were just all friends, and then that show got canceled due to COVID.

And so we decided we're going to produce our own version of the soundtrack. And so that's kind of how me, Garrett, and Jack met. And so, literally, our entire foundation of our friendship is based on vintage music and that connection.

We wrote a few songs, and they were cool. And so then, a year later, we thought it was gonna be just kind of like a project, just like an 80s thing that we didn't really play shows or anything. Then Garrett's like, let's get a drummer.

Let's actually play. He was friends with Trevor. And he was bugging us about getting Trevor to audition for like three months. And then finally we're like, okay, fine.

Oh no, you put him through [censored]!

Garrett: Yeah.

Konnor: Trevor literally played one song with us, and we're like, alright, you're in. It was like it was meant to be.

Garrett: Before that, I was in a bunch of bands with Trevor. We started when I first moved to Tennessee from Indiana. We were in a band called Friday Night Pizza.

That was the pop-punk band. It was a class act. A few more punk bands. And then, I was in a metal band. He played drums for that. But yeah, me and Trevor already had that musical connection. And I just wanted him to be a part of it. And I think he really wanted to be a part of it.

Trevor, did you really want to be a part of it?

Trevor: So my experience with it was a little different because I wasn't there.

Ha, I knew it!

Trevor: I remember. I was just scrolling through Instagram one day my sophomore year of high school. And I saw Garrett was in this band with Jack and Konnor, and I'd known Jack because he was in bands and like everyone knew he was the musical genius.

Corroborate, people, is “musical genius” an accurate description?

Trevor: It is! He’s too humble to say it. I knew both of them from, you know, kind of around the block. And so when I saw that Garrett was in a band with him, I called him like ‘you need to get me in this band.’

It sounds like destiny to me, like you were supposed to meet, and let me tell you, you sound incredible. I sent Sunburst to my 57-year-old mother, and she was absolutely into it. If you get that crowd on your side, you know you’re good.

Konnor: Awesome.

Photo: Courtesy of The Band Light's Management

So, Konnor, your description of the band as a fusion of Harry Styles, Travis Barker, Paul McCartney, and Eddie Van Halen is surely very accurate from what I've seen and heard so far. First of all, which one is which?

Konnor: Well, listen.

This ought to be good.

Konnor: Well, I would say since I said that, we've evolved a little bit. But-but-but! More than that, that's still the core of our inspiration.

I’m Harry, Garrett is definitely Eddie Van Halen. Jack is definitely Paul McCartney, and Trevor is Travis.

How do each of these different influences come together to shape your sound? That's quite a musical range. I mean, Paul McCartney and Harry Styles - I can see it a little bit, but the rest of it, I mean, the drummer from blink-182, how does that work?

Konnor: Really, those are just our personal inspirations, our personal heroes growing up. We obviously have other huge inspirations. I would actually say that our band dynamic is very similar to the Beatles or 5SOS. Subconsciously, we kind of infuse everything that we do into those influences, into everything in our own way.

Absolutely. This is really interesting to me because I think that boy bands come in waves. There's always a period of time where you don't see them, and then the mania restarts again. I feel like this might be your time.

Trevor: I know, they need us more than anything else. Boy bands are what the world needs right now.

See, that’s absolutely how I feel. But jokes aside, it made me genuinely happy when I listened to the Sunburst record, and I could actually sing along to the songs because many records today have no melody that everyday people can sing along to. And right now, we're in an era where solo artists often dominate the spotlight. What do you believe sets boy bands like yours apart?

Trevor: The relationship we all have. I mean, individually, each of us brings our own kind of star power and charisma and dynamic to the band. But really, it is that relationship, and the four of us, four minds thinking together and trying to create the best art that they can, and just us together feels larger than life and has always felt larger than life. From my first practice, I felt it, and I just, I don't know what it is.

Magic?

Trevor: It is.

Konnor: Performing. It's just something that is unexplainable. And I think you'll never get that with just a solo musician and their bandmates that they hire.

Photo: Courtesy of The Band Light's Management

Considering the mix of influences within the band and all the musical genres coming together, what kind of musical elements do you hope to explore in your future projects and how do you plan to incorporate them into your sound?

Konnor: We’ve really been inspired by space rock recently. You can expect a lot of that from recent projects. It’s just finding our lane production-wise, finding what our sound is, and we are getting closer and closer to that. We’re exploring in a way that feels bigger than Earth is the best way I can put it.

Trevor: We're kind of trying to grow artistically. And, you know, we've done projects in the past like Sunburst and like in Moonlight that are meant to be heard as one complete work of art. And right now, we really want to explore the kind of potential that that has.

Who's your dream collaboration?

Trevor: Easily, Frank Ocean.

Jack: In a perfect world, I’d say either Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, or even Harry Styles to see what kind of ideas we could bounce off each other.

Garrett: Brian Wilson is a good answer. And Elton John.

Konnor: I would have loved to sit down with Marc Bolan. He was the lead singer of T.Rex. I would have loved to go away for a weekend with him and write an album.

Trevor: Actually, can I change my answer? I’d choose Drake because he would get us a lot of money.

In terms of production? Any music producers you would love to work with?

Trevor: Tony Visconti, he produced Heroes.

Konnor: Yeah, Tony Visconti. And honestly, Rick Rubin.

Garrett: That’s my answer, Rick Rubin.

Jack: Yeah, Rick Rubin, Jack Antonoff.

Trevor: George Daniel of the 1975.

Konnor: Oh man, I forgot about Matty Healy, that would be a dream collaboration.

Garrett: Hm, no.

No? We have our first disagreement!

Konnor: I feel like he and Garrett would clash heads a little bit.

Garrett: We would have such insane beef.

Konnor: Don’t speak that into existence!

Garrett: But who knows, maybe we would get great music out of it.

I was gonna say, sometimes people who can’t stand each other create the most beautiful art together. Okay, boys. Talk to me about Sunburst.

First of all, that album cover is hilarious, but at the same time incredibly intriguing and retro, and invokes the Beatles vibe. Not to mention the deep contrast of the picture with the name of the album. Is that what you were going for?

Trevor: At that point, we had a couple of ideas for photos. Really, that one was just the one that stuck out to us. We've had four or five drafts for a cover and that one really just - the color of it and our faces on it - it just all kind of stuck out to us and just felt very light.

It just brought you into the world of fun and excitement and hope. And I think it's a very sunny record for the most part.

It is! Do you wanna give a shout out to the photographer? Who designed the cover?

Garrett: My roommate took a picture. Mark Besbekos.

Konnor: We also gotta give a shoutout to Jacob Zabka. Jacob was the one who came up with the idea. He also did our photoshoot for Tell Me Sky.

We did our entire photoshoot for Sunburst with Jacob. He only shoots on film, and the film, apparently, got completely destroyed when he went to get it developed. So we had to go to the same spot with the same outfits, and just tried to recreate the pictures to the best of our memory, and it actually worked.

It works! Funny that you mentioned it was shot on film, I was wondering about that, usually digital cameras have a Disney gleaming filter over it. It doesn't look real, it just looks incredibly polished.

And the cover of Sunburst looks so visceral in comparison. But, I have to ask about the sound on that record. The intro to Sunburst reminds me of the early days of Panic at the Disco, even 30 Seconds To Mars. Any influence there at all?

Trevor: Actually, I don’t know if anyone has picked up on this, but the beginning and end of the song Sunburst are the same chords as the bridge of Tell Me Sky. It ends on a similar note, so that's really where that came from.

Garrett: Yeah, it completes the story of Tell Me Sky.

Konnor: But also continuing the story into Moonlight and whatever our next project is. We try to connect everything.

So you’re trying to create one cohesive story interconnecting every album?

Konnor: Yeah.

Garrett: Trying.

Trevor: We just like to do cool s*** with every record.

That is a great quote. We were talking about Harry Styles, going back to that, you know how he will die on the hill that Watermelon Sugar is about summer, but it’s really about something else? Now in the greatest pivot in the history of interviewing - what’s Lemonhead about?

Konnor: It's actually a really deep song. People don't know that, but I wrote that song about … I grew up moving a lot as a kid, and that gave me tons of anxiety about meeting new people. And feeling like I had to be a specific thing.

Like from, you know, pressure from my parents, and I feel like that's a very relatable thing for most teenagers, just crumbling beneath the weight of everything that a teenager has to go through. And so that's kind of what Lemonhead is about.

Dammit Konnor, I was trying to make a fun sexual innuendo and you make it all deep and sweet, and now it’s weird, and I feel bad.

Konnor: Ha, there are definitely songs that mention sexual innuendos.

But Lemonhead is not one of them; it comes from your heart.

Konnor: Yeah.

Everybody knows that the key to a boyband’s success is teenage girls, so have you cracked the code to their hearts yet? Is it the hair? I bet it's the hair.

Garrett: I think it’s the hair.

Trevor: I don’t know if it’s my hair, ‘cause I got a buzz thing going on and I know that is not the move right now. But I do feel like for one, it’s great music. And love, that’s always gonna be the bottom line.

And two, it’s how we act and how we interact with each other; I think that is just really intriguing to people. We always want to make people feel like they are family and they're brought into our family.

Konnor: At the end of the day, we're just going to make music that we love, and we're going to be who we are on stage, and we're going to be best friends on stage, and whoever enjoys that, we'll bring them into our family. And if that's teenage girls, cool, you know, if that's middle-aged men, cool. If it’s your mom, cool.

Cool, I’ll let her know. I guess the serious question hidden in that silly one would be when you're writing music, who is in front of the mind? Who do you write for?

Garrett, Konnor: Ourselves.

Garrett: Because that's really the best way to make the best music, not having anyone else really in mind except yourself.

Konnor: We try to make music that we think is awesome. We think we have pretty good music taste. And if we think it’s awesome, then surely other people will think it too.

I think so too. Okay boys, what can you tell me about new music without violating any NDAs?

Trevor: We have it.

Cool.

Trevor: We have it, and we are in the process of getting a bunch of it out. I know it’s cliche to say, but it’s unlike anything we’ve ever done.

Konnor: There’s more of it than we’ve ever had before. It’s better than we’ve ever had before, and it’s bigger than we’ve ever had before. It’s bigger than the world.

Is there any timeline or is that classified too?

Garrett: Classified.

Konnor: Soon.

Oh, come on. “We have it” and “soon”?

Konnor: Yeah. But you will see some pretty cool announcements from us in March.

Well, gentlemen, that’s everything from me. I want to thank you for sitting down with me today. I wish you the best in all your future endeavors!


Statement from the representatives of The Band Light:

The Band Light's newest single “Lover Girl” drops March 22nd. The boys will be going on tour, opening for Quarters of Change in Boston (4/7), Philadelphia (4/20), and Washington DC (4/22). https://thebandlightofficial.com/

You can connect with The Band Light on Instagram @thebandlightofficial; and TikTok: @thebandlightofficial

Get the tickets for the upcoming tour: https://linktr.ee/thebandlight

Zara Miller
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Writer since Oct, 2020 · 20 published articles

Zara Miller is a published author, writer, and blogger. She is a graduate of Middlesex University London where she studied International Relations. Her debut YA novel I am Cecilia attracted the eye of prominent speaking conferences such as the Career Grad Festival and Association of Writers and Writing Programs and was nominated for a Reader's Choice Award.

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