Monday, 4 December 2006

MPM meets... Hit The Lights - December 3rd 2006

Hit The Lights formed in 2003 from the ashes of Goodbye Session, naming themselves after a Metallica song. The date is December 3rd 2006, and the Ohioan boys leave the stage after performing as support for New Found Glory. Half an hour later, Moshpit Magazine heads up to their dressing room for an interview, but the sight is not what you expect to see Jordan Pundik, frontman for the night's headlining band, New Found Glory, stands in the centre of the room, ranting about whatever. A plastic cup then flies from his hand and into a table, where it smashes impressively into pieces.
"The interviewer's here," says HTL's tour manager, Evan. The room falls silent as the guys from Hit The Lights, along with Jordan, turn around to face the doorway, innocent smirks plastered across their faces.  "We were just talking about how funny it'd be to scare the shit out of the interviewer before the interview even started," Nate smiles. 

What made you want to be in a band?
Omar: I think, going to shows early on, like being a younger kid and going to shows definitely. I enjoyed the excitement. And it's a very lively scene, I think that made me wanna be in a band. So a lot of the early shows I've been to.
What would you be doing if you weren't in a band?
Dave: If I wasn't in a band, I think I'd most likely...I'd probably say, I'd like to believe that I'd be in school and like, at least pursuing something in the music field like recording or working in a venue or something like that. Towards like something surrounding this lifestyle. But I'd probably just be delivering furniture at home like my old job (laughs). And that's not really fun. But, whatever pays the bills.
What are the best and worst things about being on tour?
Nick: Well, I'd say the best things are, definitely seeing everything. I mean, you get to see the country and stuff like that. Most of the time, all the bands that you tour with are awesome dudes, so just partying with those guys. Meeting new people. Being drunk and listening to your friends' bands on the side of the stage and singing along and stuff. That probably the funnest thing you can do on tour. And hardcore drugs (laughs).
What's the best gig you've played so far?
Nate: The best gig so far, actually, was our headlining show over here, which was at the [London Camden] Barfly. It was our first sold-out show ever, except for home shows. But there were about 250 people there and everybody was singing the songs. It was crazy because, for one, it was sold out, and two, it was in a different country, so it's kinda crazy.
Who would you most like to tour with?
Omar: I think we've asked ourselves this question before, and we said like, the top three bands. And mine is, Blink 182 would be headlining. And then it would go, New Found Glory, which is cool because we're obviously on tour with them right now. Saves The Day, and then we'd open.
What's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you on tour?
Dave: After the Southampton show we played, we went out to some clubs and stuff, and we went over to this reggae club that was across the street. It was towards the end of the night. Our vocalist, Colin, he tends to act like a little kid when he's really drunk. And he sees these bongos on stage, and there's a DJ up on stage spinning tracks, and he's just playing music. And Omar is standing over on the side, and Colin goes over to Omar and he says, "Hey, should I go up there and play those bongos?". Without hesitation, Omar's just like, "Yeah, definitely". So he goes up on stage and he starts playing these bongos to this reggae music. Everybody in the club's laughing and whatever. But the DJ who's playing the music looks really offended, and he starts getting pissed off, and Colin's trying to play more instruments. Basically, he would have got kicked out, but he ran and hid in the crowd. I guess that's the funniest thing that's happened to us here. Back home, we just do a lot of hardcore drugs (laughs).
Who has the worst on-tour habits?
Nick: I think we've all got our quirks, I'm sure. Omar leaves his underwear around. His old underwear from the shows. It's mostly when we tour in a van. This is our first tour in a bus, so it hasn't been that bad at all, I don't think. I know we found his underwear once. But in the van, he doesn't drive, so he has shotgun, it's like his permanent seat, so he's got like a little bum's nest up there with all of his stuff. His underwear, his dirty underwear is always falling out. We're always like, "Omar, pick up your fucking underwear, it's just laying out, people are looking at us". So at all the shows, we've got like underwear and garbage hanging out, and we look like the worst people on earth. That's one of them though. I'm sure there's plenty more. Me and Dave tend to fart...a lot. That's never good. Our mothers never taught us any better.
What's it like to play in the UK?
Nate: What's it like? Kids are amazing over here. I think they appreciate bands a lot more than the US sometimes. It's just been a lot of fun and kids have been really receptive to us being an opening band. So it's been cool and we're excited to come back in January. Even though it'll be freezing!
You're a pretty popular band in the States, do you think you'll get that popular in the UK?
Omar: Yes. Obviously! (laughs) I don't know, we've been working really hard in the States, we've been a band for three years this past September, and this is just our first time in the UK so it's too early to tell. But the reaction of the kids so far being on tour here with New Found Glory, and doing our headlining show at the Camden Barfly has been amazing. So I guess we really don't care if we become popular, but we just care if we can come over and have fun with the kids that actually do come to see us.
Do you find it easy to write songs or does that depend on personal events at that time?
Dave: Well, I think on the last album, Omar and Nick were probably the ones to have the most input as far as song writing, lyrics and the structure of the songs. But, for this next album, I think, we're all still kinda young at writing songs, so we're just gonna keep working at it as a band. It's weird, because no song is ever written the same for us. Like, we'll come up with choruses sometimes first, and then base the song around that, or sometimes it'll just be like, you don't know how you want the song to sound before you even start writing it. So it's one of those things where it's gonna be different every time. And I think it kinda keeps the whole song writing process fresh though, just to try new things.
Nick: We're gonna have pan flutes on the next record. Pan flutes and yodels. Didgeridoos (laughs).
Which of your songs are you most proud of and why?
Nick: Oh, you got some hard ones. I think, one of my favourite songs to play live, Talk Us Down, I think we all like. I dunno if it's necessarily the kids' favourite, but we like playing that. When we wrote our new record, we had like, a month to write a bunch of new songs, and we're still learning how to write songs. It's hard for us to write songs, we can't just bust them out, we have to work at it. So I'm proud of how that one came out, because it definitely should have come out as well as it did.
Dave: We wrote the music for that song before we did any of the lyrics, so it's kinda weird to see a song come together like that. We've never done that before, like, write a song, just music, start to finish, and then come up with melodies and lyrics after that. That was one of the hardest songs to write as far as lyrics go. But I think it turned out really well for what happened.
What do you dislike most about the music industry?
Nick: Right now, in the US, it's hard for a band like us because there are so many other bands right now overcrowding the scene. And now all the major labels have seen, like when Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard, and stuff like that, blew up, they realised "Hey, there's a lot of money to be made in this type of music with pop-punk stuff". So in America, a lot of bands have been created and put out there, and they're fake, and they come out on indie labels and stuff like that, but really the major labels pay the indie labels off to put them on there. And a lot of bands we've met just aren't good people. Kids nowadays, they're younger. When we went to shows, we knew what a real band was...
(Nick's speech is abruptly cut off when NFG's Jordan comes back into the dressing room yelling "Partyyyyy tiiiiiiiiiiime!", crushing Omar behind the dressing room door, and opera-singing into his ear.)
Nick: Anyway. bad dudes in bad bands. A lot of them coming out. New Found Glory, made by major labels to fucking win the hearts of emo kids everywhere. Fuck 'em.
If you could have a day off and you had no limits, what would you do?
Omar: Party in Glasgow with New Found Glory.
Who are your heroes?
Dave: Some of my heroes happen to be...well, this would be a little easier if I could start with people that aren't my heroes. First and foremost, my father. My father is not my hero. And Ace Enders isn't my hero. No, honestly, some of my heroes are Ace Enders, and the International Superheroes of Hardcore.
Which one question do you wish someone would ask you, and how would you answer it?
Nick: I wish someone would ask "How amazing would a gangbang with the whole band of Hit The Lights be?", because I'd tell them, "Dude, you have no idea, dude".
Omar: If somebody asked me "Which one question do you wish somebody would ask you, and how would you answer it?", I would tell them "I wish somebody would ask me 'Which one question do you wish somebody would ask you, and how would you answer it?'' (laughs)

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