Playing round the traps since 2007, City Lights Fade have built up a loyal following of fans in their time on the Sydney circuit, releasing their self-funded World Is Not Against You EP to much adulation from fans and currently working on the follow up. Having had a big 2010, starting up a web-series City Lights TV as well as signing with indie imprint Blue Pie Records amongst other achievements, the boy are set to enter 2011 with a bang, playing at the SFX Masquerade Ball this Saturday the 29th of January. We were lucky enough to grab guitarist Tobias McCallum for a quick talk ahead of the show.
Music Feeds: So you guys have started a web series called City Lights TV can you tell us about that?
Tobias McCallum: Well it’s really just a way to keep everyone updated with the things we are doing in the band and also how we spend time away from the music as a band.
MF: You’ve also been working writing TV show themes and sports team anthems, how does doing that compare to writing with the band? Does writing with such strict guidelines help your songwriting overall you think?
TM: When writing with the band we have no rules when it comes to what goes into a song, we experiment a lot and try lots of things that wouldn’t ordinarily work, sometimes they work and sound great, other times its just a big “wow, what are we thinking”. When you have guidelines like the TV show its very easy because you have one person telling you what they want and don’t want instead of 5 different opinions like a band has when writing original music.
MF: You guys have signed with indie label Blue Pie Records and were working on the next EP in December. Is it finished, when can we expect to see it out? Can you tell us anything about it?
TM: We are trying as much as possible to keep as much under wraps as we can because this is a whole new sound from the last EP, however… sometimes the excitement gets to you and before you know it you’re showing everyone haha. We have two more songs to record for the EP and it will be out all going well in March or early April
MF: How did your experience with this latest EP compare to working on the first? Did signing to Blue Pie mean the process was any different?
TM: With this EP we took a lot more time developing the songs. With the First EP we kind of rushed it only because we were a new band and wanted to have a release under our belts. With one song in particular on this new EP we did 6 weeks of pre-production alone, and when you factor the recording process in after that it would almost come up to 10 weeks just on one song alone. And no, Blue Pie were very open to anything we gave them.
MF: In regards to the music how do the two EPs compare?
TM: There is really no comparison, both EP’s will have that City Lights Fade feel to it, but we really opened ourselves up to experimentation this time around.
MF: You’ve been playing live shows all over Sydney, would you say you prefer performing to recording? Why?
TM: Myself personally I love playing live, there’s just something about looking down at the kids from the stage and seeing them sing along to the songs that we have written that makes all the hard work in the studio pay off.
MF: What is it that makes you want to make music, are you in it for the good times and the lifestyle or do you not really have a choice in the matter? If it all comes to nothing will we still see you busking on the street or working an office job?
TM: Music is an amazing thing to be apart of. And being a musician I’m fortunate enough to be able to take music with me wherever I end up in life whether it is in an office or busking on the street.
MF: You’re playing the upcoming SFX Masquerade Ball, are you excited about the show? Anything special planned?
TM: I love playing at SFX, its like our hometown venue. It’s a place that you know all your friends are going to be at so it’s always good to catch up with people you haven’t seen for a while. We do have something special planned although I cant say what it is, all I can tell you is that there will be 7 people on stage at once for one particular song…
MF: What are your plans for the next few months? What should we keep an eye out for?
TM: The next few months are getting busier and busier, lots of touring, finishing the EP then starting straight away on writing the album, which we will be doing as well as shows.
City Lights Fade will be playing at the SFX Masquerade Ball at The St James Hotel this Saturday January 29th