A lot of bands form in high school, wide eyed with enthusiasm, only to break up later when the members realize they’re talentless, unattractive and boring. This was not the case for Streetlight.
The Perth boys rose from the ashes of a few different high school bands, like a wonderful musical phoenix, to flame ever further into the sky.
Ben the Bassist talked me through the predicament.
“The drummer and I went to high school together, we’ve been playing together since we were 13. After high school we formed a band and started playing locally, then we met the singer who was in another band, their band broke up and our band broke up, then we just got together.”
After facing pressure in the industry to be slim, Streetlight cut their numbers from six to four, making songwriting and fitting on stages easy. Looking svelte as a foursome, the band then focused on their debut album, Wolf Notes.
They began rehearsing and jamming in a room underneath a guitar shop, it was here that the majority of Wolf Notes was written. Recently the band have taken on a more exciting headquarters.
“We’ve started renting out an old house to play in, it’s actually next to a strip club which is interesting.”
Ben says this as if it is a coincidence but I have my doubts. While the band has probably spent a lot of time introducing themselves to their new neighbors, they’ve also been doing some writing and recording.
“The last two or three weeks have been pretty intense, been working on some new home recordings, trying to get a demo out there, recording and mixing stuff has been taking up time.”
Like any band with new songs Ben is apprehensive about the reaction they’ll get. Streetlight will be touring soon and the band will be unveiling the songs, hopefully to thunderous applause.
“We haven’t played most of those songs live yet. So this tour will be testing these out. It’s quite a bit different from Wolf Notes, but we’ll have to see how people react. But when you’re expecting a certain reaction to a song and you don’t get it, you begin to question the song.”
I agree, nothing like a crowd of haters to bring down one’s self esteem. But the band can always return to hometown Perth, where they are loved. The small music scene in Perth has been the perfect cocoon for Streetlight, but Ben admits it is time to spread their wings and become a beautiful butterfly.
“It’s a supportive scene but it isn’t a very big scene. You hit a certain point and then you’re forced to go elsewhere. The opportunities and the industry are mostly over East. It’s good to go and explore, your goal can’t be to play in Perth your whole life.”
I‘m shocked. Surely Ben is offending the tens of music fans in Perth. He doesn’t seem concerned so we move on.
The band is jetting into Sydney and playing the best of venues: Oxford Arts, Seventy Seven and World Bar. I can almost hear the thousands of teenagers sigh collectively, imagining the weekends ahead.
Ben tells me their live show is always their main focus, so be prepared!
“We’ve always been a pretty full-on live band, we believe in the live aspect as being the most important part.”
Hitting the East coast means Streetlight raise their exposure, and out of the woodwork come the dreaded agents, managers and label reps. They’re all smooth suits and glowing teeth but fortunately Ben is less pessimistic then me.
“There are always bites and interest but you need to take all that with a grain of salt. We haven’t had management for a while, and we’ve had bites for that too but you develop a thick skin, and nothing is set in concrete till you put pen to paper. We’d love to find a label, be it major or independent, as long as we’re allowed to do what we do.”
Amen to that!