The guys in Light It Up worked hard for where they’re at now and they deserve all the attention and recognition they can get! When I saw them in Dordrecht they played a sick set. And the singer shook my hand and thanked me when I bought merch. It was the nicest thing! Since Dog Days they created a bigger and more stable fan base a long with all the shows they’re doing was reason enough for me to contact them and have a little chat.
First of all thanks for doing this, let’s keep the first question simple:
Introduce yourself and what you do in Light it Up?
First of all I want to say thank you for letting me do this! My name is Thomas and I sing in Light It Up.
5 Favorite Hardcore records?
This will be my personal choice, so I will go with:
Something Inside – Our Tracks
The First Step – What We Know
No Turning Back – Holding On
Youth Of Today – We’re Not In This Alone
In My Eyes – Nothing To Hide
Can you tell me a bit about how Light It Up got started and the origin of the name?
Light It Up got started in 2008. I lived in the US at this time and one day I got a mail of a friend of mine and he asked me if I mind to be the singer in Light It Up when I come back home. My friend Lars and his brother Marco were jamming together and they added Johannes as second guitarist and Andy as bassist. Over the years there have been some changes in the line up. So now we are: Marco on drums, Martin on guitar, Andreas on guitar and Andy on bass and me of course. Marco was the one, who named the band. He wanted a positive name, inspired by a song of Betrayed, to remember a friend who passed away before this band got started.
What are the main influences for Light It Up?
Oh, that is a hard questions because our influences have changed over the years. At the beginning we were influenced by Internal Affairs, Piece by Piece and all in all faster stuff. Later we slowed down more and more. I would say we listened more to bands like Trapped Under Ice, Bad Seeds, Forfeit…so bands of Reaper Records, Triple B Records or 6131 Records.
How did people react on Dog Days and did it get your name out more?
Well, I would say that people react very positive to Dog Days. At some point it was kind of overwhelming for us. For example, I will remember our Record Release for the rest of my life and I still like to watch some footage of it. People were just going nuts and it was a great feeling to get this kind of recognition after all this years. It was also the start of a very good year for this band. It definitely got our name out more, but without the help and support of Farewell Records and some friendly Bands it wouldn’t be like this.
How did the recording/producing process go for Dog Days?
To be honest we are not a very productive band. We need a lot of time to write some songs until we feel comfortable with them. But we put a lot of trust in ourselves and know that we can write some good stuff. I don’t know how much months we were writing for Dog Days. But we entered the studio in summer 2012 and recorded 6 songs at Hidden Planet Studio.
You’ve started in 2008 but the earliest release I can find is from 2011, what happened in the years before ‘State of Mind’?
Well before State Of Mind we released a demo tape. I don’t feel too comfortable with it but the other guys still like to listen to it, but I guess just more for fun. The songs on it are way faster, you can almost call it trash. I guess it reflects more our wild side but we were just younger and different persons in those days.
Right now you’re doing a couple of shows with Hawser how’s the experience so far? How do people react on your band and to Hawser?
To be honest Hawser are probably one of the best bands to tour with. You can really feel that they have some good chemistry going on in the band. Everybody is just so nice, helpful, attentive and I can see a lot of similarities between us and them. Well the three shows have been very good. Unfortunately Hawser had to cancel the last show in our hometown but the shows in Aachen and Magdeburg went very well. I think they will earn a lot more attention if they play more shows in Germany.
You’ve played quite a few shows with names such as World Eater, Wolf X Down, War Charge, Bleak Reality, Brutality Will Prevail, how was that for you guys?
To be honest I don’t care that much about names. Every single show was fun that’s for sure and we made some good friends along the way but I don’t care who is playing as long everybody has a good time and they maintain the same values.
Just like you’re friends in Risk It you guys are growing fast and getting a bigger/stable fan base. Did you ever expect to play shows with so many great names and grow so fast when you first started the band?
We didn’t grow that fast. It took us five years to get a little bit of attention. But I never imagined that we would even still be a band. You just start a band because you want to try something out, have some fun, express yourself, be part of this thing and you just can’t know what will happen. All you can do is to work hard, play as many shows as possible and enjoy the times you have with your friends and take nothing for granted and in the end something good might happen with this band.
What can we expect from Light It Up this year? Any releases planned or just more shows?
We are writing new songs for our first full length record but like I said it might take some time but we try to record them at the end of the year. We also try to book a summer tour with our friends in Blackstone and in November we will hit the road with the True Spirit Tour Vol. 2. Otherwise we just try to play as many shows as possible this year.
Favorite venue you’ve played so far, and favorite after gig hangout?
My favorite venues are the Chemiefabrik in Dresden, because it’s always packed with friends. Then the Cassiopeia in Berlin, because it’s the perfect place to hangout. And the best after gig hangout we had before our record release show with our friends in Risk It and Final Prayer in Prague. It was a night just full of fun and good memories.
What does Hardcore mean to you?
Hardcore is just passion. Everybody involved in Hardcore puts a lot of passion and energy in it. The promoters take a lot of risks but are just very dedicated. Bands will travel many hours just to have some fun on stage for 20 minutes. Fans drive hours to get to a show, spend their last money on records and merchandise to help out the bands. You will meet people for the first time but immediately you can feel a connection. But the most important point is about all the things I learned from Hardcore, when I listened to a singer’s speech, when I read the lyrics, when I talk with people about all kind of things. So in the end I will say Hardcore is passion and learn.
And the German Hardcore scene? How is the scene over there according to you?
The scene here is very active and vital. You will find a lot of new and young bands who play different styles of hardcore. If you want you could go to a show every weekend. So I am not worried a bit about the scene here.
What’s the main difference between German shows and shows in other countries?
The biggest difference I noticed is that people in Eastern Europe for example are a bit more excited about foreign bands, they treat every band very enthusiastic. Sometimes kids in Germany are little bit more tensed if you want to call that way. But all in all there is no big difference.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I am really curious about writing new songs and I can’t wait for the True Spirit Tour to start, make some new friends and see a lot of new places. Otherwise there will be some changes in my personal life so I will see how this will work out.
Any last words? Something to add? Some bands we should check out?
First of all I would like to say that if somebody wants to start a band he should definitely do it. Don’t be scared by the opinion of other people. If you have something on your mind just say it and don’t hesitate. Some bands you should definitely check out are: Blackstone, Risk It, Coldburn, Hawser, Reason To Care, Final Prayer, Dogchains, The Storm, Reflections, Gone To Waste, Dull Eyes and Matt X Lee and his upcoming book entitled Worldwide Hardcore
Thank you very much for your time and effort!