The Mystery Lights

On July 13th, New York City based band The Mystery Lights will provide us with some quality-rock’n’roll music at schon schön in Mainz. Fauves has interviewed them before they kicked off their big tour through Europe. You can get tickets for their show in Mainz here.

Your sound, your look, your music – it seems, as if you teleported here right out of the 70s. Do you sometimes get the feeling you are living in the wrong decade?

This was the decade we were born in so I think this is the decade we were meant to be in. Although I wouldn’t mind time traveling to see how things were back then. No distracting technology, etc. Super minimal methods … that era definitely interests us for sure, but you know, this is our decade and we’re excited to experience all that’s going on now.

Neither of you has lived in the 60s or 70s. How did you still manage to fall in love with the kind of music you make?

We don’t make 60′ or 70’s music. Sure, we’ve been inspired by that era and that obviously is going to translate into the music we make today, but we just do what we feel … We never have thought , “hey lets start a 60’s/70’s band”, you know? Not really into bands that purposely chase that whole thing … with us, we let it happen naturally, organically, or not at all. Of course we do like the recording methods they used back then, so we definitely like to record / lay tracks down live to tape and use old gear just because it sounds better to us, more timeless. You can feel it in the gut when you hear it, it’s raw and real…That’s what we love.

Who do you consider to be your biggest Influences?

Billy Childish (all his bands from Thee Headcoats to the Chatham Singers, and so on!) , Fred and Toody (Dead Moon, Western Front, The Rats, Pierced Arrows, etc.), Television, Neu!, all those old tough moody 60’s comps like uptight tonight, back from the grave, pebbles, nuggets etc. The Fall, The Yardbirds, Dylan, Sun Ra, etc.

Handmade, straight-forward Rock music has seen better days than those right now … or at least times, when it was way more popular. What does it take to bring back those days?

People just need to do it genuinely because they love it. Too many people now more so being actors and technicians than true genuine artists. Too much safety these days, not much seems real or rough around the edges. It’s all about popularity, who looks attractive, bla bla… True artists of today in our opinion are people/groups like the Fat White Family, Insecure Men, Mark Sultan, Ben Wallers, Billy childish, Black Lips, Dj Jonathan Toubin. Groups with real characters, genuine, raw, the sort of people you see and can feel how important their presence is on this earth.

Wether it’s the US, Europe or the Middle East – it seems as if we are living in times of turmoil and confusion. What could modern society learn from rock ‘n’ roll?

Break down the boundaries and borders and just have fun. Like back in the 50’s when Chuck Berry would play, it didn’t matter wether you were white or black or whatever color, people stood up and danced together. Rock’n’Roll makes you wanna dance, makes you wanna move, it creates a community of people with love for that style.

Your live shows are extremly energetic and by times even wild. What can you promise to someone who decides to go to one of your concerts?

We’ll give you all our heart, all our soul, we’ll deliver no bullshit. No division between us and the crowd. We are there to party and have fun, the crowd is just as important as the band playing … so come up on stage, dance, shout at us, sing along, jump on a mic if you feel the need… let’s just have fun and not be so serious. We like shameless people who dance like weirdos …so come be weird, come have fun. No judgment.

The schon schön in Mainz is a rather small club. On stage you will be just a few inches away from the crowd. Is this something you like when performing?

We prefer this over having a big stage! These shows are always special. More intimacy with the crowd. The band and the audience become one, and you can feel the blood sweat and tears whipping off each other… the small club shows and house parties are the best. Hope to play a lot more of those to be honest.


Interview: Pirmin ; Fotos: The Mystery Lights Press

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