Interview Outtakes + MP3: Old Lights, "Losing My Mind"

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In this week's paper, Christian Schaeffer wrote a feature on Old Lights. (Photo above by Jennifer Silverberg.) The band's limited-edition vinyl LP, Every Night Begins the Same, is available today on St. Ives. (Order here.) Schaeffer describes the band's sound thusly:

Old Lights' ascent is first and foremost a product of the band's songs. Built around piano and guitar, a typical live set will touch on jangle-pop, ramped-up folk songs, Brill Building-era standards and a few moments of heart-on-sleeve clarity. As a singer, Beeman pushes his high, sweet tenor without straining it, knowing that the band's easy-to-swallow sweetness belies the emotional heft of his lyrics
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MP3: Old Lights, "Losing My Mind"

At the moment, Beeman and bandmate/girlfriend Kristin Dennis are in Cottage Grove, Oregon, recording with Richard Swift. (In fact, they happen to be next-door neighbors.) He says he hopes to record two albums with Swift in the time they spend in the Pacific Northwest -- and stresses that Old Lights is not broken up. In fact, he had some kind things to say about the members of Old Lights' live configuration...

On guitarist Gabe Doiron: "He not only plays anything interesting or hard on guitar that you might hear, he's just a huge music fan. And [he] has great taste in music. Just down to knowing more chords than me to take songs to different places. I would write a song and he would do guitar solo. That turned into "Come help me with the bridge" or "What do you think of the verse?" So he's definitely a collaborator. He's been priceless to me. I'm a really good drummer but I'm mediocore at piano and mediocore and guitar. Just to have someone in the band that can really play - I like that. I don't like really show-y music, necessarily, but I like it when a band can really play."

A few other choice outtakes... On Paul McCartney's influence on the record: "For the writing of this record, I listened to Paul McCartney's Ram record - for every other record I listened to, I listened to it four times. That record is so interesting to me musically and rhythmically and sonically, that maybe he is saying something on that record, but I have no idea. I don't even care."

On his friendship with Richard Swift: "I met him when I was 19 - I'm 28 now. I got an internship at a studio in Irvine, California. I had no idea what I was doing. He was always there, either producing stuff or playing on stuff. I saw him again and we did a show with him [at Schuba's in Chicago]. I've always liked the guy, I love his music, I always buy his records. When I started playing keys again, I really loved what he was doing on piano. I totally am influenced by him also."

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