Interviews: Picnic Lightning

This is a new interview with the Rock band Picnic Lightning from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on his FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

The name, Picnic Lightning, comes from a brief moment towards the beginning of the novel, Lolita; a simple description of the death of the main character’s mother. Thomas is an avid reader and accomplished poet, and he suggested this to the group as an adequate phrase to capture an intense, immediate event forcing its way into the audience’s attention, and we felt this captured the tone of our music. 

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

This genre came about pretty naturally for all of us and our individual, collective influences. There’s something about playing loud that feels like it captures the vibe and themes. Similarly, a lot of the tones and sounds that we choose are a balance of a few complimentary genres: psych, rock, indie, and country.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Thomas and Cole met back when Thomas’ father started preaching at Cole’s church. They became fast friends, bonding over superheroes, sci-fi, music, and Cole’s bleached hair. Cole even gave Thomas his first guitar. They found John in high school and played in a band through college. They picked Cameron “Cam ‘The man’ Duvet” after hitting it off through a mutual friends’ party.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

It’s changed over time, but it would probably be: 

Thomas: Elliot Smith

John: Sunny Day Real Estate 

Cole: Radiohead 

Cam: Arcade Fire

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

We’re all creatives/artists in our own rights in different ways, but there’s nothing like playing music in a band. The communication needed is different than anything else and is an outlet that helps us to communicate things that can’t be done otherwise. Also, it’s just a lot of fun. Our ideas come from a variety of places. Our most recent release, Over My Head, originated from a poem written by Thomas at the guest services desk of a declining mall. The song is about how we all find bigger meaning - god, etc - in odd, singular places. It explores how we can find that same meaning in pleasure of sound, and a place where, as the lyrics mention, “me and the Holy Ghost are fucking around.” The forthcoming singles explore related themes - meaning, death, reflection, connection - places we feel at home.

6. Where was your last gig?

We had a chance to play Tulips in DFW which has a great sound and is a friend to a lot of touring acts. Highly recommend catching a show there.

7. Where would you like to perform?

We’re not too picky. A place that has great sound and a fun crown, and we’re down to party. Some of the more vibey places like Red Rocks would be neat, and we’ve heard great things about the South American scene.

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

For a bill, any of our influences would be ideal: Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Ty Segall, The National, etc, but if we had to choose, we’d go with Okkervil River, Radiohead, and Sunny Day Real Estate.

9. Whom not?

There’s no one specific that comes to mind, but we do think it’s important to be on a bill with bands who have similar sounds, while still expanding the audience’s tastes. In that way, I think we could have a cool show with Phoebe Bridgers, but it might be a stretch too far for us to expect the Sufjan Stevens’ crown to give us their full attention, even if we love some Sufjan. Also, no assholes and bigots.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

The anxiety of live performance has affected each of us differently over the years, but most of us have gotten past it with years of practice. The big piece of advice would be to practice. The more easily you can play your parts from muscle memory, the less anxiety there is about the performance. With that being said, we’re firm believers that as soon as those nerves disappear completely, you’ve become complacent and it’s time to do something different.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Musically, most directly, it would be Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Ty Segall, The National, and Queens of the Stone Age. For us, non-musical would be a variety of art, literature, and film: Rene Magritte, Alex Ross, Francis Bacon, Harold Pinter, Roberto Bolaño, Arthur C Clarke, Rainier Maria Rilke, and David Lynch

12. What do you think of your fans?

We love them. They allow us to do what we love and we’re forever grateful for their time, and attention, and for choosing to spend their hard-earned money on our art. 

13. What do you think of our site?

We’re always fans of people and outlets doing the good work of promoting music and art that they enjoy. It’s that kind of signal boosting that allows more people to connect with the art that they love, and that is an important job in our current era of over-saturation.

14. Something to add?

We just released “Over My Head” and that’s available everywhere. We’ve got a few more releases this summer with the next in early July. From there, we’re starting to book shows, COVID-permitting. We’ve got new merch out with more coming. And of course, writing more songs. Keep an eye on our website and follow us on socials for all updates.

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