In the Distance with In Light Of

in-light-of-interview
Everyone knows dating long distance is hard thanks to the countless articles Cosmo publishes on the daily, but rarely does anyone talk to bands who live states apart from one another. Maybe that’s because we rarely see it, until today with In Light Of. Two musicians who met through an ad for something else and wound up sparking a relationship over sound. Now while they live miles apart, they come together thanks to technology to create music and we’re talking about all that and more…

Kendra: We’re going to get to the music, but first we have to talk about In Light Of being a long distance relationship. You two live in different cities but came together after a job posting. Obviously you two work well enough together, but have you ever thought you’d be just as good with someone you could be in the same room with and bounce ideas off of?

Sandy: Both of us have other projects (Jason’s band Repose and my band Dark Mean) for which the chemistry in the room can be an essential part of the music making process. That being said, Jason and I both feel that sometimes there’s more value in working independently. There’s something to be said about letting your inspiration flow out you, in your own completely comfortable space, uninhibited by any kind of social pressure. And the kind of music we’re making involves a lot of software experimentation that can be tedious and doesn’t really work in a real-time jam setting. It’s also rare to find someone you truly connect with musically. We actually feel pretty lucky that we can work this way. It fits well with our lifestyles and the way we naturally like to make music.

Kendra: Personally, I think it’s a great thing you two have going on. A freelance writer myself, I love never having to really deal with people. But anyways, have you guys ever discussed maybe not living with one another but at least the same city?

Sandy: It hasn’t really been discussed. We’re very comfortable with our arrangement. If our paths brought us to the same city, I’m sure we’d hang out more and become closer friends, perhaps resulting in more inspiration to make music together. Or we’d just grow tired of each other and bicker until our relationship falls apart. Either one is a possibility.

Kendra: Things are going well, you guys have your debut EP Little Treasures. Can you tell us what this album brings to the table sonically?

Sandy: One of my favourite things about working with Jason is that he’s open to using lo-fi recordings in his high end studio. I’ve never been a gearhead so I’ve always relied on others to help turn my ideas into professional sounding music. Usually that means re-recording guitar or piano ideas that were initially recorded on my phone using high quality gear. Jason, on the other hand, prefers to use the original recordings when possible because there’s a magic that happens when you first come up with an idea that is sometimes impossible to replicate. He goes to work using his production skills to make it sound like those lo-fi recordings were meant to be part of the high end production. As for the other sounds you hear on the record, Jason recorded a lot of the instruments (electric guitar, drums, bass, etc.) himself in his studio and used a lot of MIDI software synths.

Kendra: What about “Bless Your Heart” made it stick out as lead single material?

Sandy: It was the first track we worked on and gave us the inspiration to make a band. I think you can hear that in the recording. It represents that moment when we realized we have something special and we want others to be part of it. So it feels like a natural introduction to the world.

Kendra: Relying heavily on technology to get things done, do you feel you could’ve recorded a record like this even five years ago?

Sandy: From a technological standpoint, I think we could have done this five years ago, but maybe not ten. It has become so much easier to record and share music over the last decade or so. Personally, being a non-gearhead, I’ve benefited from having a digital recorder (i.e. my smartphone) on me at all times so I can always capture ideas while I’m in the moment of inspiration. Also, having access to affordable and intuitive music software has made it easy for me to share ideas with Jason via MIDI and sound files. I’ve sent Jason ideas that I’ve recorded using the keyboard on my Macbook and he’s turned them into the most beautiful sounds using his high-end software synths. Dropbox and WeTransfer have also been essential for us when sending larger files back and forth.

Kendra: Because of the location difference, do you guys get out and play shows ever?

Sandy: Unfortunately no. I say unfortunately because we’d love to be able to offer that experience to our fans and experience it ourselves. That being said, we both have families and lifestyles that are show-prohibitive, and we’re both good with that.

Kendra: Will you be doing any shows in the new year?

Sandy: Nothing planned, but you never know…

Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape for a couple in a long distance relationship, what five songs would have to be on it?

Sandy: Here are my picks:
Helios – “Halving The Compass
Jon Hopkins – “Immunity
Luke Howard – “Liminal
Jonsi & Alex – “Happiness
Tycho – “Daydream

And here are Jason’s picks:
Auto Pilot” – Deru Remix – Lusine/Deru
Once Again” – Phoria
Komponent” – Apparat
Halving the Compass (Rhian Sheehan Remix)” – Helios
Svefn-g-englar” – Sigur Rós

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