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The Lights

Words: Nathan Walker



While it’s fun to contemplate what kind of crazy record might come out of a working relationship between Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono, the Lights are focused simply on making fresh rock’n’roll. Having known each other since grade school and playing together for around nine years, the three guys in this band (Craig Chambers, PJ Rogalski and Jeff Albertson) are brothers in the sense that the Ramones were brothers. They’re three guys who make music together because they unquestionably love it and it’s become ingrained in their lives. Having just finished their new album set to come out on Wantage USA this fall, the Lights have honed their sound to the essentials. With the stripped-down sound of a power trio, the new album sizzles with the heat of three guys facing one another and blasting out unyielding music. As Craig describes it, “I think we’ve always kind of had an ethic of keep it simple, the more simple the better. We don’t try to throw too much shit in it.”

Live, the Lights are best in small rooms with a packed crowd. “Smaller venues with lots of people is a much better atmosphere especially if you’re playing on the floor.” It’s when their shows get the craziest. The Lights could be described as a blue-collar art band and they’ve won their fans by simply walking on stage without pretense, skipping the bullshit and destroying the crowd. With a small but growing fan base, Craig mentioned, “We would like to [make it], but we’re not trying to sell ourselves. We’re not a business and we’re never going to be that. So maybe the career part is never going to happen for us. We’re not business people basically and that’s kind of unfortunate.” These days, Seattle often gets mocked for being a stand-offish crowd and I think it’s high time we get out and scream and yell for the hometown boys. Now’s the time to sew a homemade patch to your jean jacket with the Lights’ name on it before you’re accused of jumping on the bandwagon too late.

Catch the Lights in Seattle September 24 at the Crocodile Cafe.

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