Shaky Knees Festival Interview with The Bright Light Social Hour

photo by Hart Roberts

photo by Hart Roberts

Space. Southern. Tacos. Psychedelic. Hair. Just a couple things that come to mind when I think of the four-piece rock outfit from Austin, Texas, The Bright Light Social Hour. With a mesh of southern rock similarities to J Roddy Walston and The Business, dance-ability to Ghostland Observatory, and live performance combustion as Moon Taxi, TBLSH have been making lots of clatter since they swept six awards back in 2011 at SXSW, including Band of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year.

They’re currently on a whirlwind of a tour as they record and lay the final touches on their second full-length album being released later this year. We were thankful to chat quickly with bassist Jack O’Brien after their steamy dance party at the 2014 Shaky Knees Festival in Hotlanta:

Blue Indian: First off, fantastic show. You guys always bring the heat. Did you guys have fun playing Shaky Knees?

Jack: Of course!

Blue Indian: What was the best part? Y’all enjoy being in Atlanta?

Jack: That’s a sexy city. The best part for me was closing out our set to a beautiful crowd, and the second I said our last “thank you” Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires cracked their set open on the opposite stage. I really wanted to make it to Clermont Lounge and see Blondie smash a PBR between her breastesses (highly recommended by the Extraordinaires), but we had to roll out of town.

Blue Indian: I first met you guys in Telluride, CO at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. The entire Town Park was going crazy during y’alls set. You guys have fun in Colorado?

Jack: Yea that was an amazing festival, just a dramatic backdrop!

Blue Indian: Describe what it’s been like touring the country and promoting your impressive debut album this past year, and how has it helped the band’s creative process looking forward to your second album?

Jack: It’s been intense, usually a good time. On the way out of Shaky Knees to Tampa the AC in the van went out so we’re a hot sweaty mess slipping around the van currently.

Blue Indian: What have you been listening to lately that’s influenced you or the band?

Jack: Can, The Flaming Lips, lots of black psych rock/funk from the 60’s. Gritty shit that gives no fucks.

Blue Indian: Who are some of your favorite Austin bands to travel and/or play with at festivals? You guys boys with White Denim?

Jack: We actually only met the White Denim dudes briefly a couple of times, but they’re always super sweet. We did a tour with Walker Lukens and the Side Arms last fall, those are some very lovely and talented men.

Blue Indian: Let’s talk about your second album, Future South. What’s the recording and lyrical process been like?

Jack: I think we’re gonna call it Space Is Still the Place. We spent the last year putting together a studio and getting the sounds and recordings fucked up and pretty in just the right ways. Some of these songs we started writing over 2 years ago, some are brand new. As far as lyrics, generally Curt or I would take a lead, then the others would strip it down naked, ask all the questions (mainly “why?” or “wtf does this mean?”) and mold it into something that speaks what we want the music to say.

Blue Indian: What are we in for? When will it drop?

Jack: A heady booty trip to outer space. Not sure when it will drop.

Blue Indian: What are you guys looking forward to on tour this summer?

Jack: Sasquatch! Fest in Washington for sure.

Blue Indian: Last question, what’s your favorite taco joint in Austin?

Jack: Taquería Don Mario!!!!

Blue Indian: Awesome. Thanks for the chat, have fun on tour this summer. And come back again soon!

Jack: Thank you!

Read’s interview with The Whigs at Shaky Knees

The Bright Light Social Hour – Live at KJHK

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