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Songs that feel like Friday

I met up with The Lighthouse on a sunny Sunday afternoon outside Leuven, their hometown. After a photoshoot, I talked to 3 members, Bram (vocals and guitar), Nick (guitar) and Bastiaan (drum). The band in its current setting is playing 3 years together but The Lighthouse was formed 7 years ago. Willem and Bram started the band after an evening of pool in a local bar. They started playing just the 2 of them, with acoustic piano and guitar. Then Nick joined, they went through some changes and here we are now today, enjoying an exciting festival summer. 

How long have each of you played music?
Bastiaan: 15 years, only drum, some melodic percussion here and there but mainly drum.
Bram: Hard to say for me, I never went to an Academy, just started playing acoustic guitar on myself 9 years ago. I also play some classic piano but the guitar is my favorite instrument combined with vocals.
Nick: I started with acoustic guitar when I was 11. At the age of 14 I switched to electric guitar. 

The Lighthouse, where does the name find its origin? 
Bastiaan: Well, we all liked it and that’s about it. There is not a special meaning behind it. This question comes up regularly and for our entertainment we sometimes made up stories about the creation of the name but there’s really no story.
Bram: Our fans can give their own meaning to it. Anything they want. But we do have to say that after we chose the name and started playing, the funniest things happened with lighthouses around us. Almost everywhere we went, for a concert or recording, we saw a lighthouse somewhere. A real one, or on a painting, in a magazine we would pick up. Kinda crazy. 
Bastiaan: A whole month for example we played several venues in Germany and everywhere we came, we saw a lighthouse in one or another way. 

Why do you make music?
Bram: Playing music makes me feel good. When you finish a song, and you play it for the first time to other people that are close to you, looking at their reactions is fantastic.  It really gives me a great feeling, a real boost to keep going. If The Lighthouse would not be a succes, I would still play music in my room and enjoy it like I always did but now we can look at it way bigger, with a lot more dimensions. But at the end of the day we mainly do it for ourselves.
Nick: It’s always been a passion for me, something that always came back in my life in one or another way. A bit like a hobby. I also listen a lot to music. 
Bastiaan: Music is to my opinion something you can do at any age, at any level. Even when you can not play music anymore at an older age, you can still keep listening to it.

How is it to be part of The Lighthouse? Was this the band you were all looking for?
Nick: Yes, I really was. I love playing together with other musicians and go through a creative process together with others. We also talk to each other every day. Online, face to face, doesn’t matter but there is not one day that goes by where we haven’t had contact.
Bastiaan: We are also good friends outside the band and that is certainly helping the atmosphere when on the road and making new songs. We listen to each others opinion and are not afraid to hurt each others feeling. That wasn’t the case in other bands I played in. 
Bram: We stimulate each other more to think out of the box. It pushes us really further than when you play alone. 

How would you describe your music?
Bastiaan: Happy summer music, that makes people dance, enjoyable sounds and vibes. We heard already that people who don’t know us and are waiting for other bands to play after us at a festival quickly feel the good vibes in our sound and just keep listening because it makes them feel good. But we make the music for ourselves first, not with a specific audience in mind.
Bram: I would call our sound melodical happiness. Not too dark.
Nick: Songs that feel like Friday. :-) We enjoy making music that doesn’t sound the same. 
Bastiaan: Yes, the last 2 songs we released were very different from each other and it was cool to bring them at the same moment to our fans. And the new work that is coming up later this year keeps stretching the sound to different directions. 

Any plans for an EP, LP?
Nick: Towards the end of 2017 we will release an EP and after that we start working on an LP. Very exciting!

What are your influences?
Nick: We all listen to different artists and genres, but the band's main influencers are the Wombats, The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix and The Killers. But we like that each of us also bring other influences to the table. 
Bastiaan: More local we are certainly inspired by Project Bongo and Goose. We’re all Goose fans, we saw them performing yesterday and its pure madness. Beautiful.
Bram: Sometimes we get the remark that there is no red line in our music but that’s exactly who we are. We are influenced by a lot of musicians and genres and the mix that comes out of it is what we love making.

What is the most positive event or experience that happened so far with The Lighthouse?
Nick: De Nieuwe Lichting at Studio Brussel was a fantastic experience. Playing for a full AB in Brussels was superb. It also brought us a fully booked festival summer. 
Bastiaan: It was also our first real stress moment. We all couldn’t eat anything and were feeling sick when we got on stage. 
Bram: I think it is good to be stressed. You’re more focused and when you play your first notes, and you can hear that it sounds good it gives you a kick and all stress is gone. Playing at Rock Zottegem, Suikerrock and Pukkelpop are also moments this summer that we are big for us.

The Lighthouse is from L to R:
Nick Socquet (Guitar)
Willem Schellekens (Keys + Vocals)
Bram Knockaert (Guitar + Vocals)
Yannick H'Madoun ( Bas)
Bastiaan Jonniaux ( Drums)

X  Published on August 14th 2017
X  Interview and photography by Johan Bockstaele on a bridge above the E40 nearby Brussels
X  Images captured with a Hasselblad 501 c/m, Zeiss Planar T✻ 80mm f/2.8 CF and Kodak Ektar 100 Professional Film
X  Interview conducted in Dutch and has been translated by the clever ZOTEYE minions