Bright Light Bright Light is the moniker of Welsh singer-songwriter Rod Thomas. He’s a master at incorporating various genres into his music, such as house, nu-disco and synth pop, and his latest critically-acclaimed album ‘Cinematography’ featured the likes of Alan Cumming and the iconic Elton John. The singer’s latest release, ‘Stay (I Missed You)‘, lifted from the upcoming EP Cinematography II- Back In The Habit, showcases his fantastic emotive voice and faultless production. On the back of it, we caught up with Bright Light Bright Light as he prepares to play a string of dates across the states.
How’s living in New York?
“It’s amazing, I really love it. It’s a really good city for being creative because there’s so many people here who make music or art or performance stuff. People here are really up for helping other people out. For someone who’s doing stuff independently it’s the best place in the world.”
How did you come up with the name Bright Light Bright Light?
“It’s from Gremlins. One of the cheapest and campiest horror films in existence.”
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
“I think actually it was the last one I did in New York, which was last September. It’s always nice when you do a homecoming show and I used to live in London so it’s great to play there too. At the New York show we completely sold the venue out and the room was just filled with amazing, fun people. Everyone was crazy, they were like twirling and screaming and dancing.”
You supported the legendary Elton John for 55 dates, how was that?
“It was wild and completely insane. It was just huge venues and it was really cool to play to totally new audiences. He’s one of my heroes, we would just hang out every day and he’s a good friend as well. It was just so much fun. All of his team were super friendly and really looked after us, which doesn’t often happen on a tour. It was the way touring should be.”
Have you got a dream venue that you would love to play one day?
“I was lucky enough to play some amazing venues with Elton John. I’ve played at Hammersmith Apollo and that’s one of my favourite ones in London. A lot of the ones I love in New York, I’ve played in as an opening act.”
Alan Cumming features on your latest album , how did that come about?
“A lot of the people I collaborate with are people I’ve met and became friends with. I met him 2 years ago in New York at a friend’s show and we were sat at the same table. We said hi really briefly and then we got chatting. He really likes meeting new artists and creative people so he invited me to a DJ show that he was doing. We got on really well so we kept in touch and I had this song and I asked him to sing on it and luckily he did. So he came over for the afternoon, recorded the vocals and that was that.”
What’s your process when you’re writing your songs?
“I’m not much of a diary keeper when I’m writing so most of the stuff I do is inspired by other things. A lot of it is inspired by other people’s lives. Something in my mind thinks if I keep writing about myself it’ll get pretty tedious, especially because I do the same thing all the time due to touring and writing. This new album was mostly inspired by dance sequences in movies from movies in the 80’s and 90’s that I really liked growing up. I was trying to look at what it was about those sequences that made me really happy or heart-broken. Then I tried to channel that and make music that made me feel the same way.”
Apart from the films, do you have any inspiration from anything else?
“It’s always people who have managed to shape-shift a bit but who you can always tell it’s still them. So people like Elton John, Erasure, Kate Bush and David Bowie. All these people who’ve had multiple different presentations but you can still definitely tell it’s them within the presentation.”
What are Bright Light Bright Light‘s plans for 2017?
“I’ll be touring the UK in the autumn time which I’m really looking forward to. I’m playing some dates in America too!”