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Interview with Light Grey

Ireland’s Light Grey are Ciaran Nevin (guitar/vocals) and Mikey Connolly (bass/backing vocals). Entrenched deep within the captivating domain of third wave pop punk, the duo draws on elements of emo and hip hop to create an effervescent energy all of their own. Their new single 'Dissasociate' is out now, and it's full of energy and captivating lyrics. I caught up with the band to talk about 'Dissasociate', working with Luke Bovil, and how their music sits in the world of pop-punk today.

Hi, how are you?

Hi Elin! We're doing great! Well, other than the fact that our vocalist Ciaran broke his arm skateboarding we're doing pretty well haha.

How would you describe your sound to the readers?

Our current sound is a mixture of pop punk and 2000s emo with modern hiphop and trap style production, this came about from our guitarist, Mikey, when he started producing emo rap and hyperpop beats for other artists. When Light Grey started we were doing a pop rock/pop punk thing and over the past couple of months we wanted to push ourselves and develop our sound past that and I think that really shows in the tracks we're releasing this year.

How did your musical journey start?

Light Grey started when we were both in different parts of the world, we went to two different schools in the same town when we were teenagers and knew of each other but we only really connected after Ciaran had moved from Ireland to England. We started sending ideas and demos back and forth until Ciaran eventually moved back to Ireland and we started Light Grey.

Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?

Everything Travis Barker has ever done is pure gold, it's mindblowing that one person can push a genre forward over 3 decades and continues to break new ground.

Your new song ‘Dissasociate’ is out now, congratulations! How was the process of making this song for you? Was it a song that came naturally to you or did it go through a few different iterations before landing here?

Disassociate is one of those rare cases where a song comes out all in one piece. Normally when we write songs we're working with multiple pieces and trying to fit them together like a jigsaw, this track started out as a voice note of the fully realised song with just vocals and an acoustic guitar. From there we rerecorded the guitars and vocals in our studio and started working on production.

What was it like to work with Luke Bovil (Happydaze) on this song?

Working with Luke was amazing, both of us were really big fans of Woes, and the stuff Happydaze are doing right now is next level, it was great to have someone who's ears we trust to help us see the bigger picture of what the track turned into.

You have said that ‘Dissasociate’ is a “transition away from pop rock in favour of emo-rap-infused pop punk of the modern era”. Why did you decide to make this transition? Was it something you were aware of at the time?

When we recorded our first EP it was our first experience of properly recording tracks and putting our music out into the world. It was the most fun we'd ever had but there's definitely more we want to say with our music than just writing songs about girls. The transition sonically started to happen when we started thinking more about what we were writing, we've always had subtle electronic elements in our songs but they've definitely been pushed to the forefront in our new tracks.

You have said that lyrically ‘Dissasociate’ “centres on the theme of losing friends and looking back over the time you've wasted on people who truly never cared about you in the first place”. I think this is a very interesting subject, and not one we see getting covered in music very often. Could you expand more on the lyrical inspiration for us? What is it that made you want to write about this?

Over the past year because of covid I think everybody has been put in a position where they have had to reassess who their friends really are, when you know that everybody is stuck at home doing nothing but they still don't message you or want anything to do with you it really makes you think whether they're really your friends.

What do you hope listeners will take away from ‘Dissacociate’?

I hope this track makes people think about who they're keeping in their social circles, sometimes when you have a toxic friend in your life it can be hard to see it, I hope this song will help people think about making the choice to cut those people out of their lives, because it can really improve how you feel about yourself when you're not being weighed down by someone else's negativity.

Is ‘Dissasociate’ part of a bigger project? Will we be hearing more anytime soon?

Disassociate is a part of a string of singles that we'll be releasing in 2021 that expands on our push into a newer sound and we're so damn excited for everyone to hear them.

I can imagine hearing this live will sound huge! Do you currently have any plans for upcoming shows?

Unfortunately because of the current state of the world we have no idea when we'll be playing gigs, but I can tell you, by the time things are back to normal, our live set is going to be better than anything we've ever done before.

And lastly, what music have you guys been listening to recently? Anything you can recommend to us?

We've been listening to a lot this new wave of hip hop influenced Pop punk such as JXDN and MGK as well as a really cool indie pop duo from New Zealand called Cat and Calmell. Since we both produce music for other people we try to listen to as many different things as we can.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for us, it’s really appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to chat to us!

Dissasociate by Light Grey is out now! Make sure you go and give the song a listen as well as follow the band on social media so that you don't miss out on any more releases later in the year.

Listen to Dissasociate on Spotify here.

Follow Light Grey on Spotify here.

Follow Light Grey on Instagram here.

All After Midnight links here.

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