Lightning Dust: Air is more important than sound
Lightning Dust started out in 2006, as a way for Amber Webber and Joshua Wells to try out material that didn’t quite fit into their band Black Mountain’s repertoire. Their reason for their existence is to try out new stuff. They’ve released three albums to date. In October they visited our Gothenburg Repair Shop to shop for new threads and talk about what they do and what inspires them.
Amber: Lightning Dust started as an escape from being in a rock ‘n’ roll band. Something that was completely different, that could be anything. Not being any particular type of music. Just what we wrote with no pressure applied. Eventually, people caught on to it and we kind of felt we wanted to keep it alive.
Joshua: From the beginning it was Amber on the acoustic guitar and vocals and me on the Wurlitzer. We tried to keep it to just that palette, but got way more ambitious with our subsequent albums. The next one won’t be like this one. I don’t know what it’s gonna be like, but we always try to keep it similar in tone; like air is more important than sound.
In 2013 Lightning Dust released their third album, Fantasy, an album with lots of electronics, but no laptops were used during the recording of this album.
Joshua: We’ve never used any programming equipment before, but we used it heavily on this album. But they were industry standard in like 1994, so it’s nothing fancy. There are no computers involved, except for use as a tape machine. I’m a musician. That’s primarily what I do. I’ve done it for a long time. I’m a drummer. And now I’m sort of a piano player. Or synth player or whatever. I like to dabble in a lot of stuff. It’s my job as a musician to learn something new whenever I can.
You have been compared to bands like Suicide, and there is some resemblance, but where do you draw inspiration from?
Joshua: Lots of stuff. We go through a lot of music and phases for sure, but for this album a lot of early Eurythmics. The way it’s so tightly arranged and sparse it is. Cheap electronics. Soundtrack albums by John Carpenter. The throbbing, menacing synth stuff is amazing. That was definitely an inspiration, at least for the approach to the album; to make it a bit sinister in tone.
Amber: The Suicide comparison is a compliment, of course. The older you get you got to find inspiration wherever you can find it. I love everything from Beyoncé to obscure little indie rock bands. There’s interesting stuff going on all over the world. There’s so much great hip hop at the moment, all that stuff’s so great right now. I love the new Kanye album. Or at least the first half of it.
So, there’s no excluding your next album could be a hip hop album?
Amber: With this album, people gave us flack about how urban it sounds. So, you never know. You gotta rock what you got and forget what you’re not.