The Bright Light Social Hour’s Jack O’Brien Talks New Album, Psychedelia, Time Travel, and Cheese Steaks

The Austin, Texas band The Bright Light Social Hour are making their way to Philly today during their first leg of their North American tour. We got the opportunity to talk to front man Jack O’Brien before their show tonight as we talked about their new album and everything else you need to know about them. If you don’t know who they are this interview will help and you can read our concert preview here. It’s definitely a show you do not want to miss! You’re not going to be able to find a better concert than this on a Wednesday Night for only 17 dollars. Grab tickets here

ASOP: The last time I saw you guys play in Philly was about 4 years ago at the Rathaus when you released your last album. What is the biggest change for you guys since?

Jack: Well a lot actually, ever since the band decided to become a full time band we’ve gone through different line up and different sounds. We’ve got a new studio where we were able to explore new sounds and methods of recording.


ASOP: Your sound has definitely evolved over the years. What made you decide to go in this particular direction for the album compared to your first one?

Jack: Our sound has definitely gone through a lot of growing over the years.  Curtis (Guitarist and Vocalist) and I have been playing together for awhile. We started off with more of a hard rock style then later transitioned into a soft rock style. We’ve also experimented with other sounds like a Rolling Stones-esque style.

When we first started we were in grad school we were doing alot of partying, which was really reflected in the style of music we were playing. We would only play about once a month around Austin. So when we would play our shows it would be almost like a big parties. But, then things started to change when we decided to take playing as a band more seriously. We couldn’t go out and drink a bottle a night anymore, so as we matured as a band, so did our music.


ASOP: If you had to had to categorize your new album into a genre, what would it be?

Jack: ummm… psychedelic psychedlia. Although it might seem like there’s drug influence, it really isn’t about that. The album was focused more on making music that makes you think.


ASOP: Who were your biggest influences in writing this album?

Jack: For this album we started getting away from the “party”. We focused on what happens after the party. On the road we would stay with a lot of different people who might be struggling to get along but still maintained a positive vibes. They’re all good people. you know? Imagine if you were able t hit a restart button on life, you would be freed from all your current problems. Musician wise was 60’s jazz artist Sun Ra was one of my biggest influences for the album. I admire him both musically and his methodology is great. His music was spacey, he sang as if space was the future for humans. This was big because this is just as we just started space exploration. But, those two things we brought into our album. Something with a spacey feel but it still made you think.


ASOP: What song off the new album was the most fun to record?

Jack: Probably “The Moon” it was our first time working with a drum machine to record the song. It was a lot of fun, that’s when we started exploring new grounds.


ASOP: You’ve played big festivals in the past like Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits in 2013. If you could play any one music festival what would it be and why?

Jack: We’ve played other music festivals along the way like Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Sasquatch Festival, and other music festivals.  I would really like to play at Music Wins Festival in Buenos Aires. I would just love to travel to Argentina, it looks like a beautiful place to play.


ASOP: Describe your shows in 5 words or less.

Jack: Electric Love Church

ASOP: If you could play with one band or artist dead or alive who would it be?

Jack: James Brown. I wouldn’t sing though, I would just love to sit in the background play bass as he performed. I mean he’s the god father of soul, that would have just amazing to be by his side.

NEWPORT, RI - JULY 6: Godfather of soul James Brown performs onstage at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 6, 1969 in Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

NEWPORT, RI – JULY 6: Godfather of soul James Brown performs onstage at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 6, 1969 in Newport, Rhode Island. (Photo by Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)


ASOP: Halloween is coming up this weekend. Are you guys doing anything special and what are you dressing up as?

Jack: We have a few shows coming up, we play in New York on Friday and we’re actually going to be in Burlington, VA. We will be dressing up but I’ll just you a hint, it rhythms with Hay Watch and we’re aren’t afraid of a little cross dressing.



ASOP: So, as you may know October 21, 2015 was a few day ago, which is the day Marty Mcfly arrives to the future. If you had to choose what would you rather have be true? Hoverboards, Self-tying shoes, Self-drying clothes, or re-hydrating pizza? Why?

Jack: Probably re-hydrating pizza, pizza is awesome! We had to throw away our pizza from last night this morning. It definitely would have been awesome if we could have just re-hydrated the pizza later.



ASOP: Since we are on the topic of time travel, if you could time travel what would you do?

Jack: Definitely the future. It would be sweet to chill in Africa 100 years from now. See how it has developed, I think over it would be a cool place to be in the future, some where like Nigeria… that would be cool.



ASOP: When you come to Philly where is your go to place to get cheesesteaks?

Jack: You know what? We’ve never actually had a Philly cheesesteak. We don’t like to eat heavy before we play and we never really have time to go out and grab a cheesesteak after our shows. Maybe we’ll grab one this time after our show.




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