Hit the Lights

18 Oct

“We all just kind of looked at each other and smiled like “Yeah, we did it” and went into our set.”

You may have heard about this band from so many others around you. They started out in Lima, Ohio and are now playing to sold out audiences. A hard hitting power pop band who is so full of energy, you wonder if you can keep up. Since their former vocalist left the band in 2007, Nick Thompson has stepped up to the plate. Their rigorous touring schedule has helped them gain tons of fans all over the world. With two full-length albums and their newest E.P., “Coast to Coast” out, these guys aren’t slowing down anytime soon. With plans to release a new album within the next year, fans can only expect Hit the Lights to get better with time. Nick Thompson took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions. I should warn you though, there is some choice language involved.

Q. You guys formed in 2003. A lot of people believe your name came from a Metallica song.  Where did the idea for the name “Hit the Lights” actually come from?

A. The name “Hit the Lights” was actually adopted before I was even in the band.  At the time it was Omar, Dave, our old singer Colin and our old drummer Ryan. They had been kicking around names and eventually asked a friend on the phone what they should name their band. He told them that he’d always wanted to name a band “Hit the Lights” and that was that.

Q. The original singer of the band, Colin Ross, left in 2007 and the band as a whole decided to place Nick in that role. Nick, at first did you feel as if you had big shoes to fill?

A. Absolutely. I had no desire to sing for the band what-so-ever, and we searched for a new singer for about 9 months. I loved playing guitar and singing backups and being in the background, that was great! Eventually, with the encouragement of my band mates, I was able to step forward. It was very hard in the aspect that Colin has an amazing, solid voice and I had never even sang in a band before, so that was definitely intimidating. I have so much to learn, and I’m getting better as I go, but if it weren’t for our fans being so supportive through the whole thing, it never would have worked out.

Q. The band has toured with many big name acts such as Paramore, New Found Glory, and Cartel. Which shows have you played that have been the most memorable?

A. The Bamboozles in Jersey have always been incredible. One of my favorite shows ever was Bamboozle ’08 where we had been gone for a year and we were on our very first tour back on the road with me singing. We just walked out on that stage and there was a sea of kids screaming and chanting. It made me want to cry. We all just kind of looked at each other and smiled like “Yeah, we did it” and went into our set.

Q. Bands that tour a lot, such as yourself, tend to make a lot of friends in cities all over the world. Besides your home city, Lima, what is your favorite city to kick back in?

A. SO many awesome places! We love L.A., we hang out with our boys in Oh No Not Stereo (check them out) and have a blast. Jersey, of course, is our second home.  Chicago is amazing, my family is from there and Boston is a fantastic city with a great scene. We honestly have friends in every major city now and that definitely makes it easier to be away from home.

Q. If you could be an opener for any band, who would it be and why?

A. Probably Jimmy Eat World. We all fucking adore that band and everything they have done. We played a fest with them in the UK a few years ago and that alone was an amazing experience.

Q. What are you guys’ favorite things to do while on tour?

A. We love to eat. Eating is the one thing we get excited for when we’re on the road. We also love hanging at bars, watching movies and swimming. Oh, yeah, eating pussy and getting girls pregnant. Those are great too.

Q. You have released two full-length albums so far. What has been your favorite song recorded?

A. The Call Out, Save Your Breath, Count It, Breathe In, Tell Me Where You Are (acoustic), our Snowbirds and Townies cover.  I don’t know, I feel like an asshole talking about my own songs. Go listen to Jimmy Eat World.

Q. Who is your biggest musical influence?

A. My main influences are Third Eye Blind, NFG, Esthero, Hatebreed, Jimmy Eat World and Number One Gun right now.

Q. What is the ultimate direction for Hit the Lights?

A. That’s something we’ve really been working on this past year.  We want to take it someplace different, but still be relevant to the style that we’ve come up in the scene with. Now that we’re on a major label, we really feel that we need to make this count. We want to make a record that is broad enough that our fans will like it, you could play it on the radio and we can still feel good about it. One things for sure, it will be more rock driven.

Q. If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which one would it be and why?

A. I would say “No Thank You” and ask for something like a grill or a coconut slicer.  I’M TRYING TO SURVIVE ON AN ISLAND, WHY THE FUCK WOULD I CARE ABOUT A SONG?!

Here’s the title track from their current E.P., “Coast to Coast.”


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