Interview: By Lighting – The music behind the Subaru “Take Your Daughter To Work Day” commercial.

My 10 year old daughter, Sage couldn’t stop singing “Future History” after catching this Subaru commercial on television. For days, she begged me to download it from iTunes. After a few searches, I learned that the song was created by a band called “By Lightning” exclusively for Subaru. At that time, nowhere to be found on iTunes.

I had a chance to ask the band a few questions about the song, their music and what the future holds for them and wanted to share the interview with the readers of my blog.

PN: “Future History” featured in the “Take your daughter to work” Subaru ad is in heavy rotation. What doors has that project opened?
BL: It has opened up a lot of doors. It’s a heart warming commercial and has drawn a lot of attention to By Lightning and our music. Music on television automatically creates a huge audience. When people are watching tv, a lot of the time they tune out during the commercials, but if they hear a song that catches their ear, they tune back in and often jump on the Internet to find out who provided the music. That has certainly been the case for us. We have been getting emails from all over the country since the spot began airing. It’s great to have our art exposed in such a large forum. We are very thankful.

PN: How did By Lightning! get involved with Subaru campaign..
BL: Several of us have experience getting our music licensed for commercial use. We all have been making and playing music for years in various bands, and have been lucky enough to make music that seems to reach people in a positive way. Just like with any career, so much is predicated by relationship and hard work. We have a lot of friends who work in fields that require the provision of original music. We LOVE writing and performing music, and we work very hard at it, so our people come to us for submissions. We have a large catalog of released and unreleased material, and are happy to write custom tracks as well. By Lightning is as much a music machine and song writing/recording collective as we are a rock band.

PN: Was “Future History” written specifically for the ad or was it a song that you had already developed?
PN: “Future History” was technically written as a custom track for the Subaru ad, but our creative philosophy is to always write and arrange songs that we love, even if it means we don’t win the spot. It is more important to us to have something artistically fulfilling to show for ourselves than to win every spot we submit or write for. We stay on brief as often as we can, but we refuse to compromise our vision for a song just to win. We believe we are making great music that appeals to a lot of people, and we are just getting started. The concept for the lyrics of “Future History” was inspired by a dream I had.

PN: Give us the behind the scenes peek at the band. How long have you guys been playing together and how did you link up?
BL: We are a family of writers and musicians who love writing, performing, being around each other, and being creative in every way we can. Sometimes we have a rotating cast of friends who contribute additional ideas and musicianship too.
We don’t have too many rules other than trying to be as creative as possible and working with people we respect and love. Most often we perform as a 7 piece band. We are pretty rocking and electrified most of the time, but have also really been enjoying some stripped back acoustic performances and arrangements lately. We kind of have the ability to do any kind of set we want. We live in Nashville surrounded by the best musicians and players in the world. I would not be surprised if we eventually had an electronic set as well as performances with string and horn sections. There are no restrictions or rules. Life and art are what you make them. The core group of us have been playing together as By Lightning for a little over a year.

PN: For you NEW fans, can you share some of your musical influences?
BL: Our influences are all over the place. From Beach House to Hank Williams Sr. From the flaming lips to dire straights. The Beatles, the stones, gram parsons, Cocteau twins, Tom petty, fever ray, etc…

PN: It wouldn’t be an interview without a cautionary tale. Any gig horror stories that you would like to share?
BL: No horror stories here. We take art seriously, but stay free spirited and in good cheer. There is not much that ruffles our feathers. Broken strings, forgotten gear, double bookings, and all that stuff is part of it, but it’s best to keep a smile and make the best of every situation. Our RV did almost break down on the way to bonnaroo, but even if it had, we would have found a way there, even if it meant 7 neo hippies hitch hiking, and we would have been smiling and laughing about it for sure.

PN: Where can they learn more about you and your upcoming projects?

By Lightning’s EP “See you see me” is available now on iTunes and! Download it HERE

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