Interview: Hit The Lights (Slam Dunk Fest  Preview)

Over the coming days and weeks, Already Heard will be previewing this years Slam Dunk Festival in detail through a range of interviews and features.

Besides We Are The Ocean, no other band has appeared more at the Slam Dunk Festival other than Hit The Lights. Having made their debut at the festival in 2006, the Ohio pop punk group have been winning crowds with every visit with infectious songs such as ‘No Filter,’ ‘Drop The Girl,’ ‘Stay Out’ and of course the classic ‘Body Bag’. And we expect them to do the same again later this month.

Although last years visit to the UK was cut short due to vocalist Nick Thompson suffering an infection, the quintet continue to go from strength to strength having just treated fans with an acoustic EP titled ‘Just to Get Through to You,’ and as Nick tell us, a new album is in the works.

Read on to find out why Hit The Lights keep returning to Slam Dunk as Nick Thompson talks to Already Heard.

AH: So this is going to be your fifth time at Slam Dunk. What is it about this festival that makes you want to keep coming back?
Nick: Slam Dunk is my favorite reason to visit the UK. We get to see friends in fellow bands that we rarely get to see, we get to play a nice, short set the fans have always been absolutely insane. There’s always a great lineup, the after parties are really fun and the catering is always great too! Big thanks to Ben (Ray – Slam Dunk booker) for always thinking of us!

AH: This is Slam Dunk’s 10th anniversary. Having played the festival a couple of times, why do think the festival is still going strong?
There’s always a great lineup with a wide variety of bands. There’s something for every fan of music, and it’s always done in areas with plenty of space. It’s just a great vibe altogether.

AH: You’re going to joined by the likes of The Story So Far, The Starting Line, and Four Year Strong on the Key Club stage. Are you looking forward to be playing alongside some old friends and who are you hoping to watch over the weekend?
Nick: Absolutely! That’s one of the best aspects of playing SD is getting to see friends that we may not have seen for a few years. I’ll honestly probably be watching the Key Club stage for most of the dates. It’s just stacked with awesomeness.

AH: Your appearance at the festival will be preceded by the release of an acoustic EP called ‘Just to Get Through to You’. What was your motive behind recording an acoustic EP?
Nick: The EP was just a fun little project to keep HTL active and give a little nod to our fanbase that has been with us for 10 years plus. We know people love acoustic renditions of songs, so this was something easy that we knew people would enjoy while waiting for a new record.

AH: How did you find adapting songs such as ‘Drop the Girl’ and ‘Save Your Breath’?
My favorite was honestly ‘Save Your Breath,’ just because I’d never gotten to record that song with my vocals and there are a lot of cool melodies that I think came out even better in an acoustic setting.

AH: The EP also includes a new song called ‘Lighthouse’ which has been described as “a much different HTL track.” From hearing the track it comes off as softer and spacious compared to the other songs on the EP. What can you tell us about the track?
Nick: HTL has always shied away from love songs, and this one is a very unapologetic one. We always try to write fun songs that have a little edge on them, but with this song, I just felt we could let it be what it was and that would set it apart from other songs we’ve written. We’re all grown men now, I think we can pull off the sickeningly sweet songs every now and again!

AH: Looking beyond the EP and Slam Dunk, what are your plans? Can we expect a new album?
Nick: We’ve got some time off to write, and small tour and then yes, maybe a new album. All I can tell you is it’s going to be a lot nastier than anything we’ve ever done. We’re going to be kicking it up a notch and I think the world is ready for it.

‘Just To Get Through To You’ EP by Hit The Lights is out now on Pure Noise Records.

Hit The Lights will be playing on the Key Club stage:
Slam Dunk North (Leeds) – 3:05 – 3:40pm
Slam Dunk Midlands (Birmingham) – 3:15 – 3:50pm
Slam Dunk South (Hertfordshire) – 3:05 – 3:40pm

View more of Already Heard’s coverage from Slam Dunk Festival 2016 here.

Hit The Lights links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86) Photo Credit: Brian Dickman.


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