With an abundance of pop punk bands doing the rounds at the moment Cleveland OH’s Light Years offer a slightly different perspective with their latest effort – ‘I’ll See You When I See You’. With the quartet nearing their mid-late 20s, their sophomore effort takes a reflective approach and is delivered in a honest and nostalgic tone that is reminiscent of bands such as The Starting Line and Saves The Day. To a certain degree, the end result is a refreshing and sentimental take on the pop punk genre.
Next month they will be returning to the UK to open for current pop punk champions Neck Deep and State Champs. Ahead of the tour we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Pat Kennedy to discuss ‘I’ll See You When I See You’, working with producer Will Yip again and the UK shows.
AH: So you ended 2015 with the release of ‘I’ll See You When I See You’. For those who have yet to hear the album, what are they missing out?
Pat: If you haven’t listened to this record you are doing a great disservice not only to yourself, but to your family and friends as well. But really, it’s pretty good so if you are looking for something new here it is.
AH: One trait that I have seen in a handful of reviews is how the album doesn’t give in to current trends. Was there a conscious reason behind that?
Pat: Yes, so many bands have been popping up all over that just sound the exact same, and use the same sort of formula and gimmicks and we wanted no part in any of that. We just made music we want to play and listen to, not what we think would be “big” or “trendy.”
AH: From hearing the album, it reminds me of bands from the late 90s/early 2000s. Would you say bands from that era influenced you? If so what bands?
Pat: To me and the rest of the guys that was the golden era of this style. Bands like blink-182, New Found Glory, Saves the Day, The Movielife, The Starting Line, The Get Up Kids, are all bands that were smashing it in the early 2000’s and had a huge influence on shaping the band we are now.
AH: Lyrically the album takes on a theme of getting older and living in your mid-20s. Care to expand?
Pat: Getting older is something everyone experiences. Now as we are entering our late 20’s I find myself in such a weird place in my life. What I love to do, playing music, vs. what I should be doing, getting a “real” job and thinking about the future, are at a constant battle in my brain. But at the end of the day you just got to say “fuck it” and do whatever you want because we are all going to die, maybe at least have some fun before you do.
AH: The work of producer Will Yip has been rather noticeable in recent years. How was it working with him again?
Pat: Will is the man. We love working with him. He has great input and pushes us to play our best. Not only the best producer in the game, but one of the most genuine and coolest dudes around.
AH: In February you’re coming to the UK to support Neck Deep and State Champs. As the opening band, why should people come down to the shows early to see you?
Pat: I think the people that show up early enough to catch us will be pleasantly surprised that they might actually enjoy us. Some people are dead set on only enjoying the one band that they paid their money to see, but other people with open minds who want to get their money’s worth might come out of their with a new band they will listen to.
AH: I know you’ve been over to the UK a couple of times before. What are your memories of past visits?
Pat: Trying all the different candy and foods there. Can’t wait to eat Jammy Dodgers.
AH: What are your overall expectations for the tour?
Pat: We are looking to have fun. Neck Deep are our good friends and we are glad they asked us to be apart of these shows, and get the chance to hang out with them more.
AH: Looking beyond the UK shows, what else can we expect to see from Light Years in 2016?
Pat: Hopefully more touring and maybe some more music!
‘I’ll See You When I See You’ by Light Years is out now on Rude Records.
Light Years will be touring with Neck Deep, State Champs and Creeper in February.
01 Institute, Birmingham
02 O2 Academy, Glasgow
04 Academy, Manchester
05 Great Hall, Cardiff
06 Forum, London
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)