Today, we sat down with Picnic Lightning to talk music writing inspiration, advice for musicians and much more! Be sure to check out their music below after the interview on Spotify!
What is your inspiration to write your music? Is it your surroundings?
As far as songwriting, the consistent inspiration for our music would be Thomas’ poetry. We have a collaborative approach to songwriting, but the constant would be the content of the lyrics. Our surroundings can be an inspiration (a decaying mall for “Over My Head’ is a good example) but we’re usually trying to evoke a feeling or a sense of being. Raw and brooding desert punk, the sound of summer heat and dimly lit clubs. Dark, post-everything wall of sound howls like a dust storm, delivering a spiritual stomp that dwells in the shadowland of trenchant questions and orphic revelations. The fuel that sets your car aflame or gets you home; the drug that puts you down or brings out the beast. You know, that kind of thing.
What type of music did you listen to growing up?
We’re all pretty open genre-wise, with John being the most actively exploratory. He still tries to listen to every new release each week. Ranging from hip hop to contemporary worship music, singer-songwriter to classical, we were all fairly adventurous, but if we had to narrow it down, it would be mostly indie and post-rock: Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Interpol, Explosions in the Sky, etc.
Is there someone you looked up as a hero?
Hero is high praise. Each of us is pretty lucky with very cool parents, so that’s definitely a consideration. For Cole, it would likely be Batman. He loves the guy – has a whole t-shirt design business that is almost entirely dedicated to his love of Batman. Give him a follow and buy a shirt: https://www.instagram.com/yeoldeking_creativespero/
If you weren’t a musician, would you be doing today?
We each have our own creative outlets that follow traditional lines – writing, graphic design, photography, etc – which helps to inform our musical creative processes.
Thomas is a published poet, and is usually spending his time writing and reading.
Cole is a talented graphic designer focusing his energies on a baller pop-culture t-shirt business. John is an accomplished communications professional who is usually with his family at a park or museum. Cam “The Great Cambino” teaches mindfulness, produces podcasts, and is a licensed social worker.
So, we got a few things to keep us busy.
What advice do you have for our fans out there that want to create music?
Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s a creative outlet: be disciplined, and love the process. With that, don’t expect it to come easy: the creative journey winds to many places, most of them unexpected. Lastly, write intentionally. Write songs, sounds, lyrics, etc that only you can make. Think about what you want to
say and then find the best way to say it, not the other way around. And trim the fat: the idea may be good, but putting it in the right place is what makes is great.
And find a band member who can fund the project.