The Dying Lights on ‘Crash’, Lockdown Pressures & Punk Influences! 🖤

“Crash is about mental & emotional stuff, about realising it’s OK to lay in the gutter gazing up at the stars, not fit in & raise a middle finger to those you don’t want to identify with.”

💖 What’s The Dying Lights about?/Where did the name come from/How did you set up?

Derek: The name comes from the Dylan Thomas poem & because I ( & a few other members) can rage about injustice quite a bit.

💖 Tell us what Crash is about? How cold was it filming outside?

Derek: Crash is about mental & emotional stuff, about realising it’s OK to lay in the gutter gazing up at the stars, not fit in & raise a middle finger to those you don’t want to identify with.

Marina: It’s about that emotional journey where we try to keep going but eventually, we just Crash… Particularly, in the middle 8: “For those who knew me well, I’ll find a special place in hell”, for me was about those people you turn to when you need them, only to find that they made some preconceived judgement about you & have turned their backs without knowing the full facts… They’ve chosen to believe the hypocrites & liars.  That was a bit of my recent personal experiences that I put into the song.

As for filming the video… Yes, it was absolutely freeeeeezzzzzinnngggg… I think I was still cold for a week after, but luckily I’d thought ahead & got some brandy in – that warmed us up a bit!

💖 What was the last gig you played before the pandemic/what was the vibe?

Derek: Marina & I did an acoustic performance of one original song – Masquerade & a cool cover.

Marina: Yeah, I had only just joined the band when lockdown started, so Derek & I managed to get out to the local one night to try out some stuff, but then we’ve just been concentrating on crafting the music from home.

Glyn has been doing loads of production work & got his MA in Music Production in September. We are all so proud of him & he has a real ear for getting stuff sounding amazing.

💖 What inspires you to play music?

Derek: I can’t imagine not doing it. As Blake put it, to bury one’s talent in the earth would drive me mad!!

Marina: Yeah, I think we all feel the same. 

We’ve got a lot of years behind us doing this & we just can’t imagine life without it. I know when I’ve had a bad day, just sitting at the piano, playing & singing my heart out is exactly what I need. 

I’m just really inspired by my bandmates & also by other artists & musicians. I often watch something like ‘The Punk Singer’ about Kathleen Hanna & it gets me fired up & I hit my studio & just get ideas down.

There’s so much going on right now & I think music for all of us is a way of escaping it, confronting it & telling whatever ‘it’ is to fuck off, if necessary! (KNM Edit: Fuck yeah!!!)

💖 Are you still on the hunt for a bass player?

Derek: We may be after someone who can play guitar, bass & keyboards for when we go out live. Tim is our regular bass player though.

💖 What’s your writing process?

Derek: Usually a riff, then a melody for verse or chorus, then see how it goes.

💖 Who are your main influences in music/life?

Derek: Neil Young, Nirvana, 80’s Liverpool Post-punk, 80’s Goth, more Grunge, The Velvet Underground, Television, Joni Mitchell.

Marina: I’m really inspired by so many musicians. I love the Riot Grrrl scene of the early 1990s & I buzz off the punks that came out of CBGBs, like Patti Smith, Blondie, Ramones, etc… 

Recently, I’ve been really inspired by a new wave of Riot Grrrl that is forming on the underground & through the zine I write, I am in contact with loads of them. I love Kim Gordon’s solo album & also Hands Off Gretel, The Kut, The Heroine Whores, BYENARY, The Sewer Cats, etc. I was also really inspired by the musicians at the experimental music festival, Supersonic, that I went to in Birmingham in 2019.  

💖 Tell us about your aesthetic.

Derek: Err, black & scruffy with cool vintage looking guitars.

Marina: I have some crazy looks I go for & it’s normally just what I feel on the day. I love messing around with wigs & hairpieces & I’m always dying my hair funny colours. I guess I’m inspired by Siouxsie Sioux & Viv Albertine in that sense & I am always on the lookout for something visually striking, or artistic. I have huge amounts of fun with it.  

💖 When you’re not doing band stuff, what do you get up to?

Derek: Listen to music, gigs, family, work unfortunately, life again soon I hope.

Marina:  I spend loads of time listening to new music & working on my blog or zine (www.riotgrrrlzine.co.uk).

I have a little creative space at home where I go to just unwind & create stuff. Sometimes I get absolutely nothing done, but I love spending time getting messy with my paints & creating anything. I keep loads of scrapbooks of stuff that inspires me. I also read a lot of feminist literature & feminist zines; I’m hoping to do a Ph.D. on women in punk music & have a place on a programme whenever I get around to starting it! Watch this space. 

“There’s so much going on right now & I think music for all of us is a way of escaping it, confronting it & telling whatever ‘it’ is to fuck off, if necessary!”

💖 What one thing could everyone be doing to make the scene a better place?

Derek: Buy music, rather than streaming.

Marina: Yeah, I agree with Derek, buying music & physical media or merch certainly goes a long way to helping out musicians at a grassroots level. I, for one, always spend a few quid, particularly on Bandcamp fee-free Fridays.  

I also think that the whole industry needs to shape up in regards to the abuse of power that happens. I just watched Tamanna Rahman’s report ‘Music’s Dirty Secrets’ & I believe that everyone needs to take responsibility to protect musicians & artists. We need to stop enabling abusive behaviour in the industry & each accusation should be fully investigated, with credibility always on the side of the victim. & people need to go to gigs & respect the fact that musicians are there doing a job, it’s not your place to touch them, grope them, or make any other inappropriate gestures. Venues need to be responsible for protecting the entertainers they hire.

💖 What’s next for you lot? (Please include links to where we can listen to you!)

More singles, an EP, & possibly an album as we have written a lot of material. As soon as we can, we will get together & record the rest of them, then concentrate on getting some gigs books. 

You can follow all our news at:

https://www.facebook.com/TheDyingLights2

https://thedyinglights1.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLKkTdeC9P9MAOQKytQxGKQ

I also publish all of our releases & news on my blog: www.riotgrrrlzine.co.uk

💖 Dates for any upcoming shows/livestreams/releases, etc? 

Derek: Once we can record, we have 3 or 4 candidates for the next single.

Marina: These are uncertain times & I think, being very sociable people, we’ve all struggled during the lockdown. We’re just trying to stay positive with whatever we can do & not put pressure on ourselves to have release dates. We’re really proud that we’ve managed to get two really good singles out during this horrible 12 months. 

Derek & I are busy demoing up the new ideas we have & we will have another single out as soon as we can.

Edits by Jane Staley 💜

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