New Orleans-based progressive rock quartet Spylights launched their debut EP ‘The Empath’ back in May, and the group can be found on our new Progotronics compilation. Following that, singer and guitarist Vincent Giovanni spoke for Prog Sphere about the EP.
Define the mission of Spylights.
Right now we are a newer artist who is just trying to get our name and tunes in people’s ears who want to listen and enjoy them.
We love to create and perform music regardless because it’s our lifeblood, but it’s also nice if you can use it to maybe help or heal others in some way even in the slightest along the ride.
Tell me about the creative process that informed your debut EP “The Empath” and the themes it captures.
I was basically a musical recluse from 2015-2018, and I rarely even left the house or saw sun during those years. It was a very lonely time for me, but the one good thing is great art comes from great dark.
Now we have over 20 fully written and recorded songs in different styles and moods, along with tons of other riff and song ideas because of it.
Now that I have a full group of talented and dedicated band members on board to create with, the sky is the limit.
What is the message you are trying to give with “The Empath”?
I wrote that song during a period where I was really feeling disappointed in humanity and felt like the world really needed all the love it could get. People were angry and at each other’s throats constantly over anything and everything they were being fed from the internet. It was very drab and disheartening to me. Im a very empathic person on both sides of the spectrum whether it’s good or bad vibes that I’m feeling. The Empath is basically about how people need to get back to focusing on what’s important in life. It’s about how the only answer to the negativity and chaos we face is love and having an genuine appreciation for our time here with others, the ones we love, and who we really are.
How did you document the music while it was being formulated?
Some songs were recorded and were already fully written and orchestrated at the time of production, while others were created one to two parts at a time until they were finished and felt right over a period of time. There is even one song that we reworked and play now that I wrote back in 2006. The creative process starts and ends different for each song that gets created. I like it that way because it never gets too formulated or repetitive, and there is always a fresh and open outlook every time.
Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?
Some songs were intentionally placed together for the artistic purpose of fluidity, while others just fell into place without much thought.
Describe the approach to recording the album.
We will be finishing up our new Ep in early 2020 and will be approaching it just like we always do, by picking a handful of select tracks out of our arsenal of songs that grab us with the most appeal and emotion.
How long “The Empath” was in the making?
It’s been a project about 3 and a half to 4 years now in the making. When my last project The Scorseses disbanded abruptly after 5 years of being together and touring a bunch, I decided to start writing and recording music full time in my home studio.
Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?
There are so many artists I could name off that have shaped and touched my life and soul musically over the years, who’s influence can also be heard in our Ep.
Bands like: Iron Maiden, Rush, Queen, Boston, John Mayer, Further Seems Forever, Faith No More, Incubus, Plini, My Chemical Romance, Thrice, Intervals, The Misfits, The Police, and many many more.
What is your view on technology in music?
I believe that technology is a great tool to have in creating and performing music. It can provide a vast array of sonic capabilities and uniqueness to create with as a musician or producer.
I also firmly believe at the same time that if technology is too depended upon constantly or used too lazily, that same technology can become a crutch or a easy compensation for an artist. All the layers of auto tune and overused digital effects in the world could never write a good song or write a hook that sticks. It has to be right in the musical structure, the emotion, and the roots of the song from the ground up first before it can shine from the details.
Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?
Never really saw music as just music my whole life. It’s always been somewhere to turn to, something to comfort, and a major influence on my mood and outlook.
We just want to be another cool color on someone’s open minded palette of music everyday. We really want more than anything to try to enhance someone’s day or experience in life with our tunes, or maybe even get them through a rough patch with a emotional or lyrical connection. Music has always been a very influential and powerful tool in my life as well as a huge driving force. I believe without it we would all be lost.
What are your plans for the future?
We are prob going to be mainly focusing on playing our live shows for the rest of 2019, but we will be starting pre-production and doing more recording for the next Ep at the beginning of 2020.
We will prob also be doing some light touring across the Southern United States this coming year to push and support the release of our next record and just see where it takes us!
Thanks again for your time and your interest in our band. We are super grateful for the awesome opportunity to be a part of the Progotronics 15 compilation and to be featured by Prog Sphere.