Sucker For Lights
Napa Valley imports Olivia Voss and Bryan Brunt comprise the acoustic composition SuckerForLights. They are looking to create their own niche among the many independent artists in Southern California. Voss and Brunt met at a concert in the Bay Area when Voss saw Brunt play: "He had the most talent I'd seen in awhile." She asked if he would open for her and after a few shows they decided their talents might be more powerful combined. Although a young band, SuckerForLights does not lack experience. Voss shared that she has been playing the piano since the age of five and singing since birth; Brunt has been playing for about nine years and is now starting to get serious about his craft.
The road for SuckerForLights has not been a paved one: the duet has experienced conflict with industry officials, mistrust amongst peers, and difficulty being accepted into the usual local band scene. Most difficult is their current acoustic set limits the venues in which they play. Their mellow sound mingled with harder electric vibes, creates a dramatic shift in energy. Brunt stated, "We don't plan to stay acoustic. That's just where the band is now. We'll eventually shift to electric." For now the band prefers to play at restaurants and smaller clubs, environments that are cohesive with their current sound.
In the face of adversity plaguing musicians, SuckerForLights hopes to achieve a healthy medium of fame and respect, and would ideally get signed by the Sub Pop label. "We ultimately want to be able to live off our music," said Voss. "It's really do or die for me - without music I wouldn't know what to do."
Commenting on their identity as a self-made unit the band shares, "We tried dealing with managers, but found it's best for us to manage ourselves. Managers tried to push their products through us." The band also commented on today's record industry, saying it is currently "the worst it's ever been." Brunt went on to say, "People want us to be 'cookie cutter' here in L.A." In response to the local scene, SuckerForLights' next move is to Portland where they plan to continue their drive towards success.
A typical SuckerForLights live set consists of about twelve songs comprised of about "two-thirds original and one-third covers," Voss explained. "We usually cover Oasis, Radiohead, The Beatles, but we don't cover their typical songs. We like to cover songs that make people say, 'Oh, I haven't heard that song in a while.'" Although they don't mirror the sound, SuckerForLights draws their musical inspirations mostly from the British pop scene, The Beatles, Oasis, Amy Winehouse, Alanis Morrisette, and other such experimental musicians.
Having been, cumulatively, within the music scene for years, the band advises their fellow artists not to put a limit on themselves- to keep at it forever if it's what they truly want. They went on to say, "The second you start putting a limit to how long you're going play music, you set yourself up for disaster." Voss vehemently suggests that bands manage themselves - she maintains that self-management is the most reliable way for the craft to stay pure. "We do all the marketing, we book our shows, we put everything together," she confidently stated.
Most recently, the band had ten gigs cancelled due to management issues; however, they are determined as ever. SuckerForLights can be seen at upcoming Emergenza Music Festival on Oct. 19.
SuckerForLights will be releasing their first album "My Portland Son" within the month. Fans can obtain a copy at live shows or through the band's Myspace page: www.myspace.com/suckerforlights