Interview with James Hopkins.
We had the opportunity to catch up with singer, song writer James Hopkins ahead of the gig.
November Lights contrast their Glasgow/Ayrshire roots with the clear American influences, bringing a sound that is commendable as it is bold. The band sees singer-song writer John Hopkins joined by fellow band members Scott Mitchell, Alan Sharp, Josh Fraser and Colin Myles on their four date Scottish tour which coincides with the release of new track ‘Clearer’ (listen to it below).
November Lights has evolved from a solo project to a full band how difficult was it to change your mentality from solo act to band?
It wasn’t that difficult as it wasn’t a forced decision. The first show we played was under my name (James Hopkins) but was played as a band. It felt like a band and sounded like a band and even though it’s been tough getting going, we feel we are now at a point where the future is looking good.
Is there anything better than being in a band playing the music that you like?
There is no better feeling. Playing the music you’ve created with your mates to new crowds around the country is so much fun. We just want those crowds to grow and grow so we can share more music with everyone.
‘Anthemic’ seems to be a recurring adjective used for your material, what does the phrase mean to you, and how representative is it of the music that you make?
It’s always something I aim for when I’m writing. I always picture the song being performed at an arena…just think big, dreaming is good. Saying that I do think there is a variety with our tunes and we will continue to show that with our upcoming releases.
You talked about the importance of melody in your songs, from other’s songs who do you think writes the best melodies?
I think Matt Healy from The 1975 has some incredible melodies’ and I’m also loving Lukas Graham. Whenever it comes to a song writing influence Ryan Tedder is pretty important. He is so versatile and has written some huge songs for loads of different artists. I’ll always look up to him.
Your bio opens with the line “When you don’t fit the crowd, it takes courage to stick to your guns”, what has given you confidence to push forward with your music?
I think the industry has kind of lost the idea of genres to an extent and we feel like if that’s the case then let’s use it to our advantage rather than worry about trying to fit a particular style. Whether it’s an upbeat pop song or a rocky anthemic hook, we always feel confident that people will see the merit in what we’re trying to do. We take a lot of pride in what we produce.
You have been getting a lot of attention around your locality, how do you like the challenge in gigging a bit further afield?
It’s a massive challenge but one we’ve accepted with open arms. Being 5 guys who surround their life with music there’s no other dream apart from playing our songs around the world. You’ve got to start somewhere….and Inverness seems like a pretty good place to do that!
As the band venture out on their first headline tour of Scotland their Facebook page sets the scene; “Expect new songs, new haircuts and a stage show to rival Muse…if they had no budget.”
November Lights to play Inverness, Mad Hatters on Friday May 13th. Tickets available on line now.