An Interview with The Lighthouse and The Whaler, Tonight’s Rendezvous Headliner

Last summer, we were lucky enough to be in attendance for The Lighthouse and The Whaler’s sole Seattle-area performance. While the setting’s loud machinery and crowd’s attentiveness left much to be desired, the band played like they were headlining the Showbox (the good one) and didn’t let the fact that most in the room weren’t there for an audio fix get them down.

The band nailed their pitch-perfect harmonies and generated favorable comparisons to Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Ivan & Alyosha from those in attendance who had enough courtesy to take the earbuds out of their ears for some if not all of their 35 minute set.

The young group from Cleveland played Neptune Coffee with all of their hearts and was so overwhelmingly upbeat about the whole experience that we knew bigger things would be just around the corner.

Just over six months after that performance, we were eager to catch up with the band and learn about what they’ve been up to since we last spoke after their set in Greenwood.

Read our exchange with the band below, watch their video, listen to the embedded album and head over to Rendezvous tonight if you like what you hear.

3/3 at Rendezvous: The Lighthouse and The Whaler :: Brooke Parrot :: 10 PM :: $5


You all have had quite a year since we first saw you at Neptune Coffee last year. What would you cite as the top three highlights?

Matt LoPresti (Percussion): I’d say first MTV featured us as a band to watch on their show, The Seven. Second is definitely being KEXP’s song of the day in January. And, finally playing a packed show at the House of Blues with The Temper Trap it was really exciting.

What’s changed about your sound since adding Steve to the lineup?

Matt: We have created and perfected a much bigger sound we are really excited for our fans to hear. Something we couldn’t have done with four. Steve has been great and we think we will keep him around.

What’s your “elevator pitch” to entice new fans?

Michael LoPresti (Lead Singer/Guitar/Keyboard/Mandolin): We strive to make colorful indie pop about life, love, and the pursuit of our faith. We like our music layered with a wide array of instruments including guitar, strings, and synth with a strong beat. Also, we are really proud of our live show. So come check us out we would love to meet you.

Are there certain artists that explore faith through understated means that resonate particularly to your approach to songwriting?

Michael: David Bazan, Mumford and Sons, mewithoutyou, and Brand New are bands that come to mind and influenced us all individually.

What’s your most recent favorite album that you’ve purchased in the past six months? What stands out?

Matt: For me, I would have to say Mumford and Sons. The conviction in his voice stands out to me.

Michael:  Jonsi’s new album really surprised me. I really enjoyed the layering and melodies.

Mark Porostosky (Vocals/Guitar/Manolin/Violin):  Sufjan Stevens Age of Adz. Despite some critical reviews, I think it’s innovative and each layer of each song has more meaning the more you listen.

Aaron Smith (Vocals/Piano/Violin/Guitar):  The resistance by Muse, because it’s a really cohesive album that beautifully displays Matt Bellamy’s musical abilities….he’s a genius.

Steve Diaz (Vocals/Guitar/Percussion): Laura Marling’s album is quirky and has strong melodies that really caught my ear.

How has touring influenced your songwriting process over the past year?

Michael: We have been able to road test some new songs and watch them recorded. So it has been very good for our songwriting, and being able to get direct fan feedback has been a good thing.

Anything that you’re looking to do with your time in Seattle this round?

Aaron: We are excited to be a doing a live in-studio with KEXP on March 4th which airs March 10th at 8am. Outside of that, Seattle is a rare place where we have a day off and we are looking forward to checking out the sites.

What’s next for the band in 2011?

Michael: We are planning on releasing a new album later this year. We have been working pretty hard on developing it and are ready to record.

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