Lightning Bug | The Family Interviews


Meet Lightning Bug

Firefly, glow worm, moon bug, fire devil, golden sparkler, blink, peenie wallie— who knew one bug could have so many names! I, for one, am astounded. 

I was equally shocked to discover the musical project that is Lightning Bug. This New York four-piece trades in atmospheric folk and bedroom pop melodies, and gives a polished spin to the DIY sound we know and love. Much like their name sake, they will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Be warned, don’t try to catch them in jars though. That might not pan out too well. 

Below, we discuss speedy segways, nature’s influence, and the Backstreet Boys’ crucial catalogue.


SCENE FROM A HIT SITCOM: A Mad-Lib by Lightning Bug

(Amy enters through the front MATE, flops onto the overstuffed GATE, and heaves a HOT sigh of exhaustion. Jenny comes out of the KITCHEN.)

JENNY: Hi! Did you have a MAD day?

AMY: a MOURNFULLY exhausting day. You're home early.

JENNY: Had to change my SCARF before we go out.

AMY: Go out? Wild DRAGONS couldn't drag me out. I'm really TASTY.

JENNY: We're meeting GUDRUN for a quick DANGLE. She's bringing THELONIUS to JANGLE you.

AMY: No more blind THUMBTACKS for me. Never again!

JENNY: But he's MOURNFULLY your type... a self-made FATE and GRACEFULLY handsome.

AMY: Oh well, one more DATE can't hurt me.


Would You Rather…

be carried everywhere you go by a giant person, or be confined to a segway? Why?

Audrey: Segway. I do not wish to be followed.


Some Questions With Lightning Bug

What was the last concert you attended that inspired you?

Kevin: Probably the first time I saw Bill Frisell last summer. It was in Russ And Daughters of all places, just him, a guitar, and a little amp. The lightness of his touch blew me away. Shook his hand too, so soft.

Logan: Aki Onda and Ka Baird at Fridman Gallery.

Audrey: Smokey's Roundup at Sunny's Bar in Red Hook. The power went out, so they played by candlelight.

Has there been an influence from nature on the music you produce?

Kevin: Big time.

Audrey: Nature is something that's part of us, inseparable. Everything you make comes from nature.


What is your guilty pleasure artist/album/song?

Kevin: I don't feel guilty about pleasure. A good song is a good song. The Backstreet Boys have some crucial tracks, not in any way joking (not that they wrote them tho).

Logan: I agree with Kev on this one, I don’t feel guilty about any of the music I enjoy. 

Audrey: Lol Lightning Bug boys standing strong. I recently got really into the song One Call Away by Charlie Puth, but I'm really proud and vocal about it. Whoa! I just looked it up and that song came out in 2016!!!


Are you better at thumb wrestles or staring contests?

Audrey: Hmm. Probably the stare. I have a pretty powerful thumb wrestling move though now that I'm thinking about it...


What is your favorite Lightning Bug song and why?

Kevin: My favorite Lightning Bug song is September Song. Pure music. Melody everywhere.

Logan: The Root is my favorite Lightning Bug track, I like the narrative it weaves through texture and melody.

Audrey: The songs I'm most proud of writing actually haven't been recorded yet.

What was the creative process like working on your upcoming album "October Song"?

Audrey: I'll describe it in terms of cooking. I write the recipe, attain the ingredients, and assemble them. I'll make a test-run and tweak a lil. Then, I take improved recipe and ingredients to Kevin, who adds his ample talents. Together, we chop, sautée, stir, bake. Then Logan adjusts salt and spice and plates for final presentation.

This is the general workflow, but not the rule. For instance, I recorded The Root with Logan first.


Do you usually show people your music before it is finished to get feedback? Who do you show it to?

Audrey: I show to trusted friends. I almost always show things to my friend Natalie for feedback cause she doesn't bullshit. I love that. Plus I really admire her taste!

Do you have a favorite quote? What is it?

Kevin: One in the heart is worth nine in the head? Or something like that?

Audrey: "True voyage is return" --Ursula K. Leguin

How do you translate your sound to a live performance?

Kevin: Kinda like we’re covering another band's song that we’re really into! We already know most of the words, but usually we’ve gotta learn it all over again just like everything else!

Audrey: We're currently in process of working on that. Lightning Bug recorded music is quite measured and the soundscapes are specific. It's impossible to reproduce live, so we truly have to translate. I like having the live experience be different from the recorded stuff though.

If you had to get a full back tattoo right now what would it be?

Audrey: That reminds me of the short story "Skin" by Roald Dahl. I'd probably ask my friend Dane to paint-tattoo something on my back.

If you were an onomatopoeia which one would you be?

Audrey: Neigh


Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)

Audrey: A lightning bug produces light through a chemical reaction involving oxygen, calcium, ATP, and a chemical called luciferin! An enzyme called luciferase must be present. The name is derived from the Latin "lucifer", meaning "light-bringer".

Sean Maldjian