Photo Credit: Rob Butterfield
That past is said and done for everyone. That’s how it works, but for some reason when we wrap it up in the word “nostalgia,” it holds a new level of power over many of us. And while some of us (ME) give in and fill our grown homes with relics of our childhood bedrooms, others try and combat it. At least that’s what Amber Webber of Lightning Dust set out to do with ‘Nostalgia Killer’ alongside Joshua Wells on their 2023 release, which is out now on all major music and streaming sites. We talked not only about that with Webber, but also about the shift in their relationship dynamic, first concerts, and more like where fans can see them on tour!
Kendra: You two have been making music together since the mid-00s. Since then you’ve both obviously grown and changed in a variety of ways, as has your dynamic. However, what would you say has been the one element that’s remained the same in one another that you feel has acted as the sort of creative glue that’s held you together musically?
Amber Webber: Because we grew up as punkers, fanatical music lovers, and creators, we understand each other’s influences so well. When we work together we rarely have to explain what we are trying to achieve musically – the other one just picks up on it and the song flourishes. It’s rare to find that chemistry. That’s our glue.
Kendra: Nostalgia is huge. It’s a money-making machine as far as pop culture goes, and I personally love it. Everyone knows I’ll talk to you for hours about the ‘90s if you let me, but you two ran in the opposite direction for ‘Nostalgia Killer’. You don’t think it’s necessarily good to live in the past. Why do you think some people would hop in a time machine and go back, while others would scoff at that scenario?
Amber: I suffer from extreme nostalgia, I romanticize most memories and can become torturously sentimental. I wrote the songs on ‘Nostalgia Killer’ as an attempt to let go of some nostalgia and make space for the present.
Kendra: All of that said, is there something from your childhood or teenage years that makes you yearn for the past at all?
Amber: Take me back to the 1990s, so I can relive going to my first concerts; Lollapalooza, Bjork, Nirvana, or the Beastie Boys. I always love it when I meet members of the audience that are at their first concert. I remember how magical it was for me in my early teens.
Kendra: Now this album, you recorded it pretty quickly. At least to me, three sessions seem quick. Do you think that’s just a testament to your history together and knowing how the other works when it comes to writing and recording?
Amber: I wouldn’t say it was recorded quickly. We live in different cities now, so we did a lot of pre-production on our own – sending back and forth tracks, etc., but Josh Wells is a pro at producing and engineering so it definitely runs smoothly when he’s in the studio.
Kendra: I’d mentioned the change in your dynamic earlier, and that’s because you two were together as a couple but aren’t anymore and you put that to song in “Different War.” I know people that will hide in stores if they see their ex, let alone talk to them and write a song with them. Who sort of brought this song to the table, and was the other sort of taken aback by it at first?
Amber: I wrote the beginning of this song even before we broke up, not knowing what lay ahead haha. After we split I was trying to finish it but always got too sad and would stop recording. It wasn’t until a year later that I re-listened to my sad sobbing demos, decided I really loved “Different War” and finished it up.
Kendra: You’ll also be heading out on the road for a bit at the end of June in Canada. Are there plans to expand the tour to the States? Perhaps this fall?
Amber: We would absolutely love to tour the USA. We just need a tour to fall into place. We are working on it – but nothing is set in stone just yet.
Kendra: Time for a side note: This month I’m asking everyone for a song they listen to when they’re feeling a little lost creativity and are in need of some musical inspiration…
Amber: Aphrodite’s Child ‘666’ is a great album if you need to get feeling weird, it reminds me to think outside the box. I’ve cranked ‘Even it Out’ by Fever Ray this week to feel some creative angst.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘Nostalgia Killer’ out on June 9th and some dates already on the books, what else can fans be on the lookout for as we roll into summer?
Amber: We have just signed on to the Purple City Festival in Edmonton and we’ll be announcing some shows around that soon.