Life is both unique and standard for the individual. While the small details are each our own, each of us will experience the best of times and the worst of times. It’s all good when it’s love, success and so on but when it’s things like depression and feeling alone – that’s when you have to remind yourself to take things with a grain of salt. Which is what Running Red Lights relays in their latest single, “Salt.”
Upbeat arrangements try and mask the somber message but at the end of the day, a good song is a good song. We talked about the single, Fleetwood Mac, and what 2019 holds.
Kendra: You’ve noted that your latest single, “Salt,” sort of just poured out of your guys. Have you tried to recreate the process and have lightning strike twice?
Running Red Lights: Sometimes songwriting can be a very mechanical process that takes time, energy and a great deal of focus. Every now and again “lightning strikes,” as you put it. An idea emerges and forms simultaneously and seamlessly without any effort whatsoever. This is the element of songwriting and art that I can’t explain nor do I think it can be recreated. It’s almost as if you’ve become a vehicle that is channeling a message from something totally independent of yourself. “Salt’s” one example of a song created in this fashion but we do have others.
Kendra: While the song does wear an upbeat coat, underneath is some heavy digs. Do you feel like you’re symbolizing life in that way? Masking the sadness with a counterfeit smile by way of lighthearted music?
Running Red Lights: That is a very poignant observation. The individual described in the song is acrimoniously observing a seemingly happy society he perceives to be artificial and serves to remind him of his own joylessness. So in that context, I think the galloping, happy nature of the melody in contrast with the lyric is supporting and exemplifying that idea.
Kendra: Congrats by the way! “Salt” won the 2018 Canadian Songwriting Contest. Did you get anything to hang in the house to commemorate the achievement?
Running Red Lights: No physical commemoration. Simply the honour and of course the bragging right.
Kendra: Back to the ease of “Salt.” It seems like it varied from I Am You which took a couple of years to make. From a creative standpoint, would you rather be able to walk into the studio and be done in a week or take your time crafting?
Running Red Lights: I personally would rather never have to step in the studio at all. My love is in the creating and crafting of songs. Recording the song is simply an inconvenient necessity that follows that process. This is only, of course, my opinion and I don’t speak for the band as a whole. I’d much rather walk into a studio and be done with it as soon as possible so I can either get back to writing more songs or bring the existing songs to a live audience.
Kendra: You guys are heavy on the Fleetwood Mac. What lesson have you taken from their overall career and put towards your own band?
Running Red Lights: I’m not sure if we’ve taken any particular lesson from Fleetwood Mac in terms of their career. However, certainly, from a creative and songwriting perspective, I have always fashioned myself to be a ‘Stevie Nicks’. As the one songwriter in the band not a proficient instrumentalist, her musical vocation was very limited. However, those limitations did not prevent her from writing many of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits. Sometimes limitations allow you to dig deeper into your imagination and creativity than someone who may have access to a huge palette of choices and colours.
Kendra: We’re winding down in 2018. Any plans as we head into 2019?
Running Red Lights: We will be slowly trickling out some more material from the album. I have yet to decide if we will be releasing the album in its entirety by the year’s end. We shall see how things progress. However, we will definitely be hitting the road in 2019. Currently forming a plan for a European tour in 2019. Getting the material in front of a live audience is the primary focus at this point.