Nothing featherweight about Lightcraft, the Indo-Malaysian quintet making waves with their emotive alt-rock that’ll easily seep into your soul and steal your heart. Having made their first foray into Baybeats back in ’08, these long-term friends write intensely deep lyrics about heartache and life, pedestalled atop a sturdy foundation of stadium-rock sentiments. Sporting a wicked sense of humour that's pulled them through nine years in the scene, vocalist Imam is bright-eyed and awake as he shares with us some colourful tidbits about Lightcraft.
A new frontier
It all started when I met our former drummer, Patrick, during our high school days in KL. We played in a band together, but broke up after we went to university (in KL as well). There, I met Fari (guitarist) and former bassist Indra, and we called ourselves Parallel Lines back then. A lot of years and members had passed, but out of the original line-up, only I was still gigging regularly in KL along with my Malaysian friends/musicians. In 2012, I returned to Jakarta and reconvened with Fari and Enrico (former keyboardist), and we had bassist Rizky and drummer Yovie join the band. That’s basically the gist of how the current Lightcraft came about!
Colouring an album between countries
Colours Of Joy was actually recorded in KL and Jakarta, as at the time, I was still working in KL. So I had to record my parts, bring it back to Jakarta, compile them, and then do the same thing over and over again, up until I finally decided to come home for good and continue the rest of the recording in Jakarta.
Sounds for stadiums
We always had a collective desire for coming up with really epic songs that would be perfect for stadiums – although the experience itself still eludes us so far – yet with that melancholic tinge that we love so much. Bands that have inspired us in one way or another range from the likes of Snow Patrol, Feeder, Coldplay, The Boxer Rebellion and Doves.
Exploring “Starlit Eyes”
“Starlit Eyes” is about a star-struck man who, on a chance encounter, meets with the love of his life, yet circumstances dictate that they will never be together unless he sacrifices things that he holds dear to his heart; which he doesn’t do.
The Baybeats dream
I have to be honest here: it’s been a dream of ours to play Baybeats ever since we discovered the festival back in 2008, so we’re really excited beyond belief with the thought of playing there!
In terms of the hype back home, it’s been all about Seringai (another Indonesian band that’s playing Baybeats), as they’re huge over here. We’re gonna be coming in as underdogs, but hopefully we’ll unleash a performance that will make them proud of us back home and open more doors for us. We’ve never met though, but hopefully we’ll get acquainted while we’re in Singapore [laughs].
Flexing those lexicons
“Lupa” – being written in Bahasa Indonesia – is sort of like the ugly duckling of our back catalogue. “Lupa” was not our first attempt at a Bahasa Indonesia song. We had one called “Tanpa Jawaban” in our debut album, Losing Northern Lights, which was a huge favourite when we were still based in Malaysia. But I prefer to write songs in English, really. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the fact that I’ve spent the majority of my life abroad rather than in Indonesia, and I write, read and think in English. Without dishonouring my mother tongue, the English lexicon is one that is so flexible in nature, and there are so many words to describe just the one element, which enables me to experiment and express myself in a more colourful way.
In the past up until Colours Of Joy, I would write the barebones of a song and its lyrics, then we would jam it in the studio until we hit upon how we want it to sound like. Though now, we’ve begun to deviate from that process to a more collective effort for our third album.
An attraction to Armageddon
That was just our bio trying to sound as melancholic as possible [laughs]! But if it were up to me, I hope a black hole would just pop up and suck in the whole world in an instant, so that humanity won’t have to endure a long and painful death. The snap of a finger, and we’re gone!