Alter The Press!


ATP! Interview: Daylight

Pennsylvania quartet, Daylight, are far from alien to the East Coast music scene. The alt-rock four piece has graced us with numerous EPs in the past and now Daylight have released their highly anticipated debut full-length, Jar, through Run for Cover.

In the run up to the release date, we sat down with frontman Taylor Madison (guitars/vocals) about touring, the record, the 90s, and more touring.

Alter The Press: You guys recently got home from a European/UK tour supporting Make Do and Mend. How’d that go? How about the winter North American tour with Balance and Composure? 

Taylor Madison (vocals/guitar): It was really good. It was our third time over there. We were over there in - I wanna say - I guess 2011 was the first time we went over there. We toured with Basement and Hostage Calm. And then the last time, we went last year and we toured with a band called More Than Life in the UK.

The Balance and Composure tour was great. It was probably the best tour that we’ve done so far. We’ve known them for a really long time, so it was really easy to be on tour with them and to hang out with them every day. We didn’t know the Jealous Sound until we met them on our tour and we got along with them really well. But I’ve been around Balance and Composure for a very long time. And I’ve filled in with that band a bunch of times. We're all pretty friendly with each other.

ATP: Do you feel like there's a difference between the crowd's reaction to your music in Europe and in the states?

Taylor: I’m not sure the crowd reaction is all that much different. It’s more people’s reactions to the things I say in between songs. I don’t talk all that much when I’m there just because I feel like they just don’t get my humor, you know what I’m saying? I prefer to talk as little as possible as it is, but when I’m in Europe I feel like... I’m not exactly into the whole "We’re really glad to be here, blah blah blah" thing, you know? And I don’t have like a set thing that I say on stage or anything like that. So I usually end up just joking around, you know. If it was easy enough for me to learn every language from every country on every tour, I would.

ATP: Jar has been available for pre-order via Run For Cover for a while now. Why do you think so many bands are promoting vinyl releases of their records nowadays?

Taylor: Well, I think that for smaller bands it’s really important to release music physically just because that’s how they make their money - by selling records and merchandise. Whereas, really big bands like Coldplay or whatever, they’re making their money by playing shows and selling out arenas, you know what I mean? They’re making hundreds of thousands of dollars a show, and that’s just how much they’re getting paid, but smaller bands really don’t make that much money playing shows so it’s very important to be able to sell your music. And while people do buy digital music, I feel like there's a collection value with records so having physical copies of it makes it a lot easier. I personally like to have a physical copy of the music I like, whether it’s a CD or whatever - vinyl, especially. I mean people buy CDs, but CDs are basically a dead format. And I don’t like saying that because people do buy CDs, but who the hell even uses a CD player in 2013, realistically? Some people do in their cars, but the only reason I feel like people buy physical music is to add to their collection rather than download it and put it on their iPod.

ATP: Daylight released a string of EPs prior to Jar. What was the process like in writing your debut full-length? Did it differ much rom when you were writing shorter records?

Taylor: Well, we started writing before we got our new drummer. So we were writing, just the three of us, without a drummer. And, then we got our new drummer, Zack. And then things kind of sort of flowing a little better. Then it just kinda clicked and we were writing as much as possible. It wasn’t that much different from writing an EP except we were able to practice more frequently because our old drummer was very busy. He owns his own business. So that I feel like has a lot to do with why it always took us so long to put records out. He was busy with that stuff and that’s also why we didn’t tour very often until last year. That’s kinda why we had to part ways with him - he has his business and we were kinda torn with one thing like that. So there really wasn’t much difference in writing this record as opposed to writing our EPs, except we got to write a little more often.

ATP: Where were you physically, emotionally and mentally when writing Jar?

Taylor: Physically, we were busy touring a lot last year. I can only really speak for myself, but last year was pretty rough mentally and emotionally for me just because I was going through a lot of family stuff. There's a lot of stuff on the record has to do with that. Actually, pretty much all of it does. I feel like writing the record was definitely a positive thing for me in dealing with it all. I'm still dealing with the stuff now, but I’m glad we got to put out a record that’s not a bunch of bullshit. It’s songs that mean something.

ATP: How was it like working with Will Yip as producer? Has Daylight worked with him before? What kind of insight did he offer for the recording of Jar?

Taylor: The only thing he did for us in the past was he recorded the vocals for The Difference Between Good and Bad Dreams [EP - 2012], but it working with him on Jar was great. He’s a really close friend of ours, so it didn’t really seem like it was work, though. Personally, I really enjoyed it. I feel like he gets it. We know exactly how we want it to sound and he knows exactly how to make it sound that way. And he’s the easiest person to be around, let alone work with on something, so it was only a positive experience.

ATP: The record is very well-rounded; going from some catchy, melodic rhythms to these low- key hauntingly beautiful tones.

Taylor: I’m happy with it. Will helped us with the order and tracklisting, stuff like that. So I feel like it makes the most sense with how it’s arranged. We didn’t wanna make every song have the same vibe. We wanted to make it have a little variety without pushing it or forcing it or anything like that. We just wanted to write a bunch of songs that weren’t the same song twelve times in a row.

ATP: I couldn’t help but notice the 90s rock/grunge influence on Jar. I heard some Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, and a LOT of Nirvana...

Taylor: Yeah, that’s definitely my favorite genre of music. Everyone else in the band likes that genre of music as well. So I feel like I definitely want things to go a little more in that direction with the band rather than do kinda what we were doing, but I didn’t wanna force it and make it a different band. I just want it to be a little more of a natural progression.

ATP: ‘In on It’ appears to be the first single from Jar. Jake [guitars/vocals] spoke in another interview with Revolver Magazine saying that the track has a typical “Daylight vibe, still sad and dark, but different.” Jar overall is sad, dark, and different, would you agree? Does this statement involve other tracks from the record? What makes Jar different from Daylight’s past EPs?

Taylor: Yeah I think so. I feel like, with a lot of the old songs, the subject matters were a little more broad as far as what we were writing about. A lot of the songs, we were just writing about suicide and stupid shit like that. I feel like the newer songs - at least for me, I don’t know what the hell Jake writes about, so I can’t really speak for him - a lot of them were about specific things that made me upset and stuff like that. Whereas, the other stuff was more broad.

ATP: 2013 is Daylight’s year for music festivals. Bled Fest and then Skate and Surf in May. Any plans of slowing down?

Taylor: I hope not. We don’t really have anything booked after May, but I’m sure something will come up soon enough.

ATP: What does the future of Daylight look like for you? Any expectations for the coming year, and the coming release?

Taylor: No expectations, really. I just hope we tour, play the songs off the new record and do as much as we can. I just wanna stay busy. So far, it seems what people have heard, they seem to like, for the most part. I just hope people like the rest of it. I was worried that people would find it a little too different, but people seem to like ‘In On It,’ so I’m not that worried about it.

- Melissa Jones

Jar is out now and can be purchased for $5 via Bandcamp. You can read our review of the album here.

Alter The Press!