Published on December 17th, 2009 | by Denise Borders6
LIGHTS (aka. Valerie Poxleitner) is a petite, adorable singer that hails to us from Canada (eh?).Â While she’s a mere 22 years old, she has already been awarded Favourite Solo Artist, Favourite Single (for her debut single, Drive My Soul) and Best New Artist during Canadian Music Week. At the 2009 Juno Awards, she also won Best New Artist. Daaaang, girl! There’s no arguing that she has a successful career in music, and she seems to be quite the interesting creature, so I was excited to get to ask her a few questions! 🙂
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Have you always played this electro-pop style music, or has your sound evolved quite a bit?
I drifted around a lot before finding home in electro-stylings. I went from pop rock to punk rock to a guitar player in a nu-metal band, to sappy acoustic to alternative, and here I ended up, with a little something taken from each of those places.
It looks like you play a few different instruments – what is your favorite thing to play?
I actually really enjoy just sitting in a dark corner with my guitar and not even singing a word, just playing. It’s a real get-away.
How did you choose the alias LIGHTS, as opposed to just going by your real name as many solo artists do?
Lights was actually my nickname for years, as it spawned from my last name, PoxLEITner. I made it my legal first name a couple years ago, partially to do with music, and partially because it was just one of those things I wanted to do for myself, becoming that much more of the person I want to become. It was like getting a tattoo.
Do you still have a pet tarantula?
As an avid female gamer myself, I must say I think it’s rad that you are really into video games. What is your favorite game to play?
We need more female gamers in the world! Props. I am neck deep in World of Warcraft, but I like some xbox combat games like Mortal Kombat vs. DCU and UFC. I like some Final Fantasy games as well, especially on DS because it’s so portable and practical for van tours.
If there was a video game made about you, what would the concept of the game be?
It would be based on Captain LIGHTS, the superhero-esque character I’ve developed with Tomm Coker of Marvel. There are episodes online called Audio Quest. I could see it being a combination of the semi-disturbing, sci-fi based FPS Deadspace and the fantastical combat scenarios in MK vs. DCU. Would also involve a lot of gathering sound samples and cool audio-lab stuff, something involving music as much as possible, considering Captain LIGHTS actually scavenges the universe for sounds. Even her laser gun runs off of “sound rounds!”
What were some of the jobs you worked before having success in the music industry?
My first job was at my grandparents’ strawberry farm, and I wasn’t even a picker, I made the baskets. After that I was promoted to picker. And then I was a baker in my early high school years. After that I had a brief stint at a clothing store, and then found most comfort at a music store out west.
What was the first song you ever wrote? Do you still play it today?
The first song I ever wrote, that I can take all the credit for (the FIRST first one was stolen lyrics) was called “What Am I 2 U” and I will never again play it as long as I feel sane.
You were a guest vocalist on Silverstein’s newsest album, A Shipwreck in the Sand. Do you think you’ll be appearing on any other band’s albums in the future?
As long as the vibe between us is good and it’s something I’m proud to do, then most definitely! The only way I wouldn’t is if I felt I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. I have to feel passionate about the song, or be good friends with the other artists in order to want to feel invested.
Are there any artists that you really want to work with?
It tickles my creative nerves in a good way when I imagine a collaboration with Daft Punk or Justice, or Mew. But I also like the fact that it’s out of my reach, and my only option is to imagine what we would have come up with and challenge myself to replicate that in the studio. It’s actually a fun, inspiring activity.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not touring or writing?
Gaming, drawing, painting, horror movie watching, looking up funny pictures of moderate sized animals on the internet, comic/paraphernalia collecting, building up my weapon wall, crosswords (yes!), snowboarding, and walking rigorously.
Anything exciting you’re working on that you can tell us about?
Mainly just concocting new ideas in my home studio now that I have some one-on-one time with it off tour.
Check out her video for ICE:
Be sure to check AUDIO QUEST – (Referring to an earlier interview answer…) “the superhero-esque character I’ve developed with Tomm Coker of Marvel. There are episodes online called Audio Quest”