Back to the Grind with False Light.

Photo: James Byrnes

After fitting in weekend runs and shows where they could over the past few years, False Light has returned, and are hitting their stride at the perfect time.  Ahead of their three week tour with Italy’s Discomfort, we chatted with frontman Patrick Thomas about the new release, getting back on the road, and their renewed sense of focus.

False Light is about to embark on a three week tour thru the Southeast and Midwest, the longest run of shows you guys have done up to this point in the band’s existence. I imagine you’re excited for this trek? Any place or city in particular you’re looking forward to?

Aside from weekends, we’ve only really toured one other time, and that was three years ago. So yes, very excited. Even though touring as a vocalist sucks…  This will be False Light’s first time in most of these cities. I don’t think I’ve ever played in Delaware before, so I’m looking forward to that. Cincinnati and Charlotte will be really cool. Excited to see what shows surprise us. Pretty often, I will have very low expectations about a show and then it ends up being badass.

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You just released your split LP with Italian powerviolence band Discomfort, who will be coming to the states and joining you out on the road this month. How did the idea of doing a split full length album with them come about? 

They just emailed us one day toward the end of last year and asked if we wanted to do it. They had already recorded their side and was looking for a US band to release it with. They had already pretty much lined up the label situation for the Euro release and were eager to do some subsequent tours so we saw it as a great opportunity. We had scraps of new material written, so we sort of scrambled to get everything written in time to get it to the plant so that we could have records for the US tour. I really thank Discomfort for giving us a deadline and the spark to start being somewhat active again. We’ve been hanging out with them the past couple of days before leaving for the tour and we’re already having a blast with them.

Sonically, there are few current bands in the Southeast that rival the crushing bleakness of False Light’s approach. Inspiration wise, where do you draw from, both musically, and for you specifically, from a vocal/lyrical standpoint?

Speaking for the rest of the guys who write the actual music, there’s a wide range of stuff: Infest, Napalm Death, Discordance Axis, Portal, Dystopia, Drop Dead, His Hero Is Gone, Insect Warfare. Lyrically, it’s just sort of whatever comes out. When I listen to records I pay much more attention to the music than the vocals, so I have less influence as a vocalist. Which is probably a fault of mine as the singer in the band.

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With the dissolution of Discourse earlier this year, you’ve been able to turn your full attention to False Light, and your recently launched project Riot Stares. Have you enjoyed this shift in artistic focus? I imagine it’s exciting to hone in on crafting the identities/soundscapes of these other bands?

Absolutely. My reaction to things ending has always just been to dive immediately, and aggressively, into something new. I’m very grateful for my time in Discourse because of how much it taught me about writing music and being in a band. But I’m thrilled to be doing new things and I feel like we can be smarter about it and do more of what we want now that we have more experience.

You’ve been a member of some of the most influential heavy bands to come out of South Carolina in recent years, and helped raise the bar for aggressive music in your state moving forward. Do you and your friends/bandmates embrace the role of torchbearer for younger kids coming up?

It feels weird for me to think of myself/us like that. I think that because of how small the South Carolina scene is, that role just defaults to whoever is a fairly active band. So I wouldn’t say we embrace it, cause we don’t think of ourselves in any high regard. We just try to do everything we can to make SC a cool place for hardcore.

What are the plans for False Light after this tour, and moving forward into 2017?

More touring, hitting other places we haven’t already played. Writing for an LP most likely.

You’re returning to Charlotte for the second time ever, and the first time in almost a year and a half. How was the response last time? What are you most looking forward to the second time around?

The last show was killer. Great turnout, saw a lot of our friends. Met our friends in Dwell for the first time. Besides eating at Bean, I’m really stoked to play at the Station for the first time.

Any final words or thoughts?

Listen to Discomfort. Thanks for always kicking ass, Oddcrew!!

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False Light is on tour with Discomfort all this month.

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