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Interview by Insightin2music



I was recently introduced to Brightbill, an alternative band from Philadelphia PA, and had the pleasure of speaking with Cole Brightbill, the lead singer. With a very unique sound that grabs your attention and keeps you listening, they are one to watch out for. We talked about the band teaming up with Skylyne Records, his writing process, musical influences, and much more.

Both the band, and the record label they are signed to (Skylyne Records), are new and just getting started. “Skylyne Records and Brightbill have a pretty special relationship, since Skylyne's founder, Chris Arencibia is also the keyboard player in Brightbill” says Cole when asked about working with Skylyne Records. Working with a label that is just starting up can be tricky, but also can have some amazing advantages. “It’s a beautiful thing being on a start up label because it feels like you and the other artists are all in it together and kind of part of the same family” Cole says.


Even as a big family, individually they have different approaches to things, especially when it comes to song writing. Some start with lyrics, others with a guitar riff or beat. Some compose the song by themselves and then add the rest of the band, while others compose the song as a whole band from the start. “I shut myself in a room by myself” says Cole. I know from personal experience that songs can’t be forced, but when inspiration hits you have to just roll with it. “It usually happens at odd hours of the night, and I rarely start a song without finishing it in one sitting “says Cole. “I usually have a complete vision of something that I want down to the last detail, but by the time the band has finished learning the song, it's completely different because the guys are so good at making these songs their own” he adds.


When writing and composing a song there are always people you look to for inspiration. There is just something about that person that you admire and want to try and incorporate into your life. “I like Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails because of his honesty and vulnerability” says Cole when asked about his inspirations. Read the full interview below!


1. How has it been working with Skylyne Records?

Skylyne Records and Brightbill have a pretty special relationship, since Skylyne's founder, Chris Arencibia is also the keyboard player in Brightbill. The band and the label both started around the same time, and myself and Chris have worked really hard together for both projects. It's a beautiful thing being on a start up label because it feels like you and the other artists are all in it together and kind of part of the same family.

2.. What is your writing process like?

Usually my writing process is pretty straightforward. Chris and I write some songs together, such as "Simmer" from our upcoming record, but for the most part, I shut myself in a room by myself. It usually happens at odd hours of the night, and I rarely start a song without finishing it in one sitting. After that, I bring the songs to the band and I kind of have an entire arrangement in my head, but it rarely stays that way, which I love, because it's really important to me that we play these songs together as a band, and it's not just me and some session guys. Our horn player and rhythm guitarist Craig Van-Remoortel is really awesome at throwing in the icing on the cake, whether it be some interesting guitar line or flourish or straight up writing a horn line that I could never have though of. Our bass player Tim Stolwyk, is originally a guitar player so he gets bored when I show him my bass lines, and always comes up with something interesting that fits the in pocket. Chris is really awesome at injecting life into the chords of a song and adding motion to progressions. In other words, I usually have a complete vision of something that I want down to the last detail, but by the time the band has finished learning the song, it's completely different because the guys are so good at making these songs their own.

3. What is the favorite lyric you have ever written?


Good question. It's obviously really hard to pick favorites, but I think I would have to go with a line from our upcoming single, "Chemistry," that goes "You were a burning fire when I needed a flood." The song is about looking back at your past self and realizing that, a) you were a pretty shitty person then, b) you are way better off now than you were before, and c) that you still kind of miss the way things were when you were stuck in your old ways and old habits. That line in particular is highlighting the overwhelming nature of getting over habits. Basically, the burning fire represents the effects of a bad habit, and the flood represents the strength of the motive that tears you away from them.


4. What`s your favorite venue in Philadelphia to play?


The venue is all about the people and the atmosphere they create. We play a ton of well known venues throughout the city, but we really love playing the underground house venues. Over the past year we've built a really strong relationship with the guys at a venue called The Sloop, but recently we they moved to The Tip, and they asked us to play their grand opening show which was super awesome.


5. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?


I compartmentalize all my music, kind of obsessively, honestly. My main influences all influence me in different ways. I like Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails because of his honesty and vulnerability. I like Bruce Springsteen because he sees every show as the most important show ever, and plays like what he's playing and singing matters. I like The 1975 because they have great grooves, and a really cool hybrid sound. I could go on about Pink Floyd, Dave Matthews, The Grateful Dead, U2, and Young the Giant, but we all need to get on with our lives at some point.


6. If you could perform alongside any artist, who would it be?


Great question. I'm not entirely sure to be honest. It's hard to put myself on a stage with any of the greats. I guess if I were to sit down and play guitar with anybody it would definitely be The Edge from U2. I couldn't put myself on a stage with him, but I would be in heaven if I could just sit down with him, have a cup of coffee, jam on some stuff, and mess around with his rig. Not only is he one of the most incredible technical minds of music, he can really play the guitar.



Alexandra Thomas

Insightin2music.com