By Rebekah Goode-Peoples
My band was recently asked to play a show at the Drunken Unicorn with this band from Ohio, but we were already playing in Athens on the same night (this Saturday). I went ahead and checked out the band, The Lighthouse and the Whaler, and, as a big fan of Lost in the Trees and Fleet Foxes, their sound did some serious come-hither business with me. It batted its ridiculously long eyelashes, and I haven’t stopped listening since.
I really, really wish I could catch them live, so check out the interview Michael LoPresti
(lead singer/guitarist/keyboardist/mandolin player) and Matthew LoPresti (drummer/
percussionist) gave me, download and listen to a free tune, and then please go to the show and give me the details later. The sure-to-be-good, thematic evening will be rounded out by locals The Mad Flight, who are super nice guys, and Man Made Sea.
(Just don’t tell my boss that I didn’t automatically catch the Moby Dick reference. I’d like to keep my day job.)
Goode-Peoples: Give us a soundbite: Why should Hotlantans spend five bucks and come see you play? Who do you think would really like your show?
Matthew LoPresti: We are playing out several new songs you will hear nowhere else but in concert, and ATL will be one of the only cities to hear them before the New Year. We have a pretty fun live show so if you enjoy energetic shows, you will love us. So come out, we would love to meet each and every one of you.
Goode-Peoples: Recently, you met a fan that was not terribly proficient at giving high fives. Please give your new fans instructions on how to deliver proper high fives so they can give you some after you rock your show at the Drunken Unicorn.
Michael LoPresti: Yes, yes, he needed a lesson. Luckily we have one! When Matt was in
college he learned that if you look at the elbow of the person you are going to high five and not the hand, your hands will always hit. It’s simply amazing. Try it… and then try it on us!
Goode-Peoples: What is your favorite board game? What do you think it says about your personality that you like this particular board game?
Matthew: On our last tour, we dabbled in a little Battleship at one of the coffee shop stops. I believe that was our first venture into board games as a band. We discovered a side of us we didn’t know we had. Let’s just say there is no mercy between band mates when it comes to board games.
Goode-Peoples: You are a band that seems poised on the very cusp of major indie fame.
Michael: Thank you, we really appreciate that.
Goode-Peoples: You’ve just finished a successful mini-tour in the mid-West, and are making use of Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook to build and support your fanbase. What advice would you give to fellow musicians? What are your goals as a band? Filling big stadiums like Arcade Fire, filling nice-sized theaters like Joanna Newsom, or filling rock clubs like, oh, say Lighthouse and the Whalers?
Michael: As for advice, it’s simple: work hard and take every chance you get. Our motto is the harder you work, the luckier you get. Goals? Well right now we are working on getting a booking agent and getting on tour with a bigger name. Also, who wouldn’t love to play huge stadiums? Hopefully that is in our future someday.
Goode-Peoples: I’m a nerdy English teacher, and you have a very literary name, so I have to ask: What was your inspiration for your band name? What are y’all reading while you are on the road?
Michael: It comes from the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Within the book, there’s a section about the whalers heading back to Nantucket, which Melville describes this incredible place where the whalers love and long to be. Coming in from the seas, the first thing they always see when approaching is a lighthouse. On one of their journey’s back to Nantucket, Moby Dick gets in between them and there and they choose to go after Moby Dick. Personally, this part was really powerful to me because the lighthouse is where we want to be. It all serves as this analogy for doing what you’re meant to do and being who you were created to be. So our name comes from this parallel.
Goode-Peoples: Ohio is strange to me. Have you ever been to Oakwood? It freaks me out. Please comment.
Matthew: Ohio is simply the greatest state known to man, and we love Cleveland. We have never been to Oakwood, but judging from Google maps it’s in the middle of nowhere, and it scares us just looking at our computer monitor.
Michael: We have some friends we want to visit, and we always love going into the cities we travel through. Luckily, we have a few days in Atlanta so maybe we can hang out if you come say hello after the show.
Goode-Peoples: I’m kind of tired of my seven-year-old singing Fleet Foxes. It’s not that I don’t like them; I do, but he sings them SO constantly. What could I say to Sebastian to convince him to give your cd a spin instead?
Michael: Ever wondered what 100 song birds singing sounds like? Yeah, that’s us.
Goode-Peoples: Who plays what in your band? How did you meet and start playing music together?
Matthew: We switch instruments a lot, which makes for an interesting live show… *wink, wink*. Aaron and I are the founders of the group. Matt joined in right after college, while Mark, a mutual friend of Aarons, joined several months ago after reading about us on Paste Magazine.
Goode-Peoples: Would it be alright if the next time me and my hubby are at the skating rink and it is time for couple’s skate, I dedicated “Always for You” to him? ‘Cause I think I might want to do that.
Michael: We would be honored.
The Lighthouse and The Whaler visit the Drunken Unicorn on November 13.