I’ve not been one for the sludge/shoegazer shimmering doom pop thing in ages, but when I stumbled upon “Tidals” by the Brooklyn-based band Spotlights, the layers behind the wall of sound drew me in and kept me listening. So much so that I’ve done what most people do with something they fall in love with, I shared it with friends. After talking to Sarah Quintero, one-half of the band, along with husband Mario, on the phone for a few minutes to talk about their summer on the road, I came away with a greater sense of fandom, not only for them but for their tour mates.
BT: “Tidals” released almost as an extended play E.P. six tracks in just under forty minutes back in May, sonically you’re in the middle of thunderstorm, that you make beautifully tranquil at times. The first E.P. was a little more electronic, what were your influences going into this recording?
Sarah: I think the influences are the same all around going into both recordings. The first E.P. we were first getting our feet wet with what we wanted to do and what we wanted to sound like. The first one started out with me on bass and Mario on drums because it’s just the two of us, sort of how it’s always been. After we wrote and recorded everything and started playing shows and getting our feet wet, Mario is ultimately a guitar player so he said he didn’t want to play drums, and we needed to find a drummer. Once we set that in stone, we started writing more guitar and bass focused. The first E.P. was electronic and bass heavy, the influences are the same there, but it’s more of how we were evolving our sound and those are just the steps recorded as we progressed.
BT: That led to this summer, you were able to spend a good bit of time on the road, a couple weeks on the road with The Deftones, and a string of dates with “If These Trees Could Talk.” How did The Deftones tour come about, and do you have any good road stories to share?
Sarah: With the Deftones, we streamed a song through Brooklyn Vegan before the record came out. We did a premiere of “Walls.” Chino, the singer of The Deftones heard the song through a mutual friend, loved it and asked us for the full record. Eventually, he contacted his booking and told them he really liked us wanted us on the road with them. So a day after we premiered the song “Walls” we got an email from their booking agent asking us if we were available in August and we were, it’s just kinda how it worked out. It’s super great to be asked onto a big tour like that instead of being pushed on by management or a label, so it was super comfortable to be on the road with them. As far as road stories go, everybody was super welcoming and super nice, they really enjoyed us. Every time I would check monitors for time it would be Chino standing there listening to us, and that was really cool.
BT: I know for some openers it can be rough, how was the crowd reaction?
Sarah: The crowds were really great, we weren’t really sure going into it being brand new what the reaction was going to be, as they were diehard Deftones fans. It was wonderful, the reaction was just unbelievable we were super happy about the turnout. The only weird shows were the arena’s that were fully seated, so you know when Spotlights and Refused would play, people are just sitting in their seats and just watching you, that was sort of weird. The Arena’s that were general admission pit and then seated those were just unbelievable and the crowd reaction was amazing. In Salt Lake City, Chino came out with us for a song and people went crazy for that. I think that helps boost crowd reaction when they see their favorite musician come out with an opening act and play a song with them to show “hey I like this band, that’s why their here” it was great.
BT: You’ve done the two tours, your first show back in Brooklyn on the 28th. How does it feel coming back home after being gone for the summer?
Sarah: It actually feels really good, we thought it would be weird and hard to adjust. After being on the road for that long it kind of feels like we never left almost, like did that really happen. It goes by so fast, but we’re super happy to be home and we’re playing with two great Brooklyn bands. I feel like right now after traveling around all the cities we just did that music in general is exploding and re-awaking everywhere. So it feels good to come home and have the confidence from the road, and have a good audience waiting for us. I can’t wait to get back on the road, but it does feel good to be home.
BT: With “Tidals” out, and hopefully you can jump off the success of it, are you going back out on the road, or hitting the studio for a follow-up?
Sarah: Both actually, we’re just starting now to plan out our next record for hopefully next spring. We have about fourteen sorted demo ideas we’re gonna start working on. We got some good stuff in the works that we want to make happen, sort of shop the record around and see who might want to take it on. Maybe even throw out a two song EP while we’re in the process of getting the record together just so that we have some stuff for people to listen to, and then hopefully be back on the road by summer.