An Interview With Pop-Rock Trio The Running Lights

The Running Lights
Hey guys! It's my pleasure to introduce you to pop/rock trio The Running Lights! Following an appearance on NBC’s The Voice Season 3 and a successful touring career opening and playing for Atlantic Records recording artist Melanie Martinez, singer/guitarist Mike Squillante formed The Running Lights in the summer of 2015 with his brother Nick. They enlisted the help of drummer Steve Ranellone, a longtime friend with several years experience performing all over the tristate area. He and Mike had been in several bands together over the years, the first of which when they were 13, the most recent of which going as far as playing Warped Tour in 2010.The trio has since released four well received live covers, garnering over 50,000 views while targeting Mike’s substantial YouTube fan base. 

Later in March the guys released their gorgeous single Once Upon A Time, and now I've been lucky enough to ask them a few questions. 


1.    You recently released your new single, Once Upon A Time. How was the writing process for this project? And what was the inspiration for it?
Mike: The song is basically a fairy tale in reverse. If you’re the person in the song, you can literally see your whole love story including the happy ending play out in your mind’s eye. You just can’t seem to find the way to begin that story, either because you’re too shy and nervous or you don’t feel confident enough to tell your crush that you’ve fallen hard for them. It’s about chasing your “Once Upon a Time” moment. Everyone has been in that situation at least once. There are folks missing out on the best of life because they can’t say what’s on their minds. And it’s not just about love and hopeless romanticism like our single. This happens all the time with many situations; people unhappy with where they are, yearning to be where their dreams would put them, but too afraid to take the first step.



2.    A question for Mike. How was participating on The Voice and working with Melanie Martinez? What did you learn from that experience?
Mike: It was the best worst experience of my life. I learned that success is not based on talent alone. In fact it requires so much more than just being good at your craft; you’ve got to be a hustler in terms of personality. I don’t mean be fake asshole to everyone you meet. I mean find what it is that’s original about you; discover the pieces of you that make you unique and amplify those pieces. It’s about what sets you apart, not what allows you to fit in.
My touring relationship to Melanie Martinez would never have happened had we not been involved in Season 3 together! Opening for Mel was amazing. I have to shout it out to her for giving me that opportunity for two tours in a row! I learned pretty much everything I know about live production from touring as a keys/guitar player with Melanie Martinez for Atlantic Records. We run a series of backing tracks and triggers, kind of like 21 Pilots, and it requires a lot of behind the scenes work to get everything run just right onstage.

3.    And Nick, how was it working on records for artists such as Adele, Mumford & Sons, Elle King, Bon Jovi, etc?
Nick: Surreal, when you open a session and you hear the voices of these legends coming through the speakers in front of you it’s almost like they’re in the room with you. And in some cases they were! For instance Jon Bon Jovi is one of the most humble and hard-working rockstars on the planet, he was on the scene every day as we worked on his new record and it was such an honor to be a part of it!

4.      How would you describe your sound? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
Steve: Electro-poprock

5.    Any plans to release a full-length album or an EP soon? What can fans expect from your upcoming project?
Steve: Our EP will be dropping very soon!

6.    Was music part of your lives while growing up? What drew you to become musicians? Do you have that moment where you said “this is what I want to do for the rest of my life?”
Steve: Music has always been a huge part of my life. I was fortunate in having parents who always had some sort of music on at home or in the car etc so I was exposed at an early age. I was even more fortunate to come home one day in the 5th grade to find a drum set and pair of stick in my room.
Mike: Nick and I grew up in a musical family so this was it from the day we were born. Nothing else makes us happy like making music.

7.    Who would be your dream collaboration?
Mike: Zedd. Or John Mayer.

The Running Lights

8.    What was the first album each of you ever bought?
Steve: Papa Roach “Infest”
Mike: The Beatles “With The Beatles”
Nick: Blink 182 “Blink 182”

9.    If you were given the chance to pick one artist/band to tour with which one would it be and why?
Mike: If time travel was possible then The Beatles in 1964! Realistically speaking I think we’d go great with Maroon 5, DNCE, or even All Time Low.
Steve: “Blink-182”. Travis Parker is a god and I would be honored to be able to share the same stage with him.

10.    If you were given the chance to pick one Summer Festival to headline at which one would it be and why?
Steve: The Vans Warped Tour because we grew up listening to bands who played on those bills.

11.    Are you planning to hit the road and go on a tour to promote your music any time soon?
Steve: As soon as possible!

12.    What music are you currently listening to?
Steve: In Flames “Trigger”
Mike: Loving The Night Game’s new single “The Outfield” right now.
Nick: Jon Bellion has been killing it. Super into him right now.

13.    If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?
Mike: The Beatles “Abbey Road.” In my opinion the best collection of versatile music ever assembled.
Nick: John Mayer “Heartbreak Warfare.” That album is so deep and every song paints a picture for me while reminding me of a great time in my life.
Steve: Blink-182’s “Enema of the State” because Travis Parker is my favorite drummer of all time and that album made me realize that music was a part of my very being and soul. It moved me in such a way that I knew from that point on that I wouldn’t be able to handle life without music.

Thank YOU so much for taking time to answer these questions so we can know you a bit better.

Mike: Our pleasure!
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