White Light Cemetery

White Light Cemetery are back with a brand new album and they have kinda set the base of what’s to follow. Thomas Colley (drums) had a chat with Grande Rock about the new album, the band and several other interesting things…
White Light Cemetery band pic

Hi Thomas and welcome to Grande Rock. Do tell us… how do you feel now that you’re back with a new album after almost 4 years?
T: Hi. It’s great to be here! I’d say we’re relieved first off, because it ended up taking a little longer to get it done that we anticipated. But, at the same time, it’s really got us motivated to get out there and work hard to promote it. Kind of lit a fire under our asses I guess.
What happened during those 4 years and why did it take you that long to release a new album?
T: Life happened. Our last album was not quite a year old when we got signed. Once we were signed it took us a little over a year to get this one written, recorded, and ready to go. Then once it was all ready to we had to just wait our turn. 2016 was a busy year for Ripple and there just wasn’t any room for ours, so it ended up getting pushed into 2017. No big deal really. It’s just the way things go sometimes.
Was it compulsory for you to find a label to release the new album or not? Did you think of releasing it yourselves, like you did with your debut, at some point?
T: We would have released it ourselves if that’s what it would have come down to that. But we’re definitely happy to have Ripple on our side. There are things that a label can do that an up and coming band just can’t do on their own, at least not very easily. I mean, I doubt I’d be sitting hear giving you this interview if it weren’t for Ripple Music.
And how did the cooperation with Ripple Music occur?
T: Todd had gotten a hold of a copy of our “Crow Sessions” demo and did a write up on The Ripple Effect. Then shortly after that they asked us to contribute to a compilation that they were putting together, which we did. Stayed in touch with them for a couple years after that. Then in mid-2014 they were finally able to see us perform live and that pretty much sealed the deal. We signed with them a few months after that.
What kind of sound did you have in mind when you started writing tracks & recording for the new album?
T: We didn’t really have anything in mind. We never do. It’s pretty much whatever happens, happens. We try to keep it very organic and spontaneous.
What does the album title “Careful What You Wish For” stand for? Is it a motto that you use in your life frequently?
T: It’s kind of a jab at our friends who have been hounding us for new tunes for the last three years or so. But also, we just thought it sounded cool. It is something that I try to follow for sure, to stay humble and be happy with the things that you do have.
Where did the recordings take place and who did the mixing, the production & the mastering?
T: We recorded at Crystal Clear Sound in Dallas, Texas. Kent Stump of Wo Fat engineered and mixed it. Mastering was done by Nolan Brett, also at Crystal Clear.
Do you plan to release any concept or lyric video anytime soon and if yes for which one of the tracks?
T: We’d like to. We’ve talked about it but never really made it any farther than that. I have no idea what song it would be if we did do one. Probably either “Waiting” or “Looking Out (For Number One)”.
Have you planned any live shows as yet?
T: Absolutely! We’ve got a few booked in January, a short tour in March, and working on booking a few in April and May right now. Hoping for a more extensive tour this summer and more show scattered out through the rest of the year.
How would you describe your band’s music style to someone that has never heard of your before?
T: We’re just heavy rock and roll. There are so many influences mixed into our sound it’s really hard for me to say who we sound like. A little bit of Free, a little Deep Purple, some COC. Honestly, I think the best thing they could do is give us a listen and then they could decide for themselves.
Which are your expectations from “Careful What You Wish For” and what do you wish to achieve with White Light Cemetery over the next years?
T: We’re hoping that this album puts us on track to get to Europe. That’s been one of our personal goals as a band for a while now. We have plenty of friends who have been there and they have nothing but good things to say about the music scene over there, so that’s something we’d like to experience for ourselves. As far as our future, we just want to keep making music and playing shows. As long as the fans will have us, we’re gonna keep on keeping on.
OK, time for our “weird questions”!!! How did you come up with the name White Light Cemetery initially?
T: It’s a lyric from the Machine Head song, “Now I Lay Thee Down”.
If you could “erase” one thing from modern music, what would it be?
T: The reliance on software like Drumagog and Amplitube. If you listen to five songs in a row on any modern rock radio station the drums on three of them will pretty much sound the same. I hate that. I mean, when we record, I want my drums to sound like my drums, not everyone else’s drums.
What are those things that you do not like in the music industry nowadays?
T: Royalties from music streaming services. Fifteen percent of half a cent per play or some crap like that. Give me a break man.
If you found a genie in a bottle and you only had 3 wishes what would they be?
T: I would only need one. The elimination of greed. Everything else would fall into place once you do that.
Top 3 sci-fi movies of any era?
T: “Return of the Jedi”, “Terminator 2”, “Back to the Future”…
Which are the top 3 Southern Metal albums of all time according to you?
T: Crowbar – “Broken Glass”, Eyehategod – “Take As Needed For Pain”, Down – “Nola”…
Fill in the phrase… “Southern Metal music wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
T: Jimmy Bower
Who is the sexiest female Rock Star of all time?
T: Susanna Hoffs
Which do you consider to be the best female & male vocalist in rock history?
T: Ann Wilson and Paul Rodgers
If you could be any historical person, which one would you be and why?
T: Any one of the twelve Apollo astronauts who have walked on the moon.
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
T: I’d go to 1971. Because just about all of my favorite bands were active and in their prime.
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
T: The Beatles – “Red Album”…
You have the chance to have sex with the movie-celebrity/porn-star of your choice. Who would it be & why?
T: I’m gonna take the high road on this one and say, no comment. I’d rather not take the chance of ending up sleeping on the couch tonight.
Which character from the “Game of Thrones” would you have been – if you lived in the Seven Kingdoms? The other guys from the band?
T: Believe it or not, I’ve never watched one single minute of “Game of Thrones”.
Imagine that your girlfriend/wife is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
T: That relationship would’ve never made it that far. She’d have been long gone way before that. I ain’t got time for that kind of drama.
That’s all for now Thomas. Thx for talking to Grande Rock. Say anything you feel like saying before we close. Take care dude!
T: I’d like to encourage everyone to come check out one of our shows if you have the opportunity. Listening to the album is awesome, but there’s no comparison to the live experience. I guarantee you’ll go home satisfied.