Beau Lightning, who previously released songs under his given name ELI, is inspired by California daze, the desert surrounding the city of sin, cowboys and the moon landing. All of these things make up the scorching alter ego that is Beau Lightning.
His debut single Last Night was written and recorded entirely on his own after being given the opportunity to live in a recording studio that a close friend and old work colleague built in his backyard. The track was the result of tinkering and experimentation, a first attempt at using real studio equipment. With some production guidance and mixing from John Broadbent, the song came into being. His music gives nods to bands like Queens Of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys and Wolfmother.
Lightning alongside his childhood friend Shrip, filmed the music video for Don’t Get Bit locally in Adelaide and are working to develop a whole Beau Lightning universe – almost like a series where all his current and future music videos will reference each other. Beau answers some questions about their new single Don’t Get A Bit and his future plans.
How has the build up been leading up to the release of the single?
Busy, there’s a lot to do when releasing something new.
Have you been surprised by how quickly the word has gotten out about Beau Lightning?
I wouldn’t say i have been hugely surprised. Nothing insane has happened yet, I’m still recording at home and playing local shows. I do appreciate the recognition I’ve received so far, getting the MTV upload of the week for the Last Night music video and getting some radio play here and there, but there is still a long way to go.
Sonically, how would you describe Beau Lightning?
What is the Beau Lightning life story?
Well, the Beau Lightning life story is a short one, he’s only six months old, but i describe Beau Lightning as my alter ego, my real name is Eli. Previously I was releasing music under Eli, and honestly just found it too hard to find when using a search engine. The music I was writing also wasn’t where I wanted to be creatively. I wrote a lot of music before Last Night came about, and I kind of knew I had something cool with that song, or at least different to everything else.
Last Night led me to exploring that sonic territory a lot more. I wanted to do something new when releasing Last Night, something that visually represented the music and something with maybe a bit more of a rock star persona. So, after the long process of coming up with a name, Beau Lightning was born. Its interesting to me, the songs I’m writing now, I don’t believe would have ever come about without the name change.
It’s not this spiritual thing of channelling Beau when I’m creating, but almost more of an excuse to be able say and do things I might not of if it was under my birth name. Something about reinventing myself as someone else has allowed me to create what I’ve always really wanted to. It’s also interesting writing from a characters perspective which i do a lot now. What would Beau say, how do I think he would make this sound. Which I think is really just a round about way of saying and doing what I really want to. It’s like I am tricking myself into making the art I really want to be making.
What is the story behind the single Don’t Get Bit?
It’s a reminder really, not to jump back into failing relationships in hopes of it being better the second or third time around.
Are there plans for a video clip?
There are definitely some ideas floating around…
What has been the biggest lesson learnt so far?
Keep going, keep pushing, just do the work. Nike says it best. You do get better at songwriting, its a muscle and i have definitely grown since beginning this life long journey. I’m a big believer in, not waiting for inspiration to strike, but just sitting down as often as possible and getting to work, even if everything sounds like shit, because eventually something will come out of it.
Are you building towards an album or EP?
No, I mean have an EP of sorts, more a collection of old songs I wrote prior to the inception of Beau Lightning that I’m only releasing a very limited run of, on vinyl, tape and CD, not digitally.
Who is your biggest musical influences?
Alex Turner, everything he touches is gold. Josh Homme, again, everything he works on is unreal, but I have this playlist of mostly 50’s-70’s music with a western/surf/psych influence on it, with lots of different artists and I consciously take take ideas from it.
Are you looking to tour more broadly?
I would absolutely love to, but I don’t think the time is right, as of yet.
What is the plan for Beau Lightning for the rest of the year?
I have a bunch of songs set to be singles, so release those, keep writing, keep recording, when it all picks up a bit more traction I’ll think about an EP and a tour.
Interview By Rob Lyon