Every now and then you stumble upon a Band that draws you in and next thing you know , your late for work. I love the voice and how it fits with the bluesy smoky vibe. Reminds me a little of the first time I listened to “The Trinity Sessions” by The Cowboy Junkies and that is a good thing. This is without doubt some of the coolest new music that I have listened to in the last few years. The Bright Smoke is a Band you will be hearing a lot about in 2014 so without further adieu….
Meet, Bright Smoke
Hi our name is….
[in unison] The Bright Smoke, and we’re both going to try and do this interview simultaneously so hopefully it will work.
And our sound might be best described as….
The quick answer is, “a combination of noir-rock, folk, and blues.” We both listen to a wide range of genres, so there are a lot of things influencing the music we make. However, we’ve never really gone into the studio to fulfill any specific type of music. Whatever feels real is what we go with.
Mia Wilson and Quincy Ledbetter
We are originally from…..
Mia is originally from Chicago and Quincy was born and raised in Woodbridge, Virginia just outside of Washington, DC
The first time we met was…..
QL: This is very good question, because I don’t really know. Mia and I have a mutual friend that I went to high school with, but that’s all I know for sure. One day I woke up and she was in my studio. I asked, “Who are you?” She said, “my name is Mia and we’re in a band.” I said, “….okay, sounds good.”
MW: I remember it that I woke up and Quincy was in MY studio. That’s not really important, what’s important is that we both clearly have boundary issues when it comes to respecting the space of sleeping people. We may have taken some liberties with that recollection, but it actually is not that far from the truth. It’s kind of weird but neither of us can remember specifically meeting the other person. We promise we’ve really tried to remember. The universe just sort of put us together and it was good.
We knew we were going to be a Band when………
QL: Originally, The Bright Smoke was a solo project with Mia and she is still very much the “leader” of the band, so to speak. I was just performing live with her to back her up, but as we got into doing the second album and I had done about 5-6 shows with her it was just kind of assumed that, “Okay…we’re a band now.”
MW: I think I knew we were going to be a band when Quincy finally started posting about us on his facebook page as “my band is playing a show tonight” instead of “the project with which I am tangentially associated in a role that is both artistic and friendship-based is playing a show tonight.” He was kind of noncommittal for a while in the beginning.
Before starting the band we were employed as…….
QL: We are both still very much employed with 9-to-5 jobs. In fact, we would very much like to leave working for The Man behind. I’ve known since I was a child that I was born to be a song and dance man.
MW: Quincy is all business in his job. It’s very professional and respectable. I work in the non-profit sector but I would also like to be a song and dance man.
Our craziest gig ever was….
QL: Very recently we played a dive in Manhattan, that shall remain nameless. The bartender was what a more crude sort would call a “dick.” Fortunately, we’re more civilized than that.
Anyway, we go downstairs to the performance area and there is no one there. We play to an empty room. Literally, NO ONE WAS THERE, which we thought was strange because we knew a lot of people were planning on coming. We finish the gig and go upstairs to find all of our friends and a packed bar. Our friends asked, “When do you guys go on?” We let them know that we just finished playing for absolutely no one and asked them why they didn’t come downstairs to see us. They said that the bartender told them the doors weren’t open yet, the show hadn’t started and he had locked them out from the venue portion of the bar. I asked the bartender why he would do such a thing and he replied, “I didn’t know I was in charge of your promotion.”
MW: I think we might need a manager….or a shiv.
The first song we wrote was…….
QL: I believe “Late for War” was the first song that Mia played for me and was interested in recording.
MW: Ha! I got you on this one! I looked back through my email, it was the song titled “Bad Idea” which later became the track “Your Girl” on the first album which Quincy still likes to call, “Yo, Girl,” “Yeah, Girl,” or “Damn, Girl.”
MW: Oh, this is kind of incriminating. It’s about a proposition I received to, how should I put this, temporarily disregard the fact that I had a girlfriend for an evening. I’m not going to talk about how that panned out.
What we are currently listening to….
QL: I am constantly listening to The Beatles and Radiohead because they’re the best bands to ever do anything in history. I am also a huge fan of The Smashing Pumpkins and Beck, whose new album is amazing. My favorite “indie” band right now is The London Souls. It’s my dream to be a solid as they are.
MW: I cannot stop listening to Angel Olsen’s new album “Burn Your Fire For No Witness.” I’ve also recently been revisiting Bon Iver’s “Bon Iver” in a super obsessive way.
A few albums we could never part with….
QL: As stated before, for me, it’s anything by The Beatles and Radiohead.
MW: George Winston’s “December” hits me in feelings I didn’t even know I had and I consider Junior Kimbrough’s “All Night Long”to be sacred.
For fun we like to…..
QL: I am also a photographer and filmmaker, so aside from music just those things. I also like hanging out. Being able to hang out is a huge motivator behind everything I do. I would like to get to a place in my life where I can just hang out in different parts of the world with people I love.
MW: I’m really into running, triathlons and yoga, which is just code for being really into trying to get my body to accept my very sincere apology for my early 20’s. Q and I also like to waste irresponsible amounts of time trying to out-funny one another. He’s probably the only person I could go on tour with and actually enjoy it.
The one thing we want you to remember while your listening to us……
QL: We would like you to please remember to not be racist. It is so important for you and everyone to remember that being racist is bad.
MW: Oh, wow. I was going to say to remember that we’re all kind of slogging through this life-mess together and that we hope people can latch on to the very human sentiments that we’re trying to convey through our music because a lot of these feelings are universal. But now I’m terrified that that was just me being a racist because the first thing I thought was not about not being a racist. Goddammit, Quincy!
MW: Some honest, solid, home-grown music without a lot of gimmick and artifice from two people who are both six feet tall.
from us in 2014….
QL: More music and more shows! We’re doing a video soon, so be on the look out for that.
MW: Yup. You can expect a new album that we’ve started writing and a couple 2014 tours along the east coast and into the south.
and don’t forget to …Buy, Follow and Support….The Bright Smoke