I, Luke Kuhns, had the extraordinary privilege of chatting with Jason Dunn about his new project Lights Go Down. Some might recall Jason as the former lead singer of the punk band Hawk Nelson. Being a massive fan of all things punk I love seeing that there is still room for classic punk-rock and what Jason is doing with Lights Go Down is incredibly exciting.
Let the conversation begin:
LK: Jason, what are your 3 biggest pop punk influences:
JD: I’ve been writing this EP for over a year. The top 3 albums I keep going back to are 1) “Burning At Both Ends” by Set Your Goals 2) “Rise Or Die Trying” by Four Year Strong and 3) “Rain In July/A History of Bad Decisions” by Neck Deep. There are plenty more that I’ve been listening to but I’m looking at my “most played” list on iTunes and those are my top
LK: What’s in store for the new record?
JD: Right now we are all going over our parts and getting ready to hit the studio April 13. We’re getting all the right parts written for these songs which will really bring these songs to life!
LK: Why is pop punk so important and it’s revival crucial at this stage in music history?
JD: Pop punk has been my life since I was 14 years old. It’s more than just a genre of music. It’s a lifestyle. Band I grew up listening to defined me as a human being. They inspired me to want to write my own songs and make my own band. I feel like I owe this genre more than I can offer! Pop punk music literally changed my life. It gave me a voice. If I can make songs that will do that to other people, then I’ll feel like I succeeded.
LK: When did LGD begin?
JD: I started creating LGD in 2011. Hawk Nelson was drastically changing, even while I was in the band. I hated the direction we were being forced into. I knew what I wanted to do with LGD. The timing just wasn’t right. It’s been 3+ years now and I feel very confident that now is LGD’s time to shine.
The transition was tricky. Coming down from the high with HN was tough. That brand was a well-oiled machine. I could just wake up and do my thing. Now I’m starting all over again from the bottom. That’s never easy. However, I am really motivated by the passion I have for this music and this band so this next chapter should be an easy adjustment.
LK: Do you have a favorite LGD song?
JD: I love all these songs we’ve been writing. Right now my favorite song is called “This Is Who I Am”.
LK: Throughout your music career, from HN to LGD, do you have a song you are really proud of, if so which one and why?
I’ve been writing songs since I was 10 years old. Every song I’ve ever written has meant something to me. It’s really cool when a kid tells me a song I’d written had change their life for the better. It’s amazing what the power of music can do!
LK: When will LGD release their first album?
JD: Our EP is being recorded April 13. It’s 5 songs. We’re always writing though and I assume a full length won’t be too far behind.
We did a crowd funding campaign at the end of the year and raised over $11,000. I’m so thankful for everyone who believed in this vision I have for this band and almost 200 people contributed without even hearing any of our music! That says a lot about the fan base we (Hawk Nelson) had. I’m very thankful many of them followed me on this new adventure with LGD.
We didn’t quite reach our goal of $15,000 so we’re going to try to raise more money by doing our first ever LGD show online for the world to be a part of on April 9. The show will stream online and fans can buy tickets for $10 at https://www.stageit.com/lights_go_down/live_from_your_bedroom/45478
LK: Jason, this has been great. Thanks for taking time to chat with me. Best of luck with the show and the EP! I can’t wait to hear it.