Ohio-based pop-punk unit Light Years have weaved their way through the scene for almost a decade. Formed by vocalist Pat Kennedy, he enlisted Tommy Englert, Andrew Foerst, and Kent Sliney to round out the group in 2009.
They have notched up tours with heavy-hitters like Neck Deep, State Champs, Modern Baseball, Citizen and Turnover, alongside appearances on the Vans Warped Tour and So What?! music festival.
Recently, they announced their forthcoming record, ‘Afterlife’, is due out on November 30th, via Rude Records. The 11-track masterpiece was recorded and produced by Will Yip (who also produced the band’s 2015 classic, ‘I’ll See You When I See You’).
Now, less than a month from it becoming available, frontman Pat is here to give us a track-by-track insight into what can be expected from ‘Afterlife’…
‘Back Then’ quickly became one of our favourites during the writing and recording process. It has that classic simple rock and roll vibe, mixed with some new school punk rock, which makes for a very cool song.
Lyrically, it was written about our first tours and this weird gap of time between high school and college where none of us knew what the hell we were doing (still don’t actually), so we pretty much did whatever we wanted.
‘BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN’
We went into some new territory on this one, it’s heavier, it has different time signature for us, and we really kinda went for it. I think the riffs are great, and it is still super catchy.
We had a lot of fun in the studio playing with the dynamics of the song. We wanted the verses to be softer and somber, but then make the choruses feel huge.
I wrote the lyrics about the idea of how people love to say “follow your dreams” or whatever, but what happens when it doesn’t work out? You end up settling for a life you might have never wanted.
‘LOST ON THE WAY HOME’
We wanted to keep the energy up on this one. Once it kicks in, it doesn’t really let up at all. I love the driving bass and drum intro that Tommy and Kent came up with that really sets the tone for the song.
As for the meaning behind the song, to me, playing music has always been my cheap form of therapy, as no matter what I am going through at any point in my life, just getting to plug in my guitar and bang out some chords usually helps me feel better, and this song will definitely be a fun one to do live.
‘IT DOESN’T MATTER’
Another different vibe from our usual fare with this track. A more mid-tempo jam that has some cool dynamics in it. We used some cool guitar effects that make this song stand out a little differently than the others on the record.
The lyrics were kind of me battling with the thought of what will my life be like when Light Years isn’t a thing anymore (which is hopefully never!)
Kicking the energy back up here with this one. This song felt like a more traditional Light Years song from years past, but we tried some interesting things in the bridge and other spots to keep it sounding new.
When I am home, I work at a pizza place (believe it or not, being a band makes me no money!), which is right next to a cemetery, and a lot of times, I’ll see funeral processions go by on the street, and I always think how that must be one of the worst days of those people’s lives, but to me, it’s just another boring day at work.
So it is kind of dark, but I guess I just thought a lot about when we die, most of the world does not care.
‘HOW ARE YOU?’
With this song, it was all about the main riff that almost plays throughout the entire song. It is a pretty simple track, but those are usually my favourites.
The melody is super catchy, and sounds just like an awesome pop-rock song from the 90’s or something, plus, it is always nice to get to throw in a kick-ass guitar solo whenever we get the chance.
‘SHOULD HAVE BEEN’
Coming after the mid-tempo speed of ‘How are You’, we crank it back up with this jam. We kept it short, sweet, and straight to the point.
A lot of times, you can think about what you should have or could have done differently in your life, but you either learn from it and keep going, or give up, and that’s where the lyrics came for this one.
This song took on a few different forms during the writing process, and finally came together in the studio with some help from our producer Will Yip. We originally had the idea to make it more of a chilled, laid-back track, but in the studio, it turned into a full-blown rocker.
Sometimes, it just takes an outside ear to find the missing piece of the song and make it what it should be, and that’s what Will does for us. I’m glad we stuck with it, because it has become one of our favourites of the entire album.
‘BURNING IN MY BLOOD’
This was a very fun song to write and record. It started with Tommy just messing around with the riff on bass at practice, and we all kind of joined in and wrote it very organically. We didn’t want to overthink it too much, and kept it simple and straightforward.
Sometimes, you need a reminder of why you do the things you do, and for me, music is just something I want and love to do, so whether anyone is listening, I still have the drive to do this, and that is what the song is about.
We were on the fence going into the studio about this one, but after we laid it down, we loved it. It is pretty much a party, start to finish, and if you don’t like it, then you have no soul.
‘IF I KNEW THEN’
The biggest-sounding song on the record, and it had to be the closer. It’s more of a serious song about childhood memories and regrets throughout my life, having to deal with loss, and realising you still have to keep going.
The outro has four different vocal melodies going at once, tons of wild percussion, and big, big guitars. Will really helped us make this song sound huge, and make it the perfect way to end this record.
‘AFTERLIFE’, THE FOURTH ALBUM FROM LIGHT YEARS, WILL BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 30, VIA RUDE RECORDS.
FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: