NIGHTHAWKS! is an an exciting collection of never-before-released live recordings spanning the group’s full career, along with a pair of exclusive studio tracks. Released on Big Stir Records.
The Lunar Laugh is a great live band; it turns out. I like a lot of their songs, but I think the live performances of those songs are all even better, mainly because the singing and the instrumentation are so beautiful. Jared and Connor talk about Nighthawks!.
How did this record come together?
Jared: Since we had started playing live, we had several shows that we had recorded for posterity because we wanted to be able to have a listen to them at some later date. We planned on doing some sort of live album whenever we felt like we had the time to devote to it. As it turned out, the pandemic hit in 2020, and we had to cancel several gigs and, somewhat ironically, that’s what really freed up the time we needed to devote to listening to the shows that we had recorded and then figuring out what we would use and polishing it off.
Connor: We had all of these past live recordings and some extra time on our hands in 2020.
How great is the urge to stay creative? To keep writing songs and lyrics?
Jared: The urge arrives more easily some days than others. I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed with some of my material that has yet to see the light of day because there’s so much, and I want to get it all out there. Every time I write, I have that little thought in the back of my mind that says, “you’re just adding to the pile”. But you have to follow the muse when it arrives. Creating music is what keeps me grounded and satisfied.
You can pick three co-writers to write new songs with. Who? … and Why?
Jared: I’m lucky enough to have two excellent co-writers alongside me for the ride already. But I would love to sit and write with Carole King because I feel like her gift for melody would make coming up with lyrics easy and challenging. Also, she’s Carole King, and she’s awesome.
Connor: Tom DeLonge, because who doesn’t want to write about aliens?! Brandon Flowers and Kacey Musgraves because they write some of the sweetest melodies. It’d be fun to bounce around ideas with them.
Cassettes are back. Which 3 five songs would make your first mixtape?
Jared: They never went away for me. Since I’ve been alive, I don’t think I’ve ever not owned a cassette player. But if the 3 of us made a joint mixtape, I’d be tempted to put on something a little obscure that I thought was beautiful or moving and something really funny. So I’d choose “It’s Cookie Time” from the movie Troop Beverly Hills and “What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana” by Merle Haggard.
Connor: I’d probably throw in the Space Jam theme song for the collective mixtape.
Playing music in front of a crowd. What’s all the fun about?
Jared: The interaction with the audience makes it spontaneous. It’s like walking a tightrope without a net. There’s that kind of a thrill-seeking aspect to playing live. You feed off of the crowd, and they are feeding off of you.