Need To Know: Francis and the Lights

5.19.2011

By Courtney Nichols

Francis and the Lights only performs, writes and creates what he deems absolutely necessary -- excess is not part of his aesthetic.

Your website is a Tumblr account, which also adds to that visual artist aesthetic you have. What are your thoughts on social media, music, and the Internet?
I am so confused by it. I feel like I am not doing it very well to be honest. The thing is, a great Twitter is someone being themselves publicly. I don't think I can do that.

Why not?
No diss on Twitter or anybody who uses it. I am scared of how that will leave me out.

There seems to be a movement afoot to return to more traditional forms of communication. Maybe you don't have to be on the Internet.
Right, you don't have to be on the Internet. That would be crazy.

Of course, who knows if you would be at Coachella!
It would be so exciting, though! Right now, in my mind, I am struggling with the question you asked me. I am struggling with it. I don't know! I probably think about it too much. Most people don't think about it because it is life and the world.

Many are facing that issue: What does it mean to be yourself online?
When you want to be minimal and you want everything to count -- that seems anti-Twitter. I love reading peoples Tweets. I loved when Kanye West had something every hour. It was so enjoyable and exciting. As a fan, that is what I want. I know that I can't give that and do that. Hopefully, I will be able to sort it out so I can do it some way, in the way that I want to do things.

Do you have any hobbies? Does anything outside of music exist in your life?
No.

As for Elements of Style, is there a community who also uses the text as a minimalist handbook?
It's an insanely popular book. I think it is one of the most popular books of all time.

But do most use it as a writing guide? Or do others also uphold this ethos?
I would have to assume that others uphold the ethos. I feel like I am jumping on the bandwagon with that. It is nothing new to say that Strunk & White is a great book. All I know is that it really affected me emotionally and personally. So I like talking about it because it is real. It is more real than talking about other bands or anything else. This is the most real shit for me. I feel it. I love it. I read it every night.

Has it become your dogma?
It is my religion. If I feel lost, I come back to it. That last line of that book is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. It quotes a passage of Robert Louis Stevenson talking about a cow in a field. It is so well-written. It is stated so perfectly. This is what I think about it -- you have to do a good job. It reads, 'One cow, out of so many, received the gift of immortality. Like the steadfast writer, she is at home in the wind and the rain; and, thanks to one moment of felicity, she will live on and on and on.'

For more info on Francis and the Lights and upcoming tour dates, click here.

Tags: Interviews, Music
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