Interview with Last Charge of the Light Horse
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My father has played piano professionally since he was a teenager. So music was always a part of my life. I also work as a graphic designer, so I suppose I still would have pursued that career regardless of my interest in music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to be outside, hiking or cycling, as often as possible. Despite being so densely crowded, Long Island has some lovely parks and trails. I’ll often record demos of musical ideas and play them on headphones as I’m walking, letting my mind work out lyrics while I’m enjoying the view.
How long has your band been around?
The lineup evolved over the early years, but Last Charge of the Light Horse has been around since 2004. Bob Stander, Shawn Murray, and Pemberton Roach have all been regulars for the last decade plus.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based on Long Island, NY. There’s a vibrant songwriter scene on the island, and being so close to NYC is a plus. I also spent quite a few years in Texas, and I think those influences appear in the music as well.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I’m a fan of George Harrison, whose label was Dark Horse records. So the name is partly a nod to his music, and partly a reminder to myself not to hold anything back.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I think my favorite show we ever played was in Saint James, NY. For years, my friend Dave Dircks ran a regular series of shows at Deepwell’s, a historic mansion on Long Island’s north shore. A hundred people would sit elbow-to-elbow in the room, crowded around the performers, and everyone came to listen, not to drink and talk, so it made for a very intimate performing experience.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venue is always the next one! I’ve become quite a fan of house concerts. I would love to do a show a the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. The sound is always fantastic there.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Our friends Miles to Dayton would be at the top of that list, for sure.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Play as often as possible, with as many other musicians as possible!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I wouldn’t…too many things turned out in ways that I never could have predicted, and changing the course of the past would mean missing out on blessings that I couldn’t have foreseen.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
There’s a song called “This Is Where,” from our album Nine Kinds of Happy, about a trip I took to France to visit my brother. I had been somewhat depressed before my visit, and came back feeling greatly rejuvenated. It’s a fun song to play, and a happy memory for me as well.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“Face to Face” is easily our most-requested song. I also really enjoy a song called “Slow As You Can,” because Shawn Murray plays this absolutely amazing drum beat. I could listen to that all day.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I’m most fascinated by the little moments of grace that happen in everyday life. But over the years I’ve come to realize that I write because I’m a songwriter; that’s how I process the world around me.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Playing music is like speaking several languages at once; we try to find something just a bit unusual to say in the beat, the melody, the chord progressions, the arrangements, and the lyrics.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
The other members of the band are all involved in many other projects, so we’re not constantly on top of each other. That allows us to really enjoy the time we have.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re excited about our recent release Octet, and 8-song suite written over a 4-day period in late February of 2021, and looking forward to playing some shows soon!
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Our website is a good place to start, www.lastcharge.com, and you can also find us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lastchargeofthelighthorse/