POP TRIO THE RUNNING LIGHTS CHAT TO ME ABOUT THEIR NEW SINGLE ‘ONCE UPON A TIME’ AND AN EP DROPPING SOON

What are your names?
Mike Squillante, Nick Squillante, and Steve Ranellone
What is the band name?
The Running Lights
What is your genre of music?
Pop
Give us a little bio about you as a band and as individuals.
Mike: After graduating Berklee College of Music in Boston I did a few years of large-scale touring with major label artists such as Melanie Martinez (Atlantic Records) and Marc Scibilia (Capitol Records), playing guitar and keys as a sideman. I had some amazing times on the road with both artists but I had to get back to pursuing something of my own. Nick had just graduated with a degree in mixing and engineering and had been working exclusively with Michael Brauer, a Grammy-winning mix engineer who has mixed the likes of Mumford & Sons, John Mayer, Elle King, and Bon Jovi to name a few. We both left our music industry jobs to start this band with our childhood friend, Steve Ranellone. Steve and I were in bands together pretty much all our lives; he and I have a lightning-fast way of communicating musically so he was in from the get-go.
How did you meet eachother?
Nick: Well I kinda didn’t have a choice when it came to meeting Mike he is after all, my brother… haha! Mike and Steve played music together for a large portion of their lives and were longtime friends before that so, needless to say, I met Steve through Mike.
Describe each other in one word.
Mike: Intense
Nick: Outgoing
Steve: Loyal
Are you a signed?
Nick: Nope.
You have released your latest single ‘Once Upon A Time’, tell us more about it?
Mike: “Once Upon A Time” is basically a fairy tale love story in reverse. The person in the song is a hopeless romantic. He or she can visualize their entire love story before it ever actually happens. The one thing he or she can’t figure is how to begin said love story. He or she doesn’t have the confidence or courage to be anything but a secret admirer, watching and waiting for the beginning to their happy ending.
What was the recording process like?
Nick: The recording process went hand in hand with the writing and production of each song. So as ideas cropped up we would immediately get them recorded into Pro Tools, building out demos as we went. When we were finally happy with the demos Steve would step in and track live drums. Once the drums got recorded we’d add any production tricks in to ensure the mixes would sound up to par with the pop songs of today. (Doubling vocals, doubling guitars, etc…) When all the tracking was done I would then prep each song for mixing, then proceed to mix each song in turn. After the mixes were complete we’d listen back and make any adjustments we thought were necessary. When we were all happy we moved forward with mastering.
Describe each track in three words.
Mike: Well, “Once Upon a Time” is the only track we currently have out. There are DEFINITELY more coming, but for our single I’d say the three words are ‘I’, ‘Love’, and ‘You’.
What was the lyric video process like?
Mike: We worked with a fantastic up and coming film maker called Matthew Zefi. With his help, we conceptualized a basic performance video. We shot at YouTube Space NY where I’m a partnered creator. They’ve got a wide range of camera equipment that Matt knew how to utilize so we were able to get amazing material. Once we had a video cut together, I wrote the lyrics, line by line, on about 40 sheets of paper, which Matt then was able to video scan into the final cut. So, what you’re seeing is my actual handwriting flying in and out of the shot.
What was The Voice experience like for you, would you recommend it to other artists?
Mike: It was the best worst experience of my life. I learned that success is not based on talent alone and that you’ve really got to be a hustler in terms of personality. You have to find what it is that’s original about you; discover the pieces of you that make you unique and amplify those pieces. Find out what sets you apart, NOT what allows you to fit in. I went into The Voice thinking I knew what they wanted to see and things didn’t exactly pan out in my favor. I had to do a lot of soul-searching to figure out that I’m way better off not designing myself or The Running Lights after any set model. That being said, I made some amazing friends on the show that I still keep to this day. My touring relationship to Melanie Martinez would never have happened had we not been involved in Season 3 together! So all in all I’d recommend it to another artist but only if they didn’t take it seriously at all.
Will we see an EP or Album soon?
Nick: YES! We have an finished EP that you could be hearing very soon!
Do you have any collaborations in the works?
Nick: Not as of right now but we have some pretty great ideas on how to get something like that going.

Would you be up for collaborating with other bands or artists, if so how could they contact you?
Nick: Of course! Anyone interested can contact us via TheRunningLights.band@gmail.com.
Do you play any instruments?
Mike: Guitar, Bass, Piano, Drums, and Trumpet.
Nick: I started out playing Saxophone and moved to Piano in in the recent years.
Steve: Drums and other percussive instruments.
Who are your influences?
Mike: As a band, we have a pretty wide range of influences. They include The Beatles, John Mayer, Blink 182, The Chainsmokers, Butch Walker, The 1975, and Nick Jonas.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Mike: It starts with sounds. If the sound tugs at my heartstrings, usually I’ll be able to dredge up a personal experience to write about.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Nick: Undoubtedly touring, meeting new people and sharing our music with the world!

 

When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Mike: When I’m not working on The Running Lights you can usually find me working on a musical I’ve been writing and developing for off-Broadway for the past 7 years.
Nick: Playing video games or mixing another artist.
Steve: I’m in physical therapy as well as music so I’d be helping others heal from various injuries.

Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
Nick: Madison Square Garden.

what would be your dream show to have your music played on?
Nick: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon would definitely be a dream come true!

 

For anyone visiting Los Angeles, where would you recommend them to go?

Mike: Take a walk down Melrose. There are great shops, coffee, records, clothes, etc. And Venice Beach is a must see. It’s such an odd but incredible scene.
If you could collaborate with one UK Artists or Band who would it be?
Mike: McFly

If you could collaborate with one US Artists or Band who would it be?
Nick: I think working with Zedd would be one hell of a learning experience and a fantastic time, we love what he does.

What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Mike: “She Loves You” by The Beatles. It’s old but I consider that song to be the greatest hit single ever.

What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Nick: The best advice I ever received was that nothing is impossible… nothing.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?

Nick: When it comes to the music industry my advice would be to give 110% effort all the time. Whether you’re interning late nights at a studio or grabbing coffee for some top rung label executive, it might seem like a small task but they are watching every detail for perfection. When you’ve earned their trust there will undoubtedly be opportunities waiting for you!
Mike: As an artist stay true to yourself, be unique and enjoy what you’re doing.

What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Nick: “If it sounds good, it is good.”

 

You get off a plane in your hometown,
1/ where is the first place you visit
Nick: Home.
2/ where is the first place you see
Mike: Probably the inside of the airport… haha!
3/ where is the first food place you go and what do you get
Nick: Silvio’s Restaurant in Thornwood because they have the best chicken and pepperoni rolls.
Mike: I think Steve and I agree with that statement.

 
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Mike:
Guitar
Guitar picks
My 64 Audio IEM’s
A spare set of strings, D’Addario 11’s to be specific
Coffee!
Nick:
My Keyboard
My Laptop
My Interface
My 64 Audio In-Ear Monitors
The Songs… haha!
Steve:
Drumsticks
Cymbals
High-hat clutch
My 64 Audio In-Ears
Kick pedal
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yes we do you can follow us here:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Youtube
Soundcloud
We also have a mailing list you can subscribe to on our website below!
Website

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