Portland, OR rock trio Lightning Rules have returned with "Fossil Fuels," the opening and title track of their upcoming new EP. The single is a rumination on rebirth and progress borne from apparent failure. It illustrates the central theme of the EP as well as the mental state of the band at the time of it’s recording.
"Winter was a low point for us," explains frontman, Wess Wilis. "We were missing a drummer, we’d only played a handful of shows that year, we were really tight on cash, not going anywhere and really just discouraged in general. We discussed just giving the band a break, spending time on other things…"
Despite this malaise, the band had not been entirely idle in the previous months. Several new songs had taken shape, many of them channeling the season's frustration. These tracks would provide both the raw material and the motivation to head into the studio, changing direction rather than backing off the accelerator.
"We had to take a hard look at why we make records," said Willis. "If there’s no financial benefit or nobody really cares, is it even worth doing? Ultimately we decided that we would make the record for us, that the songs deserved to exist for their own sake… that we could derive our own meaning and purpose out of what felt like an empty time. So we sold all the gear we could stand in order to get enough money to start the new record."
The band enlisted Stephan Hawkes at Interlace Audio to produce the record as well as provide studio drums. Six songs were recorded, beginning with the title track.
"Fossil Fuels" really set the tone of what the record would be about," said Willis. "It accepts defeat, but only as a jumping-off point to something greater, sort of a 'nowhere to go but up' feeling. There’s a confidence arc across the tracks, they move from a kind of naive chest-thumping proudness down into despair and back out into hopefully a more resolute, mature sort of determination."
In addition to the central metaphor of dinosaurs becoming rocket fuel – new progress from old death – the songs touch on political themes, family issues, censorship, cancer, and corporate greed. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, the songs bounce and move with youthful energy and abandon. The band considers this contrast a core part of the Lightning Rules sound.
Following the release of "Fossil Fuels," they will be hitting the road in February for a West Coast tour. Check out those tour dates HERE.