When Timbaland calls, you answer.
That’s the attitude that local pop band The Bright had when the omnipresent producer asked the band to open for his Feb. 3 show at the House of Blues. We spoke with singer Julie Lange about how the Timbaland connection began, how the band landed FIVE songs on various MTV shows and what it’s like to be married to your guitarist for this week’s Art&Seek Q&A:
Art&Seek: You all are opening for Timbaland on Feb. 3. How did you all get hooked up with him?
Julie Lange: Funny enough, I met his keyboard player, and he sent me some beats. And he was like, “Hey, why don’t you sing on a few of our beats?” So I was like, “OK, great.” So I did some singing for them and sent it over and made a great relationship there.
A&S: So do they just call you guys up and say we want you to open for us? How does that work?
J.L.: No, the talent buyer from House of Blues called and said, “Hey, [Timbaland’s] management requested that the Bright open up for Timbaland at House of Blues. So are you guys available?” Of course! We’re thrilled to be able to share the stage.
A&S: A couple of your songs have been featured on The Hills and other MTV shows. How did that come about?
J.L.: We played South by Southwest a couple of years ago, and there was a woman there who watched our show and asked for a CD. So I gave her a CD – she never mentioned who she was – she just took the CD. Maybe three to five months later, she called and said, “I’m the music supervisor for MTV’s The Hills, and we would love to license your entire album [In Lucid Dreams] for music in The Hills.”
A&S: Wow – that’s getting a lot of mileage out of that one album.
J.L.: I know – I need to write something else!
A&S: Why do you think your songs work so well as soundtracks to these shows?
J.L.: I think that this particular album, there is so much on there that there might be a little bit for everybody. Each song is very unique and very different. Everyone in the band has their own style, so everybody brought something to the table. So what we ended up with was a wonderful mélange of different songs, different tones, different feelings in the songs. So it’s not one of those albums that you pick up and it’s the same thing all the way through.
A&S: The band does a lot of originals, but you also perform some covers. One of your go-to covers is Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” Why that song?
J.L.: When you’re a new, up-and-coming band, sometimes doing a cover is a great way to reach your audience. When they’re sitting there listening to songs they don’t know, they want to hear something familiar. So we decided to pick a song that fit well in my vocal range, and funny enough, I have exactly the same vocal range as Robert Plant. We wanted to do something that was easy for me to sing and something that everybody agreed on. … A year or two later after playing it live, people were like, “You’ve got to record it! You’ve have to put it on the album!” So we decided to get the license for it so we could record it.
A&S: Your guitarist, Kell Curtis, is also your husband. What is it like being in a band with someone you’re married to?
J.L.: You know, honestly, music is the tie that binds. We first started doing music together right after 9-11. We kind of decided, you only get to live one time. We both love music passionately – why not just go for it? We’re not going to have another chance to do this. So we really committed our lives to doing music. Instead of a savings fund for college, we have music. And that really is the best thing that we could do. We both love it, we love doing it together, and we love everyone in the band. It’s very rare to have everyone in the band agree and enjoy playing together. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
The Art&Seek Q&A is a weekly discussion with a person involved in the arts in North Texas. Check back next Thursday for another installment.
Cover photo: Justin Press