2016 was a massive year for Welsh-born, NYC based Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light. He supported Take That at the British Summer Time festival in London’s Hyde Park and released two singles with Elton John, which were lifted from a critically acclaimed album called Choreography.
We pushed aside the fervent fans pawing Rod’s rainbow-coloured trousers to ask him a few questions…
PM: Hey Rod, how are you doing?
RT: I’m great thanks! Actually I was up at 4:30 for a morning flight, so I’m quite knackered, but otherwise I’m good.
Your latest album Choreography is inspired by many cult 80s films. If approached, would you star in a movie yourself?
ABSOLUTELY. I’d really love to. A tiny bit part would mean I could die very happy!
Madonna’s Strike A Pose documentary has already done the rounds at film festivals. Have you seen it?
I have! I saw it in New York and the dancers were there doing a Q&A. Seeing the footage on a big screen was amazing, and hearing their side of the story was really incredible. It was heartbreaking, impressive, surprising. It’s an excellently executed documentary. Everyone should watch it.
People talking/using their mobiles/eating loudly in cinemas. Discuss.
Why would you ever use your phone in the cinema? I just can’t cope with that. I find loud eaters really hard to deal with anywhere, let alone in the cinema, but then the last few cinemas I’ve been to have been almost deafeningly loud so I don’t seem to notice that much anymore!
When did you last cry at the movies?
I was on the judging panel at Iris Prize Film Festival in October. We watched the short film Balcony, and I cried a lot in that. It was so powerful.
Your album was loved by many in 2016, but what album did you love the most and why?
Ever in the world? As a child my favourite was Ace Of Base’s Happy Nation. That was on constant loop. As an adult, it’s a split between Kate Bush’s The Sensual World, Pet Shop Boys’ Behaviour and Diana Ross’ The Boss, which is really so close to being a perfect album.
You’ve already collaborated with Elton John, Jake Shears and Ana Matronic. Is there a dream musical partner you’re itching to work with?
Kate Bush would be beyond words. Musically I’d love to do something with some of my favourite electronic producers – Simian Mobile Disco, Basement Jaxx and Royksopp. That would be so much fun.
If you could talk to the teenage Rod Thomas, what advice would you give to him?
Buy a second copy of Tori Amos’ From The Choirgirl Hotel on vinyl. It’s worth a lot now.
What’s in your fridge?
Nothing! I’m flying to London today so there’s just one beer and some non-perishables. (BORING)
What is overrated?
The number of followers a person has on social media as a benchmark of talent or success.
Can you tell us something about your new single, ‘Running Back To You’ that you haven’t told anyone else?
I wrote the lyrics in my head standing in line at Bob & Betty’s grocery store on Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn waiting to pay for some cereal. Who said being a musician was glamorous?!
● Choreography is out now. The ‘Running Back To You’ EP, including remixes and a new song, is available to pre-order from Friday, January 20.