A post punk band? A proto-punk band? A goth band? A band of Memphis’ heaviest hitters? All of the above? Meet A Thousand Lights.
Guitarist Joey Killingsworth (Jocephus and the George Jonestown Massacre, Super Witch, Grendel Crane, Static Bombs), drummer Russ Thompson (The Margins, Static Bombs, New Intruders, Pisshorse), bassist Chris McCoy (Super Witch, Static Bombs, New Intruders, Pisshorse), and vocalist Jesse James Davis (Yesse Yavis, Model Zero) owe their partnership to the Memphis Does Bowie benefit show. Thompson, who has been a musical partner with McCoy since their days in the legendary 90s art punk band Pisshorse, sat in with McCoy and Killingsworth’s metal juggernaut Super Witch to cover the Bowie classics “Scary Monsters and Super Creeps”, “Cat People”, and “It Ain’t Easy”. Davis, dressed as Low-era Bowie, brought the house down fronting Winchester and the Ammunition. Memphis Does Bowie raised more than $20,000 for Memphis area charities. In 2017, Killingsworth, Thompson, and McCoy were playing together in the death rock project Static Bombs when the trio tapped Davis for a pair of shows: Gimmie Shelter, a benefit for homeless charities that saw Memphis musicians paying tribute to the Rolling Stones; and a slot at Memphis’ hottest Halloween party, hosted by Black Lodge Video, where the band, joined by saxophonist Seth Moody, performed The Stooges Funhouse album in its entirety. These shows were such a raging success that the group decided to make it permanent, renaming themselves A Thousand Lights, after a line from The Stooges “Down On The Street”.
As you can tell from their choices of artists they paid tribute to, A Thousand Lights sound is slippery and diverse, incorporating elements from the earliest days of punk and post punk that bands like Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Love and Rockets synthesized into goth rock.
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