Sunday, April 27, 2014

"The Day The Light Went Out" The Strange Familiar, Returns

The Strange Familiar
The Pop/Rock Band The Strange Familiar are back! After the success of their album "Chasing Shadows" the group took some down time for various reasons. That down time went on to shape their new, and in my opinion best effort yet, "The Day The Light Went Out."

I caught up with the band front woman, Kira Leyden Andrea to get the 411 on their latest, and the things that life throws at you...

MS: Hi Kira, I was watching a "Pretty Little Liars" rerun before you called I remembered when songs  from TSF's "Chasing Shadows" were featured prominently on a previous season. What about songs from the new CD? Do you think they will be heard on the show?

KLA: I hope so, I believe the music supervisor for "Pretty Little Liars" has a copy of the album. I'm hoping they'll use it, I think they are kind of waiting for something super emotional and dramatic to happen, but hopefully they will. (laughs)

MS: "Pretty Little Liars" is always super emotional and dramatic so I am sure it will happen. (laughs) While listening to the album last night all I could think was: "Wow, this is really good."

KLA: Awwwwww, Thank You!

MS: Reading some of the comments you guys made about the album, like how much more personal and deeper it was than your previous efforts, "Well, yeah." Talk about that.

KLA: We did the songs on the album at two different times and somehow they ended up fitting together. The first couple of songs we wrote were "Surrender" & "Painkiller" we had those for a little while, we played them live, sort of "road tested" them you might say, we noticed they were getting a great reaction from fans. The songs were totally a different direction than what we had done on "Chasing Shadows" in the sense they were coming from darker places.

"Painkiller" is asking the question about going through life and living it numb and letting all of these things pass you by. It started with those two songs, then when we went to do the second half we had "Rain" which we didn't even think we were going to end up using. We were really short on songs, honestly (both laugh) we had a few that we liked and we thought were good, and solid, we knew we needed more and it needed to fit with the other stuff. But we didn't know if the producers would go for it, we showed all these songs to them including "Rain" and they said this is definitely going on the album, I thought: "Really?" We really thought of it as just this cute little song, this little lullaby - we kind of went with it. I like the song on the record because it does fit. It talks about being in the desert, and it talks about being in a dark, tough place in your life that someone is bringing you through. It's a cool thing.

We went through a lot of that too, like having the baby and when I was sick for a  know I was in intensive care after I had the baby, and it was scary. I was really, really sick with an abscess and I think that plays into the rest of the record. That's "The Day The Light Went Out" so, yeah.

MS: I remember seeing that on your Facebook page, I believe your husband Jeff posted it, about how ill you were. One can definitely see how it influenced the album, sometimes the best stuff creatively comes out of the most challenging of times.

Kira And TSF's Latest CD

KLA: To me the message of the album is you can experience horrible things and tragedies in your life, but out of those, that's where you really become who you want to be. It's where you become stronger and you grow so much, while you're in it, it's like: "Whoa!" But when you look back at it, you think I wouldn't be who I am today without that, believe it or not it's a good thing actually.

MS: If you actually make it through you do become a different and better person.

KLA: Yeah, I think so.

MS: Me too. What was it like being in the hospital for you?

KLA: Well, you are really going in and out of morphine la la la feelings. (both laugh) In my situation I did not know how big my abscess really was. You can't see it and you feel horrible. One day I remember this one Doctor came in, one I had never seen before and said: "Where changing your antibiotic" and he did to this really super strong one, and I'm like, Okaaaaay. I was freaking out about all these antibiotics, and the Doctor says: "You have to you are in intensive care and you are really sick." That's when it started to sink in that "Dang this is serious." We were scared and it was a really dark time, I just wanted to go home and be with my baby, I feel like I can appreciate things so much more, there are people who are stuck in the Hospital who don't get to leave for months. You can relate and empathize more with them. That's part of what feeds into the album and it's title, "The Day The Light Went Out" a lot of it too does have to do with my faith.

Because I am a Catholic, a Christian, I just like to be honest the song does have to do with that. You don't have to believe anything I believe - to appreciate the message of the song that out of something horrible and dark can come something beautiful.

MS: One of the things I like about you guys is that I get the message you put out there is an inclusive one.
Hey Everyone, It's Us!

KLA: Yeah, it doesn't matter at the end of the day we are all human beings. We are all going to go through suffering, experience loss...we can all relate to each other and that is the message I want to bring to as many people as I can.

MS: It's a good message. All the songs do fit together well, "Surrender" was a particular favorite of mine.

KLA: Very cool, that's actually my favorite. We are going to shoot a video for that one, that is our next big thing, to try and get that video done. (laughs)

MS: "Surrender" is the perfect choice for a video! So let's talk about something a little lighter, (both laugh) how is your daughter Rayne?

KLA: She is great! She is so full of life and so fun, the happiest little child. She is starting to talk and walk now.

MS: My goodness, that went quick!

KLA: She's a total person walking around, she says Mama, Dada, door...(laughs) Also she has to say "Hi" to every person she sees.

MS: It so much fun to be around kids because they see the world so differently.

KLA: Everything is exciting, everything is an adventure and everything you do is fun when you are a kid. (laughs)

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