When I sat down at Wild Rita’s with Rob Diver and Zack Pennington to talk about their band, Light Treasons, we joked about an opening line much like this one. “Are you going to say something about interviewing us with a mouth full of tacos?” Yes, Rob. Yes, I am.
You don’t have to drive very far in this city to find a decent taco joint, and in much the same way, you don’t have to look very hard to find talented local artists creating original music. Like the complex and unique flavors of my carne asada tacos – is anyone else getting hungry? – the band’s first full-length album, Fortunes, is packed to the brim with complex melodies and harmonies, exciting guitar riffs, soaring vocals, and lyrics that are sure to get stuck in your head. It’s one of those albums that you can listen to over and over, and still find something new every time. And the best part about it? These tunes are certified, organic, 100% locally-sourced, grown right here in Louisville.
Recording Fortunes took about a year and a half to complete, and was recorded at Early Grayce Studios. The artfully crafted songs have a cohesive theme, with recurring imagery and occasionally reprised lyrics and melodies. According to Rob and Zack, the cohesive feel of this rock album was “a little bit of planning, a lot of writing, and a little bit of luck.”
Rob told me, “I used to be in choir, so I didn’t have a lot of experience being on stage, trying to be a front-man. I didn’t know how to sing rock. I didn’t know how to perform without a guitar, but they gave me the push to be able to do it.” Zack chimed in, “Rob is like a baby bird at the top of a very tall tree full of nests, and we keep pushing him from nest to nest, vocally… and as he falls to each subsequent nest, he gets more and more confident in his ability to fly.” And fly, he does. The album’s vocal parts combine with the overlapping and intricate guitar melodies to produce a sound all their own. Full disclosure? Since its release, Fortunes is the only album I keep in my phone’s iTunes.
Light Treasons experienced a major highlight last fall when they were asked to open for Pierce the Veil at the Mercury Ballroom for the Louder Than Life After-Party. Rob explained what it was like to play that show.
“I didn’t realize until we were headed up onto the stage just how many people were there. I thought there was going to be like 200 people, and there were probably closer to 700-800. I grew up fighting to be up on the barricade and be part of the show – and that was music to me. The performers onstage seemed like 50-foot tall gods, ya know? The crowd at Mercury Ballroom didn’t know our music and still wanted to sing along, which was an incredible feeling. Definitely in the top 5 moments of my life. It was unreal.”
I asked Rob and Zack what it was like being musicians in a town so full of music:
“Everyone’s heard that phrase, ‘It’s hard to be a hero in your own hometown,’ right? I think there’s some truth to that, and that’s not Louisville-specific. There are so many bands are that are genuinely talented, and I think we as a music scene, and as consumers of music, do ourselves a disservice if we wait until something has been externally validated to validate it. And the flip side of that is, as artists, we have to push ourselves to be worth coming out for! Netflix is really compelling, you know? For $8.99 a month or whatever, you can just stay home and do nothing! But we have a lot of great bands worth seeing right here.”
For my money, Light Treasons is one of those local bands worth supporting. Fortunes is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon. You can connect with them via Facebook or Instagram @lighttreasons !
· Rob Diver – Vocals
· Zack Pennington – Lead Guitar
· Clay Nevels – Rhythm Guitar and Vocals
· Jared Howell – Bass
· Joel Eichenberger – Drums