Lights answers our incredibly personal questionnaire
Lights has been cranking out beguiling synthpop tunes since she was a Toronto teenager. Now approaching 30, and with an infant daughter at home (her name is Rocket Wild), the musician once known as Valerie Poxleitner is taking a slightly more low-key approach—to music, if not to life. Her just-released latest album, Midnight Machines, trades synthetic beats for acoustic rhythms and unadorned vocals. Here’s how she answered our questionnaire:
1. Where’s your favourite place on earth (and why)?
Right here on my couch, actually. I have mountains across the street, B.C. rainforest just outside the door, all my comic and video game collectibles, a hefty crystal collection in light-up cases, and my daughter is playing on the floor in front of me. Of all the places I’ve been in the world, nothing feels quite like this.
2. What’s your pet peeve?
When people think raging about something online is more effective than just living that conviction and being an example.
3. What’s your favourite vice?
Video games and wine.
4. What’s a trend you loathe (and why)?
Lipliner, probably. I just don’t think it looks that good. It doesn’t go much deeper than that. That said, I wore it in grade nine once because Pam Anderson wore it. I got made fun of for it, so maybe I’m sore.
5. What achievement are you proudest of?
I’ve done many things I’m proud of, but what makes me the proudest is the fact that I’ve managed to be the mother of a beautiful daughter in the process.
6. What three adjectives would your friends use to describe you?
Honest, loyal and disorganized.
7. What do people not understand about you?
People don’t really understand the depth at which I’m actually a survivalist. I have a bug-out plan, a survival kit, and I’m well versed in apocalypse jargon and know-how.
8. If you could live in any decade, which one (and why)?
I’d love to live my current age in, like, 50 years. I’d love to see what kind of technology we would have at our disposal. I’ve seen so much change in my lifetime that I want to be part of more. I’m dying to know where tech advancements will take music production, and how immersive a gaming experience will be. Also, I’d be interested in attempting to survive the inevitable apocalypse we are carving out for ourselves.
9. What’s your greatest regret?
Being afraid for so many years. I never realized how at peace you could be with yourself until I had a kid. Life is so much more enjoyable when you realize it isn’t all about you.
10. What are you obsessed with right now (and why)?
Binge-watching The 100. The writing is really great, and it has a bit of all the things I love: fantasy, sci-fi, horror and sex.
11. Describe the perfect date.
An all-nighter horror movie marathon with a pint of peanut butter ice cream and a joint.
12. Who’s the most impressive contact in your cell phone?
Honestly, Myspace Tom. He’s kind of my hero. He’s living the dream every day, traveling the world and taking photos.
13. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
Lara Croft in a freaking heartbeat. It’s hard to imagine a fake person being inspiring, but she helps me visualize what I’m capable of.
14. Name a word you’re not sure how to pronounce.
“Vehement.” I think I get it, but I’m not sure.
15. What dead celebrity would you like to meet?
I’ve met everyone I’ve dreamed of, I think: Phil Collins, Joni Mitchell and Bryan Adams. People are just people, and most of the time they’ll just remind you of that and it will be slightly disappointing for you.
16. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
Strangely, I can’t recall anything painfully embarrassing—which is weird, because I am very clumsy and awkward. I think I block those things out purposely.
17. When’s the last time you cried?
If we’re talking from a real-life scenario it would’ve been coming back from my last U.K. tour and seeing my girl. But I cry all the time watching shows and movies. I’m an emotional wreck.
18. What’s your pop-culture guilty pleasure?
I always hate answering this, because my music has been referred to as a guilty pleasure before. It bums me out that someone would be ashamed of something they like.
19. What percentage do you tip for decent service?
Decent as in “that was really decent bro”? I would do 20. Decent as in “meh”? I would do 15.
20. Who should play you in your hypothetical biopic?
Probably Banks, because I’ve been stopped a time or two in public by fans mistaking me for her.
21. What’s the last book you read?
22. What would be your death-row meal?
Oh God. I guess a bottle of moscato and a turkey dinner. I’d be hoping to go into a food coma.
23. What do you want your tombstone to say?
All of the lyrics to “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones.