Photo by Brinley Hineman // Assistant News Editor
While the group — Landon Holloway, Brandon Wyatt, Tanner Mayhall and Spencer Johnson — has been compared to the likes of the 1975, guitarist Mayhall says the band pulls inspiration from many artists, mashing genres together to form a unique sound.
“We tend to make our own sound,” Mayhall told Sidelines. “Genres are kind of irrelevant nowadays if you think about it. If you limit yourself to a certain genre, you limit [your audience]. It should all be about the music.”
Since the day MTSU students Landon Holloway and Brandon Wyatt met, they knew music was in their future.
The singer-guitarist duo hit it off instantly from a musical standpoint, and it wasn’t long until Mayhall and Johnson joined forces. The duo recruited Holloway’s childhood friend Spencer Johnson to play drums, and, with the addition of second guitarist Tanner Mayhall, Chasing Lights completed their current lineup.
“It started off with Brandon and I playing in coffee shops,” Holloway explained. “[Next] we added Spencer to the group, then Tanner came along a few months later. It wasn’t long after that when we made our first EP.”
The band’s name has an interesting backstory, according to the group. The search to find a name yielded four pages covered front and back with potential band names. Holloway and Wyatt said they bickered back and forth about potential options until Holloway suggested the name Chasing Lights. The positive reception to it was instantaneous.
“It took a lot of arguing, as every decision that we make does,” Holloway said jokingly.
The group prides themselves on only producing original content and actively choosing to stray away from covers.
“It doesn’t feel the same,” explained guitarist Wyatt. “We then base what we’re doing off what [the original artist was] doing.”
The recipe for originality can’t be forced, however. The group has only written one song during a formal songwriting session. Instead of professional sit-downs, the band often opts to cultivate their creativity over text message, sending snippets of song concepts back and forth and piecing them together to create full tracks. The four-piece equates songwriting to writing a paper.
“A lot of times, we record on our phones and send it back and forth,” Mayhall said. “Then, when we come together, we just go for it.”
“Sometimes we will try to create a song, but it just doesn’t work then,” Johnson continued. “So, we’ll come back together later to finish it.”
The only song that has come from a formal writing session is the group’s latest single, “Good,” which was released via Match Records on Friday.
Another aspect of this group’s informal nature is their love of playing local house shows in Murfreesboro and Nashville.
“Recording gets boring,” Holloway said. “Being on stage, playing in front of people is when you know it’s all paid off,” finished Wyatt.
The group has played a variety of house shows including Boro Fondo, Murfreesboro’s cycling, arts and music festival.
Musical evolution is something the group says they strives for. The band’s original intent was to form a garage rock band, but after time a pop sound married into the mix.
“The reason music evolves is because you keep doing things that people haven’t,” confirmed Mayhall.
Holloway equates Match Records as the “cherry on top” of their sound evolution.
When first presented with the opportunity to sign with Match Records, the group was hesitant until “feeling the passion in the room,” according to Wyatt. “There is never a shortage of people [willing] to work with you.”
To contact Lifestyles editor Tanner Dedmon email email@example.com.