Interview – Stephen Lewis & The Big Band Of Fun

Fredericton, NB-based Stephen Lewis & The Big Band Of Fun has recently released their single, “Leave The Lights On”.

The single is a danceable pulsing blast of energy about getting back to the good things. Underneath the currents of electropop Lewis is candid through his lyrics, referencing struggles with mental health and the unexpected outcomes the pandemic has forced on so many.

Leave The Lights On] is a song about triumphing over the unthinkable. The mental health part is a big underlying theme of this song,” says Lewis, “and creating something that helps others forget about how hard life can be is the most beautiful thing we know.

Now that COVID restrictions are finally easing, the band is ready to get back on the road this Spring and spread their brand of funk and positivity to audiences everywhere.

Listen to “Leave the Lights On” below, and find out more about Stephen Lewis & The Big Band of Fun via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi everybody my name is Stephen Lewis and I play in a band called Stephen Lewis and the big band fun. We’ve toured all over the world and played at festivals like Glastonbury, Burning Man, Mountain Jam, Harvest Music Festival, and dozens of other fests in the US, UK, and Canada. I love to play live shows more than bumblebees love flowers.. and yes I do like long walks on the beach too!

You have unveiled your new single, “Leave The Lights On”, what can you tell us about the writing process behind this release?

My bandmate and I Jason Merrill wrote this song while jamming together in our recording studio in Fredericton, New Brunswick. When we rehearse we always have everything multi-tracked and recording. It was early 2021 and on that day we received a message letting us know that yet another tour had been canceled. During a break, one of us said to the other one “things are getting so tough it’s hard to keep the lights on” – referencing keeping our bills paid, but at that moment we realized that we had the perfect idea for a song.

We haven’t told many people this until now – but the bass and rhythm guitar in this song is actually from our live rehearsal that very day. We then built all the other elements around those live elements. We thought it was important to keep them in the song – since we’re most known for our live energy in our performances.

The lyrics came quickly and we found it easy to make comparisons to our life on the road being put on pause to the common persons’ life being paused too… We wanted to write something that acknowledged the darkness we had all experienced but most importantly focus on overcoming the darkness by “leaving the lights on” for each other.

The single comes ahead of your EP coming out this spring, what can you tell us about this release?

The entire EP release has been a long time coming. We are known for our love of funk, jam, and disco – but with this release, we want to show the world that we can’t be boxed in by any genre. Some of these songs have been in our live show for years and some we’ve never played for an audience. We want to show our friends and fans the broadness of our writing abilities, but also remain true to what we’re known for – FUN!

A lot of these songs have secret stories hidden in them that are intended to make the listeners feel good or maybe even laugh.. but if you listen close, there’s always a bigger picture hidden behind the framework of each song.

You are scheduled to play a few festivals this summer including Mariposa Folk Festival and Ness Creek Music Festival, after a few years without festivals, what are you most looking forward to with the return of outdoor festivals?

Honestly – I’m looking forward to seeing the swell of a large crowd in front of us – dancing, sweating and letting go of these past two years.

I’m also looking forward to getting our career back. Our band has built a bit of a repertoire as festival favourites and after these two years of live streams and waiting patiently – there will be no better feeling than returning to what we do best!

What else can we expect from you in 2022?

In line with the release – we have a massive tour lined up this year that includes dates all over the USA, Canada, and our biggest tour in The United Kingdom to date.

We have over 10 festival plays lined up across the pond and have also been invited back to perform at the legendary Glastonbury festival.

In addition to the festival plays and tour dates – I’m very excited to have the stage that I co-program and present at Harvest Music Festival in Fredericton, NB finally returning in 2022. It also will feel really good to have the return of the hometown show too – we’ll be coming off of our UK tour just in time to get ready for Harvest. Going out and playing all over the world is probably one of the most inspiring things I know and there is no better feeling than bringing all of that inspiration home for a big hometown festival show!

In 2022 you can really expect one thing from us… Big Fun!

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