by Justin Markert
The Lighthouse and The Whaler have announced a very special Christmas show with Humble Home and Morgan Mecasky entitled The Lighthouse and The Whaler and Friends Christmas Celebration. The show will be at the Grog Shop on December 20th. I spoke with lead singer/guitarist Michael LoPresti about the upcoming show, favorite Christmas memories, and what the future holds for the band.
Tell us how this whole thing came about?
Matthew had the idea back in June, we wanted to get a few bands together and instead of doing a regular show, have those bands cover and then play the songs together live. Ideas started spiraling like crazy from there. We got together with Humble Home and Morgan Mecaskey in September and had another brainstorming session and finalized all the pieces we wanted to be in place for the show. We’ve been working since then as one big “superband” to cover eight Christmas songs. We definitely want this show to be a unique experience for all our collective fans.
You’ll be performing together with Humble Home and Morgan right? How have preparations for that gone?
Yeah, we will all be performing on stage together at the same time. The preparations have been going really well. At first it was a little weird all working together, but once we got in a rhythm we really clicked and the songs are coming out great. All these guys are so talented, it’s made it really easy.
You’re donating the proceeds from the show, tell us about that.
We didn’t want this show to be about money, we all believe that Christmas is about being with the ones you love, giving, and remembering that we are blessed. We decided in September to donate all the proceeds from the show to The Littlest Heroes. They are an organization in Cleveland who work with families who’s kids have really tough diseases, most of those families have maxed out their finances on getting their kids help and can’t afford to give their kids a Christmas. Our money goes to getting gifts for those families so they can have a Christmas.
What kind of Christmas songs will you be covering?
We are gonna officially release the Christmas song set list later in November, but they are all songs that directly have to do with the story of Christmas. The songs will be nicely varied because each lead singer and Mark Poro of TLATW were in charge of two songs each.
Will you be playing non-Christmas stuff?
Each band will be playing a 25 min. set of originalmusic except for TLATW who will play a 35 min. set. Almost all the TLATW songs will be new ones!
What’s your favorite Christmas song and why?
“I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)” – It reminds of Christmas as a kid.
What was your favorite Christmas record growing up?
Elvis Presley – Elvis’ Christmas Album. My dad used to do Elvis impressions and everything. It was awesome.
Sufjan Stevens – Songs for Christmas. It really is fantastic.
What was the one thing you wanted for Christmas as a kid more than anything else?
Man, I think it has to be one of those old school electric football fields, where you put the little guys on it and it vibrates and they moved all over. It was the best.
What was your Red Ryder BB gun?
Probably a slingshot. Me and my brother got them one year and after some broken windows, dead birds, and welts, my dad promptly took them away.
If you could sing a Christmas duet with any living artist, like David Bowie and Bing Crosby – who would it be?
He’s dead but Barry White, it would definitely be a sexy Christmas.
Looking forward to 2014, what does TLATW have on the agenda for the new year?
Well, we just finished putting together some demos (which we’ll be playing at this show!) and we’re getting our touring schedule together for the beginning of the year, so we are hoping it’s gonna be another big year for us.
Read more about how the show came about at www.thelighthouseandthehaler.com/christmas
Watch a teaser trailer for the show below.