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White White Lights switch to 'on'

Loss of bassist put Austin band on hold after release of EP, but rockers return to stage Saturday

Alex Daniel

If you got caught up in the bright flash of buzz surrounding Austin's the White White Lights this spring, you were probably left wondering what hit you when the band disappeared after the release of their ‘Medium-Headed Boy' EP. With a charismatic live show and an EP full of spacey glam-rock, the band entranced hipsters and critics alike. And then, just like that, they were gone. But they'll be back Saturday at Emo's. Guitarist Jonas Wilson and vocalist Jenny Gacey recently sat down to talk about their leave from and return to the Austin scene.

American-Statesman: Why the hiatus?

Jonas Wilson: We lost our bass player. He was a longtime friend of mine, and he had to go a different way, doing stuff in his life. He left, and we had a lot of stuff going on personally in our lives.

Jenny Gacey: I graduated college.

Wilson: We moved. All kinds of stuff. We kind of hit a hiatus without a bass player, and we were not quick to replace him, and it just wound up letting life get a hold of us for a few months there.

Was the break refreshing, discouraging, invigorating, or something else?

Wilson: Kind of all of the above.

Gacey: We're pretty excited. Almost a little nervous because it's been a while, but we've been working hard getting back together.

Wilson: It gave us some time to reflect on what we were doing and what we wanted to do and the direction we wanted to head in. I think you have to have reflective periods to keep having new ideas.

You've also been doing some recording. How is that shaping up in comparison to your past work?

Wilson: The last record was a really intensive live record. That's what I was really proud of—everything on that record was done 100 percent live. Vocals, everything. And then maybe one or two overdubs. And everything was done pretty much over the course of about three or four nights. That was really the way we wanted to keep that particular record. It was just a lot rawer than our other one. And then the new stuff we're working on, I don't even know what that stuff is. It's Talking Heads weirdness.

How does it feel to be getting back onstage, and what can fans expect when they come out to see you?

Gacey: Hardcore rock. I think we always bring a fun party, which is always good, and I think we'll bring it just as hard if not harder than last time.

Wilson: I think it's fun, and I've been playing with a lot of other people throughout the summer and kind of doing some other stuff myself, gaining a different musical perspective. I definitely want it to be a different thing when we come back, too. I think we're trying some different approaches.

Ringo Deathstarr with She Sir, New Roman Times, The White White Lights

When: Doors at 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Emo's, 603 Red River St.

Cost: $8.