June 21, 2012
-- There is always something unsettling about pioneering your way through the unknown without feasible means to an end. But for the The Lightfighters, with great risk, dedication and persistence, comes great reward. In this case, reward isn’t fame, but longevity and artistic freedom. Formed in Monterey, Ca. in 2007, this band is all too familiar with facing the hardships and competition in a digital age of music. The over-saturated tripe that blares over the mainstream radio, television, and multimedia can be discouraging but has motivated this band to taking an alternative route. The Lightfighters choose to have no labels, publicists, or producers and instead have found their own path to self-attained musical prowess.
“We don’t want to become the here today and gone tomorrow type of band,” says vocalist and keyboardist Jonathan Griffin. “We’d rather continue to make music consistently and make a difference for our fans than become incredibly famous.”
This five- piece band has already found success online while licensing their music in film, Rockband™
video games, internationally in China, and here in the U.S. domestically. Even more than that, however, is a group that is more willing to give than to receive. Their music is featured in a film to raise awareness about Huntington's disease in hopes of finding a cure. Their songs have also been used on "Music for the Troops Radio" to help soldiers overseas and have made it onto compilation albums such as Give To The Gulf, an album whose proceeds help victims of Hurricane's Katrina and Rita. The Lightfighters continue to play live shows at various charitable events.
"To me, success is inspiring people through our music,” says Griffin. “Because we aren’t tied down to a label, we are able to market our music wherever we choose.” After going through several line-up changes over the years and finding the right group of people, the sound, which mixes a plethora of genres, has never been better. Lead vocalist Savannah Keen can belt out raspy growls with the likes of Janis Joplin, then deliver sultry ballads with a uniqueness and conviction that makes every song her own. Bassist Chris Castillo has implemented southern California-style grooves intertwined with aggressive, yet melodic lines while holding down the rhythm section. Drummer Eric Crago anchors the band with his flourishes all around the kit and virtuous interplay with lead instruments, blending jazz and rock drumming styles. Rounding out the group is lead guitarist Mario Cardoso, whose guitar-god influences in Hendrix, Santana, and Stevie Ray Vaughn give vivid sensibility to each song without taking away from his own raw authenticity.
Wikipedia describes The Lightfighters as an "alternative rock and do-it-yourself indie band." While loose as those terms may be, it gives the impression they are not waiting for anyone to come and save them. "We are in control of our own destiny, that is the new model for musicians in this day and age," says Griffin. "Fans and the artists are more in control now than anything, there is another music revolution on the horizon, we are close to turning a corner, and hopefully we will be a part of it when that day comes."