Francis Farewell Starlite’s hairstyle—a James Dean-esque pompadour—and chic style scream “Star!” His vocals are vintage, like a raspy-smooth Joe Cocker, and onstage, his moves are grand, seemingly pulled and remixed from James Brown’s good-foot arsenal. As leader of his indie pop band, Francis and the Lights, he’s a fascinating eccentric. Don’t tell Starlite any of this, though. The 28-year-old isn’t a fan of comparisons.
In the few interviews Francis has given, writers inevitably wind up describing him as an elusive, coy character. He’s reserved. His words are brief, guarded even. “Let me think about how I want to answer that,” he’ll respond to a few questions during our interview. He doesn’t mind letting several moments pass before he gets out exactly what he wants to say. It’s refreshing in an era where most artists blurt out outrageous quotes and eventually cry foul after reading and eating their words.
The group has two stellar, five-song EPs, 2007’s Striking and 2008’s A Modern Promise. The introspective sets with bouncing, spacey beats have earned him a dedicated cult following. This summer the band’s set to release their third effort, It’ll Be Better.
Currently on tour with hip-hop’s young stud, Drake, Francis called in from his West Virginia-bound tour bus to introduce himself. Among other topics below, he opens up about why he’s curt, who or what “the Lights” are, his legal name, and how he found his life’s purpose on a train.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you enjoying the tour experience so far?
FRANCIS FAREWELL STARLITE: It’s been wonderful. I’m very thankful. It’s a very exciting tour. It’s an experience.
Drake fans are expecting a hip-hop show. How has the crowd been reacting to your performances?
It’s hard to say. In general, it’s been positive. We haven’t felt any negativity. I think there have been a couple of shows recently, once we’ve gotten our bearings straight, that have gone over very well. At least it felt that way, where we were able to bring people into our world. But it is a challenge, no question about it. I feel like every night we do a show, I have to just go out there and go to work. READ FULL STORY »