Band opening eyes after more than a decade together
Gary Lightbody prefers hanging around in dingy pubs to bumming with celebrities.
Which perhaps explains why it took the lead singer of Snow Patrol so long to achieve a degree of notoriety. The band is on a world tour, after a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live.
“Over the years, touring with bands, a lot of the bands that supported us along the way went on to have great success and we’ve gone, ‘Wow.’ But we never experienced it ourselves,” he says.
Snow Patrol is the poster child for every post-adolescent garage band. After bumming around the U.K. for a decade, making waves on the indie circuits, the band hit sudden success with the 2003 album Final Straw. Their single Run hit the Top 5 chart in the U.K. Eyes Open was released in 2006.
Despite the quick turnaround, it’s not the kind of record where you go to L.A., have money thrown at you while you sit around the pool and do jack-all, Lightbody says. The band members put their hearts and souls into it.
“This record is probably the first record that we made cohesively from start to finish. It’s the record we’ve been trying to make since we were 18, but just weren’t competent or smart enough to make until now.”
Eyes Open topped the music charts across the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.
Nobody warned the band that they had exploded, he said. When they arrived, suddenly, they were superstars, filling 7,000-seat stadiums every night, with event organizers telling them they could fill a concert hall twice that size.
“Eyes Open has been the first album that we’ve done that’s had a worldwide effect,” he says. Especially the song Chasing Cars, which became a huge hit after being played in the second-season finale of TV drama Grey’s Anatomy.
“It was our first taste of fame,” Lightbody says. “We’ve never been famous. We’re not on the front of magazines, we’re not hanging out with supermodels and actors. That’s not our life. We’d rather be in a dingy dark pub somewhere.”