Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Michael LoPresti Of The Lighthouse And The Whaler

Photo courtesy of The Lighthouse And The Whaler Facebook page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Cleveland indie group The Lighthouse And The Whaler recently dropped music videos for singles “Stay With Me” and “Let It All Go,” which have garnered praise from many outlets and fans alike, both songs serving as an optimistic glimpse of their upcoming record.

Formed in 2008, the trio of Michael LoPresti, Mark Porostosky and Ryan Walker have headlined tours coast-to-coast and released three full-length albums, with the desire to not be pigeonholed into a particular genre and float somewhere between folk, alternative and rock.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with LoPresti about what they’ve been up to lately and more.

Music Bugle – How did you decide on the band name? 

Michael LoPresti – The band name comes from the book “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville. It’s a metaphor for destiny derived from a number of thematic scenes and elements in the book.

Music Bugle – What was your goal for your single “Let It All Go”? 

Michael LoPresti – I think the goal was to make a great song that connected with people. I think that’s always the goal. Every song is different and this one came from a very personal place, but I think if people can find themselves in it or feel something from it, whatever their circumstance, then the song is a success in my view.

Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music? 

Michael LoPresti – The ability to constantly push the envelope with our orchestration and the sounds we use to get across the emotional value we want the song to have. For instance, we used a variety of horns on our upcoming record, something we haven’t really done before and I think there isn’t really an end to the orchestral diversity we hope to achieve as we continue making new songs.

Music Bugle – Did the video for “Let It All Go” come out how you hoped?

Michael LoPresti – Yeah. I think when the directors came to us with the idea, I was skeptical, but as we went through the process of making it and collaborating with them. I think it really came together to be something unique to us.

Music Bugle – How would you describe Cleveland to someone who has never been there before? 

Michael LoPresti – The chillest little city, easy to navigate with awesome food and diverse culture. Plus, one of the best art museums on the planet – and it’s free! Nothing pretentious here, just midwesterners doing their thing.

Music Bugle – What is the biggest challenge in being a musical trio? 

Michael LoPresti – Making sure everyone has a voice. I think we navigate that aspect pretty well, but it’s definitely a constant struggle to make sure everyone feels like they have a mark they can leave on each song. I think the collaboration we share ends up making better songs in the long run.

Music Bugle – Of your three albums, which one stands out as your personal favorite? 

Michael LoPresti – Honestly, I don’t really have a favorite. I enjoyed making each one and the cities we made them in really have a special place in my memory, but once an album is finished, I almost never listen to it again.

Music Bugle – What was your most memorable moment while onstage?

Michael LoPresti – We played a show at the Metro in Chicago and it was one of the biggest club shows we ever played, over 1,000 people. We were opening for a band called Jukebox The Ghost and it was really one of the highlights of my time playing music.

Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Michael LoPresti – It’s really just slowed everything down, sometimes to a halt, but it has also thrown a lot of uncertainty onto a career we’ve spent a lot of time building and onto songs we’ve spent hundreds of hours creating and that can be pretty unnerving. It’s not all bad. On the plus side, we’ve had a lot of time to work on our music production skills and tinker with new songs and soundscapes.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?

Michael LoPresti – I retreat to the woods and solitude whenever I can. I’m not much of an extrovert, so the quiet of the wild is where I find peace.

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