Parade of Lights is branded “L.A.-based,” but the band’s roots stem from our dusty desert. Before all but one of the band members relocated to Southern California, they experienced quiet triumphs here: a spot on the local stage in 2011’s Bite of Las Vegas; and opening shows for Imagine Dragons (Count’s Vamp’d circa March 2011 being one of them). Then this summer, their shoe-gaze anthem “We’re the Kids” hit airwaves, hooked them a recording contract and their biggest Las Vegas audiences yet: opening for X 107.5’s Holiday Havoc featuring former locals Panic! at the Disco on November 30, and Imagine Dragons’ largest solo homecoming on December 30, both taking place at The Joint. All the while, the band is still busy working on their first full-length album, expected for release in February. In the midst of the madness, we caught up with the group’s last remaining Las Vegan, drummer Anthony Improgo, to discuss the challenges of working long-distance, his love of typography and pizza toppings.
You signed with Astralwerks Records in August. How has that affected the band?
That’s the funny thing. You go into it like, “Oh shoot. Are we going to have control of our website or imaging or photo shoots and videos?” But it’s been really refreshing because everything that the people at Astralwerks said they were going to do … they’re doing. It’s been a 50/50 marriage. I’m a graphic designer by trade, and Ryan [Daly] does a lot of photography. Everything you see on the web, we’re the ones doing it because they let us. Today, you have to be a 360 artist. Once the music is out you have to be in control of the imaging, the fonts, the whole look, because that complements the music. If you have that whole skill set, you’ll be a lot more successful.
You guys are definitely art heavy with your posts on social media.
I love typography. That’s my thing. I love a nice font, clean lines. I love user-interfaces and user-navigation, rule of thirds. You can apply that to music as well. Let’s say you have Photoshop—you have layers in Photoshop. When you have Pro Tools it’s the same thing—you have layers, but you also have the timeline. That’s the marriage of design and music. They’re very similar.
What inspired you to make the “G” backward in your logo?
It’s kind of the Bauhaus, modern design movement that started in Germany. I’ve been heavily influenced on that type. It’s very subtle but clean type design.
You still live in Las Vegas, but your bandmates all live in L.A. How’s the long-distance relationship working out?
It’s definitely hard. We go back and forth, and we work online a lot. We trade files. We have to coordinate more, but the Internet makes it a lot easier. There’s still nothing like being in one room and actually rehearsing. For the show in November, [the rest of the band] will be out here for about a week.
Where do you take them when they’re here?
When they come here, we’re in the studio. If we do go out, we go to Silverton or something because it’s cheap [laughs.] Everything on the Strip is so expensive! I’ve also been finding some really cool coffee shops in Summerlin. What’s that pizza place in Boca Park? It’s really good … I went there and they have a pizza named after a guy from the Killers.
Would you want to have a pizza named after you one day?
Yes! And if it were, it would be Hawaiian. It would have a lot of mushrooms and pineapple.
Parade of Lights’ Upcoming Shows
7 p.m. Nov. 30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 30 at The Joint in Hard Rock Hotel, 693-5000, HardRockHotel.com.