Speaking to Fighting for Daylight about New Music, Community Building, and TikTok Fame - Interview

Written by Julieta Vega

This month, we had the opportunity to speak to the emotive alternative group Fighting For Daylight from Baltimore, Maryland. Fighting for Daylight gained traction when one of their TikTok videos went viral with over two million likes and seven million views.

The band has just released their newest single “Six Seasons and a Movie”, and we had the pleasure of talking about it with three of their members: vocalist Adrian Dueñas, guitarist Nate Smith, and bassist Andrew Hall. We discussed upcoming music, interacting with fans, and unexpected TikTok fame!

Julieta Vega: I wanted to start by saying congratulations on the new single, we all really enjoyed it! What was the inspiration behind the track?

Adrian Dueñas: I got out of a pretty rough relationship last year. The ending was [mainly] my fault.

I made a lot of mistakes early on in the relationship that we tried to get over but couldn’t. It’s just coming to terms with being at fault for it and being too late to fix it.

JV: That message definitely shines through, it's so personal. For this song and for others, what has been the biggest motivator for all of you?

AD: I draw inspiration from so many different genres from pop, to hip-hop, to R&B, to pop-punk and metalcore.

Nate Smith: Yeah, I think we all do. Our music interests vary from person to person.

We each made an artist playlist on Spotify and it was crazy how different each playlist was, we didn’t have one shared artist! We all have different passions and tastes and we manage to put that all together.

JV: That versatility is super present in your music and makes it so unique. Are there any specific bands or artists that inspire your writing style or music production?

NS: There are so many answers I can say for this!

Andrew Hall: The right answer is “I don’t have a specific genre I like, pretty much like every style of music!”

NS: I like cool shredding guitar players and melodic vocals. I can’t just give one answer.

AH: I think what’s hard about this question is that we all grew up playing different styles of music because of the environment that we’re part of. We also played music in high school and college.

Adrian and I actually met in the marching band at our high school, so we both joined the drumline and had a rock genre background. Nate teaches music, so he knows a lot about different styles.

For me, I grew up with pop-punk and then reggae with Sublime. We never stop finding new music, especially in our local scene; there’s always good stuff coming out that people don’t know about!

AD: When I introduce people to Fighting For Daylight, we've heard that we share genres with everyone from This Wild Life to old Bring Me the Horizon to New Bring Me The Horizon to Movements and The Wonder Years…There’s such a broad catalog that we have even before this record even comes out.

JV: It’s been incredibly hard to reach an audience with the COVID-19 pandemic putting live shows on pause. How have you guys gained exposure and interacted with fans for the past year or so?

NS: TikTok!

AD: I posted a really stupid video on TikTok and it ended up getting two million likes. Those views and likes went to our other platforms like Instagram or YouTube, and those fans have stuck with us!

AD: Other than TikTok, I have a decent amount of people on Facebook and I post a lot on Twitter. So, any attention I get, I promote the band! (laughs)

NS: One thing we do a lot is interact with people. Like, if anyone comments, we always respond. That’s my favorite thing about the music scene, we’re always there to respond to everyone.

JV: TikTok has definitely become the new way to go viral. Social media has definitely become a tool that has helped musicians and artists gain exposure too. On the other hand, what has been a difficulty that the band has faced other than COVID-19? How do all of you combat those struggles?

AD: We started becoming a full-time the summer of 2019. With everybody having a full-time job or other stuff, scheduling became a really hard thing to do.

We send a lot of stuff to each other in our group chat. Being able to meet up has been hard, but we managed to have an open line of communication.

AH: One of the things that we do, that also a lot of bands have done during [the pandemic], is self-produce all of our music. Booking studio time and interacting with other people isn't safe right now, so self-producing works in our favor.

AD: One of the saving graces is that Andrew and I have lived together since before "COVID days." That's been pretty helpful.

JV: It's awesome that you all communicate despite how crazy the world is at the moment. As of right now, what do all of you think was a defining moment for FFD?

AH: I think we’re still continuously finding that.

AD: I think it was going on tour. Nate wasn’t there, but spending every night together and not getting mad at each other for dumb things showed a lot of potential. I finally started to have faith in this and get back the drive that I had given up on.

We fit together so much better with Nate, though. We find humor in all the same stupid shit and we all have similar music tastes.

The chemistry is so perfect, it doesn’t even feel like we’re a band. We’re just friends who play music together.

JV: The fact all of you have great chemistry and still are searching for that moment is great. What is a song that you would recommend to new fans just finding you guys through this article or in other places?

Everyone: “Six Seasons and a Movie!”

AD: Aside from that, “McPick 2 - Live Session.” In my opinion, it’s better than the EP version, I really like the vibe of it; it sounds like it's more upbeat but it’s actually more haunting.

NS: It’s actually more raw as we recorded it in one take.

AH: It's more stripped down and it involves Adrian on acoustic too!

JV: Agreed, it's a great track and everyone should listen to it!! Looking to the future, what do all of you hope to accomplish this year?

NS: I just want to blow up and act like I don’t know nobody. (laughs)

AH: We’re working on more music, don’t even know if that's been said publicly yet! We have new stuff coming out, just don’t want to say anything if it's not ready. We appreciate all the patience from our followers.

AD: Big things are coming soon! As far as goals go, it’d be insane to reach 15,000 monthly listeners.

Despite that though, I don’t care how many people are listening as long as someone can connect to what I’m saying. If someone listens to one of our songs and relates to it, means a lot.

I write a lot about my experiences and for someone to connect to it means so much. It’s comforting knowing I’m not alone in the things I’m struggling with.

NS: We want to reassure people that they can come to us and speak to us. We want to be there for people.

That’s why we respond to people a lot! We want to build a community with everyone around us.

AD: We have a Facebook group for our fans and they talk about different things. Not even band-related, sometimes just advice or help. It's amazing.

JV: Is there anything else you want to add about new music?

AD: It’s a record I’ve been writing for about a year and a half. With everyone in the band now, we put in a lot of work and incorporated some new stuff. Everything I put out beforehand has been very watered down, emotion-wise.

With this release, I’m going to be as brutally honest as I can be, not just for myself but for everyone. “Six Seasons and a Movie” is a glimpse into that and probably the most vulnerable I've ever been lyrically.

I’m sick of holding back and I don’t like the thought of not being totally honest. That’s what this record is largely about.

As for the sound, it ranges from acoustic to pop-punk, and there's even a lo-fi track! It’s going to be a pretty diverse and brutally honest album; I'm trying to step away from people’s judgment and create what I want to create.

JV: That's what it's all about, right? Creating things that you love, regardless of what others may say or think. With that being said thank you for taking the time to do this with us! Is there anything else any of you would like to say or promote?

NS: Thanks Kellin Quinn for sharing our song! What a guy.

AH: I didn’t expect that, holy shit.

AD: The only thing I have to add is, support black artists and people of color. We want people to know that we’re with them and that we have their undying support.

AH: It goes back to our community - we’re always there for them and here to help them no matter what.

Big thanks to Fighting for Daylight for doing this interview with us; you can support them by streaming their entire discography, including their new single "Six Seasons and a Movie" wherever you listen to music, following them on Twitter @FFDMusic, and picking up some merch. Let us know who you want to see us interview next by tweeting us @lgndsoftmrw!