VIXEN Guitarist BRITT LIGHTNING : Interview
We recently had the chance to talk with the incredibly talented guitarist of Vixen, Britt Lightning! Britt let us in on the progress of new Vixen music, what it's like working with legendary producer Michael Wagener, some of her musical influences and more.
HBH: Vixen released a great live album “Live Fire” in 2018 and now the band is getting set to record a new studio album. Can you tell us a little bit about the new songs and what people can expect?
Britt: Yes we are very excited about the next studio album. As far as expectations, we are still in the writing process and are really going with the flow of our musical chemistry together and not preplanning or strategizing too much, just letting the music take its own shape. We have been getting together and just jamming and coming up with grooves and riffs spontaneously which has been fun and fluid. However, fans will still be able to expect that classic Vixen sound, lots of big harmonies, rockin’ riffs, killer bass lines, catchy choruses and monster drums!
HBH: Do you have a release date for the new album?
Britt: We currently have no set release date for the album but you can expect it sometime in 2020!
HBH: Michael Wagener mixed the bands live record and will be producing the bands new studio album, what’s it been like working with someone with his credentials?
Britt: Michael is truly incredible at his craft and also as a person. I love observing his process and how he works. Being in his studio in Nashville is cool, he has so much awesome gear to play with. He has one guitar in the studio that has been played on the Skid Row albums so I used that on the last recording we did with him and will use it on the new record too, I am such a fan of that band and the way he produced and engineer those records. It is an honor to work with him and call him a friend!
HBH: I caught the Rock the Arena 2 show in Toledo, OH back in 2017 and the band sounded great! How has the transition of playing with new singer Lorraine Lewis been?
Britt: Wow! That was my first show along with Tyson Leslie’s first show with the band! Lorraine has transitioned seamlessly into the band. She is a powerhouse and full of nonstop bright energy. The fans have been wonderfully warm and accepting of all of us into the Vixen legacy and we are so grateful and happy to be a part of it.
HBH: You’ve been around for awhile now performing with bands like (Jaded, Paradise Kitty, and Vixen) have you given any thought of releasing a solo album?
Britt: Yes I have, and I am currently writing songs and figuring out the direction I want to go with it, since I am truly a fan of so many different genres of music. But I am really looking forward to getting some material recorded soon!
HBH: As a young person did you have one of those ah-ha moments when you seen or heard a musician and knew that was what you wanted to do with your life?
Britt: I sure did. It was listening to Eddie Van Halen play over store speakers while shopping for a bed comforter with my mom in some outlet stores one summer in New Hampshire. I didn’t even know what I was hearing but it blew my mind. My mom didn’t know who the artist was so I asked the person working in the store and they said, oh, thats Van Halen! I asked my mom to take me to a record store later that day and I bought 1984 and Van Halen I.
HBH: Following up a bit on the last question if you could only pick one of each.
Britt: Favorite Guitarist: Eddie Van Halen
Favorite Album: This is a tough one and changes, but if I had to pick one today I might say Eagles, One of These Nights
Favorite Band: Currently I have say Eagles, but this also changes I am always going through different phases in my musical journey!
HBH: Vixen are booked on the 2020 Monsters Of Rock Cruise, for people who’ve never been, what’s the atmosphere like and what are some of your favorite memories from past M.O.R.C.?
Britt: The atmosphere is like being on a ship full of your favorite bands and feeling surrounded by friends and family that you have been looking forward to seeing for the past year. Lots of people are repeat cruisers and everyone has gotten to know each other, so it feels like one big happy and supportive family reunion. Some favorite memories include drunken karaoke nights, great dinners with friends, and having fun in the sun in cabanas on the beach at the various places we get to stop at.
HBH: What does the remainder of 2019 look like for Britt Lightning and Vixen?
Britt: Vixen has shows all through the fall and early winter and a couple more cool festivals to play this year. We will be writing and hopefully starting to record in between dates. And I personally will be writing my own tunes and getting into the studio as well! Looking forward to all of it!
HBH: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Brittany Denaro, better known as Britt Lightning, is the lead guitarist for the band Vixen.From 2004 to 2011, Lightning performed in Jaded, an all-female hard rock based out of Boston. The band released two albums, the latter including tracks produced by legendary producer Gary Katz (Steely Dan). J
In 2011, Lightning joined the New York-based rock musical Chix6 as the character and guitar player "Lick," which ran at the Queens Theatre.From 2012 to 2015, Lightning performed for 18-time Grammy Award-winning artist Alejandro Sanz. From 2015 to 2016, Lightning was the guitarist for Rachel Platten. In 2017, Lightning replaced Gina Stile as the guitarist in the all-female American rock band Vixen.
Cover photo by: Glen La Ferman