If anybody embodies the quote from Almost Famous, “What do you love about music? Everything,” it’s Steve Knecht, the spirited frontman of Boston-based band The Burning Lights.

Clad in a black leather jacket, Saves the Day band tee, and a personality punctuated with enthusiasm, Knecht brims with passion and ambition when speaking about the music he creates, as well as the musicians before him that have made him the artist he is today. We had a chance to interview the frontman to discuss his music and his influences, what it means to be a rising Boston artist, and the The Burning Lights’ latest music video release for their second single, “Gasoline in the Wishing Well.”

While growing up in Chicago, Knecht felt a great influence from smaller acts, such as Chicago-based band AM Taxi and New Jersey band Saves the Day, as well as larger artists like Green Day and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He picked up a guitar when he was in fourth grade, and continued to play music throughout his childhood, gradually moving on to book shows at prestigious venues like the Chicago House of Blues. On wanting to become a musician, Knecht reveals “there was no defining moment,” noting that the process was gradual, encouraged by music being ever-present in his mind: “it never stops.” After showcasing his talent around Chicago, Knecht He moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied Professional Music with concentrations of Music Business and Songwriting. He graduated in 2017.

Knecht developed The Burning Lights from the suburbs of Boston. The band—which consists of Knecht on vocals, Arizona native Michael Godwin on the drums, and Michigan native Jeremy Burton on bass—create their music with the belief that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Knecht met Burton at a party through a mutual friend, and Godwin was recommended to him as a drummer. Both Godwin and Burton are also Berklee graduates.

The band’s optimistic perspective is one that Knecht hopes to display in his lyricism as the chief songwriter of the band. “We want our lyrics to convey a sort of emotional sense of nostalgia, while having the freedom to be energetic in our melodies,” Knecht notes. “We want to convey the feelings of being human to the outcasts and the lovelorn who listen.” In “Gasoline in the Wishing Well,” Knecht does just that, conveying a melancholic longing for nights of youth long past, for another time, another person who is not attainable, all with speedy, catchy, pop-punk early 2000s emo riffs. In the opening of the song, Knecht begins with a wistful narrativeyou can hear it in a new light if you’d like/you can see the burning lights and bursting stars/we could talk about it all night if you’d like/or maybe you could fall asleep in my arms”and you can hear the longing in his voice, accompanied by the striking guitar work on the background of the track.  

The Burning Lights’ compelling lyrics and gritty punk melodies resemble that of their influencers, with a mesmerizing, ardent romanticism. “I like to experiment with messing around with chords,” he explains. “I get my songs from experiences, you know, interacting with people. Sometimes inspiration hits out of nowhere.”



On December 11, the band released a music video on YouTube and Instagram for “Gasoline in the Wishing Well.” Knecht hopes to reach as many people as he can with the video and upcoming projects in the new year, including gigs around Boston and new music on the band’s Spotify. Knecht notes that the biggest challenge in being in a rising and hardworking band like The Burning Lights is the life balance: “You need to be strict to deadlines, and understand that you can always be better. You can’t put your art, your writing, your music…you can’t put it on the back burner. Listen to everything around you. Keep being inspired. Success is how you define it.”

The Burning Lights are sure to give Boston lively, thoughtful music (and gigs) this upcoming yearproving themselves to be a band to keep your eye on.

Check out The Burning Lights on Spotify and catch them at The Middle East Sonia on February 15.

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