“If it’s not from the 80s, I don’t wanna date it.” That is the slogan of Washington, D.C.’s LIGHTWAVES. Though you won’t find their music in a John Hughes film, their music surely will make you want to break out of detention and thrust your fist in the air after getting the girl.

Comprised of longtime friends and local beat makers, LIGHTWAVES includes lead vocalist and guitarist Jan Rosenfeld, bassist Jessica Millete, keyboard and synth player Ngawang Samphel, and drummer Jackson Kachor, their dynamic blend of electronic pop rock blends beauty and soul set to a melodic, catchy chorus. Rosenfeld caught us up on their upcoming album and how their band is taking the D.C. scene by storm.

On August 4, 2015, your band released your debut EP, Starting To Believe, which definitely has an 80’s pop-rock feel to it that is super catchy and very danceable. What made your band gravitate toward this particular style?

Before LIGHTWAVES was a band, we were a bunch of DJs, and we listened to a lot of electro and dance stuff. But growing up and touring in bands, it was all pop punk and rock. So I think the natural fusion of those things has sort of an 80’s vibe to it. It’s also a matter of economics. An electronic record is what we could afford to make at home. Our next release will be a very real, live band feel.

The first track, “Starting To Believe,” really sets the tone for the EP in the best way possible. What is the meaning behind this song?

That song is about two things. Ostensibly, it’s about being with someone so much and for so long that the outside world becomes scary and insurmountable. But also it’s about getting started after waiting around so long for something to happen. Believing in something enough to just go do it.

Your band recently got back into the studio for another recording session. Can you tell me about what is in store for that?

We’re doing some totally live songs produced and engineered by Ayad Al-Adhamy of Little Room NYC. He was in PASSION PIT for a while and now leads TEAM SPIRIT. He also produced a handful of songs for my previous band, and we went to college and toured together some years back. He’s a longtime friend and collaborator, and he really knows his stuff. We really want to make a live/indie sounding record, but with the LIGHTWAVES pop sensibility.

On your band’s YouTube page, there are a couple other songs you released-“Bring on the Light” and “Warrior.” Can fans expect to see these on your next record as well?

Probably not. Everything we put out between then and now is sort of a soft release. We just want it to be out there so people can hear what we sound like if they come to a show. But really we’re focused on playing live and producing these full, live recordings. That’s what I see as the future of LIGHTWAVES.

This past summer, your band was selected to perform in Brightest Young Things‘ third annual D.C. Emerging Artists Super Sampler Showcase at the Howard Theatre. How well do you think that show represented the rising tide of music in D.C.?

We’re definitely in that world. There are a lot of great bands in D.C., and a lot of really good producers. We have a foot in both worlds, and are fairly active DJs as well, which is a really tight community in D.C. The city is small enough to be friendly but big enough to make things happen, which is great.

A few artists have even created remixes of your songs, such as VÉRITÉ, GREAT GOOD FINE OKAY, and THE KNOCKS. When you learned that other artists were interested in using your music to create something of their own, how did you respond?

It’s actually the other way around. We started by asking a couple artists to remix their songs, and they let us. Then artists started coming to us and asking for us to remix them, and that’s what we’ve been doing. It’s all a by-product of being DJs and producers.

I noticed that all of them are from New York too. Do you plan to ever relocate the band out of D.C. to get a New York state of mind?

Nah, I lived in NYC for years, and don’t really need to be there anymore. I love visiting and playing shows there though! I hustled as a DJ there for a long time, and enjoy D.C. a lot more!

If you could only eat one food and drink for the rest of the year, what would it be?

Sakuramen in AdMo! My favorite is either the D.C. Ramen or the Spicy Miso.

What are the details on your band’s upcoming performance scheduled for November 10 at the POV Rooftop of the W Washington, D.C. Hotel?

It’s a free show with our D.C. friend INCREDIBLE CHANGE! The W puts on this music series called POV that puts cool bands in their awesome rooftop lounge area. It’s very swanky and a super unique place to see live music.

For more updates on LIGHTWAVES, be sure to visit their website, “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and check out Start To Believe on iTunes or Spotify.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Fairfax, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with his girlfriend Alex.