Will Sturgeon is better known in the music world as Brightener. Most of the work on Brightener’s recordings comes from Sturgeon, but he also includes his sister Abigail Sturgeon on backing vocals, and guitarist Aman Alem. Brightener has a low-fi sound that’s perfect for Southern California, and Sturgeon’s songwriting skills are top-notch. For more information, visit www.brightener.org. Will Sturgeon was recently kind enough to answer the Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

The Backstreet Boys. They literally flew in on hoverboards. Can’t beat that.

What was the first album you owned?

Ha ha ha this is not getting off to a great start. I think Astro Lounge by Smash Mouth was the first CD I ever owned, and had in my first Walkman. I wouldn’t recommend it now. 

What bands are you listening to right now?

I’m listening to Lil Dicky right now, and I love Vulfpeck, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Beach House, Fleet Foxes, Mac DeMarco and stuff in that vein.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Even if I don’t like a musical genre, I feel like I at least understand the appeal to certain people. Except for Riff Raff. I don’t get that.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Either The Beatles or Led Zeppelin. The Beatles are my favorite defunct band, and Led Zeppelin is arguably the greatest live band of all time.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Probably Dashboard Confessional. Chris Carrabba was very influential to me and my emotions in high school. It’s so ridiculous, but I still love it. “Screaming Infidelities” is a classic.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Probably the Coachella Outdoor Stage. I’ve had my fair share of transcendent life experiences at shows there from my teenage years ’til now.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Your hair, it’s everywhere,” from the aforementioned “Screaming Infidelities.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

In 10th grade, my school and our rival schools held a battle of the bands. A group from another school nailed an amazing rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby.” That inspired me to really start taking my music seriously. Coincidentally, years later, I learned that the bassist from that band booked Brightener for a show. It’s the circle of liiiife!

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I’d ask Kevin Parker from Tame Impala if I could play bass in his band.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I’d just force the congregation to listen to my entire catalog of music from beginning to end. HONOR MY MEMORY, DAD!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Abbey Road, the Beatles.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Back Pocket” by Vulfpeck. So funky and feels great. (Scroll down to hear it!)

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Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...