Dim Lit Daylight
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Dim Lit Daylight


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Josh Free, half of the indie alternative pop twosome Dim Lit Daylight, says he may have joined his music partner, bass player Anthony Montanino, no matter what, but a fateful encounter cemented their pairing.

Free, the duo’s vocalist and guitarist, was a member of a different band in Pasadena, Calif., when Montanino walked into a performance. The two met and expressed interest in working together, but Free was locked in a three-month contract with his group, so they only exchanged business cards.

Three months later, the men separately came across each other’s cards and planned to call. That same day, they ran into each other on the street.

“The set of circumstances made it seem meant to be,” Free said. “And we’ve both put our hearts into everything since then.”

That was in August 2005, and since then, they’ve performed their original tunes (Free writes all of the duo’s music) around Pasadena and recorded two albums (their self-titled debut, and “Time Machine,” released in January 2007).

In January 2006, they took their talent on the road for a three-year tour. And they’re no novices — both men have been in the music business for nearly 12 years.

On tour, life is good for the two musicians. Free says their weekends are heavy on performances, Mondays and Tuesdays are full of businessrelated work, and if they’re not driving the rest of the week, they go sightseeing. One section of their Web site resembles a scrapbook of American destinations, such as Niagara Falls, Washington, D.C., and Graceland in Memphis, Tenn.

But of course, their music is what keeps them going, especially music that can lift the spirits of their listeners.

“Underlying everything is a hopeful outlook,” Free said of his music. “Even if a song is devastating, we’re always looking for a beacon of hope. There’s too much angst in the world, and there are enough people giving a voice to that.”

A Dim Lit Daylight show is a lot like sitting in on an “unplugged” show from the 1990s, Free said. The audience can expect soulful, light and fresh music along with storytelling and have no problem understanding the lyrics.

“We’re not your partying type of band,” Free said. “Our shows are like listening to a CD and hearing a story at the same time.”

The tour is slated to end in December 2008, but Free says if all goes especially well, they may extend it. Besides making music, the men have goals of crossing into film by finding and supplying music for television and movies.

And while Southern California is an ideal location for entertainers, they’ve become attracted to other parts of the country since they began touring and may decide to settle somewhere else (Free said most recently, they’ve been considering areas in Tennessee north of Nashville).

No matter where they end up, it’s likely that their common goals and brotherly relationship will lead them in a direction that benefits both of them.

“We have a sibling-like relationship,” Free said. “We have the same goals and vision in mind, and we’re not competitive at all — we work as a team.”

No one accuses the guys in Dim Lit Daylight of shying away from the road. The alternative band's members, singer-songwriter and guitarist Josh Free and bassist Anthony Montanino, found a van in good shape in 2003, with only 26,000 miles on it.

Not even four full years later, the van's odometer already has clicked past 140,000 miles. That's a lot of miles, a lot of concerts, a lot of autographs and time spent making friends. Speaking from Austin this week, Free pointed out that the duo already has played in 18 states in the past 14 months.

“The eventual goal is to stop everywhere we find a college town or a music scene," Free said. "Every time we find a city we like, we want to come back and hit it four or five times, until we feel like we've made an impression and people there remember us."

The decision to record and tour as a two-piece was not made lightly, with Free explaining, "I think this format gives us more of an opportunity to expand our music into the imagination. I like the intimacy and the real sense of present tense." It also helps that they have stayed best friends for more than a decade. The band's agent let it be known that these musicians are in the second year of what has always been planned as a three-year tour.

Free explained, "We had done a previous project that had us out for 16 months, and that was enough to develop minor followings - but not enough to cultivate any large, permanent followings in any one area. So, yeah, the goal now is a three-year tour, focusing primarily on the Midwest to the East Coast.

"We also agreed that we would record a new album every year. Developmentally, we want to see where we've taken our sound. But then, I think the other part was we just wanted to see if we could do it." So far, it's full speed ahead.

The duo's self-titled debut recording was released in 2006, and this year the guys recorded the pleasing follow-up called "Time Machine." In many regions, including Lubbock, fans can find the albums at Best Buy.

An Internet search reveals photos of Montanino and Free while traveling up the East Coast to New Jersey and on to the Canadian border. They both wanted to stay longer. "We ran into the issue of the cost of being there not making sense in terms of the bookings," noted Free. "We kept trying to push north. But we didn't book enough gigs, the fees on the toll roads kept adding up and even a Motel 6 might as well be a Hilton in New Jersey."

But Dim Lit Daylight continues to make progress and good music on its own terms. The guys play original music and very few covers, which isn't easy for any ensemble in the club circuit. "People just start paying attention because the music's kind of cool," said Free, "and by the end of the gig, everyone's friends." - by William Kerns - AVALANCHE-JOURNAL

The two man band, Dim Lit Daylight, was formed by Josh Free (vocals & guitar), and Anthony Montanino (bass). The duo's self-titled debut is an ecletic mix of alternatice and pop with a singer/songwriter flair. The heartfelt album has been described as 'The Cure meets the Counting Crows, or Train meets John Lennon'. However, in an attempt to describe their sound, Josh and Anthony say, "We like to think of it as Ecletic Altern-Pop. A bit moody and a bit make believe but all heart".
Currently on a national tour of the Uninted States, Dim Lit Daylight is showcasing songs from their debut album. Even though their CD is a "full' production, the band takes a stripped down approach for the live shows with guitar, bass and vocals. (Kinda like MTV Unplugged, only different)
To learn more about the band or to sample their music, visit www.dimlitdaylight.com.
You can catch Dim Lit Daylight live at The Mahogany Lounge (inside the Midland Hilton) December 7th; Zucchi's in Odessa December 8th and 9th; and Cafe At the Gardens in Midland on December 29th and 30th. - Good Times Magazine - December 2006

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter today on behalf of Dim Lit Daylight. This band is phenomenal on more than one level. I have worked with them on several occasions, dating back to April 2007. They have played at our Mahogany lounge multiple times, each time drawing a crowd. They are surely a local favorite around Midland, with a group of fans traveling around to see them when they are in town.

Josh and Anthony’s music is fantastic. The original tracks are beautifully written and performed. The majority of what they play are original tracks, but they also do some creative covers. I can definitely say that they bring their own sense of style to the live shows, with the sound differing a bit from the CD tracks, but both are fantastic. Josh’s lead vocals are always very crisp and Anthony is excellent backing him on guitar.

I have a personal relationship with them as well. Since I work with many of the artists that play in the hotel, I try to establish some rapport with them. Josh and Anthony are very cordial, mild mannered, and professional. They are genuinely kind and considerate and are always welcome at our property.

You’re establishment would benefit greatly from booking Dim Lit Daylight. Great original music, friendly and professional musicians, and a good crowd draw…it would definitely be a win-win situation!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions I can answer for you regarding the band!


Brandi Fischer

Director of Sales & Marketing

Hilton Midland Plaza - Brandi Fischer, Director of Sales & Marketing, Hilton Midland Plaza,

by Chelsea Roe

With Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico all within a close proximity reach, Lubbock is sure to attract a diverse selection of artists stopping through town on their way somewhere else. Friday night at Harrigan's Bar and Grill, one such band made an appearance - taking time to visit us all the way from Pasadena, Calif.

Using a voice born for radio and making it more pop by the use of falsetto ranges - and songs you might someday find on a "One Tree Hill" soundtrack - Dim Lit Daylight showed Lubbock what West Coast music is all about.

Not unlike the local band Spivey, Dim Lit Daylight sports only two people. Bassist Anthony Montanino and guitarist Joshua Free sing and play with effects at the same time. More often than not, they sounded like a full band playing.

The technique they used to create this sound was quite different. Free attached an iPod to the front of his guitar and linked through his effects as well, so that with the touch of a button, they could play against previously recorded tracks from their days in the studio - unusual, but very effective.

Dim Lit Daylight has been touring around the country for nearly three years straight, taking time only to stop in at the studio to record albums; they currently are making headway on their third. The band has made some selections available for free download through MySpace, supporting the digital media movement to make music more easily available.

Harrigan's could just be the perfect place for intimate open-mic nights, but agreeably, it might not have been their target market to play to on that particular night.

They were just two guys, sitting on stools, truly connecting to their own music and hoping to open someone's eyes to a different sound.

"We played with a little less trying to compete with the volume," Free said.

Roe: "What's been your experience in Lubbock when you've come through before? Why Lubbock to begin with?"

Montanino: "It's part of our loop. We've been traveling through West Texas."

Free: "Something we've noticed is that, every time we come here, there's a split group. There's just some who aren't about it at all, but they are still kind and appreciate what we do. It's just not their style. But then we have people that are grateful and are like 'Oh my God, I can't believe you came here.'"

Free is definitely on to something now - the interests in Lubbock are ranged more widely than you'd expect from a town in the middle of nowhere, yet the lack of enthusiasm from patrons actually making it out to see the shows can make Lubbock its own worst enemy too.

Free: "I guess the answer to that, though, is the more places you can get yourself, the better - regardless of where it is - because nobody has access to all of the major media outlets. The more people are exposed to different types of music, the more the market opens up. Very much a part of it is someone in the local scene opening up and saying 'Hey, here's maybe something outside the scope of your experience.'"

Montanino: "We come to play our best, even if there's only a few people."

Free: "Like you said before, if the scene is going to grow here, it has to be able to embrace all types of music."

I leave you with one last thought, Lubbock. East Coast, West Coast, rock, country, tribal, reggae, rap, hip-hop - it's all right here in our own city, and though it may not be one person's particular style, Lubbock can - at the right times - be quite accepting of diversity.

As the underground scene continues to blow up, open yourselves to the idea of experiencing the differences each new artist possesses. Who knows? You might just find something you never thought you'd like, right around the next corner.
- The Daily Toreador - Lubbock, TX

by Lana Sweeten

In the road-warrior realm, Dim Lit Daylight rules.

The duo doesn't feel bad for bands that complain about being on the road forever, since the guys — that’s Josh Free and Anthony Montanino — have been on the road for more than [two+] years.

Yep, [TWO+] years.

“In fact, a lot of bands we meet out on the road … You run into all the same kind of people — ‘Oh yeah, we’ve been out for three weeks. We’ve been out for 28 weeks … We’re going to be out for two-plus years,” said Free, who is house-sitting with Montanino for one of their friends in Austin.

Thankfully, the 'Tour That Will Never End' is one that the guys are on by choice, choosing, as well, to include Wichita Falls on that tour with a stop Wednesday at Buffalo Wild Wings in Sikes Center.

“We started our third year Jan. 26 of this year. We were planning on three years originally and we’re possibly looking to relocate to the East … But we decided to do it as long as we wanted, so we just try to play it by ear,” Free said.

The Los Angeles-based duo has played and traveled through 21 states on their three-year trek, concentrating on a certain region for a time before trying to conquer the next region with their decidedly eclectic, alternative pop sound.

L.A., as it turns out, might not be where the guys end up after their tour wraps up.

“It’s good in L.A., but there’s a lot of competition for a lot of styles of music.”

One thing’s for sure.

The guys could probably be the hosts of their own Travel Channel show — maybe a “Travel Tips by Josh and Anthony Show.”

They’ve learned to:

(1) travel with their own pillows and sheets, because depending on the hotel, well, you just never know;

(2) travel with their own griddles and crock pots for crock-pot cooking;

(3) and unlike intense tours of six or seven shows a week, they try to live a normal life, taking a few days between shows to shop or, say, do laundry.

“You definitely do what you’ve got to do,” said Free, adding, “As much as we’re touring … we also leave a couple of things open. We keep a regularity in our schedule, and that’s very important in terms of not being homesick.”

He and Montanino have been in Austin for about a week and a half, where they’ve been busy recording material for a new CD.

“We’ve been recording feverishly,” Free said. “We don’t get out much.”

Forget about any jaunts on Sixth Street to play one of Austin’s famous Sixth Street clubs — or any other saturated venue that bands often offer to play for free. Not that Dim Lit Daylight will play for free.

“We have a lot of overhead,” Free said. “ … And we’re not your, really, typical garage band.”

Free is a Texas native who grew up in Big Spring. He would eventually move to Oklahoma, then St. Louis and spent a couple of years in Europe.

“I was going to school. It was a performing arts school,” he said.

He met Montanino when the latter worked as a music promoter. Montanino was taking a walk and heard Free playing in a coffee shop. Impressed with what he heard, Montanino would later offer him a record deal, though his band at the time was already working with a management company.

Three months later and Free decided that things just weren't working out with his management team. Serendipity turned up Montanino’s business card during a laundry session. At the same time, Montanino found Free’s card in a drawer. Voice messages were left and eventually, the two ran into each other on the street.

They hooked up, but not as musician-manager.

Free convinced Montanino to join the band, so he picked up a bass and that was that.

The onetime band would become a duo, partly due to the demands of the road. Traveling with five people on a bus? Not such a good thing.

Luckily, things seem to be working well as a duo.

Free, who is influenced by the likes of They Might Be Giants, The Cure and Van Morrison, is the primary songwriter for the duo.

He said he seems to come back to writing about love and hope, though he always tries to write outside the box. He also tries to stay away from the clichéd road song, though he has met so many different people on the road and has learned so much about different genres of music that those influences definitely make a mark on his songwriting.

“It’s increased my musical palate,” he said.

One thing is for sure for the duo — the two have discovered that music is definitely something they want to continue doing, for however long.

“If people allow us to sing and play music … and we can see the country … if that’s the case, I’m so pleased to be able to do it.”
- Time Reord News - Wichita Falls, TX

by Aaron Phillips

Josh Free and Anthony Montanino have been friends a long time.

"We've actually been doing music in different projects together for about 10 years," said Free, the groups songwriter and lead vocalist.

"We decided in '05 to start this as a two-piece and take it on the road."

That two-piece band is Dim Lit Daylight, and Free and Montanino have been on the road for more than two years.

They started in Los Angeles, but are now temporarily based in Austin.

Free said that ideally the duo would be able to tour through Texas, the South, the East and the Midwest in about three-month stretches. He said the two would like to be based in the Nashville, Tenn., area, too.

The band also records, writes and produces all of its own work.

"We learned kind of early on in the music scene out in L.A. that the people who get it done best are usually yourselves," Free said.

The band previously released its self-titled debut in late 2005 and "Time Machine" in early 2007, and is currently recording its third album.

"We really just wanted to create something that you would know it was us, but in terms of a specific style we didn't have to say we were alternative or hard rock or that we are indie," Free said.

Free put the duo's genre somewhere between eclectic alterna-pop or eclectic alterna-rock.

"Everybody got tired of using 'original' and 'unique' because that really isn't true," he said.

Still, he said the music is different, even if it borrows from what's been done before. And it conveys the duo's personality.

"There's a diversity of music out there that is genuine and is likeable but isn't necessarily on Top 40 radio," Free said.
- from GETOUT! Amarillo's Entertainment Guide

[review from Amazon.com] 11/19/06 | by A. Gravley, Odessa, TX

Ok, I saw these guys 2 nights in a row in my city and it was awesome. Josh and Anthony are wonderful artists not to
mention have a real personality that many artists lack. My favorite songs on this album is Shine and A Little Like Me.
5 OUT OF 5 STARS These guys should be famous!
[review from Amazon.com] - 10/29/06 | by M. Cee, Georgia

Chanced upon this band, actually two very pleasant guys called Josh and Anthony, playing live in a coffee shop and was impressed enough to buy four copies of this cd [DLD, Self-Titled].Ordinarily, my husband and I have completely different taste in music, but we both love this cd. He appreciates the clever lyrics and meaningful themes of Changing Lanes, Coming Down and Shine; whereas I enjoy the catchy melodies of Little Blue Planet and Okay, and singing along to A Little Like Me, even though Josh has a superb voice and I don't. Considering they write and produce all their songs, they deserve to be famous!

> For more quotes, fan messages, venues and more please visit their OFFICIAL WEBSITE or MYSPACE page.
- from Amazon.com album reviews

By Nancy Adamson
Music Editor

Spend any time with musician Josh Free and you can't help but notice one thing - his unwavering gaze. It is a look that can be both comforting and unnerving. His soulful brown eyes light up not only when he talks but when he listens. But it is when he talks about music that his eyes dance with a passion that makes his enthusiasm infectious. Not just his own music, but the songs and artists that shaped his own sounds and still mesmerize and influence him to this day.
Free is the driving force behind Dim Lit Daylight, a duo forged in Pasadena, California, but with roots right here in West Texas.
"I had moved around quite a bit after high school," Free said. "I was born in Texas, in Ft. Hood, then grew up in Big Spring. I went to college and then went to Europe for a little while. When I came back to the states, I moved to L.A."
Free's parents have always encouraged his musical inclinations, and during his formative years in Big Spring, Free started playing the guitar at four then honed his skills in church, theater, choir and band through high school. Then put the guitar down for several years.
"At some point between four and sixteen, your mind turns it into a chore," he said. "An hour a day every day, it becomes like a job."

Eventually, Free's love of music returned and led him to pursue it as a career once he moved to Southern California. But he needed a little help from his friend.
His partner in rhyme is Anthony Montanino, whose piercing blue eyes alsoi command your attention, that is if he is inclined to remove the sunglasses he likes to wear outdoors and inside.
The two met when Montanino, who was then working as a music promoter, was walking off a little stress.
"Every night, I used to take walks to wind down from my day and I walked by this coffee shop one night and Josh was playing in there and I was just blown away." Montanino said. "I wanted to offer to help in that moment, to just say 'Let's make a record' but I held my tounge and I offered to help get him into clubs. The next time I saw him I offered him a record deal."
But Free and the band were already involved with a management firm so the men exchanged business cards and went their seperate ways.
Three months had passed and Free had become a bit frustrated with his current management after his acoustic group was booked to play Latino-Salsa night at a Japanese sushi bar. Laundry night turned up Montanino's long lost card and Free left him a voicemail. Meanwhile, the very same day, Montanino was cleaning up and found Free's card in a drawer, rang him up and left a voice message for him. As Free was heading to work and Montanino was going out for his evening walk the two ran into each other on the street. Fate apparently, had intervened.
"Five minutes later and I would have been at work," Free said. "We've been doing this for 11 years since."
Initially, Montanino was just into the promotion side of the business but Free eventually encouraged him to learn to play the bass guitar and join him on stage. The pair haven't always been the two man group they are now.
"Actually, this has been a necessity of the road. Our last tour was with five people and a Jack Russell terrier for 16 months," Free said. "You would think the dog would be the most hideous thing about it, but getting five people in and out of the bathroom, deciding on what to eat and the expense of it" fueled problems and the band broke up.
Free and Montanino thought their musical careers were over. Free commiserated the loss by recording some songs "just for therapy,' he said. Those songs led to the bands first CD.
Their music, which they describe as 'alternative-pop,' is written by Free. His influences are diverse and include The Cure, They Might BE Giants, Van Morrison and the Beatles. He has written hundreds of songs, but feels only a few dozen are worthy and likens the process to farming.
"You don't get a good one every time. If you're trying to grow a prize pumpkin, you're going to grow a whole patch of them and maybe only two will be good enough to take to the show." he said.
Songwriting has been a natural process for Free with some tunes playing out in his head from start to finish almost instantly, but there are also painful moments, especially when writing about a personal experience.
"To make the song palatable, you sometimes have to veil it the way a movie would veil a scenario," he said. "The names and faces have been changed to protect the innocent."
Palatable does not take all the heart out of the song, however. Far from it, in fact, according to Montanino, who is Free's human sounding board for new songs. Th first time Free played "Shine," Montanino's eyes filled with tears and he ran from the room.
"Something in it just touches your heart," Montanino said, "I get choked up just thinking about it."
Thse songs have earned the group a loyal following and though they are not averse to covering a Cure song every now and then Free's Robert Smith impression on "The Lovecats," a bonus track on the first CD, is amazing - their sets consist mostly of original music.
"It's not overly complicated. It's just music," Free said. "So in that respect, it's got a . . . can I use the word timeless? It doesn't feel like it's disco or new wave 80's."
Like many artists, the band would like to achieve a certain level of fame, but their reasons for it are decidely not like many rock stars.
"If you're talking ultimate dream, I wish to get as much status as you can get," Montanino said. "Because, you can make a lot of changes in the world. Bono and the whole U2 thing inspires me to do this."
"I'm somewhere in between," Free said. The status "would be great, but I'd still like to go to the grocery store."
Free's aspirations, it turns out, may be on a whole different level altogether. At one point during the interview when things got a little silly, Barbra Walters was channeled and Free was asked what kind of tree he would be.
"I'd be a weeping willow," Free said without hesitation. "What's cool about the weeping willow is it's so protective. If you've ever been under one, it's almost like being undewater. Especially when the wind blows, it's got this ethereal, almost jellyfish quality."
The group often plays here in the Permian Basin at familiar intimate venues including The Cafe at Alldredge Gardens or the Hilton Midland. They are scheduled to perform tonight at Celebrate Midland in the Midland Center, an event described by organizers as a safe, family friendly New Year's Festival. Celebrate Midland starts at 6 P.M. and is free of charge. The band is expected to take the stage around 8 P.M. They also are scheduled to appear at Zucchi's Restuarant in Odessa Friday and Saturday.
Their first CD can be purchased here in town at Best Buy or the retailer's online site and can also be digitally downloaded at iTunes. The new CD, "Time Machine," is scheduled for release early next year. - MIdland Reporter-Telegram, Sunday December 31, 2006



1. DIM LIT DAYLIGHT (self-titled) | 11 tracks | (c) 2005 DLD/AD Records [BMI]

In 2005 just prior to their first ‘out of town’ date the guys released an 11 track debut, DIM LIT DAYLIGHT. The album is full of emotion and lyrics that touch the heart and soul. Many of the songs from this album have become fan favorites, including: Changing Lanes, Velvet Elvis and Shine.

2. TIME MACHINE | 12 tracks | (c) 2007 DLD/AD Records [BMI]

While on tour in 2006 and 2007, the guys began writing and recording their second album, TIME MACHINE, which was written and recorded in houses, hotel rooms and just about anywhere they could find across five states. They finally released the 12 track album in late 2007, which included fan favorites such as, Hi Tops, Train and Dewdrops.

3. SUN UP SUN DOWN | 14 tracks | (c) 2009 DLD/AD Records [BMI]

After a brief pairing with a booking agency in Texas, the guys found themselves in the Austin area ready to recuperate and regroup. They began writing and recording their third album, SUN UP SUN DOWN, in early 2009 and released it later that year. The14 tracks album included fan favorites: CRAZY BEAUTIFUL, CHANNEL SURF, WEATHERMAN and SPYGLASS.

4. REMIX | 11 tracks | (c) 2010 DLD/AD Records [BMI]

In early 2010 they re-mixed 10 songs (several tracks from each of their 3 albums) and released REMIX in digital format and made it available for free to anyone who came out to a show, by way of free download cards. The albums contains remixes of most of the fan favorites.



DIM LIT DAYLIGHT'S sound is a mix of 'indie pop/rock' & 'alternative /electro-pop' — and although their style has evolved over the course of their travels, they aspire to bring both heart & soul to their performance as well as the passion of personal experience to their lyrics and music. While they endeavor to create music that's timeless, they also enjoy working with new technologies that allow them to stretch their artistic muscle — and for a two piece band, they make a very full sound.

"This young pair simply perform and write great, catchy tunes that are hard to ignore while infusing the kind of classic psychedelic edge that stretches back beyond their years". - Cecil Doyle | The Medicine Ball Caravan | KRVS FM

The duo writes, records and releases their own original music on their label, A.D. Records [BMI] and are in their 49th month since they started on a (self -promoted) national tour in January of ‘06.

During the last 4+ years, they have played anywhere and everywhere - over 500 shows in 22 states - and have plans to continue touring, writing and recording. They currently have four albums - 3 physical releases and 1 digital release - featuring 37 original songs, 10 remixes and 1 cover of The Cure’s Lovecats. For album lyrics, streaming samples and downloads please visit thier official site.

Because of their eclectic sound and wide variety of musical styles, they are most often compared to a plethora of artists including, but not limited to: The Beatles, Modest Mouse,The Cure, Death Cab for Cutie, Jack Johnson, The Police, Beck, John Mayer, Coldplay and others. But regardless of who they are compared to they are constantly exploring and expanding their musical palette.

As much as the fans will tell you they love the albums, almost all agree that the live shows are where it’s at. The guys bring a passion and soulfulness that is both present and palpable. In addition they utilize different types of technology to make their duo feel like a larger band.

"Dim Lit Daylight is a force to be reckoned with. Their hooks are memorable and their live performances unforgettable - these guys are going somewhere." - Michael Soli | Acoustic Asylum, House of Blues, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NM