Band Interview: Lydia

Lydia are currently on their first UK tour supporting The Maine. We caught up with them before their Nottingham show and spoke about their classic record Illuminate finally being pressed on vinyl, the reception on tour and their future plans.

So it’s your first UK tour. What’s the reception been like?

Justin Camacho (guitar): Super, super good. It’s been really awesome. We’ve been blessed we could come over here. There are people at the shows who have never heard of us before and people have been really receptive.

Matt Keller (keyboard/bass/guitar/programming): Nobody’s booing [laughter].

JC: Yeah, it’s been super, super cool. The shows have been great and then at the same time there’s been a ton of fans who’ve been waiting for us to come over for a long time.

Like us [laughter].

JC: Yeah, all in all it’s been a great time

Did you have any idea of what to expect from audiences before you came over?

MK: We never know what to expect. Even the States, we have tons of people who we see at every single show then then tons of new faces at every one. It’s always a pleasant surprise if anyone’s there at all yunno? If people like it. It’s been so good. We didn’t really have any expectations but they’ve all been exceeded.

What sort of stuff is getting the biggest receptions? Songs from Illuminate [2008] or Devil [2013] maybe?

MK: Those two records. I’d say people like the Devil and the Illuminate songs. I can’t speak for everyone in the crowd.

Leighton Antelman (vocals/guitar): Yeah it’s hard to say. We’re all on in-ears so it’s a little bit blocking. They could just be yelling at us while we’re playing [laughter].

MK: “Get off the stage!” [laughter]

So can you see yourselves coming back soon?

LA: Absolutely.

JC: Yeah, absolutely.

There’s been quite a big shift in style since Illuminate, with Assailants [2010] then Paint it Golden [2011] and now Devil. How would you describe your sound now?

MK: It’s evolution down to whatever influences us. Leighton’s always been the main songwriter and to this day he still is but now he’s got us guys helping him out saying like “try this” or “do this.”

LA: Yeah, I mean if people ever ask what we sound like I kinda just say rock and roll.

MK: I think we’re a pop band, but you can’t really tell people that [laughter].

You tweeted a while ago saying that Illuminate on vinyl was in the works. Is there any news on that?

LA: It’s just frustrating. We put it out on Universal so they have the rights to it pretty much. They told us we could put it out on vinyl but they’re just taking their time. They’re just a big record label so they don’t give a shit about a band like us.

JC: Yeah, one that’s not on their roster anymore.

LA: Yeah, we’re not like Lil Wayne. They had big billboards of him up. They just have bigger things that they care about.

JC: It’s in the works though. They contracts have been signed, we’re just waiting on them to print it. So as soon as we get it you guys will know.

LA: People are getting frustrated I think. We want it to happen as much as anyone, but it’s out of our hands.

Yeah, it must be frustrating for you, too, since it’s your record.

LA: It’s very frustrating.

Have you got any plans to bring the Illuminate tour overseas or do anything more with it? Or do you think it was more of a one-off?

LA: I would say, honestly, I think it was just a one time thing. There was talk of bringing it to the UK and to Australia, but I dunno. I kinda just want to move on to the next record. Maybe, though.

MK: Never say never.

LA: Yeah, I’m not ruling it out.

MK: Probably not though [laughter].

You could do a tenth anniversary tour for it.

MK: [laughter] That’s where the never say never comes from.

So you’re working on a new record, how’s that going?

JC: We’ve got a handful of songs that are nearly done. We’ve got a big basket of songs which we’re working through. We’re just gonna keep on writing. We don’t have set in stone studio dates right now. We’ve started talking but there’s nothing concrete yet. We’re planning for spring.

It’s been a while since Devil came out now. Are you happy with the reception looking back?

MK: Exceeded all of my expectations. It’s not something we consciously think of when we’re writing music, because a large number of fans will be attached to the older records. Every time we put out a new record we’re just like “we hope you like it”, it’s nothing we try to do like “oh we can’t lose the Illuminate fans.” But we don’t wanna piss anyone off. We like it when people still come to our shows [laughter].

What are your favourite songs to play live?

LA: I think “Do You Remember”.

MK: Yeah, it’s one of our b-sides.

LA: Yeah, it’s not even on Devil. I think a lot of people don’t even know it exists. I really wish it had made that record.

MK: Yeah, we open with it because we’re really proud of it and nobody knows what it is [laughter].

LA: People pay attention to the first song and if it’s shit then they go away [laughter], they give you one song.

JC: Yeah, that’s probably my favourite one on this tour, too.

LA: It’s probably because we don’t play it very often. It cycles through. It’s probably whatever is the newest. Because we play them all so many times, for the new ones it’s just nice doing something fresh. 

So what are your plans for the rest of the year?

MK: Lots of writing.

JA: Yeah, we’re gonna write then record. We have a couple of shows in California, but it’s mostly just writing then hopefully recording.

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Max Qayyum

Max Qayyum

Seeing Your Scene / DIY promoter / Cutting Room / Taco Hell

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