Interview with The Black Lemons

The black lemons, black lemons

On Saturday, April 16, from 10 AM to 7 PM, Atomic Nashville, located at 1603 Riverside Drive, 37216, welcomes all members of the city’s creative community as well as those who appreciate their contributions. This day-long celebration will feature live music by local acts including The Black Lemons, who bring a wide stylistic range to their high-energy performances. Members of the Lemons have opened shows for The Who and Cheap Trick. Read the interview to find out more about The Black Lemons.

Tell us about your music
Band: We’re very influenced by the music of the ’70s and early ’80s. The songs I write have rarely been love songs, which were are huge part of the music of that era, but the love of experimentation, and eclecticism are a couple of the things from back then, which I really relate to.

What do you like most about your profession?
Band: Seeing how our music connects with listeners. When you write something, record it then release it, it’s out of your control. The listener is always as much a part of the music as the creator. I love that collaboration between the creator and the audience. Like most guys that produce their own music, I have to confess to being more than a bit of a control freak. But, the artist/listener relationship is something I can’t ever do anything about. I can change things on my end, but at some point I have to let it go, and then it’s not mine any longer.

Years ago a friend was going through a tough time with his father’s death, and in the letter he told me about what a song I had written meant to him. None of what was going through my head when I wrote the song, was in his letter. That is still pretty much the best music related experience I’ve ever had.

AND: There are so many. Scary Monsters by Bowie is right up there. There is a U.S. Release of a compilation of the Beatles, Rubber Soul and Revolver, called Yesterday and Today, I love that record. But I think my favorite would one of two more obscure records. First Two Foot Yard by Carla Kihlstedt. The album is her on violin, with a cello and drums. The writing and the playing are both amazing. It is one of the best examples of ‘less is more’ that I know of. Another one is Sunset Glow by Julie Tippett. It’s a jazz record. It’s the only jazz record I think I’ve ever listened to all the way through. It has a very calm quality and lot of atonal chords.I keep coming back to those two records again and again.

What song of yours are you most proud of?
BAND: Usually, it whatever I worked on last. I have a special love of Big Black Veil and the title cut from our first album Thundershirts for Everyone. On our EP, the title cut is really cool. In a lot of ways it was written as a homage to Bowie. One of the things I like best about is the piano at the end. Mike Garson played piano with Bowie on a ton of his records and I love the way he would get these really strange chords to fit into these, often very basic, rock songs. Catching a bit of his vibe and getting into the recording was a real charge for me.

What is the formula for success in the music industry?
BAND: This is probably not the answer that your readers are looking for, but honestly, it’s the very best answer I’ve got.

Be happy now. It’s the formula for success in everything. Don’t invest anything in the idea that you’re going to be happy when, (you get a record deal, you start to make money playing music, you play a show with one of your heros). You can only ever be happy right now. You can’t be happy in the past, it’s gone. You can’t be happy in the future, it’s not here yet. Be happy now.




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