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The Lemons at 4th & 4th Fest from left to right: Lemon Fresh, Juicy James, John Lemon aka Max, Kelly Nothing (kneeling), Dee Dee Lemone, Billy Sour, Kimmie Slice aka Esther (Not pictured Chris Twist)

*Please let it be noted that Chris Twist aka Krame aka Chris Kramer was asleep on and off during this interview 


What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on stage?
Juicy James: Oh! On stage?
Lemon Fresh: Why don’t you describe last night. I don’t know if that counts as a lemons show…
JJ: That’s offstage. Can we talk about offstage?
Annalisa: Yeah, of course!
JJ: One of The Lemons had sex with two guys last night.
LF: Possibly two guys.
JJ: Possibly two guys, maybe one guy. Were in the g in this interview.
LF: Well definitely two people.
JJ: So we’ve had sex with two people in one night last night.
LF: He barfed on…
JJ: I barfed on somebody… we’ve barfed on people had sex with them in the alleys. On stage though, we keep it okay.
Kimmy Slice: You’re making us look so bad. That’s just two of the members it doesn’t represent us. The two bad apples.
LF: Kimmie Slice you know was slicing some cheese and baking crackers, making some cheesy crackers.
JJ: Max! What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on stage?
Max: You know I’m Mr. Mellow up there. You gotta talk to the juice man.
Dee Dee Lemone: What about when he [Juicy James] poured two beers into his mouth in the middle of a song, that’s my favorite thing.
JJ: We keep it cool on stage! Offstage… another story.
Kimmie: You jumped offstage and tried to fight someone.
JJ: Oh! In Austin, Texas I tried to fight somebody.
Chris Twist: I once did a 360 spin on stage, that was pretty crazy. I spun all the way around.
JJ: Thanks for waking up and giving us that Krame.

What is your songwriting process like?
Max: We write a little jingle. If there’s a catchy melody we just…
JJ: (Breaking out in laugher) What a stock answer!
Max: I don’t know…
JJ: (Still laughing) What a stock answer!
Max: Talk to him, I don’t do it.
JJ: Alright, as the lead songwriter of The Lemons I would say first and foremost I think about what would America love to hear. What would American love to hear? Then I just go into my studio, I crank out a jam, I bring it to Max and he says let’s do it. Then we’re off and running! But no really. Honestly what it really comes down to is Kimmie Slice says something funny, then I try to make a rhyme out of it, Kramer lays it down, Max poo poo’s it, we do that six to seven times, and you have a song! That’s it. So Kimmie Slice, bass player, comes up with the idea, drummer tries to give it a melody, the guitar player goes into the studio makes it sound actually like a good song, that people would actually listen to, and then the other guitar player says nobody wants to hear that, and then we do that a bunch! Then eventually you have some songs.

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The Hiatt name is one that makes you stop and pause. When the press release announcing Lilly Hiatt’s summer tour hit my in-box a few weeks ago, I obviously wondered the first thing anybody who is hearing Lilly’s name for the first time wonders … is she related to John Hiatt?

Of course she is. Lilly is John’s daughter and, oh yeah, a talented musician in her own right having released her second album, Royal Blue, in March. Like our own Lydia Loveless, Lilly can’t be considered a country artist though she does incorporate some twang in her indie-rock-inspired music. Though you might imagine a kid growing up in Nashville might be spoonfed country music from birth, Lilly gravitated to artists such the Pixies, Breeders and Dinosaur Jr. as a teen and those bands helped shape her sound.

Lilly’s going to be making a stop on the Royal Blue tour at Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza on Wednesday night. She’ll be joined by one-time Columbus resident, and constantly touring musician, Aaron Lee Tasjan. The show starts at 9; reserved table tickets are $15, standing room only tickets are $10.

Lilly was kind enough to answer some questions I emailed to her via her publicist.

Your show in Columbus is at a pizza place, but not just any place – it’s a gourmet wood-fired pizza place by day and a legit concert venue by night. We’re in 2015 and it feels to me, moreso than anytime I can remember since I started going to shows in the late ’80s, there are a lot of non-traditional venues serving up live music. What are some of the more interesting venues you’ve played in?

I’ve had a lot of interesting gigs. it’s one of my favorite part of touring. Seeing where you end up. Let’s see, a cowboy dive in Midland, TX was probably the most character building. Couldn’t tell if they’d rather I play a George Jones or a Disturbed cover! But, I came out unscathed and a better performer. Hmmm, there have been tiny garages to house parties to theaters! I like to play all kinds of spots and keep it open. That’s the fun of it!

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Who are the most underrated musicians/songwriters?

Kurt Boucher is an underrated songwriter in my opinion, Billy Nicholls as well. There’s just so many songwriters I know of, that I know a lot of people don’t know that I really like, but I don’t know if they’re underrated because of that. I’m not sure if the whole world would agree with me, but I think they’re underrated. Tom Rapp from Pearls before Swine, he’s totally underrated. Mort Garson, he’s an electronic musician. He did a album with a project called the Zodiac and they recorded with The Wrecking Crew, there was also a studio band that recorded with The Beach Boys and The Association and all these other bands, they’re really good, and that record is really great. He did some electronic synth stuff too that I really like. Also Duncan Browne.

If you could tour with any band, who would you tour with?

that’s a good question, but it’s kind of a tough one. I’m not sure if I really consider myself a touring musician. I tour a lot more than many musicians do, but i still feel like I’m a studio guy. as my ambition is not really touring, it’s easier for my to think what band I would like to record with.

Who would you like to record with?

I guess that would the Wrecking Crew because all my favorite records were played by them, even though they were all different bands. They were all played by that same group of people and they all did it great. So they’re in my head already as the things that inspire me, the things that I know, and that the music that I love came from them, so being able to work with that band would be the dream.

How did you and Frank [Maston] (keyboardist in Jacco’s touring band) become friends?

Well it all started when I got an email from Bill from Trouble In Mind, the label that I was going to release my album on. It wasn’t released yet, but I released my second single on it already, the first single was actually on a different label. But I got an email from Bill and he sent me the album of Frank’s. That’s the first time I heard his album and I was a big fan after that. I just really dug it and I was really excited to see his live show on SXSW where I was going to be playing. We were both going to play the trouble in mind showcase, the label showcase. We did and we met up with each other there and we exchanged records and enjoyed each other’s show a lot. He totally remembers my show, every detail of it, and he was really impressed by it. I was really impressed by his show with his band at the time and the musicians he was playing with and the whole set up that he had was really wonderful. So that’s how we met and then after that we saw each other at several other festivals like Liverpool Psych Fest, where we both played, and we both played the Burger Records Store one day where he opened. We saw each other here and there. He was in Amsterdam touring with Maston (Frank’s solo project) and I went to his show and there was an award ceremony the same night. He went along with that and I played with my band on that award ceremony. So we both played on the same night in Amsterdam. Things like that happened a lot. Then, I needed a keyboard player for a certain period in America and I already had a new keyboard player, but I only did like four shows with him and he wasn’t available for that month that we had to do in the United States. So then, we asked Frank if he was available and he said yes. After that we just clicked so well and worked so good that we couldn’t really play without him anymore. Also, because the other guy was so new we didn’t click as well. So we got rid of him or he got rid of us, depends the way you look at it I guess. But we went on with Frank and we still do and it’s really nice.

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California or Amsterdam?

California definitely! Mostly because I’m not a city guy necessarily so Amsterdam is very crowded people go to Amsterdam a lot so it’s a very hectic, busy place. In California, people do go there a lot, but there’s also a lot of space and a lot of nature around and a lot of places you can just explore and not see any human beings at all. Amsterdam does not offer that and that’s something I really need sometimes. To just ride my bike around and not see anybody. To just be in my own world for awhile.

Was recording the new album a lot different from recording the first?

The first record I did all the instrumentation, but I didn’t play the drums. In the second record I also didn’t play the drums. So the first record I worked with Jos van Tol on drums and on the second one he played two songs on it and Nik, the drummer we’re working with now live, he played six songs on the album. On the other songs I do some percussion, but there’s not really any drums on there. So the rest of the instruments I played are basically the same thing as on the first album, arrangement wise. Instrument wise I use different instruments with the same sort of arguments, more electronic and then I just tried and different approach to writing it. With a different writing technique I had little ideas that I worked on while I was on tour. Which was very different from in the studio while I have my guitar on me or playing piano or something. It’s a very different thing so it’s more about the arrangements.

If it’s a Friday night and you’re not touring what are you doing?

It depends how much I’m touring, if I’m touring a lot it and it’s my first Friday night after touring then I will probably just stay at home and chill and do nothing at all and just watch movies. If it’s a Friday night show then it kind of depends on the place, but I always enjoy, especially if it’s in a city that I’ve never been to, going out in that city. It really depends on where it is in the tour because if we’ve had a lot of parties before and we have a 12 hour drive the next day and we have to get up at 7 a.m. we’re not going to party that hard the night before. But we might, but probably not. It kind of depends. My perfect Friday night would probably be just watching a movie or making some music with friends or listening to good records with friends.

What’s your favorite record at the moment?

I’ve been trying out a lot of new stuff lately. I was really enjoying Isao Tomita’s album that he did all on moog synthesizer. He made electronic versions of Debussy pieces and they’re all Debussy stuff, but he made new sounds for them and played everything on analog synthesizers. Oh! Actually my favorite album is The Expanding Universe by Laurie Spiegel. I like that one a lot! It’s also all electronic, kind of drone-y, but all analog 70’s really warm sounds and it’s all like very slow meditative stuff, but it’s really enjoyable to listen to. It’s good to fall asleep to as well.

The Metz/Viet Cong bill hitting The Basement on Wednesday night is a pretty hot one – both bands are music blogger favorites. But what about this opening band, the one whose name you might not be sure how to pronounce? WE didn’t interview Crosss (you’ll discover it’s sort of like saying “Crosses”) but stumbled upon this interview/performance on YouTube that we thought was a pretty good introduction to the band’s Sabbathy/doomy metal sound.

And if you dig what you hear, you’ll be happy to learn that Crosss will be back on September 15 opening for Built to Spill at The Basement.


Let’s all take Friday off, shall we? Here’s your guide to what’s going on around Columbus on Thursday night.

If you listen to WNCI … you’ll be at the LC outdoors, most likely as a chaperone for your teenage daughter, checking out 16-year-old pop star Shawn Mendes who is playing a few headlining dates on off nights of the Taylor Swift tour. Mendes hooks back up with the tour in Chicago this weekend where he’ll be playing a slightly larger stage at … Soldier Field! The Voice season 5 runner-up Jacquie Lee opens this show.

If you listen to CD102.5 … you’ll be at the Newport to dance to Neon Tree’s shiny alterna-pop rock. Though Neon Trees probably plays to a slightly older fanbase than Mendes, I’m guessing you probably won’t have to wait in line to buy a beer at this show. Coin and Fictionist open.

If you only learn about new music from hipster music blogs … you’ll be at Ace of Cups checking out Waxahatchee, the indie project fronted by Katie Crutchfield. Expect this thing to be PACKED full of hardcore music lovers who undoubtedly will someday (soon) say, “I was at that show. I still can’t believe I saw Waxahatchee in such a small venue.” Pink Wash and Yowler (the solo project of All Dogs’ Maryn Jones) open. This is the pick of the night and you’d be dumb not to have this at the top of your list.

If you’re stuck in the ’80s and love rockers with long hair and tight pants … you’ll venture a little bit outside of the campus and the downtown area to O’Shecky’s (located in The Continent off of 161) to see the Hollywood Vampires aka L.A. Guns. Local hair rockers Roxy Mae get the call to get the crowd fired up for this show.

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