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.
Favorite ice cream flavors?
JJ: Oh! My favorite flavor if I had to just pick one I’m gonna go for vanilla.
DD: Is this jelly bean or ice cream? Oh ice cream! Cookies and cream.
Billy Sour: I’m the lone vegan in the band, but coconut milk ice cream base and coffee flavored.
Max: Oh I don’t know. Vanilla? You know I don’t do ice cream.
Billy: With toppings?
Max: Oh no I don’t do toppings, I’m plain with everything.
Billy: He’s a plain guy.
Kimmie: I like pistachio ice cream with from loops on top. That’s a really good combination. It tastes like a bowl of cereal.
Annalisa: What’s your favorite ice cream?*
Chris: Candy corn.
Kimmie: Actually bubble gum ice cream is really good too! Have you guys ever had bubble gum ice cream? After you collect all the bubblegum pieces in your mouth…
JJ: We’re gonna need to move this interview on or we’re just gonna talk about ice cream the whole time.
If you could tour with any band who would it be?
JJ: The Ramones. The Ramones! The Ramones!
Billy: Can I speak for Max? He would say The Vaselines.
DD: Alanis Morriset.
JJ: The Vaselines would be a terrible band to tour, they would be awful!
Max: I’m talking the old Vaselines, from back in the day.
Billy: Yeah this is hypothetical.
JJ: The Ramones! If The Ramones came back from the dead and toured that would be huge.
Kimmie: Backstreet Boys that would be a fun tour. BSB and Lemons! It’d be the best.
DD: It’s definitely a good demographic 13-year-old girls would love The Lemons! I’m just saying, but I’m not really a real Lemon.
JJ: But The Ramones would be a good tour to get.
Annalisa: Who would you want to tour with?
Chris: The Troggs.
JJ: The Troggs? Go back to sleep!
Kimmie: I can’t believe we haven’t done it yet, we gotta go to Japan! I would love to play in Japan.
JJ: (Still talking about The Ramones) And then they’d be like, “WE CHOOSE THE LEMONS!” And then we got to go on that tour. Come on?
Billy: Are you talking about zombies?
JJ: Zombie Ramones tour! “We want to play with THE LEMONS!”
Kimmie: That sounds like a bad 80’s movie.
Annalisa: That should be your next music video.
JJ: Actually I think The Ramones coming back from the dead and going to a Lemons show is a great idea for a music video. Thank you very much. That’s a great idea! You like that? You hear that? The Ramones all come out of graves, for our next music video, and show up at a Lemons concert. So we’re rocking out at the end of a song and they show up like high-fiving and their arms fall off and stuff. That’s not bad!
DD: Or they’re like sitting outside the show like they didn’t want to hear it.
What are your hobbies outside The Lemons?
JJ: I watch probably six to seven hours of professional wrestling a day. That’s my #1 hobby. Right now it’s not always been like that, but ever since I got the WWE network I can not stop watching.
Billy: Esther likes video games.
Kimmie: Oh yeah I love video games!
Annalisa: What’s your favorite video game?
Kimmie: So many! I like Katamari, I like I don’t… maybe all of them! I like RPGs.
JJ: What about the cat game?
Kimmie: There’s this cat game for your phone called Neko Atsume, it means cat collector or collect cats. You put toys out and the cats come to your house.
Billy: Kimmie Slice is also a fine illustrator!
Kimmie: I also like to draw!
Annalisa: Do you draw the album covers?
Kimmie: No our friend Goon$ does that for us. He’s kind of like branded us in that style, it’s really cool.
Annalisa: What about you? What are your hobbies outside of The Lemons?
Billy: I run a record label with my friend Matt Riley out of San Francisco. He’s located in San Francisco, I’m located in Chicago. We put out bands from both coasts country-wide. We’ve done a tape with Boys Age from Japan. The releases we have now coming up are The Emotional from the west coast and we have Blood Sister coming out from San Francisco and our newest release is The Strange Land with the band Bad Bad, a two song split seven inch. The label is called Grabbing Clouds records and tapes.
Max: I like watching movies. I could tell you my top 10 list that I want to see for the year. My #1 is Star Wars, #2 I want to see Everest, then I want to see the Revenant, then In the Heart of the Sea, then The Martian, then Black Mass, then Sicario, then I can’t remember the other three. That’s it, that’s about it.
Billy: What about that Quentin Tarantino movie?
Max: Oh yeah, The Hateful Eight. That’s about it. Oh, Bridge of Spies, that’s the new Spielberg flick.
Billy: He’s a homebody.
Max: Yeah I’m here doing this, but I do like to be at home.
Annalisa: What are your hobbies outside of The Lemons?
Chris: Hot air balloons, ice cream sandwiches, buried treasure, cause like you just got a metal detector and your looking for buried treasure. That’s pretty fun. I once found a little car that was from the 1940’s, like a little old matchbox car. Um… peanut butter, three-legged races, whatcha-ma-callits, backpacks. I kinda just like everything.
JJ: Hey you should ask Kelly some questions!
Kelly: Hey! They give you some good answers? What’d they tell you about?
Annalisa: Ice cream, movies
Kelly: What movies? I’m really behind on movies
Annalisa: John Lemon gave me most of his top 10.
Kelly: I think he should review movies. He reviews everything. I could be like “how is that sandwich?” and he’d be like “7/10 would order again”
At this point in the interview Kelly kindly fixes me a taco and then answers some questions
Kelly: I want this book. Have you read this? A Hero Ain’t Nothing but a Sandwich.
Annalisa: What is it about?
Kelly: Reggie is young, black and well on his way to being hooked on heroin. Brilliant, exciting, entertaining. I don’t know, I haven’t read it. A stunning novel and acclaimed motion picture.
What’s your favorite book?
Kelly: My favorite book? Well I think usually the last book I read is my favorite book. Jessica Hopper just put out a book called The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. I just ordered a bunch of new books from the St. Louis public library. I heard Patti Smith has a new book coming out I’m really stoked about that. Her first book Just Kids, oh man, it’s insane! She spoke at Columbia, which is just some art school in Chicago I’m pretty sure, and it was a really great speech. She has things to say. I saw her last year and she was saying people of the power and put your hands up. Probably half the people did it and then she was like “it’s not f*cking corny!” She just owns that shit. Patti Smith man, she’s a good writer.