Backstage during Coachella‘s second weekend, we caught up with The Lemon Twigs, brothers Michael and Brian D’Addario. Their 2016 album Do Hollywood made its way onto many a ‘Best Of’ list and as for their live shows? Well, the brothers have been garnering a solid reputation as one of New York’s finest emerging bands.
You guys really foster a reputation of one of the best live bands out there at the moment. I know your album came out in January. Can you tell us about how the shows developed?
Brian: Initially, we were just trying to play the songs as tight as possible. We weren’t really thinking about moving around, or dressing up in any way. We were playing shows around New York, and it was very just like, “Get the songs learned.” Then, after that, Michael just started saying, “We should probably, like, put a little bit more effort into this.”
Michael: We started to get bored playing on stage, and we started to get bored because the record has a lot of slower songs, so then we started mixing in newer songs that were a little faster to keep the crowd engaged for a little longer. It’s just more fun to play to a … I don’t know. You want to get more out of them.
In terms of translate … In Australia, you haven’t been to Australia yet. I know you guys are coming to Splendour soon.
Brian: Yeah. It’s going to be great.
Can you go a little bit into what fans should expect, not expect?
Brian: I don’t know. I’m not sure yet if we’re gonna try to incorporate some new elements into this, because we have a long break. We have all of May off and I’d like to get some new things thrown into the set, but right now, the show is just playing a lot of songs from the record, and then a lot of songs that are going to be on an upcoming EP, and then one song that’s going to be on the next record.
You’re going to hear some stuff that you don’t know, but most of the songs that you like if you like our band. We’ll have had a long break, so we’ll be a little bit more energetic than we have been maybe in the past month.
You’ve got an EP coming out, and then an album following on from that. What’s coming first?
Brian: I keep saying the EP will come out in the summer, but now it seems like September is probably going to be when it comes out because it took us a long time to do the album art.
Michael: That was the thing that held it up.
Brian: It’s because we were on tour and it was hard to get back with the emails. I don’t know. When you see how simple it is, you’re going to be like, “How did that take you so long?”
Now you’re going to see it and you’re going to be like, “Wow, that shouldn’t have taken you that long huh?” It’s going to be very simple, but anyway, the EP first and then the next record, probably next year at some point because that’s not yet recorded.
And with the EP, are you releasing that because there were album it’s song off that you didn’t have a way of fitting in the last album or…?
Brian: Yeah, pretty much.
Michael: I mean, we’re also just not as good at the time in our opinion, so they didn’t make the cut for the record. Also, we didn’t feel the need to record them again in Raydo Studio like, we thought they were like demo worthy.
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how it’s received as a followup to Do Hollywood. It’s not what we intended; we intended the EP to be released before the record but the record company was like, “We really liked the EP and more people will hear it if you put it out after the record.” We’re like, “Whatever, we don’t care. It’s recorded so long ago we don’t really mind.” That’ll be weird.
Can you tell me about your experience here at Coachella as being Weekend Two?
Brian: Weekend Two, I feel like Weekend One was a little bit better, but we played a couple different songs than we played in Weekend One. It was cool for me to know that a ballad goes over okay at a festival, because we didn’t play the ballad last time we played. It’s kind of a learning experience for us, because we never played many festivals before.
This is your first festival?
Brian: Yeah this was our first festival experience?
Michael: Yeah, first real festival, like we did SXSW, that was like…
Brian: …a venue festival.
Michael: Well yeah you go to different venues and it’s also the same … You know, you’re less known and everything playing the small stage.
I was at SXSW; by the end of the festival there was a buzz about you guys. Did you feel that at all?
Brian: Not at all. Because it was really… because most of the showcases we played were so corporate…Yeah, we did like Pandora, we did YouTube, we did Spotify and those were you know, not open to most people, pretty much just open to the business people. So it’s hard to feel like you’re going over.
I guess it’s a good sign that all the business people were there to see us, but it’s hard to feel like you’re going over when you have that kind a crowd, not very responsive and everything and it was just weird. I don’t know. Some people look like they haven’t heard us before; well most people looked like they haven’t heard us before, you know?
Was doing something like SXSW something that was helpful in the preparation for this as well?
Brian: Definitely. Also we did a lot of shows around Brooklyn when we first kind a started the band that were like a similar situations where the PA maybe wasn’t so good. We also did a lot of shows when we were kids, where we would set up our own…
Michael: My dad would set up his band with his PA and then we would just sit for two songs.
Brian: So we’re use to not hearing ourselves basically.
Tell me, where does the name ‘Lemon Twigs’ come from?
Brian: I just said it one day. I don’t know where it came from, it just sounded funny to me. Lemon Twigs’ are just two blunt nouns and it’s just stupid sounding so I thought it was funny and we just never came up with anything else.
Is there anything, first time to Australia, is there anything you really wanting to see out there when you get out there?
Brian: I heard about spiders. I don’t want to see that, where do I go to get away from that?
You don’t have anything to worry about. How often do you actually hear of people getting bitten?
Brian: I haven’t heard of anybody and then somebody tells me, you know –
Michael: Fear of the unknown.
Brian: “Hey man, watch out,” or maybe it’s just jealousy. Hey, watch out man, spider is over there and it’s ridiculous.
Any parting words for Australian fans why they should come see you at Splendour in the Grass in July?
Brian: Come on, bro. It’s suppose to be good, you heard the people at SXSW, they said we won. So just come if you want.
Michael: No. I have something to say. You should tweet us and tell us fun things to do, because we don’t know. We don’t really know anything about Australia, we don’t know anything about any countries. We don’t know anything about Long Island and we live there.
Typical Americans. Don’t anything about the world…
Michael: We’re just idiots. We play guitar pretty good.
The Lemon Twigs hit Australia to play Splendour in the Grass and a couple of sideshows in July:
Sat 22 Jul – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Tue 25 Jul – The Curtin, Melbourne
For more on the band, head to their official Facebook Page.
The author travelled to Coachella from Australia via Honolulu with Hawaiian Airlines. For bookings and more details head to http://hawaiianair.com/