Q and A with Leighton of LydiaJune 10, 2013
Lydia is a indie rock band out of Arizona; that has been amassing a large following of fans throughout the past couple years. The band showcases songs with strong lyrics and beautiful instrumentals. Lydia is made up of lead vocalist and guitarist Leighton Antelman, Justin Camacho on guitar, drummer Craig Taylor, and Matt Keller on Keyboard, guitar, and bass guitar. Check out what Leighton had to say when he met up with BareBones Ent.
BS: How did you come up with the name Lydia?
Leighton: We had our first show at a pizza place that hosted local concerts. It was about 30 min before we go on and the promoter said to us “you guys can’t go on without a name”. So our old guitar player just literally said “how about Lydia? I read it in a beetlejuice book and I like it.” Everyone sort of looked around and agreed to it. Ha probably the least climactic story of how a band got their name.
BS: How would you describe your band and music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
Leighton: I guess you could call it, or most people do, a take on Indie Rock ‘n Roll
BS: What bands have influenced you as musicians?
Leighton: Well growing up I was into a lot of the saddle creek artist like Cursive, Bright Eyes. I think I was also pretty influenced by the band Counting Crows. My oldest brother got me into them when I was really young, probably 10 or 11.
BS: Do any of you have any talents outside of music that may surprise fans?
Leighton: We’re all actually pretty good at basketball. Our guitar player Justin had a college scholarship for soccer. I was raised in a really sports driven family. So most people don’t know I played Lacrosse for all 4 years in high school. Oh and we’re all pretty good at taking down some alcohol too. That’s got to count for something.
BS: Earlier this year you released a new album, Devil, how is this album different than previous albums you’ve done?
Leighton: This album we ended up doing it with a completely different team behind the album than any other records. Most records we’ve done with our long time friend, Matt Malpass. This time we went with a new producer and I had our keyboard player help etch out the tracks with me during the writing sessions. Instead of doing it alone. They did a great job getting these songs “out of me” and on paper.
BS: There are so many great songs on this album, and one of my favorite songs on Devil is “Holidays.” What was the inspiration behind the song?
Leighton: This song is about a friend of mine on the east coast. We have toured the states quite a bit and it just sort of happens. You meet all these amazing people but you only get to see, and hang out with them like twice a year. When you come through their state. So this was inspired by one of “those” amazing people out there in the world.
BS: You made a music video for your song “The Exit,” what was it like for you making that video?
Leighton: That video was really fun. It was filmed in this kind of, red rocks and river part of Arizona. It wasn’t hot yet so we all we’re just having a good time hanging out. If you haven’t been to Arizona in the summer it’s just extremely hot. Hanging out basically while a crew is filming you. Not a bad way to spend the day.
BS: Are there plans to make another music video for any of the other songs off of Devil? Any details you can give us?
Leighton: Yeah we are actually shooting the next video this Friday the 7th of June. I don’t think I can tell you anymore details just yet though, sorry.
BS: You just recently finished up a tour in support of the album. What was this tour like for you?
Leighton: This was the biggest crowd turn out that we’ve ever had for a US tour. It was really amazing. Our fans are quite passionate, which leads to meeting amazing people every night too.
BS: Can you share a moment that really stood out to you, good or bad, from this tour?
Leighton: I’ll just go with the first one that comes to mind. People ask me to sign or write on their arms, legs, or whatever all the time and I rarely do it. I really don’t like to because I always see the next day or two that they ended up getting it tattooed. Which don’t get me wrong, that’s flattering and all but I have terrible hand writing ha. Anyways we were somewhere on the east coast and I was signing things for the people after the show. A guy comes up and asks me to sign his arm really big. I said no, but after he stuck around for a while (and the drinks were flowing) I gave in. Apparently there was a tattoo shop next door. 10 min’s later he shows back up while I’m still signing with this big tattoo I just wrote on him.
BS: Looking forward, if you could go on tour with any band who would it be and why?
Leighton: I’d go on tour with Kanye West because that’s just going to get interesting.
BS: What was the best advice you have ever received?
Leighton: Umm that’s a hard one, I guess it wasn’t towards “me” but it really stuck with me over the years. I was reading famous quotes (who knows why) and Thomas Edison’s was “Success is 10% inspiration & 90% perspiration” This for me has always held true. The harder I stay at something it has usually become a reality.
BS: On the topic of advice, music is a hard business to crack into. What advice do you have for other bands trying to make their dreams come true?
Leighton: I would say to simply keep at it. Always try and better yourself somehow. Because if you don’t there IS someone else out that is getting better. I even have to remind myself of this. It’s not that it’s a “competition” or anything but more of a motivator. Luck has a lot to do with it as well.
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it” – Thomas Jefferson
BS: Anything else you would like to say to your fans?
Leighton: Thanks for being so great to us, always.