Hailing from Gilbert, Arizona, Lydia are an indie rock band with a truly unique sound. The band was formed back in 2003, but throughout the years there has been a number of personnel changes, now leaving vocalist Leighton Antelman as the only original founding member left. Joined by Matt Keller (keyboards/ bass) and Justin Camacho (guitar), the band is currently out to conquer the UK as they join The Maine for the 8123 Tour. We sat down for a brief chat with the band for their very first interview on mainland European soil. Discussing everything from a new album, 8123 and being out on the road; you can get better acquainted with Lydia through our interview.
HTF: It’s been about a year since you released your album Devil. Are you ready to bid farewell to it for a while, or are you still planning on touring some more on it?
LA: I guess you could say that. This will be, I guess, the last tour before we go and record a new record.
HTF: Speaking of a new record, we know initially that the plan was to release a new one this year. How are things looking on that front?
LA: We’ll have a lot of it recorded before the year’s end, but it won’t be released. It will be released for the Spring.
MK: We’re shooting for that, at least.
JC: So by then, it will be around two years since Devil.
HTF: You recently did a tour for your album Illuminate across North America. Are you planning on taking that to other countries? Because we know a lot of people have been asking you about that.
LA: Yeah. We kind of want to. I’m not going to completely rule it out, but we don’t have any plans to do it yet.
JC: The opportunity hasn’t presented itself.
LA: But it is a possibility for the future, yes.
HTF: That’s nice to hear. So you guys have been friends and tour buddies with The Maine for a while now. What’s your favourite thing about being friends with them? Any great memories?
LA: I hate those guys.
MK: Worst bunch of dudes ever. They all just stink.
JC: They smell the whole bus up… No, they’re super super nice. This is our third tour with them. We’re just stoked that they brought us over here. We’ve been trying to come over here for a while, so..
HTF: First time in Amsterdam?
LA: The schedule’s never lined up. We had offers before but we were either on the road in the States, or Australia or somewhere, or we were recording. So it’s finally all worked out and we could come.
HTF: Have you had the chance to see the city at all?
MK: We hit up the city a bit yesterday, it’s incredible here. It’s one of the prettiest cities in the world.
JC: It’s so different from where we’re from. Everything, even like the train station.
HTF: So you’ve toured with a lot of bands, have you ever toured with anyone you’re a massive fan of and freaked out a little?
LA: Way back in the day, we did a tour with Saves The Day. I love Saves The Day. That was really cool.
JC: I would be stoked about that too.
LA: It was awesome.
JC: I became fans of the bands we toured with.
HTF: On top of your head right now, what’s one song you wish you had written?
MK: ‘Yesterday’ by Paul McCartney. The most covered song of all time.
JC: I’m going to say ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’. If I wrote ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’, I’d probably be the most stoked human on the planet. That key change at the end. Anything with a key change, I’m a pretty big fan of.
LA: I’ll go recent; ‘Chandelier’ by Sia. That sounds fantastic. Her voice is incredible.
HTF: Interesting choices. Basically, the 8123 tour has been taken around the globe and it seems like there’s a very tightly-knit family between the bands in the company. What’s it like working with those guys for you?
JC: It’s awesome. Everything’s local; we’re all from Arizona. Well, kind of. Nick’s not. I always forget. This is our first run on the tour though.
LA: We’re all somehow linked to Arizona and we’ve all been there for a while. We all played local shows, well I did, like when we were all still playing to twenty kids a night. We all kind of grew up together and we’ve known them forever.
HTF: Seeing as you’ve been in a band for quite a while how do you deal with things like lack of inspiration or writers’ block, or is that not an issue at all?
LA: I definitely go through it. I can not write a song for two weeks, and then sit down one day and write like three songs. You just got to put it down, you can’t force it. It’s the worst idea trying to just force it.
MK: Honestly, there are long lulls of time where we don’t write. The only time writers’ block is a giant pain in the ass is when we’ll be in the studio and we have a good chunk of time to come up with fresh new ideas, but can’t. Although, when it’s just us in the studio, with a producer or something it can also result in someone saying “Why don’t you try this?” and ideas may evolve into new ideas.
LA: It’s like a 24 hour job, really.
JC: Lots of voice memos. I have voice memos on my phone of just singing to nothing.
LA: I can write stuff at like three in the morning, and when I listen the next day it’ll be just “What the hell am I singing?”
MK: See, I’m of the mindset that if I have an idea, and I don’t write it down and can’t remember it, I move on. If I didn’t remember it the first or second time I hear it in my head, maybe somebody else won’t remember it at all. I’ve also lost great ideas maybe that way.
JC: There’s a good chance you probably did lose some great ideas.
LA: I had a great chorus in my head like three days ago, and I didn’t write it down and I don’t know what the hell it was anymore.
MK: Some of the best stuff I’ve ever written is just stuff that’s been in my head for a while that I didn’t actually get to write down, and it was just like “OOH! This is it!”
HTF: Awesome. Maybe these lost ideas will come back to you over time anyway. Do you remember your first show ever? Obviously, because you haven’t been playing together for a while, it could be individually.
MK: I think I was 14, in front of my middle school. We played a Blink-182 song.
JC: How many of you were there?
MK: I think there was four of us. I can’t even remember if I played bass or guitar.
JC: I think I played a Blink-182 for my first show too. Blink was huge back in the day. My first show ever was in a backyard, in a semi-trailer. My friend’s dad was a truck driver and he was like “I’ll set up a stage!” and pulls up in a trailer. It was so funny.
HTF: Last one, if you could be anyone, not necessarily a musician but it could be, for a day, who would you be?
MK: I would love to be any US president, just to see for a day what exactly it is they have to deal with and what they can and cannot do. I bet you he doesn’t even really get to do that much.
HTF: I think he has people doing stuff for him.
JC: Yeah, Obama’s always just golfing.
MK: Something crazy happens, and he goes golfing. What do you want? He has to go golfing, it’s been in the books for four weeks.
LA: As long as I didn’t have to fight anybody, maybe one of those dudes that fly F-14s or whatever.
JC: That’d be intense. I just watched Top Gun the other day.
LA: I don’t want to fight anybody but I would like to fly one.
JC: As weird as this sounds, I would love to switch spots with my dog for a day. He gets so stoked about the smallest things. I wish my life was that simple. You walk in the door and he’s like “YEEEAAAAH.”
LA: It would be nice to be that pumped to see somebody.
JC: I’ve never been that excited to see anyone in my life. I would like to feel that excited.