Lydia x Vinyl Mag

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The much-anticipated Illuminate Tour has had dedicated Lydia fans excited for months. We caught up with lead singer Leighton Antelman at his sold out show in Atlanta to figure out exactly just what it is about this album that is so important to fans. In the process, we also found out the indie singer’s feelings about Internet piracy, his preference of libation and the scoop on Lydia’s future projects.

Vinyl Mag: You guys have been on tour for exactly a month now – how has it been? Any major highlights [from the tour] we should know about?

Leighton Antelman:  Just that the fans have been crazy. This is probably one of the best tours we have headlined so far, and we’ve just been blown away by how cool the fans are.

VM: Not that anyone’s complaining, but why now? I mean, most bands wait until the 10th Anniversary of a beloved album to dedicate a tour.

LA: Well, it was just the five-year anniversary of Illuminate this past fall, and we just couldn’t fit it into our tour schedule for the fall. We didn’t want to just throw a tour together, so we decided to wait until spring to do it properly.

VM: What do you think it is about Illuminate that resonates so deeply with your fans?

LA: I mean, I don’t know. For me it’s just another record we did, but to the fans… they really like this album. Your guess is as a good as mine.

VM: Thinking back to the writing/recording of the album, is there anything in particular that sticks out in your minds as special? Did you sense at the time that this would be such an important album for you and your fans?

LA: It was our second album that we ever did, and it was kind of the first album that we took seriously. We weren’t at home just screwing around, but I definitely didn’t know it was going to be such an impact on the fans.

VM: You’re newest album Devil came out last year. How was writing and recording that album different from Illuminate and other albums from before your hiatus?

LA: This one was different, because I had a different team of people around me. Lydia has always kind of been a collective project. I just like to write and play with different people, because it keeps it interesting.

VM: How is it different to play a set that consists of an album in its entirety compared to a typical show? Are there any songs in particular you find it difficult to revisit after years of not playing?

LA: No, it’s actually really fun, because some of the songs we haven’t played in years. It’s something new, and we’ve been having fun with it. We’ve obviously never [played] a record all the way through, so the whole tour has been really new and cool for us in that regard.

VM: Back in November, you told us that some of the songs Mindy White [did vocals] on were difficult to play live.  How did you meet that challenge when playing on this tour?        

LA: Well, there are two other people that sing on stage with me now, and they’ll do some of the falsettos and harmonies and what not. Some of the parts that she sang, I’ve just adapted and made my own version of it.

VM: You guys have been touring for so many years now; do you have any interesting stories that would solidify Atlanta’s reputation for being totally weird?

LA: [Laughing] I don’t think you guys are totally weird.

VM: I mean, we are pretty proud of our weirdness.

LA: I have my other project, Cinema, and this is where we write and record, so I spend a whole lot of time in Atlanta. I probably spend the most of my time between Atlanta and home, so I’ve always thought it was pretty cool place.

VM: A little birdie – Vinyl writer and huge Lydia fan, Samantha [Gilder] – told me you were a big whiskey fan. Any recent favorites you want to share?

LA: [Laughing] Not really to be honest, I’m just a big fan of Jameson. It’s my go-to.

VM: This question is a bit political, but recently there’s been a lot of discussion about free online listening services like Spotify and Pandora and how they affect bands livelihood. What are your thoughts on them? Do you see them as a tool or a burden?

LA: I absolutely view it as a tool. I don’t understand when bands get fired [up] about music getting out for free. If somebody wants your record, they’re going to get it whether it’s free or not. I just think, even if it’s free, that just means more people coming out to shows, and who could be mad about that? I think you just have to embrace it at this point.

VM: Obviously fans are glad to have you back from hiatus and have had a positive response to your latest album, Devil, but what can we expect from Lydia in the future once the this tour wraps up?

LA: After this tour, we are going to take a month or two off. We already have a handful of songs; we just want to get some more.  We all write the songs and then just send them back and fourth to each other, and we’re getting very close to having enough for a new record, so we’re going to focus on that when we get home. It’s about time for that.


*Be sure to check out our review of the show, here!!

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  1. Pingback: Lydia: ‘Illuminate’ Tour – Vinyl Mag

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