Updated: Sep 15
Chicago-based indie crew, The Lemons, are back with a new project that's quite fitting for these strange times. At Home is a 20-track indie rock expedition that will have you coming to terms with the notion that "home" is a mind-set rather than a specific location.
Since 2013, The Lemons have been coasting on positive vibrations. In their eyes, being a lemon is all about having fun with friends. Anyone and everyone can be a lemon. It's not surprising that a professional musician's world can get a bit hectic and stressful at times with all the recording and touring that goes into making a band become a business, so why not try to make the good times last with a little help from your friends. With seven members, The Lemons have all the help they need to push a message of innocent happiness.
Well-received by their local following, The Lemons have stayed active in Chicago's DIY scene over the years. Chicago still stands as their own little sweet spot where they savor the local energy. In 2016, Burger Records boosted their overall reach by releasing their debut LP, Hello, We're the Lemons. A cult following quickly emerged after their initial release which drove them to take their music on the road for a few years.
Tired of life on tour, The Lemons scurried back to Chicago to rekindle the fire that they used to cook up their earlier tunes. Jamming and playing music with friends without the need to perform for an audience is what makes The Lemons feel at home. With that in mind, the group came together in 2019 to record their most recent project. So far they don't plan on venturing out of Chicago anytime soon, so might as well make the best of it and bump their tunes in the comfort of your own shelter.
I had the opportunity to catch up with the group while they're finishing up a new project.
Here's what they had to say:
Q: What was it like starting out in Chicago during 2013?
A: It was a wild time. Kelly ran a DIY venue out of her basement and we played a handful of our first shows there. We even played on the roof for the last show ever there.
Q: When did you all break out of the local scene? What was that experience like?
A: Our pals the Memories asked us to go on tour with them for the summer of 2014. It was great to get out of Chicago and play for folks who really dug what we were doing.
Q: How'd you end up meeting the guys from Burger records? Do you prefer records or tapes?
A: We met them on that same tour with the Memories when we made it out to California. Real kind folks. We prefer records in the house and tapes on the road.
Q: Do you enjoy the touring/performance aspect to being musicians? Any monumental moments?
A: Our vibe is the hang out at the house and make up songs and tweak them and record them and then tweak them some more. Shows can be fun, but more often than not they're not. We usually play a 15 minute set, so that's a lot of down time on the road. We had a couple of great shows in Austin for SXSW in 2015 and 2016. Here's the set from 2015 for anyone who's interested.
Q: How have The Lemons stayed being "lemons" over the past 7 years?
A: Fake it til you make it. We haven't made it yet, so we're still faking it.
Q: Has it been difficult to keep a positive outlook when so many other musicians seem to get jaded?
A: Nah, it's easy as pie.
Q: Has your recording process changed much over the years? How was the experience of recording At Home?
A: Our very first recording session was done on a Tascam Porta-02. Then we switched to GarageBand for everything since then. Every song has been recorded in the same room since 2012. For At Home, we had some other folks who aren't always Lemons come over and join us and there's lots of chit chat going on behind the scenes. It was a real gas.