by J. Hubner
Another weekend is upon us, as is the age-old question, “What to do this weekend?” Well, I’ve got an answer for you. You should head to the Brass Rail tomorrow night, June 16th, and go check out the Ohio psych rockers Lemon Sky. They’ll be joined on stage by the always incredible Streetlamps For Spotlights and Lightlow.
So why Lemon Sky? Why now? Why so serious? Well, these guys know what they’re doing for one thing. They’ve got two impressive self-produced albums out now that you can grab over at their website or check out their Bandcamp page. As far as psych, well that’s a relative term. Lemon Sky’s idea of psych isn’t limited to wild colors, lava lamps, and rock bands with sitar players. Psych is more of a state of mind with Lemon Sky, and it shows in their music.
You wanna hear more about these guys before you see them live(tomorrow night at the Brass Rail), then continue reading. I threw some questions at the band, and the band threw answers right back.
Check it out below.
J. Hubner: So tell me about Lemon Sky? How long have you guys been around?
Lemon Sky: We’ve been around as a performing band since 2012, with Ed joining the band as the fifth member in August of that year.
J. Hubner: How did you all get together?
Lemon Sky: Eric Cronstein and Eric Keyes played music together in high school, Steve and Ed played music together in high school, and Aaron trained himself on guitar by learning John Mayer songs while in college and thought that he could probably play rock music. He couldn’t. All the pieces came together at different times but 2012 was the year it all coalesced , the same year the world ended, so that was a good sign.
J. Hubner: The band is described as a heavy psychedelic rock band. Are you guys more influenced by older classic stuff like 13th Floor Elevators and Nuggets compilations, or more modern bands like Wooden Shjips and Harsh Toke? Or both? Who or what did you guys bond over?
Lemon Sky: When we say psych rock it’s because we took a bunch of psychedelic drugs together and figured that’s how most bands that call themselves psych were formed. To us, the element of psychedelia is derived from the lyrics and the imagery created by the song rather than certain elements within the song, like the guitar tones, droning structure, or ruffled shirts. We are influenced by old and new alike and don’t necessarily find those influences only in psych or even in rock…. Michael Jackson, Mozart, Music Machine, Pink Floyd, etc… they all have ingredients that we like to steal and bake into our Lemon pie.
J. Hubner: What’s the psych scene like in Cincinnati? Is the Cincy Psych Fest still going on?
Lemon Sky: Our scene here is definitely rooted in grimy rock but is pretty all over the place. Cincy Psych Fest happened for a couple years but didn’t attain annual status. When I think of Cincy psych music I think of The Harlequins first and foremost.
J. Hubner: Let’s talk about your most recent record ‘Dos’. Where was the album recorded?
Lemon Sky: We started recording Dos in February of 2014 at Oranjudio studio in Columbus, Ohio, by our very own Eric Cronstein.
J. Hubner: Can you talk a little about the writing and recording process with the band?
Lemon Sky: We had a bunch of the songs put together but there was a lot up in the air so we recorded sporadically over the next year. The lyrics and most of Dos’ structure was written by Aaron then brought into the band for arrangement and finished in the studio.
J. Hubner: Did you record live in the studio?
Lemon Sky: This album was not recorded live but we hope to on our next album as Eric most likely won’t be engineering it… that makes it a lot easier for him to be part of the band when only wearing one hat.
J. Hubner: Does Lemon Sky dig the recording process? Do you guys like to get lost in the sonic structuring of an album, or would rather just be on a stage playing live?
Lemon Sky: Fuck yeah we do… the studio is way too much fun. The sonic production journey usually becomes a rabbit hole that often turns into performance itself…someone plays an instrument and someone else manipulates some effects. Live is a completely different thing that is also waaaay too much fun. It’s the most fun. Our live shows are a lot heavier and more aggressive than our recorded stuff so it is just another expression of the same beast.
J. Hubner: Lemon Sky will be playing in Fort Wayne at the Brass Rail with Streetlamps for Spotlights and Lightlow on June 16th. Is this your first time playing Fort Wayne? How did the gig come together?
Lemon Sky: This will be our first time in Ft. Wayne!! Our friends, in the Athens, Ohio band, Water Witches, have told us about Streetlamps for Spotlights a number of times and suggested we get hold of them. We already had a weekend planned to play in Muncie, Indiana on the 14th, and Horicon, Wisconsin on the 15th, for the Jersey Street Music Festival, and we wanted to round out the run with a show on Saturday… it all came together and we get to see all of you fine folks this week.
J. Hubner: What other gigs do you guys have lined up after the Brass Rail show?
Lemon Sky: This is a weekend run for us so we’re heading back to Cincinnati after the Brass Rail.
J. Hubner: Does Lemon Sky have a new album in the works? Anything you can tell us about the new music?
Lemon Sky: We currently have all the music recorded for a 4-track EP and will be laying down the vocals as soon as we can get back into the studio. Out soon. We also plan on demoing out album three this summer/fall and hope to get it recorded in early 2019. It will certainly still sound like Lemon Sky but will not sound anything like either album one or two.
J. Hubner: What does the rest of 2018 look like for Lemon Sky?
Lemon Sky: In August, we’re returning to Wisconsin to play at the Mile of Music festival… so that’s pretty rad. Aside from that we have some pretty killer shows lined up this summer and fall, both festival slots and venue gigs, so we’ll be doing a good mix of working on new music and hitting the road…. maybe back to Ft. Wayne? We hope so.
Get out tomorrow night, Saturday June 16th, to the Brass Rail and give Lemon Sky a warm welcome. Streetlamps For Spotlights and Lightlow will be there, too. Won’t you?