Lee’Mon have produced a couple of great tunes lately, including ‘Albury’ which also comes with a wicked videoclip. But with so much secrecy around the band, we decided to find out who Lee’Mon actually are, having a little Q & A session with band member Liam. Here is what he had to say…
To kick us off, very little is known about Lee’Mon, why the secrecy? I admit it does bring some appeal.
We live in an age when information is readily available. ‘Google’ and ‘Wicki’ present unlimited access to information within a matter of seconds. What ever happened to Mystique? Or the romance of intrigue and imagination? Lee’Mon is all these things. There’s no generic bio saying ‘we grew up here ‘ or ‘we went to that school there’, its purely art. Like us or hate us, the opinions are based on the music and that’s the way it should be!
Who are Lee’Mon? What brought you guys together, and when did you decide to start making your own tunes?
Lee’Mon is a collection of odd personalities brought together through music. It started about 5 years ago, living in a hotel room above a rock’n’roll pub just writing and doing demo’s. At some point someone asked ‘what next?’ And it was either take this seriously or move on to something different. Thankfully we decided to pursue Lee’Mon which has already been an amazing experience and hopefully, this is just the beginning.
Lee’Mon is a pretty unusual band name. It is merely a play on the word lemon – because your tunes are refreshing and best served cold – or is there a back story to the name? Did you have another names you performed under before realising this was the one?
hahaha love that! Lemon – genius!! Its actually related to my name, Liam. My niece has always struggled to say my name, instead she would say Leeman or Leemon. One day she was visiting whilst we were finishing off a track and she was calling out to me, “Lee-mon, Lee-mon!” I needed a name to save the track under so I used Lee Mon. We later added the apostrophe because it felt like the cool hipster thing to do :P Its bizarre but I cant imagine performing under any other name now, Lee’Mon feels right.
I imagine that each of you were involved in other musical projects before Lee’Mon, what other types of adventures in the music world did you ? What were the worst band names from some of the acts you played in?
I was actually a victim of nu-metal, its shocking to admit it but I sang for several appalling nu-metal bands. I had the dreadlocks, the attitude, cargo army pants, the whole package!!! It feels good to finally get that off my chest!! I think the first band I was ever in was called ‘Sink’. We were a highschool band that never made any music, just cool stickers! Honestly I think we were just trying to get the girls.
What has been your venue you have played so far? And if you could play any venue, what would it be?
We haven’t performed yet! We are saving ourselves!!! We know that once we play we will loose a lot of the mystery behind Lee’Mon so we are waiting for the perfect opportunity. It would have to be a great cause or a brilliant spot in a festival to give up our performance virginity.
What is it that causes you to express yourself through music?
We are quite erratic when it comes to lyrical content or motivation for expression. People have called Lee’Mon dark. I guess it’s whatever strikes a chord at that particular time. For example, when we were reading about the farmer suicides in India I remember feeling so sad and helpless. The whole situation brought me to tears. But we responded in a positive way, we wrote ‘This is a disaster (The Maharashtra Anthem)’ to try and raise some awareness to the situation. The lyrics are confronting (“there’s rope inside the shed to hang your weary head”) because they needed to be, the whole situation is real and shocking. Conversely we have a song like ‘Albury’ which is personally motivated. This is something we lived, we personally experienced and felt motivated to express.
What bands do you guys listen to? Which acts have had the biggest impact on your style of music?
A starting point would be the musical scores in many of our favourite international films. In terms of artists, I think the likes of Grace Jones, ELO, Blur & David Bowie have had a huge influence. Personally though, my favourite album is actually ‘no code’ by Pearl Jam. I just love that record, I can listen to it over and over.
Label buddies ‘Hunting grounds’ have just finished a mammoth album so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on that. On another note, I’d love Lee’Mon to do collaboration with someone like Kikuyu or Big Dumb Kid (Two very different artists!!), I really enjoy their work and think it would produce a cool result.
When you’re creating new tunes, how do you go about it? Do you rely on one member to do most of it, or do you sit around a table with a couple of brews and nut out a new track?
If there’s drinking involved then its usually going to be quite an emotional track – case and point ‘Albury’. That was a messy night!!! The vocals we demo’d that night are the very same ones you hear. That’s the beauty of Paul ‘Woody’ Annison (Producer). The vocals are not the best and he could have got us to re-do them and make them perfect, but he didn’t, he wanted the emotion and the imperfection. Because those imperfections added to the overall feel of the song… genius!!
Lee’Mon approaches every song differently, that’s part of what we do, why we are so eclectic. Some days we turn up with guitars, others an accordion and some days we might turn up with a sampler and some keyboards. I would hate to be stuck in one routine of song-writing. For Lee’Mon it needs to be a fresh and completely open process, all ideas are given a fair go.
When you are working on new songs, do you have a particular method to the way you compose your tracks? What comes first, the lyrics, the guitars, etc?
Generally speaking, the music comes first, starting with the main lick and then just adding more layers. Like I said previously there are no specific instruments that Lee’Mon use, so it could be a baseline, accordion riff, drum beat, anything!!! –as long as it has the right feel.
Your track ‘Albury’ comes with a pretty insane video clip featuring some evil clowns. How did that idea come about? Do any of you actually feature in the clip?
Film and music go hand in hand. It was really important to capture the right feel visually, nothing too clean and straight. It needed to be dark and emotional. We wanted the visual contrast to match the song. The cut back verses are represented by the dark boot scenes and the opened up pizzicato parts are emphasized by the bright outdoors. It took us about 3 days to do the shoot, it was an incredible experience! We had such a great team in Rod Hardinge(DOP) and Derek Wallace (Director) and Lee’Mon stayed on as the creative.
The clip was based on a dream, pretty twisted eh?!!! Lee’Mon wasn’t in the clip, we made that decision early on. The clowns were local actors, in fact one of them is the local health inspector Lauriston Mueller and he’s a whopping 6.7 tall. The other Rod Osborne sells fishing lures during the day! The businessman was actually a good friend of mine – Eric Young and he had never done any acting. No one knew if he could act but after the first boot scene we were all just completely blown away, he truly is a natural!
You have released several tracks on unearthed now, are their plans to release an EP shortly?
We’ve been lucky enough to be working on our music with some amazing people like Paul ‘Woody’ Annison. Woody speaks our language and has an understanding of what we are trying to achieve. He’s kinda like a maestro in the studio!! Together we have recorded quite a few songs, not for an EP though – that’s not ambitious enough for Lee’Mon. We are going to release an album.
What does Lee’Mon have in store for us in what remains of 2012, any big plans for the next year?
As I said it’s going to be an ambitious year! We have the album which will drop later in the year. We have some more video clips and hopefully we will get that undeniable offer to do our first gig… just waiting to be contacted!!!*Hint Hint!*