INTERVIEW: Lydia

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© Chris Clough

Hi guys! so this is your 1st time as a band in the UK, am I right saying that?

Leighton: Yeah, you are true in saying that.

I was going to ask how it’s been going but I’ve heard you’ve only been able to manage to walk down a street so far.

Leighton: (laughs) Yeah, I mean we’ve only played one show so far. Well actually this is our 1st show in the UK, we played Amsterdam.

Matt: We had English brekkie on the ferry this morning.

Was it good?

Matt: It was good brekkie.

You guys are going to Glasgow tomorrow? or the day after?

Leighton: We have a day off and then we go to Glasgow.

What are you going to do with your day off?

Matt: We haven’t decided yet.

Leighton: Urm, either drive, I dunno, how far is the drive do you think?

To Glasgow? Long!

Matt: I’ve been told like 9 hours. We can’t decide if we’re gonna chill and stay tomorrow or just drive to Glasgow tonight and chill there.

Leighton: Yeah, we’re not sure.

Glasgow is great, there’s a lot to see there. I’d recommend Glasgow but…

Matt: I’m just gonna go with the flow.

Leighton: Yeah we kinda like, whatever they wanna do, we’ll just go.

I don’t know if you’ve heard but we’ve recently just had a bit of a debate on whether Scotland is still part of our country or not.

Matt: Yeah.

Leighton: Oh yeah!

Matt: Could you educate us on that?

Urm, yeah so Scotland decided they didn’t want to be part of the United Kingdom any more. So everyone in Scotland voted and I think it was like 98% people registered to vote, which you know a lot of people don’t vote often so that’s quite a bit of a thing for them. But it was very close, it was like 49% to 51% that said they wanted to stay in the UK.

Leighton: Are you guys happy about that or you just don’t give a shit?

I’m happy about it as it makes it easy for us. We don’t have to pass a border to go to their and our currency is still worth something.

Matt: That’s true. All I can say is that as Americans we did that once (laughs).

That went alright for you guys.

Matt: It’s working out

But you know we’re attached to this country so… anyway back to the questions.

Matt: Fair enough. Sorry we side tracked

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© Chris Clough

If you go to Glasgow have a great time there! Their local delicacy includes something called haggis, have you heard of it?

Matt: Heard of it

Leighton: Never heard of it

Matt: I have no idea what it is I just know that that’s what Scotland people eat.

It’s herbs and sheeps stomache mushed and cooked.

Leighton: Oh I have heard of that, yeah, yeah.

So it’s like a big thing over there it’s quite common you can get it at chippys and stuff.

Leighton: Is chippy kind of like a fast food thing?

That’s a very English thing for me to say. They’re like fish and chip shops.

Matt: That’s so cool that you guys call it a chippy! (laughs)

Yeah they deep fry this mush they call haggis.

Leighton: Have you had it?

I tried it once, yeah. I wouldn’t try it again. Are you guys going to try it?

Matt: Yolo! I’ll give it a shot, when in Rome.

That was my thought.

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© Chris Clough

Leighton: If somebody has it I’ll try some but I’m certainly not going to buy it myself.

No, it’s not really worth the spend. You could probably share one between the band.

Leighton: Yeah, maybe we’ll just buy one for the whole package. For the whole tour.

Yeah that’s probably the best idea because you’re not gonna want much.

Matt: Haggis on Lydia! (laughs)

Leighton: Everyone can just take one bite.

You guys should take a video of you guys trying it.

Leighton: Yeah, we should.

Matt: Unless we like all really hate it and make nasty faces and Scott gets really mad at us on the video.

Everyone else will love it though. So, what is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Leighton: That’s a good question, I dunno.

Matt: In Arizona we’re right next to the mexico border so there’s a lot more wild meat selection, in specifically beef selection. You go to a normal shop and you can get beef and chicken but in these shops you can get beef cheek and beef tongue.

I’ve heard there’s a thing that’s a cow tongue taco.

Matt: It’s a de lengua, it’s awesome.

It’s awesome?

Matt: It’s called de lengua, it’s a lengua taco and it’s really good. I know it sounds barbaric but it’s so good. That’s probably one of the weirdest things I’ve eaten.

Leighton: I’ve heard it’s good but not through anybody in Arizona just from like food network and whatever. They’re always like beef taco or they’ll be eating weird parts of the brain or something, they’ll be like “This is the best part of everything”.

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© Chris Clough

Have you tried brain?

Both: No

Neither have I.

Leighton: I mean it would depend on how many drinks I had, but I might try some brain, maybe.

It depends if it was like battered.

Leighton: Buttered? You can see through butter.

Batter, is that English?

Leighton: Butter?

No, you know like in fish and chip shops when they cover the fish in batter.

Leighton: Oh, batter!

Matt: Oh okay (laughs) yeah.

So, moving on what’s the scariest experience you’ve ever had?

Matt: This morning our bus driver hit the breaks really hard unexpectedly (laughs). That was a super scary experience, but not the scariest experience ever, I just thought we were all gonna die.

Leighton: That’s your scariest experience?

Matt: It came to my head

Leighton: That’s a terrible experience

It’s a very recent scary experience.

Matt: Okay, one time I was at a carnival, you know those things, it’s a ride and they latch you in and the ship spins upside down it does a circle like that. As I was hanging upside down I felt my latch come up one click and I thought I was gonna die, now I’m here, there it is.

That is a near death experience in my opinion. What about you Leighton?

Leighton: I don’t know I guess going with the whole touring theme we were driving at like 3am and we were in the middle of nowhere and it was snowing like crazy and we were going like 70mph and this deer just jumped like right into our car, almost through the window, that was pretty intense.

But you missed the deer right?

Leighton: No, just totalled the van, totalled everything. Totalled the deer, yeah everything was just blown out and so we were stuck on the side of the highway forever. That’s more of a shitty story than like a scary story (laughs).

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You guys formed in 2003, right?

Leighton: Yeah around there.

And you went through a few name changes?

Matt: Member changes.

What kind of effect does that have on a band? Members coming and going.

Leighton: We never really had like a set members for the band. I’ve always just liked to play with different people and it keeps it new and fresh and new ideas and whatever. Now we have a little bit more of a structured setting for the band.

Matt: Even so, not so much, it’s like me, him and our guitar player. We hire bass players and drummers and whatever else we need.

Leighton: We just hire our friends to come on tour with us cause we think it’s fun instead of having a set line up.

Matt: We’re not like a rock band type thing, we’re three guys who write songs together, none of us really have like defined roles of what we have to do so it makes it easier having less people (laughs).

Leighton: In the studio sometimes he plays bass, sometimes I’ll play the keyboard part. We just all like writing songs and then we’ll go on the road and hire people.

So it’s kind of like chilled out positions?

Leighton: Yeah absolutely.

So why did you call yourselves ‘Lydia’?

Leighton: That is a very simple story. People always ask me that and they think it’s going to be this long drawn out story but me and an old guitar player that first were playing together, starting the band. We were playing a show at a pizza shop, our very first show and the guy came out that was running the pizza shop and said “Hey you guys need a name, you can’t go on without a name” like we were just showing up trying to play shows and we didn’t have a name so he said “How about Lydia?” and everyone around us in the band was like “That’ll work”.

And it stuck!

Leighton: Yeah.

And it works! So kudos to him

Leighton: It stuck pretty hard I guess.

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Their latest album release ‘Devil’ is available to purchase here.

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So you’ve been together for a while now, what advice would you give to new bands?

Matt: Go to college! (laughs)

Leighton: I dunno, it’s such a weird industry, it’s just you gotta like…yeah, I dunno.

Matt: We do it because we’re insane and we’re obsessed, you know. We would be useless to the world if we weren’t doing this and so we gotta do it. And if that’s how you are you’re the kinda kid out there and you gotta do it, you really only have one choice, you’re gonna do it and if not you’re gonna do something else. It’s not super glamorous all the time, definitely not, it’s a lot better than working at McDonald’s though.

Was college not something you guys did then?

Leighton: I went to college for a year, but it was more so just waiting for the guy I started the band with, he was a year younger than me so I was just kinda doing it so I wasn’t sitting around for a year.

So you always wanted to write and play music?

Leighton: Yeah.

So what’s the music scene like back in your home town?

Matt: We don’t know much about the home town thing. We don’t play a lot of local shows, we mainly tour and stop by at a Phoenix show. But all of the people who love us in Phoenix show us tons of love and from that point of view Phoenix seems awesome.

Leighton: Yeah it’s cool.

So there is a music scene?

Matt: Absolutely!

Leighton: Yeah, it’s a really big music scene. Phoenix is what the 5th or 6th biggest country in the US.

Matt: City, yeah I had to throw that out there.

Leighton: Biggest city in the US

Yeah I’ve actually only been to Florida, I went to Disney world so that’s my knowledge of America.

Matt: Florida was groggy with the temperature, huh? It’s so humid there.

Yeah it’s not the nicest weather I’ve ever been in. So what are your personal favourite songs from your latest album ‘Devil’?

Leighton: I dunno if I can really give a personal favourite, we wrote them all so it’s a bit biased, you know.

Matt: It’s like choosing your favourite kid really, I couldn’t tell ya.

Is there a specific one you like to play live?

Matt: ‘Knee Deep’ is the first song I ever wrote that I hear now and I’m like that doesn’t suck.

Leighton: That’s a good one

So how did you put your setlist together for this tour?

Leighton: urm, we’re playing a whole stuff off multiple records and we only have 35 minutes so we had to narrow it done the best we could so I don’t know, how did we pick it?

Matt: Fist fights, brawls. I’m just kidding. We just kinda decided what was the best combination of what we wanted to play and what kids over here hopefully wanted to hear.

So did you try to put a mix of the old stuff with the new stuff?

Leighton: Yeah.

Matt: Absolutely, yeah.

Leighton: We’re playing a good amount of old stuff.

So just as a closer what are your plans for the rest of this year?

Leighton: We’re writing and recording like currently, we have about 3 songs recorded already and we’re gonna record more and hopefully before the end of the year we’re gonna have new material out for the spring of next year

Is that going to be a single or?

Leighton: It’ll be a full on record.

We’ll definitely keep an eye out for that, thanks for your time guys!

Matt: Absolutely.

Interview by Jess Pearson.

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