Empty Exchange: THE LEMONS

If you ever want to feel like there are rays of sunshine bursting through your eyeballs and have a smile so wide it hurts, than look no further, because The Lemons are here for you. The bubblegum pop sensation is just over a year old, but has quickly become  a Chicago staple. Armed with some of the catchiest songs ever written and a carefree attitude, The Lemons are always a good time. I caught up with three out of six Lemons and talked about the secret to Lemon success, the song they can never play again, and even gave them a little lesson on ICP culture. Plus, after the interview get a sneak peak at a never-heard-before-brand-spanking-new Lemon’s song!

ASHLEIGH DYE: Do you guys want to start by telling me about the genesis of THE LEMONS?

MAX LEMON: We had some jingles, we being Kramer and I. We started SLUSHY together a few years ago, more or less. Then I stopped playing SLUSHY, stopped playing music, and then I said, “Hey, I’ve got some jingles, help me with these jingles, Kram.”

AD: What were the jingles about?

ML: Ice cream shop, Best Day, Elephant, Kool-Aid Box. The core tunes that are on this tape that we have, before you know it we finished some recordings, before you know it is about five months, by the way. That was it, really. We needed a drummer, and we found the Juice Man.

CK: I moved into this apartment in February or so and Max lives above me so we just started hanging out and playing guitar down here, making jingles for the VIKING SHOP, for LOGAN THEATER, for parking meters….

JUICY JAMES: I was walking by the right place at the right time.

AD: Literally just walking by?

JJ: Yeah, well maybe I was on a bike. I saw Chris and told him “I love SLUSHY so much..” Do you remember when I rode my bike by you and told you how much I love SLUSHY? It all happened from there…

AD: What’s the most important part of being a Lemon?  You seem to have a ‘don’t take yourselves too seriously’ motto.

ML: Oh no, we’re very serious, very, very, very serious.  We have a good time. We hang a little bit.  There’s nothing to it, really. People come and go as they please. We haven’t practiced as a whole band in nine months!

AD: How do you guys keep the vibes so posi?

CHRIS TWIST: We don’t let people think about things too much. All our songs are 30-60 seconds and out set is 10 or 11 minutes. If we stretched that out and doubled it people would start to get annoyed with The Lemons, but we don’t give them the chance.

AD: Describe the ‘best day’ for The Lemons.

ML: Today was pretty great; we got our tape re-released. Have we ever had a terrible day as a Lemon?

CT: No, everyday as a Lemon is a best day. That’s why we play that song at every show. When we go to Atlantic City and gamble a bunch, when we go swimming in the ocean at midnight, or when we see a seal…

AD: Wait, you saw a seal on tour?

CT: In California. A seal poked its head out of the water and tried to eat my toe.

JJ: It was very cute, but we were very afraid of it.  He just had a really funny smile on his face and was way too close.

AD: Seals are like the wolves of the ocean.

CT: Yeah, like wild dogs. If you see one seal, there’s probably three or four.


AD: The video for “Lemoncita”, that pretty true to most Lemon shows?

ML: It’s not just a video, it’s a interactive online game. Just tossin’ that out there for the airwaves.

AD: How’d you guys make the video, just record a live set?

JJ: Our homie Jordan Spear, who has done a lot for us, made it. He also designed the Tripp Tapes logo, and GARY Records gave him $100, and he gave us the best video of all time.

ML: It’s not just a video…

AD: How has the writing style progressed now that you’re just over a year old?

ML: This is the three, it started out as two, Twist and Lemon, and then Juicy James came in.

AD: Do you have any new material in the works? 

CT: Yeah, we’ve got a new EP we’ve been working on that will come out on Metal PostCard, out of Hong Kong.

AD: How did that get set up?

ML: THE MEMORIES, who we toured with, has done a couple releases with them. Through them the owner of Metal PostCard found us and said “Hey, I really dig your tunes, would you want to do a release with us? Whatever you guys wanna do.”

AD: How was the rest of your tour with TWIN PEAKS? Other than seeing a seal and witnessing part of the roof of Babys All Right being torn off

ML:  MEMORIES tour was the best, and TWIN PEAKS was just as great, if not greater. We sounded, in my mind, tip top on this TWIN PEAKS tour. We finally gelled completely.

CT: We were able to have the whole band for each show, which is rare. Having our full line-up for every show was dynamite. We played nice venues where we got free meals, you cant argue with that.

AD: How many times have you guys tripled-scooped at a set?

JJ: Ugh, no…we’ve been quadruple scooping lately.

ML: No more. We’re actually done playing Ice Cream Shop. We’ve retired it.

CT: Yeah, we played that song, like, 500 times in six months. It’s like the McRibb of The Lemons.

AD: Would you guys consider spraying your crowd with lemonade, similar to ICP?

CT: What do they spray their crowd with?

AD: You guys don’t know? They get fire hoses and spray everyone with Faygo at their shows; it’s mutually desired and loved.

JJ: NO! We would do that; for sure we would do that!


Here’s a sneak peak, extra special, first time listen to one of the new tunes The Lemons have in store for us:


Posted August 27th, 2014

Categories Empty Exchange, News

Tags , , , ,