Never a band to disappoint and honing their influences of T-Rex, The Beatles, Pink
Floyd and David Bowie, LEMONJUICE have released their new album The Sound Of Strawberry which is out now.
The Sound Of Strawberry is a collection of melodic, anthemic and psychedelically tinged pop/rock gems. In your face vocals and dreamy harmonies make this a record that will take you back to when music was all that. This is the record you’ve been waiting for and Lemonjuice are the band with the now sound for the modern ear! Glenn Bidmead, the driving force from the band answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.
Was it relief or triumph when you finished The Sound Of Strawberry?
A bit of both. Relief in that I had finally completed the recordings of those songs that I had floating around in my head for so long but it was certainly a fun and satisfying process actually doing the recording. And it was a triumph for me as well because finally, I had a finished record that I could put out there for people to hear. I actually signed a record deal based on these songs some time ago, however the “forces of the universe” stepped in and consequently I didn’t end up making a Lemonjuice record, but another album completely. So, this project has been on hold for a while. Finally here it is!
To those who haven’t heard of Lemonjuice how would you describe yourselves sonically?
I would say Lemonjuice is a mixture of influences that I’ve had over the years. I grew up listening to a lot of British Pop and Rock music. So I’d say that Lemonjuice is heavy on melody and hooks. Big vocal harmonies and noisy loud guitars with orchestral elements. A touch of psychedelia and singalong choruses. It’s Lemonjuice really!
Is there a story behind the band name?
Yes, many years ago in Brisbane I wrote an acoustic guitar instrumental which sounded vaguely Indian/eastern influenced, and for some reason I thought the name Lemonjuice would be a good title for that song. So that’s what I called it. Then I thought that it might be a great name to call a band one day. It also sounded a bit psychedelic and I thought that Lemonjuice should be one word. Maybe I should dig out that acoustic guitar piece and put it on the next album!
How did the band get together?
I did the record and thought it’d be great to play these songs live. At the time of the recording there wasn’t a band. It was purely a recording/studio project of mine. A lot of the songs were piano/ keyboard based so I asked Bill Risby if he would be interested in jumping on board and luckily he said yes! He’s fantastic and also adds an interesting jazz flavour to the stuff live.
My good friend Tom Ruki is on Bass and vocals. I first met Tom when we both played for Matt Finish and he brings a great positive vibe and energy to the songs. We’ve got my friend Phil Morello on second guitar and vocals. We’ve had a few different drummers, Dave Ferry, my brother Paul Bidmead, Paul Haymes from Melbourne and Gordon Rytmeister, all of them fantastic in their own right!. It’s really a blast playing this stuff live with these amazing musicians!
What have you learnt from writing/ collaborating with the likes of Keith Urban, The Veronicas and Mick Jones?
Everyone has a different way of writing. There is no one specific way to come up with a song. There’s also a lot of give and take and compromise when collaborating. I was asked to write with Keith and The Veronicas by their managers before they were signed. Mick Jones asked me to write with him after he heard my first solo record. It’s nice to be valued and recognised as a songwriter.
Sometimes you come up with stuff that you’d never come up with by yourself. So it’s interesting in that way. It’s also interesting to see that these artists are essentially all the same, as far as we all get in a room with nothing and just try and make it up!
Collaboration can be good in certain situations (like when they pay you!) but ultimately, I think I prefer doing it myself.
Did you feel like you won the lottery with Boo Hoo?
Not sure about winning the lottery! Boo Hoo is one of my favourite songs. Which is funny because it’s pretty simple and came pretty quickly when I was writing it.
Just some simple chords and a drum groove. Simple words about getting on with it when things seem tough. People respond really well to that song as well, which is great! And we’ve been getting some good airplay from the indie radio stations so thank you to them!
Looking back on 2018 what were some of your biggest highlights with Lemonjuice?
I think that putting the record out was certainly a highlight for me. Finally I had something to play to people. Also doing the live shows was great. Playing these songs with these guys was an exciting thing for me. I think the audiences enjoyed it as well. But one of the best things were the positive comments about the songs from audience members and radio/media people because for me, it’s all about the songs. It’s only taken a couple of gigs for some of the fans to start singing along! I love writing songs, playing them with a great band and when people react positively to them, that’s the icing on the cake as they say!
Are you looking to tour more broadly in 2019?
Yes, for sure. It’d be great to do some interstate shows. It’s just a matter of trying to get everyone organised at the same time as all of the guys in the band are fairly busy, for example Bill is touring all of March and part of April with Leo Sayer, however we’ll get it together somehow. I’m also looking forward to getting a new Lemonjuice album out there!
What’s the next challenge for Lemonjuice?
I think one of the biggest challenges for Lemonjuice or in fact any original band is finding places to play that pay in an increasingly covers band focused live scene. However we will find a way. I guess we just keep on doing what we do and try and drag as many people along with us on the way!
Interview by Rob Lyon