As soon as you hear “As Long As We’re Together” by The Lemon Twigs, you’ll fall in love. Their other songs are just as wondrous, in which they take Rock and Roll’s canon into their own unique space.
Comprised of two multi-instrumentalist songwriting brothers from New York, Michael and Brian D’Addario, aged seventeen and nineteen years old respectively, The Lemon Twigs today released details of their debut Do Hollywood, produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado. We caught up with them for a chat about playing in the UK for the first time this week, the album and the writing process of their songs.
How was your first London show on Tuesday?
Brian: “It was really good, everybody really liked it. I think people were very familiar with the two tracks we’ve released so far, which was a new thing. So it was a real different feeling show, it felt like we were a real band.”
When did you start writing songs together?
Brian: “We never had other aspirations, we’ve always written songs. The first song I ever wrote I was seven; it was called “Girl.”
Michael: The first one I wrote, I was probably twelve or thirteen, was called “Surfing with Nirvana.” It was a surf-rock riff that I recorded and made it sound like Nirvana.”
What music did you grow up listening to?
Michael: “We grew up listening to The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, British Invasion stuff. The Monkees, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Herman’s Hermits. Harry Nilsson is a huge thing, Lou Reed, Big Star, Badfinger, Supertramp, Procol Harum.”
How do you write the songs? You’re both writers and play all the instruments on Do Hollywood?
Brian: “For this record the sequence is my song then Michael’s. When I was listening to the record I wouldn’t get sick of my style of writing at that time, Michael’s style of writing is a different process. Michael discovers what he wants the song to be like through demoing it, so it’s more of an emotional thing from the beginning. My arrangements are usually on the piano and I know pretty much what it’s going to sound like before I demo it.”
Michael: “Brian did all the odd songs and I did all the even songs.”
Why did you call it Do Hollywood?
Brian: “It was our idea of what it would be like to record in California. Rado’s studio is in his house and it’s not a very glamourous area of California, but in our naïve minds it was like Hollywood. So it’s a little bit of an ironic title. It was very suburban and when we got there it was a little different to what we expected and that was good for the recording of the album, but it made us have a different view of what it was like.”
What are your hopes for Do Hollywood?
Michael: “We’re already onto the next one; we just hope we’ll have time this year to record it. My work on the record was done two February’s ago, Brian did the orchestration and mixed it over the last two years. We’ve got the songs for the next record almost done, but we want to finish them closer to the time of recording and we’ve got a vague idea for the album after the next one.”
Brian: “The second one’s not going to be the same; it’ll be a little more energetic and more focussed.”
Michael: “It’s not going to be one of those bands that puts out the same kind of record every time.”
How would you describe the record in a sentence?
Brian: “Ten pop songs, using everything that we know and trying to present them as well and appropriately as they can be.”
Michael: “They’re just a bunch of songs that we recorded, they’re personal songs and stories that have nothing to do with each other, they’re just songs.”