On The Road With Lydia

PHOTO CREDIT: KAT NIJMEDDIN We're big fans of Lydia. We were quite enamored with their Cat's Cradle show back in March. They'...

We're big fans of Lydia. We were quite enamored with their Cat's Cradle show back in March. They're coming back through our area and will be performing at Charlotte's Visulite Theatre on August 5th and we were able to speak with keyboardist/guitarist Matt Keller about life out on the road.

Describe your music for our readers who may not be familiar with you.
Every artist in the world has a hard time with this question, so I'll defer to my mom. She says that sometimes we kind of remind her of Coldplay a little bit.

What's the first concert you attended?
It was Blink-182, New Found Glory, and Midtown at the arena the Phoenix Suns play in. My mom and my aunt took me and my cousin. Having cool parents is pretty awesome.

What's the strangest gig you've played?
I think it was maybe my second tour with Lydia; we played a show in Gainesville, Florida at a college-type bar that allowed smoking indoors. The stage was maybe 3 inches high and literally right next to the entrance of the bar. It was just so disorganized. There was no green room for us and they didn't get our rider. Instead, they just gave us an open tab at the bar. Big mistake. The alcohol consumed plus the power of time have left my memory of the show itself a little blurry, but I have a vivid memory of Leighton onstage smoking a cigarette and taking requests - two things we had never done before and have never done since. After the crowd roared into a cacophonous mess of 100+ people shouting song requests (kinda sounds like "AHHHAHAHAAHHHAHAHAHHH"), we just went ahead and ripped into the next song on the set list.

I'm not gonna lie and say it;s not a fond memory--because it is--but I'm glad those days are behind us!

What's the craziest thing a fan has done at one of your shows?
A few fans have gotten Leighton to sign their arms/whatever parts of their body and then promptly gone to the local tattoo shop and sealed the deal permanently. I can't suggest strongly enough that you DO NOT DO THIS. That boy has terrible handwriting.

What's the first thing you look for when you hit a new town?
Does it make me basic if I say Starbucks?

How do you spend your days on the road?
At home I produce/mix music, so I recently bought a laptop to keep busy and do mix work on the road. It really helps pass the time! Beyond that I do what everybody else does: either head out and check the local sites/eats/drinks or stay in the green room/van/hotel room and alternate between napping and refreshing my phone every 30 seconds.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Nothing crazy: red wine and vocal warm-ups. We're about to head out on the Liquor Tour, so I might change that red wine to tequila...

What's some advice you'd give to a band embarking on its first tour?
Get as much sleep as possible, actively work on not annoying/pissing off the people you have to share your life with, and do whatever you have to do to keep a healthy perspective. You're out on the road playing music with your friends. You're working towards living your dream. No complaining.

Final question: You're the opening act of a music festival. You can get any five artists, living or dead, to perform on the bill with you. Which five acts do you choose and what song do you all perform together for the final jam?
The Beatles, Kanye West, John Mayer, Pink Floyd, and Coldplay. "Hey Jude."

More Lydia: Official | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | YouTube


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Strange Carolinas is the Travelogue Of The Offbeat, a wry look at the interesting, unique, and offbeat roadside attractions, people, music, art, food, and festivals in North and South Carolina.


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