2003 was an awesome year. Yes, it may have been 15 years ago, but it still remains a great time for music, movies, and pop culture. Pre-marriage Beyonce and Jay-Z were topping the charts with “Crazy In Love,” followed by Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River.” Not to mention that the song of the year was 50 Cent’s “In Da Club,” and Avril Lavigne was going strong as the early 2000s’ pop punk princess. But, it was also the year when the creative, skillful indie rock band Lydia first hit the Phoenix, Arizona music scene. Did they know that their music would bring them to the coolest stages, such as Bamboozle Festival and Vans Warped Tour? Did they anticipate that their music would be covered by media outlets like MTV and AXS? 2003 was only the beginning of their career, the beginning of a whirlwind journey, and the beginning of a whole new world. We got to speak to the band and get some more insight into the exciting lives that they live, and have been living for the last 15 years.
You guys will be playing Irving Plaza on March 15. It’s a really cool, intimate venue; but you guys have been touring all over for years, selling out shows from Boston to Australia. What is it like to create a setlist now as compared to, say, your first tour?
Yeah it’s crazy on first tours; you’re really scraping for a set to fill up 45 minutes and now we have the luxury of really picking through albums. For sure makes the process of creating a set a lot more fun with the flexibility.
Speaking of playing songs on tour, do you find a difference in how each show reacts to different songs?
I would say yeah I do, it is even more dramatic country to country. I think it’s cool, it keeps us on our toes in a good way.
I read that you guys do not usually come together and create music, but rather work on songs separately and then approach the band with it. How do you feel that affects your music?
I think it’s just something we’ve always been doing over the years and fits with all of our personalities really well. I wouldn’t say we never get in a room and start something together, but I would say that’s pretty rare. I like having the space to sound like an idiot without my friends there. [Laughs] Starting a new idea is such a trial and error process.
Who are some of your major influences? Are there any new artists right now that continue to influence you?
I think I’ve always had pretty odd taste in music and allow for that to spark extremely random ideas and then sort of work backwards from there. To make ridiculous noises and then see if I can turn it into something listenable. Lately, been listening to a lot of ‘50s pop tunes.
Your acoustic EP (Hotel Sessions, 2009) is fantastic. Do you enjoy doing acoustic sets and breaking down songs? Would you ever do that again…or even go on an acoustic based tour?
Well, thank you. Yeah absolutely, we are actually breaking down one of the songs on this upcoming tour we’re about to go on. It helps keep songs fresh and so you don’t get burnt out on your own songs. Which is a real problem you can run into.
Run Wild was a huge success and rightfully so. Did you expect it to be so powerful when writing and recording it?
I would think anyone that claims to know how their record is going to do is sort of just lying. All you can do is get it to the point that it makes you happy and the rest is simply out of your control. Which I think is actually great. It lends itself for some nice surprises.
How have you guys grown over the years? Has anything changed with your dynamic or how you approach your music and touring?
I would think so, I think it would be hard not to. Everyone has different tastes and likes and being exposed to new things along the way. If someone was on the outside looking in, I think the music has evolved over the years but I wouldn’t really know how to classify that. Or even if that’s good or bad. [Laughs]
What are your plans after this spring tour with Moose Blood? Rumor has it that you guys are gearing up for a new record. Can you tell us anything about that? What can we expect?
We are, we actually already wrote and recorded it, and it will be coming out in a few months from now. I’m really excited about it, it was a long time in the making and we didn’t try to rush it. There will be some of the first tracks coming out shortly I believe.
Check out Lydia performing March 15 at Irving Plaza in New York, March 16 at Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia, and March 17 at Stone Pony in Asbury Park.