The Lemon Twigs: Blurring the lines
Having torn up the capital with their first ever UK shows, and with a debut album on the way, there’s no stopping The Lemon Twigs.
Published: 8:26 am, September 12, 2016
Currently creating an inordinate amount of buzz, Long Islanders The Lemon Twigs are the newest hype train about town. Brothers Michael and Brian D’Addario take elements of what made 60s pop memorable and 70s fashion unforgettable, mixing baroque with glam and everything in between. “What you really want to do is something new, something different. The best way to do that is, you have to listen to the stuff that started it all,” Brian, the older half of the duo - still at just 19, compared to Michael’s 17 - enthuses.
When it comes to the inevitable frenzy that surrounds such promise, the brothers are finding it can be a full on task - but it’s one they’re ready for. “If you’re not used to doing it,” Brian muses, “and not used to articulating, and not used to consciously thinking about what you’ve been unconsciously doing for a long time, that puts you in a different space. If you then went to record a record and you’re only now consciously thinking about it, that’s fucked - you’re not going to be able to do it. I guess it can be a little intimidating; I can see where it could be.”
Brian is the more reserved of the two, with Michael carrying what he describes as “responsibility” for the duo’s look and general aesthetic. That’s not to say they don’t have equal share within the band, he explains: “If you listen to the record [upcoming debut album, ‘Do Hollywood’], it’s half my songs, half Brian’s songs. It’s like the split with the music is 50/50, while I do the visual thing, and he does the all of the knowing what’s going on.”
Touching on their influences, Michael teases Brian for being “pretentious”, owing to his fondness for classical music; each of the brothers brings something slightly different to the creative table, a point he’s keen to note. “Nobody’s going to be like, ‘Michael does like this, but Brian doesn’t like that’,” he continues. “They’re going to be like, ‘The Lemon Twigs are going to be influenced by that’.”
Name-dropping everyone from Ariel Pink and MGMT, to The Beatles, The Beach Boys and even Big Star, the brothers are a hive of culture that goes far deeper than you may at first think. “It’s not like we’re dressing in suits like The Beatles, or striped shirts like The Beach Boys,” says Brian. “We’re dressing a little out of the time of what we’re most influenced by. I like things that blur the lines a bit.”
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Known for their raucous stage antics, the pair have just played their first UK gigs with a couple of nights in London - where their bass player got notably pissed off when Michael was kicking a bit too close to her face. “I kicked right next to her face and then she got angry,” he says apologetically. “I kicked quite close to her and she got angrier, so I kicked right here… but I would never hit a girl!”
It’s their shows where they like to make sure you experience the best of both their worlds: “My half of the show is a little more controlled,” says Brian, unsurprisingly. “It starts off more how you would expect it to be, there’s like a little bit more power to when we’re playing it live, a little more energy to the recordings. But Michael’s show lets loose a lot.”
“It’s definitely more of a feeling,” he says of their live heroes. “The Who, The Beach Boys - they put on great shows even in their early days, because although they didn’t have as much stuff going on, what they were doing was very tight. Their harmonies were very good, so even though it was very bare bones, they were performing well. We try to take that in to account because there’s so much stuff on our record that we can’t really replicate live, so we try to just perform our parts as tightly as we can.”
The Lemon Twigs may just be two brothers from Long Island who have only been writing music for two years - but you’ll be seeing a lot more of them, that’s for sure.
Taken from the September issue of Dork - order a copy now. The Lemon Twigs’ debut album ‘Do Hollywood’ is out 14th October.