Line-up changes, a break up, a reformation and a new album. This has been Arizona rockers Lydia’s world of late, but overcoming the loss of a main song-writer has led to the new record ‘Paint It Golden’ as well as a visit to our shores early in the new year. KYS had a chat to frontman Leighton Antelman to see how thinngs were going.

What is the state of Lydia at the moment, back in full force/hiatus/reunion tour, what’s happening?

Lydia is now fully back and putting out albums again.

What was the main reason behind wanting to continue releasing music under the "Lydia" name?

It was actually the drummer for Lydia. He pushed me over the edge of actually recording a new album together. I had been thinking about it ever since the farewell tour. I was only going to stop writing and playing in Lydia because of one person. I couldn’t get along with an original member. We started the band together and grew in two completely different directions. After he quit the band there was no reason for me to stop making music with Craig and Lydia. I love the line up we have at the moment.

How would you compare ‘Paint It Golden’ to past releases? Did it ending up sounding like what you wanted from the beginning?

Well, I don’t think any artist should go into making a record with guidelines or a certain "sound" they want to stick to. That’s extremely limiting. Me personally, I make it a point to never "completely finish" a song before taking it into the studio. I feel like all of my final idea’s and thoughts on a song really come to life when I’m put on the spot. That said I really like how the album came out.

What has the reaction been like to the record from media/fans?

Lydia fans are amazing. They’ve always been so supportive of the music I make. I think the media also took in the record really well. There is always going to be certain people that don’t like it. I really think you’re doing something wrong if you don’t have some kind of people hating on you. Just shows you at the very least got their attention.

Considering the dramatic line-up changes, has the creative process changed as dramatically? How do you write now?

No it really hasn’t changed much over the years. I’ve kind of always been the one to start a song. I had one writing partner for the older Lydia records. But our relationship fell through. I really like where Lydia is at right now writing wise. I start a song and get it to a point where it is nearly done. Then Craig will listen to the scratch drums I put down. He will then take my rough idea and make the part into a real drum track.

What can Australian fans expect from the upcoming tour?

They can expect a pretty even mash up of all the Lydia records. We don’t really play one record more than any others out on tour. And then you’re going to have to come out to the show to find out the rest…

Considering the current music industry climate, how difficult is it to make a living playing/recording music from your perspective?

I think it is harder than ever. Considering how many bands are around these days. The percentage of bands that have the privilege of playing music for a living is so low it’s crazy. At this point you almost can’t just be a "good" band. You really have to have that something extra. Ha… I don’t know why I’m lucky enough to be part of that small percentage.

As you travel the world do you notice significant changes in the various music scenes?

Yeah absolutely. It’s even different in various parts of the US. It could have been the people we were with last time, but I feel like over in your country it’s a little more upbeat music. I feel like everyone had more energy in general. I had to keep telling a few of the people we were with to slow down. Ha, couldn’t understand them.

Are there any new artists that you have come in contact with or discovered that you feel people should check out?

Um…at the moment I think I’ve been listening to a lot of a band called "Good Old War". We toured together years back. Check them out.

What does 2012 hold for Lydia?

In 2012 there is going to be a lot of touring. Lydia will be doing one in the spring in the US. There is a possible UK tour being put together for late spring. Then I have another band that Is called The Cinema. The Cinema will be starting to tour in 2012 also. So if your not sick of me by now then you will be by the end of the year, I promise.

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