Over the years, we’ve had the privilege and opportunity to interview a great deal of bands from all across the spectrum of the scene. All of these interviews are special in their own way, but some continue to stick out against the test of time, for various reasons. On the show this week, we had an interview that will end up being one of the show’s most memorable for many different reasons. For his first-ever band interview for the show, Craig Ismaili was able to talk with the man responsible for writing his favorite album of all-time, Leighton Antelman of Lydia.What’s even better, Craig was able to interview Leighton about Lydia doing a tour playing that album front to back! Read on below to hear what Leighton had to say about the tour, the band’s most recent full-length Devil, and the ever-elusive vinyl release of the band’s cult-classic album Illuminate!
Keep Calm and Carry On: Leighton is here to promo the Illuminate Tour. They’re playing the album all the way through. It starts up next week, right? February 27th?
Leighton Antelman: That’s true, yes it does.
Keep Calm: I would just like to start by asking, how did the idea for the tour come about?
LA: It’s been quite a while in the works. I guess we were just waiting for the right time. It was just scheduling, pretty much. That’s the short answer. We’ve been on the road to a lot of places, and just couldn’t fit it in. The fans have been asking for it for quite a while now, and we were just finally able to fit it in the schedule.
Keep Calm: A lot of bands do the ten-year tour, but it’s such a fan favorite, that you guys couldn’t even wait for a ten-year tour at this point. 
LA: Yeah, it was five years just this past year.
Keep Calm: What a lot of fans are wondering right now, there’s only two members left from the Illuminate era of the band, so a lot of fans are wondering about the performance of the songs from Illuminate live. I know on the last tour you only played two or three songs from Illuminate, so I was wondering if you guys have planned out how you’ll deal with, say, Mindy White’s lead vocals on “Now the One You Once Loved is Leaving.”
LA: We’ve thought about that as well. I feel like anybody that’s came to see us in the past couple years, or any time really, since the record came out, that we’re kind of always evolving and turning into different stuff. We’re not the same band anymore. Anybody that still follows the band I think knows that. They’re not going into the show expecting to see what was on the records. It’s very, very close to the records, but it’s a slight interpretation of what the band is now, playing that record.
Keep Calm: Yeah, so you’re seeing the sonic shift in the band, playing those songs from five or six years ago. It’s going to be pretty cool, I think.
LA: Yeah, I guess it’s our take on that record. We’re not trying to be that band. We’re just giving the fans a little nostalgia, but letting them hear some of our new stuff as well.
Keep Calm: Yeah, I guess you can’t please everybody with that kind of a tour. I was curious, because I know a lot of the fans were wondering what the greatest hits set will be. You posted on Twitter that you were asking for requests for the rest of the set, and I was wondering if it was going to be a nostalgic set throughout. Like, will you be playing This December songs, or a lot of songs from Devil in the greatest hits set?
LA: Well, we’re going to play Illuminate from start to finish, and then from there we’re just going to play kind of a medley of songs from all different records. There might be one or two from This December, but at this point, there’s just a lot of songs to choose from. I didn’t it until we went back and looked at what we can actually play in addition to Illuminate, and not have it be like a two-and-a-half hour show. There’s just a lot to choose from.
Keep Calm: Yeah, you’ve got like four full-lengths and an EP now, so it’s getting harder to pick the setlist as it goes along. Shifting gears away from the tour, it’s been a little bit less than a year since Devil came out, and it’s your most recent record. How has the fan response been to that record?
LA: It’s great, I feel like it was probably the best fan response since Illuminate.
Keep Calm: Yeah, I feel the same way, actually.  I talked about that on the show when we debuted it, it’s a different kind of sound than Illuminate, but the same great songwriting from that time period.
LA: Yeah, I was really surprised. It’s definitely a little bit easier to digest for people that have never heard the band. But Illuminate is moreso people got attached to it because of where they were in their life. I feel like if people heard Illuminate now, they wouldn’t have the same attachment as they had to it.
Keep Calm: So would you say that people should start with Devil if they were to start listening to Lydia for the first time?
LA: Yeah, I would say so. I mean, you could cherry-pick songs from other records, but that’s the most recent. So I guess that’s what’s most fresh in my brain.
Keep Calm: Yeah, a lot of bands say that their most recent record is their favorite, but it seems like you really appreciate the record for what it was. 
LA: Yeah, absolutely.
Keep Calm: Last fall, you supported on the Anberlin/The Maine co-headlining tour. How was that experience? I know you guys were friends with The Maine from before the tour. 
LA: Yeah, for sure. We’re on the same management company, and we grew up in the same general area, so we’ve been playing shows and hanging out with those dudes for years now. That was just a fun tour. It was just a big family, traveling around. That was the first time I’ve met Anberlin, but those guys are super nice dudes. That was just a fun tour in general.
Keep Calm: That’s really great. Is it cool to see bands you’ve grown up with, they sold out venues on that tour. Is it cool to see bands you’ve grown up with playing big shows like that?
LA: For sure, absolutely. I wish them all the best.
Keep Calm: You have a side-project called The Cinema, who are a bit more electronic-oriented. I saw The Cinema’s Facebook page, and you said a second album is coming, and it’s actually recorded. 
LA: Yeah, it’s tracked. We just finished all the tracking.
Keep Calm: Do you have a release timeline for it, then?
We don’t have a release date yet.
Keep Calm: So is it the same kind of feel as the debut album, or is it a little bit of a departure?
LA: I wouldn’t say a departure. It’s just a little bit more mature. That was kind of our first stab at it, if you want to call it that. Some of those songs we had for years prior. I guess with a lot of bands, their first album is songs they’ve had for a long time, but I guess it’s a more refined effort, I would call it.
Keep Calm: Are you planning on doing any shows with The Cinema, or is your primary focus Lydia?
LA: I’m about 50-50 at this point. We want to do some shows, but we just haven’t had the right offer. Me and Matt are both pretty busy on our own, like he records tons of bands, and I’m doing the Lydia stuff, so we’re trying to find time for it. As of right now, we don’t have any shows.
Keep Calm: You wouldn’t do a tour with Lydia and The Cinema, right? It’s a little too different sounds?
LA: It’s funny you bring that up, that’s been brought up by my own management, and tons of people. I don’t know. I’m not opposed to it, but the time hasn’t been right. It kind of feels like I would be on stage for two and a half hours.
Keep Calm: I saw an interview where you said that Lydia was planning on trying to release a new album in 2014 as well, is that still the plan?
LA: Well, we’re going to be doing a lot of writing after this Illuminate Tour. We already have probably five songs, and then a few other ideas, or whatever. So we probably already have about half a record done. I’ve never tried to rush writing, so I guess it’s just if the writing’s there, and it comes, then we’ll put something out. If it’s not, then it’s not, you know?
Keep Calm: Yeah, you guys have been pretty prolific already, with two albums and an EP since the hiatus. So no rush or anything, but I’m sure fans would love to see another album. 
LA: Yeah, for sure. I think there will be one.
Keep Calm: One final question I have, it’s a question that you’ve probably been asked a bunch of times by different interviewers, but I still wanted to hear an answer. Any chance we’ll see a vinyl pressing of Illuminate to correspond with the tour?
LA: I don’t think I’m allowed to answer that. But it’s looking pretty good.
Keep Calm: Wow, that’s really exciting news. Anything else you’d like to add?
No, we’re just so excited. The ticket sales are crazy, and I can’t wait to see people’s faces.
WTSR would like to thank Leighton for taking time out to talk to us, and make sure you catch Lydia on the Illuminate Tour this Spring. Open your mind, and bang your head!
Author’s Note: This interview was originally published on The Garden Statement’s parent website Keep Calm and Carry On.  All content of Keep Calm and Carry On is now property of The Garden Statement.  A letter explaining the switch in sites can be found here. Cheers!