Lemon Twelve: Belfast band of rockers trying to be "realistic"

Friday 17th January 2003

Tony Cummings asked LEMON TWELVE's Dave Hamilton some questions.

Lemon Twelve
Lemon Twelve

Tony: In the City Lights: Belfast piece about you in CR70 you are quoted as saying how Lemon Twelve "try to be realistic" in your music reflecting the highs and lows of following Jesus. Does that mean you feel that some Christian music is shallow and triumphalistic?

Dave: Yeah, I think that as Christians we need to be more honest about everything, with God, with each other and with ourselves. So often we try to show people a version of ourselves instead of admitting our struggles and weaknesses (James 5:16). A lot of Christian music can seem shallow and triumphalistic with no acknowledgement of our brokenness before God or dependency on him.

Tony: I understand that you came together at Exodus in Portstewart. Is that an event you continue to play or are you now going to concentrate on the mainstream?

Dave: We play Exodus several times each year and have a strong body of faithful supporters there. Those guys have been so good to us over the years. Exodus has proved such a blessing for young musicians to develop their talents and be discipled. We also gig many other Christian venues across Northern Ireland. Acoustic sets have been performed in pubs in Belfast, eg, Auntie Annies. It would however be nice to continue and expand into and across mainstream venues.

Tony: Cross Rhythms never heard your first CD 'Mistaker'. What was that like?

Dave: Lemon Twelve had just been formed from three members of Spirit Level, me, Andrew Williamson and Niall Kennedy. The addition of Tim Grainger, lead singer, greatly strengthened the overall structure. We had the opportunity of five days in a recording studio where we wrote and recorded in that short period. Looking back it was good but we maybe should have developed a little more before doing a full album.

Tony: You thank 16 Seats No Standing on your sleeve. Who or what are they?

Dave: 16 Seats No Standing are another up and coming young Christian band who grew up in Exodus. James, our most recent recruit (support guitar) plays with them. James was added after the album was recorded to replicate the full guitar sounds live as heard on the CD.

Tony: 'These Four Walls' shows a lot of influences. Who are you listening to at the moment?

Dave: Collectively.... Hundred Reasons, Foo Fighters, Ryan Adams and Counting Crows.

Tony: What do you think is the outstanding song on 'These Four Walls' and why?

Dave: We think that you have to listen to the whole album to really get a feel for the music as each song has it's special part. But possibly "Selfish Little Thing", about how self-centred the world is particularly relating to love. "'Red", a song about playing in a band wanting to entertain but also to challenge. Both for their music content and lively drive. Great for live gigs. "Soul's Butterflies", musically good with great lyrics CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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