INTERVIEW: Chatting with Angus Stone AKA Dope Lemon
Dope Lemon AKA Angus Stone took some time to talk to us about his new album Smooth Big Cat, scheduled for release on Friday 12 July.
It’s been a long time coming; we’ve waited two years since Hounds Tooth, the last Dope Lemon EP, and a full three since Honey Bones, Angus’ instant classic debut. This new album, which was recorded over a three-month period at Belafonte, the studio on his ranch, feels like Angus’ real world: beers around the pool table at midnight – or say, a long, peachy ride in an 80s Cadillac Limousine.
Following the album release, Angus will prowl the nation in a cloud of mischief and romance, performing at Splendour in the Grass, and then taking on an August national headline tour before he stamps his passport for a 16-date UK and European tour. Catch him at the Metropolis Fremantle on Saturday 17 August!
Until then, this is what Angus had to say about his exciting new album:
Back on the road again! How are you feeling about your upcoming tour?
Hey my dudes! Yeah, super excited for this big tour coming up around the world with the Lemon. The record has had a great launch and I feel really close to this next part of Dope Lemon’s story coming up.
Is there a place that you’re particularly keen to play at?
Place I’m excited to play would be the show in Fremantle at the Metropolis for sure! Got to say that... But also over in Berlin and around Germany would be a big one for me. The Lemon has had a great reaction over there and I love the culture.
We hear the album is wholly yours, from producing to mixing to playing. Could you tell us a bit more about that? What is it like to record on your ranch?
My studio is a converted little cottage under a bunch of giant gum trees looking out onto a paddock. It’s a very jungle like area, with lots of wildlife along with the cattle I run there. Had to work hard for it but I feel very lucky to be able to create at home as time is truly yours. It makes being creative a whole new ball game when you’re in that zone, not worrying about things around you in your own space.
Your single ‘Hey You’ is peachy and captivating, and I loved the animal presence in the music video. What drives your inspiration for Smooth Big Cat – both the album and the character?
A big part of what this record is the Smooth Big Cat himself and his story. He's a fictional character in one of the songs on the record. He’s this sort of illusive personality that lives on the property, where I made the record and where I live.
His story? He doesn’t sort of have stakes in worrying about all the nonsense in the world. He’s a cool cat. He just likes staying up late having a drink and listening to old records. He shows up when you need to mellow out and take a step back in life. He represents a cool thing. His character from the song almost became this totem for the record and when I listen to the record I think of what he stands for. So it became the title of the record.
For you, what is the centrepiece of the album? Is there a track you’re particularly enthused to play on tour?
I’d say the centre piece and something we magnetised to when making the record was a song called ‘Salt & Pepper’. It’s one of those songs that just sizzles and makes you drop into a very melty zone. I’m excited to play that for sure.
How does this album relate to your previous, Honey Bones and Hounds Tooth?
Every record is a whole different adventure and experience. Each represent a moment in my life, almost like a bookmark that you can hold up and look at to see what was going on at that stage in time. This for me was coming off a big stretch around the world with my sister, Julia Stone. I wanted to just get straight into the studio and create, as I had lots to say.
We can’t wait to hear your new album and see you on tour! That being said, after the tour, what’s next for Angus Stone?
Ha thanks. Man, I guess one foot in front of the other for now. I like to look at it all with the idea that what’s in front of me is what’s going on for now. Keep it easy and let it unfold in the way it will.
Thanks for your time guys, take it easy!