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Unveiling the Sonic Frontier: An Interview with The Lethargics

Get ready to dive into the uncharted territories of Americana Rock as we sit down with The Lethargics, a band hailing from Knoxville that’s rewriting the rules of the genre. With their guitars in hand and a fearless approach to music, The Lethargics stake their claim in the abandoned landscapes of Rock & Roll, reshaping it into something entirely their own. Drawing from the rich tapestry of influences including Dylan, Springsteen, and The Clash, they’re about to release their new 2-song EP on September 1st, 2023, featuring the tracks “Meteorite” and “Shelter In Place.”

Your music is often described as genre-averse Americana Rock. How did you arrive at this unique blend of influences, and what drives you to explore the unexplored corners of Rock & Roll?

The Lethargics have been steeped in music our whole lives and have absorbed sounds and influences from all over the musical map. When we play, all of that just blends – or maybe crashes – together. We hope listeners both like it and recognize that there is space for music that does not strictly fit a certain genre. Forcing songs or bands or people into easy definitions is lazy – and potentially hazardous.

Born amidst the beauty and history of Appalachia, how has your environment influenced the stories you tell through your music?

It is a beautiful geological region but can be a tough place to try to live. First, there are a lot of broad-brush misperceptions about the people that can be impossible to overcome. Second, the economic developments of the region have been generally deadly to the environment and the folks doing the actual work. There are other factors I am leaving out, but it all adds up to a lot of poverty and lack of options and hopelessness. This significantly drives the violence and alcohol and drug addictions that perpetuate the situations. The Lethargics have been affected in many direct and personal ways by all these things and tend to write a lot about it.

Your upcoming release on September 1st 2023 features the tracks “Meteorite” and “Shelter In Place.” Can you give us a glimpse into the themes and inspirations behind these songs?

Meteorite is pure Rock swagger come-on. There’s not a lot of deep message in it, just someone saying, “If you don’t want to, that’s cool – but are you absolutely sure you don’t want to light up the sky?”

Shelter In Place could apply to any group of people fed false promises that they really had no choice but to accept as true…but find that after all the miles and years the prizes in those promises may always stay just out of reach, The Plenty has been laid to waste, there is always another storm…and there’s nothing left but to shelter in place, wherever or whatever that is.

Collaborating with The Relapsing Remitting Hillbilly Choir on both tracks is an intriguing choice. How did this collaboration come about, and how did it enhance the sonic landscape of the EP?

Ah, the RRHC. They have been on a couple of our previous releases. They truly just show up when they want and grab a couple of mics if they like the tune. They are even more privacy-conscious than The Lethargics – which is saying a lot – so I won’t allow much beyond the fact that they exponentially multiply the sound and the mercurial energies in Holler Studio.

The upcoming release is just around the corner. What do you hope listeners will take away from “Meteorite” and “Shelter In Place,” and how do these tracks signify your growth as a band?

As a Broke-DIY-Indie band, we’ve had to learn a lot about how to make things sound like we want throughout the recording process, as well as song structure and the like. Our hope is that this 2-song EP is more accessible and relatable to more listeners than our earlier stuff – and therefore more popular. We want people to hear us and think The Lethargics are a band with great songs that don’t sound like anything or anybody else. But mostly we just hope a lot of folks enjoy the music.

Adam Duffill Releases Lyric Video For ‘I’ll Be Waiting’

If the term singer-songwriter seems to conjure images of an overly earnest, stubble-chinned troubadour in a wide brimmed hat churning out songs about the state of the world in a hipster coffee bar, then Adam Duffill is here to set things straight. Yes, he is a singer and a songwriter but he has something that such would-be-Dylans don’t…drama and passion.

I’ll Be Waiting may be based around his acoustic guitar but the sonic palette he employs has more in common with that of a rock band than an acoustic pop player. As such his music is big, sweeping, widescreen, honest and heartfelt. Not bad for a guy with an acoustic guitar. Walking that line between rock and pop is clever move, get the balance right and you can appeal to large sectors of both markets, the Goo Goo Dolls used it skilfully to become alt-pop-rock royalty, all Adam has to do no is write his own Iris and you can bet that moment isn’t far away.