Angus Stone by James Adams
Angus Stone is ready to hit the road with Dope Lemon. Picture: James Adams

Dope Lemon comes to fruition for Angus Stone

Zesty and fruity, what’s not to love about Angus Stone’s solo project Dope Lemon?

Having released new album Honey Bones and a national tour planned for October, Stone has certainly been busy.

“It’s quite an obsession, you know, it’s a new start every time,” says Stone, ruminating on what it’s like to perform solo.

“Coming off the back of touring with Julia and doing something on my own – it’s a good change of work, it mixes it up.”

Stone has been working on Dope Lemon for the past year and says there is an excitement and buzz for every new project.

“Even to walking out on stage, everything just bottlenecks and it comes to a point where it comes to fruition and it’s really great.”

The name itself is surprisingly not inspired by all things citrus, but instead simply materialised.

“We just went to the studio and about three weeks later we popped out with the name,” Stone says.

However the name of the album The Honey Bones has a slightly racier origin involving an underground recording studio which was also a bunker.

In my studio you have this big porthole and when the sun’s going down, you get that stuff in the air, those magic skylights in the studio. Those times are the best because you’re having a couple of beers and it’s really good, really cool.

“We booked this little dungeon-style studio, down in an underground bunker,” he says.

“We basically just took in a bottle of whiskey and some instruments and our recording gear and that song almost came out of that place. I just pictured this really sexual girl dancing and just honey dripping off her bones. I know it’s pretty wild, but it was a combination of those two things.”

With the dungeon-like recording studio (and presumably whiskey) adding to the feel of Honey Bones, Stone believes circumstance and location do influence a song’s final finish.

“I think it’s got a huge influence on things. Like at my studio, it’s cool. A lot of the studios you go to you are boxed out. In my studio you have this big porthole and when the sun’s going down, you get that stuff in the air, those magic skylights in the studio. Those times are the best because you’re having a couple of beers and it’s really good, really cool.”

Stone described the process of making Honey Bones as long but “a labour of love” and leaving a “smile on your face”.

Constructing the album song by song, Stone says he hopes there is a common thread that tied the songs together, although his songwriting style is more experimental than conceptual.

He says he tries “not to tamper too much”, instead just “letting it go and see what we come up with.”

“Being experimental is the beauty of it. There’s stuff in there you can’t recreate or talk about,” he says.

In preparation for his upcoming national tour, Stone is hanging out with his band at his farm near Byron Bay.

“All the band members have all come out to live out on my farm,” he says.

“It’s just been awesome, we just get to shoot a text to each other asking whether we want to jam today – and we just meet up in the studio and have epic jams.”

Punters shouldn’t expect a “a fucking cannon spitting fire”, says Stone – just a good time and a cruisy vibe.

“It’ll be a fun night. Just get loose and enjoy the music.”

Fans of the project will be pleased to know there’s another Dope Lemon record in the pipeline and though it’s too soon to talk release dates, Stone says it’s sounding “pretty tight”.

“I’m really stoked with it. I think it’s going to be a cracker,” he says.

Dope Lemon’s national tour starts on October 21 at the Astor Theatre in Perth.

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