GARDENS, WEED AND CHEWING LEMON – WE CHAT TO THE 30-YEAROLD MUSO ABOUT HIS PSYCHEDELIC NEW SIDE PROJECT AND PENDING ALBUM, HONEY BONES.
GQ: So, this new band, Dope Lemon – what the hell is a Dope Lemon? Angus Stone: I like to say that we can make music out of lemons, and that we’re all dopes at heart. GQ: Right, so it’s not a citrus-flavoured bong? AS: [laughs] I don’t think that’s possible, it’s too squeezy in there. You would get too much lemon juice… Lemon would be good actually. Have you ever bitten into a lemon? GQ: Yes. You? AS: I haven’t. Not yet. But it’s defnitely something that’s in the initiation process of being in the band. GQ: The band features The Walking Who’s Rohin Brown, The Delta Riggs’ Elliot Hammond and Matt Johnson, who played on Jeff Buckley’s Grace. Keen to get away from your sister, then? AS: Yeah, Julia and I have been in each other’s pockets for a long time and we love each other, but it’s good to have change. Sometimes it won’t work, then sometimes it turns into beautiful geometric patterns that happen with music, energy and the way that people are with one another, it’s magical. GQ: And just how does one get in that ‘magical’ headspace, Angus? AS: I like to keep music really unplanned, as it just allows for everyone to be as creative as they feel. We were in a party state, pretty much for this whole record – [drugs and alcohol] are the same as your environment, infuences, whether you had something happen with a lover or, a big night the night before… Sometimes it has everything to do with it and sometimes it has nothing. The ups and downs are good for a record. GQ: Much of the music on the album has a strong visual sense – ‘Honey Bones’, for instance. What kind of state are you in when writing something like that? AS: It’s a pretty sexual sort of, drug-induced, you know, that third-eye delirium. I just really like that, those words ‘Honey Bones’. It’s pretty dark if you think about it. And it’s beautiful… ‘Honey Bones’ – like we’re all made of gold. GQ: Like a treacle-y woman. AS: Yeah, that’s it – the sexy girl, dancing in the smoke. It’s a really buttery song. I didn’t really like having title songs on albums because it draws a lot of focus to that song. But for me, it’s just the words. It’s really buttery. It’s just soft and nice. I wanted it to just feel good, I guess. GQ: As someone who’s so driven by words, what’s the Dope Lemon message? AS: It’s a symbol of all good things starting and ending in the garden. When I jump in the ocean or go to the country, everything makes sense. Religion, acquiring possessions, building and building – it feels like you’re moving forward, but you’re actually taking two steps back. It’s as simple as just getting back to the garden. Honey Bones is out May 6.