A Q&A With Lemon Cash
Following your heart and building out your passion isn’t always easy or straightforward. I thought it would be inspiring to hear the stories of others who are putting their dreams into action. Today I’m talking to the guys from Lemon Cash to get a better idea of their journey as a band.
When and why did you decide to start Lemon Cash?
In the summer of 2014, we started Lemon Cash purely on our sheer love for and desire to play music. We all eventually developed aspirations of being a successful touring band, but Lemon Cash really just started out as a group of guys wanting to get together a couple times a week and release the stress of everyday life with a good old fashioned jam session.
Did you ever worry about what people would think or say when you were starting out?
When we started getting serious about the band and started writing our own material, we truly believed in our stuff, so it was more of us being excited about what people would think rather than worry. Of course, we knew that music is subjective and there would obviously be some “haters”, but that’s just the way it goes and we tried not to focus on that too much. So far we’ve received a lot of positive feedback at our shows and on social media, so it’s been pretty rewarding.
Do any of you have formal training in music or did you just learn along the way?
None of us have had any formal training in music, but we all come from musical families, so I guess you can say that music is in our blood and we were all eager to learn instruments at a young age.
How did you come up with the name?
There is an actual story behind our name. The brothers in the band, Jeff (drummer) and Cory Papineau (singer) had a lemonade stand when they were young kids and at the end of the day, they would grab all the cash they made and run inside to show their mother. They called that cash their “lemon cash”. When the band was starting out and they were pondering a name, Jeff and Cory began reminiscing about the lemonade days and that prompted Jeff to realize that Lemon Cash is a great name for a band. The other band members agreed and the rest is history!
Is Lemon Cash your full time job? How often does the band meet for practice?
The goal is to one day be able to make Lemon Cash our full time job, but, unfortunately that is not the case as of right now. However, we get together 3 to 4 times a week and we like to keep a good balance between practice sessions and song writing sessions. That way, we’re always moving forward with new material as well as getting tighter musically.
Have there been any major challenges that have struck you along the way?
Too many of them to recount! At one point, we were actually thinking of starting a blog to detail all our misfortunes. The primary challenge for us has just been getting the whole band on the same page in terms of our musical direction. We all come from such diverse musical backgrounds, that when you put it all together, it can be tough to get everyone to agree on a certain direction. And although it is our biggest challenge, I think that’s what makes this band what we are.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Two things actually come to mind when we think of our biggest accomplishments. The first one being the opportunity to work with Grammy winning producer Damon Sharpe. We had written our recent single “rock your soul” a couple months prior to reaching out to Damon. Our guitarist Stefano was looking for a producer to enhance the song and he stumbled across Damon based out of LA. We messaged him on Facebook, Instagram, email etc. and we didn’t hear back for roughly 7 days, then out of the blue he responded and asked us to send the track. We obliged and then didn’t hear back for another 7 days, so we figured he passed on the song. Stefano was tired of waiting, so he reached out and to our surprise, he believed in the song and wanted to work with us. Another accomplishment we’re very proud of is selling out Barrymores. It’s such a staple of the Ottawa music community, however they don’t just let anyone play. You need a proven track record prior to being booked at a venue like that, so it was gratifying when we were given word that the venue had sold out.
What has been the most memorable moment in Lemon Cash history?
Our most memorable moment to date in Lemon Cash history has to be meeting Sam Roberts and July Talk backstage when we played the HOPE beach event in Ottawa. We’re big fans of both of those acts, so it was pretty special to be able to hang out with them. They were very nice, down to earth people and it was an honour to be able to share the stage with them.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone wanting to start out in music, what would it be?
Don’t expect it to be like the movies. Things don’t happen overnight. Believe in your music, but be open to criticism and feedback. With each song you write, your musical proficiency should increase as well. It might take 16 songs before you write a song good enough to show your friends, but just stick with it and eventually you’ll write something you’re really proud of.