Interview with Nashville Indie-folk/Americana group, Lake and Lyndale

"We hope our music makes people think, makes them feel, and hopefully connects us."

For newer fans, how did your passion for music and career come about? I began working in the theatre as a young girl and really fell in love with performing and always knew I wanted to pursue a career in performance. My interest shifted more into songwriting during my college years and that is around the time I met the Lake & Lyndale boys: (Jon Krentz- guitar) (Tyler Kloewer- Drums) (Eric Clifford- bass). We toured the Midwest for several years together before making the move to Nashville two years ago.

You recently released your new single, “Still Here,” that you also co-wrote. Tell us about the writing process and where the idea came from. We were watching the Coen Brothers’ anthology film, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs-specifically the segment of Tom Waits as a persistent miner. This episode inspired the opening lyrics to the song “I can’t say for certain that there’s any gold left in these hills/perseverance pays, or so they say, and I just pray that it will.” We took that idea into our co-write with Alyssa Trahan and the song came together quite smoothly. We got to talking about all the hurdles that come with pursuing a career in the music industry and the words just seemed to fall into place because amongst all the chaos, we’re still here- still love making music together and have come to appreciate the madness.

How was it filming the video for “Still Here?” We are fortunate to have met our videographer/director, Ben Boutwell w/Createwell, after moving down to Nashville. He has been such an amazing person to work with but he is also so good at thinking “outside the box”, which is very important to us. This video in particular was a lot of work on his end and we are grateful for his vision and the large amount of time that he put into the making of this. The boys and I had a good time picking out different wardrobe changes and scenes for the shoot. We are very proud of how it all came together and hope everyone will take the time to check out the video

At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs? We hope our music makes people think, makes them feel, and hopefully connects us. I feel like it’s easy for people to feel very alone and misunderstood so hopefully it grabs anyone feeling that way and reminds them that we are definitely right there with them. The power of music has been very prominent in my life and there are songs that have pulled me through some dark times..I just hope to return the favor.

Who have been some of your biggest musical influences? This list could get very long but to name a few: Carole King, Tom Petty, Lori McKenna, Kacey Musgraves, Will Hoge, just to name a few. These artists have inspired me through the years and continue to do so.

What’s your favorite food on the road? I’m a snacker so I usually have a box of cheez-its with me on the road ha. We also always end up at Jimmy Johns when we’re on the road.

How do you drink your coffee? Gotta have a little cream and sugar in there 🙂

What is one food that most people seem to like, but you cannot stand to eat? Sausage. When I was little I would pick it off of my pizza and to this day I still can’t stand it. I don’t know what it is but..nope. Can’t do it.

Home cooking or going out? Going Out
Finally, what is one thing you can tell us that most people don’t know about you and might surprise us? I had vocal surgery back in 2011. The year and a half prior to that surgery, I had to take a break from singing/performing altogether in hopes that I could heal on my own. Although that was a very dark time for me, it also gave me that much more of an appreciation for this journey and made me very grateful for second chances. I never take a second of this craziness for granted.

Lake and Lyndale – “Still Here” (Out June 19th, 2020)

The music business is no place for the meek of heart or timid of spirit. A move from Minnesota to Nashville and a personnel overhaul might have collapsed lesser bands. But Lake and Lyndale didn’t just survive those traumas. They’re thriving, as evidenced by their defiant new single “Still Here.”

Written by singer Channing Marie and guitarist Jonathan Krentz with collaborating songwriter Alyssa Trahan, the song displays the four-piece band’s strengths, all of which act in service of the main theme of perseverance against all obstacles: the rhythm section of bassist Eric Clifford and drummer Tyler Kloewer churn out a propulsive groove; Krentz delivers both acoustic dexterity and a searing electric solo on guitar; and Marie belts out the resilient message: “I watch the flicker and the flame/I stay the same.”

Krentz explains that the Coen Brothers’ anthology film The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs, specifically the segment with Tom Waits as a persistent miner, spurred the creation of “Still Here.” “I remember watching that, and it was just so visually striking, and the plot was so amazing,” Krentz explains. “That was the inspiration for the first lines of the song: ‘I can’t say for certain if there’s any gold left in these hills/Perseverance pays, or so they say, and I pray that it will.’ I think seeing Tom Waits’ character having to go through everything on his own was something that us as a band could relate to, especially as independent artists. Tackling challenges on your own is a universal topic, and I hope people find a little encouragement when they listen to the song.”

“We’ve been doing the music thing for a long time now and “Still Here” was a reflection of that. We’re still here, we still love it, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

Marie explains how the foursome that make up Lake and Lyndale were originally part of a larger collective that splintered at the last minute before their big move to Nashville a few years back. “With the move down here, there was always going to be a rebranding phase. But it actually also opened up a lot of creativity. The four of us are on the same page and share the same vision of who we want to be as artists and what we want to say. There was already a strong connection before the move to Nashville, and then going through a scary scenario like moving just made our bond as friends and a band stronger.”

Krentz says the group seemed to find its identity in the new setting as well. “When we moved to Nashville and started writing music we were not really sure where we would fit in, I think we found out quickly who enjoyed the music we were putting out. I’ve always been a believer in just putting out the music and letting other people categorize it. We were fortunate to have the Americana world embrace us, and we are honored to be a part of such a timeless genre.”

Regardless of how they’re categorized, Lake and Lyndale’s strong songwriting stands out. It’s something that they’ve watched evolve from initial hesitancy into the potency and fearlessness evident in “Still Here.” “Speaking for myself, when I would write songs five or six years ago, there was a lot of second-guessing,” Marie says. “It’s very scary to be vulnerable and put your own story out there, but I have learned to embrace that over the years.”

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Mary Ann Kaylor Griffiths

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