When I was a kid, I was really into the Ramones and The Misfits. After seeing the Ramones in concert, I fell in love with three-chord style punk. In my early 20s when I was publishing the zine, I had connected with every punk rock label in the country and received dozens of CDs, tapes and records in the mail weekly. Since I was a big fan of Screeching Weasel and had been keeping tabs on everything Panic Button was releasing. When I saw The Lillingtons album arrive in my mailbox, I immediately put it in. I was blown away and reached out to John at Panic Button to line up an interview.
I met the band before a show at The Shelter in Detroit, MI. We went up to the green room, which had a generous amount of food and drinks set out for the bands. We sat around chatting like old friends. The Lillingtons were one of the most genuine down to earth bands I had ever met up to that point in my short-lived punk rock journalist career. This was the first big tour the band had been on and they were really excited. It is awesome to look back on this interview and to now see what an inspiration and influence Kody and The Lillingtons have had on punk rock over the years. – RobG UPRISING! (2020)
Early Summer 1999
The Lillingtons are made up of Kody on guitar/vocals, Cory on bass and Tim on drums. Hailing from Newcastle, Wyoming (population of around 3,000), the Lillingtons story is a punk band’s dream.
When I asked the band about the scene in Newcastle Wyoming, they all laughed. “We are the scene!” one of them said. “We have one band in our town (The Lillingtons) and they are really popular and always in the newspaper” Kody says, “No one really knew about us before and we liked it like that.”
The Lillingtons is the first band any of the members have ever been in. With the departure of their first bass player after only six months, the members are all original.
“We’ve been together for four years this July (1999) Cory states. “We lived right down the street from each other and just got an idea to start a band.” “When we first started, Cory was going to play drums and I knew Tim could play so we got him to play.”
With only two months of writing and practicing under their belts, The Lillingtons ventured to New Hampshire to record.
“Clearview Records from Texas was putting our first record out for a while, and then the guy running the label decided not to do it anymore.”
“We decided to record an album at Sonic Iguana Studios,” Kody said. “We had just planned on making copies for ourselves,” Cory said. “We weren’t going to hang things up, we just weren’t going to take it seriously anymore.”
“We all just had different schedules, Tim said. “Kody worked in a grocery store for a long time, Cory worked in an oil field and I worked in a coal mine, which all of that took up a lot of time.”
The Phone Call
“We all happen to be together practicing one night,” Cory says. “That’s when we got the call from Panic Button.” Mass (Giorgini – owner of Sonic Iguana Studios in Lafayette, Indiana) really liked the album and introduced the recordings to Panic Button, who really liked it. “We had actually sent them a demo earlier on and they rejected it.”
The rest is history. The Lillingtons signed with Panic Button and sent them out on tour. They’ll be touring the US until mid-July and then may tour with Moral Crux later in the year.
“Panic Button has been really great to us,” Kody says. “John (Jughead – Screeching Weasel) is really cool, he got up and played with us at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago, that’s the first time he’s gotten up there in I don’t know how many years.”
Future Album, Old Songs
As far as future plans (albums), the Lillingtons haven’t thought of any yet. I think all of this is still a bit of a surprise to them. And for all of you old Lillington fans, don’t expect to hear a lot of their old tunes when you see them live. “We don’t like those songs much anymore. All the songs are lies, like, the songs about chicks and stuff.” “If we’re gonna lie, we might as well lie about something cool. It’s actually two different mindsets, you know?” “You have your happy love tracks and the sci-fi stuff and it really doesn’t mix well. It’s not that we sat down and decided this, we just got sick of playing our old stuff” Tim said. For me, those old songs just aren’t challenging anymore. I used to only play half notes on drums and now I do quarter notes and its just me out there (slapping his knee with his hands in half note fashion), it’s no fun. The new album reflects a different side of us.” “it’s what we wanted to do, a better representation of who we are.”