Running Wild with Leighton Antelman of Lydia

By Katy Wilkie

September 17, 2015

Lydia formed in 2003 in the heyday of bands that were marketing their music on Myspace while teens regularly updated their “top 8” to keep the rotation fresh and their friends happy. While Myspace slowly dissipated into a solemn void, Lydia trudged through the static and stuck around. Even in the face of adversity with a handful of lineup changes, Lydia has persevered. Though, the band’s frontman, Leighton Antelman states “We’re not really a band with a “lineup”, just friends that travel and like music. To me it makes it more interesting that I get to play with a new face every so often.” However, it’s worth noting that  Leighton (lead vocals/guitar), Justin Camacho (guitar) and Matt Keller (keyboard) have been the staple lineup of the band for the past five years.  

Armed with a myriad of full length albums, EPs and B-sides that feature poetic lyrics and respectively build upon each other to amass a more impressive sound, Lydia has timelessly proved themselves to be authentic music makers. While their 2008 release, Illuminate, has reigned as their most popular and arguably best album, that hasn’t stopped the indie-rockers from looking towards the future with their fifth album, Run Wild. Coming off of their fourth studio album, Devil, which is notably a happy album with a summery vibe, fans can expect a switch in gears with Run Wild. In comparison, Antelman states, “I think it’s a little bit darker overall. We never want to make the same record twice so I think the change is quite nice.”


With the album on the cusp of release, fans have been teased with the songs “Past Life” and “Late Nights” from the upcoming record. Conceivably, the most tense part of releasing music is waiting for the reactions from the fans. Fortunately in this case, Antelman noted that, “Lydia fans are great, they dive right into our releases and show us so much love. We can’t wait for them to hear the entire record.”

It wasn’t just a change in sound that the band sought, Lydia also didn’t shy away from trying new techniques on this record including utilizing two different producers. The 11-song album was produced by Aaron Marsh, the frontman of Copeland, and Colby Wedgeworth, who has worked with the likes of The Maine and Taking Back Sunday.

“They are most certainly very different producers, which is why we chose that route. We wanted to have two almost polar opposite heads to bounce songs/ideas off of. We weren’t sure how it was going to go but that’s half the fun of making a record, not knowing what’s going to happen,” Antelman says.


Sattled with 11 solid songs on Run Wild, which releases on September 18, Lydia is set to kick off The Run Wild: North American Tour with Seahaven, The Technicolors and Turnover. Despite the fact that Lydia played Illuminate front to back on the Illuminate tour last year, Antelman reassured that Lydia will still “play quite a few off of Illuminate.” While the tour is running in promotion of the new album, Run Wild, Antelman gives a nod to the fans in the creation of the tour setlist noting that “we try and play as many of the fan favorites as we can, because they’re the reason we’re able to do what we do.”

Beyond this tour, Antelman says Lydia is “always writing and recording things, so there is always that going on. But we might be taking the Run Wild tour to some other lands as well.”

Lydia will be playing at The Visulite Theatre in Charlotte on Sunday, September 27.

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