Dope Lemon on Their Rose Pink Cadillac: Interview

Dope Lemon is the solo recording project for Angus Stone, one half of the Australian duo of Angus and Julia Stone. Here he is to tell us about his Rose Pink Cadillac.

The 13th Floor’s Jemilah Ross-Hayes spoke to Angus shortly before Rose Pink Cadillac hit the streets. Here is their conversation.

NOTE: Dope Lemon’s new album, ROSE PINK CADILLAC, was due for release today but after a vinyl delay, the album release has unfortunately been moved to
January 7, 2022.

“2021 curve balls have been a thing, we’ve just had word from the vinyl plant that the vinyl for Rose Pink Cadillac won’t be ready for November 12. This animated vinyl is a very complex product to make and can only be made in one factory in the world. The delays are due to COVID and are out of the bands control.”

“The good news is that they are guaranteed for the new release date of Rose Pink Cadillac on January 7th 2022. Dope Lemon is an experiential project and the animated vinyl will be available on release week for you all,” – Dope Lemon.

Pre-orders available here –

Now, read the transcription here:

JR: Yeah, super exciting for the release of your album coming out. How long have you been working on this?

AS: This was maybe three months and change. It was it was something that sort of started just before COVID It was kind of COVID was sort of starting to kick up dust just as we’re sort of, we’re probably a couple songs in, which is maybe three weeks ago or something. And yeah, we just sort of we kept sort of rolling through it. COVID didn’t affect us too much. We’re sort of already locked down anyways as you do when you make a record so it’s just one of those things

JR: Yeah, three months is pretty speedy really like, I think a lot of people you know, work on stuff for years before they release it, so it’s pretty cool to just like knuckle down on it and smash it out.

AS: Yeah, it’s kind of…generally is you sort of start with one song and I always in the back of my head I guess I sort of I tricked myself i i know that it’s not just one song it will be something much more of a body of work and you just get that sort of energy and that magic running through you and you want to…I don’t know it just pushes you along. It’s it’s a cool thing.

JR: For sure. I hear you’re giving away a Cadillac to someone who’s pre ordered the album. I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times but how did you decide to do this and find a pink Cadillac?

Dope Lemon

AS: Yeah, it started obviously the song on the album Rose Pink Cadillac and we were shooting a music video and we got it off this old guy. We could only find one rose pink Cadillac on the day to shoot this music video and we got this guy, he drove down, this old guy, and it was like his little baby you know?

JR: Yeah.

AS: We shot the music video and it was epic. And later on the label’s Heath Jones called me up and he’s like, ‘we should we should buy this Cadillac and give it away with the album’. I was like, Holy shit that’s that’s kind of…I was like, let me just sit on this for a bit you know, obviously like Cadillacs aren’t cheap, especially 1960s ones. But it was it was a cool idea. You know the Dope Lemon fans have been so loyal and it’s just been it’s such an incredible ride that we follow just be a cool thing to give back to the fans and show love in that regard.

JR: Sure, for sure. Yeah, definitely the first time I’ve seen something like that and I think even just the craziness and the scope of it makes it even more exciting like…I think most people wouldn’t even thought that like imagine that that’s be something that they’d want but you can not be stoked if you won that.

AS: Oh man, when you sit in those things it’s just…the way things were designed back and everyone it’s common knowledge everything that was like fashion back then is just the flair and thought and I guess materials were a different thing as well back in the day like you were allowed to be excessive because things were things were more accessible. Like the wings there’s things on that car just that made but like the why feels and looks is just incredible like this, this bloody wings can take off to the sky, that’s sure.

JR: You think you’d want to enter yourself just so that you might get to keep it

AS: Yeah. (chuckles) I was talking about that with a friend. My friend’s like, ‘I ordered the vinyl what happens if I win?’ I went, “Oh shit, it would look pretty bad.’

But yeah, it’s, it’s 100% legit. It’s going to be very exciting. Whoever wins, they’re going to be probably the most happy person on earth.

JR: Speaking of eccentric things, I love the record that you’ve made for this album. And I can see sort of like a consistent theme with your last release as well. How did this…was that sort of like, well, this was this one, just inspired by the last one, and how did you come up with the idea of doing the sides with one representing more of like a daytime feel on the other, like more darker tones?

Dope LemonAS: Yeah. When it comes to the art side of things, it’s another whole process. You finish creating and writing for however many months, and it’s a lot of work, and then you get to the end and then, ‘Oh, I got to do the art now’. Instead of making it, like…sometimes you just you so they’ve put so much energy and you’ve spent so much to make the record…sometimes it can be a lot of effort to go into the art side of things. But lately it’s been…I’ve been really enjoying working with this guy, his name’s Ken, his tag is ‘Taking” and he’s incredible. I found him on online. In the beginning, he did Smooth Big Cat, he basically he does the animated vinyl.

But he started just doing the placemats for details. He does, yeah, he does the math on the way. If you have X amount of cats running around, placed around the disk, and it spins your phone when it films it at a certain frame rate will make it look like it’s a constant. Working with him has been incredible. And I guess when it came to the light, and the darker shades of the vinyl, and it goes to a to the b side, it sort of just happened naturally because the music, the mood changes as you go. Go on to the next half of it. And we did that with the kitty cats and the Cadillac. Following on in love which is on side A on the bench.

JR: It’s a really interesting idea and I can imagine it being kind of timeless in that regard. Like I can imagine even, you know, say 50, 100 years when records have gone back to being something ancient, because they’re kind of, you know, making a comeback, and people kind of even they might not even know who Dope Lemon are. and they’re just like, wow, look at this cool, retro album, you know, like…yeah, it’s cool having something that’s unique in that way.

AS: Yeah, totally. I mean, I always I fell in love with…there’s a Rolling Stones, vinyl…when I first moved to the town that I live in now…I found this Rolling Stones record and it was I can’t remember what it’s got that song girl. I think it might be called (sings) Miss You, I don’t know. But on the front, it’s got all the bands faces. And there’s a there’s a sort of carousel little pin that you can spin. And underneath that you can change…like when you go to a theme park and poke your head through the wall…and it’s on some wacky body. You had that on the front of the liner and you could change the faces of the bodies.

Yeah, I feel like I think that stuff just slowly sinks in as you as you grow, you know, like, you think about the authenticity of art and the energy put into it is is it’s long lasting it’s something that you as a consumer of or fan of the music, you respect and it stays with you and I think that goes it goes miles.

JR: Yeah, I mean inspiration comes from anywhere and I guess it’s similar with music itself. You know, you’ve spent however many years you are old, gaining experience and getting life experience and that all kind of comes together when you write a song I feel

AS: Absolutely.

JR: Do you have A favorite song on the album, or one that stands out to be maybe more personal than the others to you, or just one you like the most?

AS: I think it changes, it changes daily, like when you sort of…suddenly something will trigger a feeling you had when you wrote it. I think maybe just more on like, a dream come true sort of side of my favorite with song would be…I always wanted….I had this poetry that I’d written that was already quite profound and I’ve always wanted to have someone translate my poetry into French. And then therefore singing on an album and learn phonetics. And I did that on this record for a song called High Rolling. I called a friend up and she came over and we sat there and drank whiskey and we figured out how to turn this English poem into a French poem. And it’s, it’s funny the way translation works. With different languages, it’s, you always, I always find that it becomes even if you’ve got a really simple line, and you flip it over to the other language, that you find all the poetry within just the words getting jumbled up. And things not making sense…because she’ll look at me and be like, ‘This just can’t be said’. Not that it was wrong, or anything, she was just saying this, this actually, this doesn’t exist like this, you would never put those two words together, therefore we have to come up with something new. And like, that sort of thing was it was really interesting. Its cool. That was  a fun process.

JR: Yeah, that’s a really interesting creative process. Did you collaborate with many, many people on this album? Or is it mostly sort of a solo project?

AS: I think there’s four, four sort of guests that I’m starting to branch out with bringing people in. Usually I do everything myself from the instruments to  mixing, producing just, I’m quite…I know what I want when it comes to, to the song as a whole and from the very beginning. But, but I’m starting to realize that it’s, it’s really nice to, to, to bring people in and you start, you start realizing that it’s, there’s so many cool flavors and things that can happen. Strike that when it pops up.

JR: For sure. Yeah, talking about collaborations, I love that you are doing Dope Lemon alongside Angus and Julia Stone. For me, that’s such an interesting, like two projects to run parallel because I find that they’re so different. How do you feel that contrast is? Do you feel like you have different characters that you embody for each project or different parts of yourself that you explore whether that be like in songwriting, or you know, doing things as a duo and with your sibling, versus solo and sort of with more of a I guess, band sound even though even though it’s just sort of created by you?

Angus & Julia StoneAS: Yeah, I sort of spent my  20s writing with Julia and making records and we went through a lot during that time, figuring out how to be respectful of each other’s space and, and I think you…it’s such a, like, anyone that’s got a sibling knows that…you either do or you don’t know…because a lot of people just don’t, don’t bother and they sort of just move on in life and, you know, you meet up at Christmas and you know, and that’s your sort of relationship and Julia and I, we, we actually we had to really see, see it through and we crossed a lot of roads, you know a lot a lot of boundaries were dealt with and with our songwriting now there’s just this great, this great respect and love for one another and in what we do in our craft and it’s, it just feels really free now. It wasn’t always like that, you know, like, just I think time, time tells, and I’m really glad that we stuck it out because it’s our relationship now is it’s really special thing.

JR: For sure. I mean, I mean writing music together is really sort of soul bearing. And it must be quite an interestingly emotional experience to do that with a sibling, especially through your 20s, you know, when like you say you, you kind of tend to go one way or the other, and a lot of people tend to drift away from their siblings, because you know, you’re not living in the same house or whatever anymore. So kind of cool that you had that experience and that reason to stay together and grow together. It’s quite special.

AS: Yeah, it really is. And I think when it when it comes to Dope Lemon and things that you can do on the side, like, there’s that old saying some change of work is the best rest. It really is, it’s like, you find it’s really rejuvenating and healthy to have something else to, to sort of, to express yourself and to go off and have your own space to create and explore. And the discovery of Dope Lemon, I think, in a big… in a way…is sort of…it was it was a new doorway to, to finding those things. And  yeah, yeah, it’s cool.

Angus & Julia StoneJR:  I feel like I mean, before, when I’ve kind of listened to both Angus and Julia Stone and Dope Lemon stuff, you know, throughout, I guess I can say my lifetime, you know, the lifetime of the age that you that you are actively listening to music, and didn’t even put two and two together that, that you were in both projects. That alone…I don’t even think I realized that you guys were siblings. But now knowing this, I think that comes through in your music and your most recent record, Life is Strange, for me feels really strongly like about love, but not just romantic love. And I think that maybe that’s something to do with writing about that with your sibling. And those feelings come through in a different way.

AS: Yeah, absolutely.

JR: You think that this is a conscious thing that happens when you write with your siblings, like writing about maybe themes that you would explore in a collaborative sense, but not so much on your own?

AS: Yeah, it’s like, I mean, it’s one of those things like you, like I said, at the beginning of the interview, you start to you start to figure this stuff out. It’s yeah, it’s about love loss, life and renewals of yourself and figuring out being an empathetic and there’s so many…it’s sort of, we’d never really scored anything. We’d scored for movies before just songs, but not from start to finish the whole project. And that was, that was really cool.

JR: Yeah, really cool. Oh, well, it must be challenging balancing both projects, but it also sounds like you really enjoy having two different things to gravitate towards. Really, really lovely chatting to you today. Hopefully, you know, COVID can sort itself out and you can come over to New Zealand and, and do a tour here sometime soon.

AS: I think I think we’re going to be there soon. I don’t know. I heard a whisper last night about next year. I can’t wait to be there.

JR: Yeah, exciting. I will definitely come up to see you when you do.

AS: Come have a beer.

JR: Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Dope Lemon’s Rose Pink Cadillac was released Friday, November 12th. Click here for more Dope Lemon