When life gives you lemons–start a rock band!

Freshmen boys form rock band.


Courtesy of Kannon Steinnmeyer

Members of the Lemons play at their gig at Friend's Bar and Grill.

Freshmen Dylan Poniewaz, Kannon Steinmeyer, and Jude Reed have created their own band, and they call themselves The Lemons.

Steinmeyer and Reed said they first got into music around fourth grade but the band didn’t start till much later. “We have had a lot of ideas but, the band didn’t start till September of 2018. Jude didn’t know Dylan at first so I wanted to introduce them, plus we needed a drummer,” said Steinmeyer.

Although they all have a common interest in music, they each get their inspiration from many different people. “Musically? It all stems from who I’m listening to. Recently I’ve been playing more saxophone as a result of listening to Frank Zappa and They Might Be Giants. Topics? Concepts? Usually just my everyday life. Some of our most popular songs stem from entertaining stories about sweating or come from a funny experience of being attacked by geese,” Reed said.

Steinmeyer said the music they play is eclectic and fun. He said they don’t associate with a specific genre because they think it’s too cliche. “If we are playing cover music it’s like 60’s rock and experimental, our own music is just whatever we want to play really,” Poniewaz said.

They use a variety of sounds and instruments in their songs, such as guitar, drums, harmonica, ukulele, bass accordion, piano, and even the mandolin. Steinmeyer and Reed also switch off doing the lead vocals at their shows. “I would like to get better at the drums and piano, as well as learn banjo even though it’s very hard,” Steinmeyer said. 

They play an assortment of cover songs as well as originals.

“My favorite cover we play is probably Dr. Worm. Something about the lines I sing while the rest of the band is silent makes the words that much more impactful. My favorite original we play is Lovely Randy because as Dylan always says, ‘It’s an anthem,’” Reed said.

Steinmeyer and Poniewaz both expressed that their favorite song to perform was also Lovely Randy because it’s “loud and fun.”

They currently play all their shows at Friends Bar and Grill from 7-10 p.m. (12207 Natural Bridge Rd.). Their next gigs are Nov. 2, 15, and 30. “I see myself next year playing once a week, at the moment we play about twice a month, and I would like to also have more instruments,” Steinmeyer said. 

Reed and Poniewaz gave similar answers, saying that they would love to continue on this path and play as much as possible.

The group also collaborated with other bands in the area like the Missouri Tree Frogs who play old-time fiddle tunes in the American Folk tradition. who Steinmeyer and Reed are friends with. “Firstly the Lemons are simply electric! Every show of theirs has this magical, intimate energy that radiates throughout the room. The music they play has a very unique vibe, both extremely unified and a bit off-kilter, much like the members themselves,” Said William Jaffe a member of the Missouri Tree Frogs.

They shared that they would love to collaborate with other artists, either dead or alive, such as Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and John Lennon. “I’d love to collaborate with John Lennon. He’s more of a big-picture guy, whereas I work more in the details of the song, so I think we could work well together. He’s also straight-up just an amazing vocalist and songwriter,” Reed said.

Each member of the band has their own creative process and way of coming up with new ideas Steinmeyer said.“As a band, we all write individually then come together. I take longer on my songs, when I write a song I try to bring it to them as a full song so it’s more helpful. It takes me a week usually. I start with chord progression then add lyrics and make a demo to see what it sounds like all together,” said Steinmeyer.

Reed explained his advice to others who are thinking about starting a band or getting involved in music in general.

“Do whatever you want. Relax. Don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t stress about the conventions. Be yourself and your music will turn out beautifully. (Autotune),” he said.