It’s been over a decade since The Lillingtons released a full-length album—and an anomaly of a record at that. 2006’s The Too Late Show proved The Lillingtons were just as powerful as they were in their initial run, even if the band wasn’t inclined to hop back in the van and be a full-time concern. But with recent spats of activity—touring sporadically and releasing the Project 313 7-inch on Red Scare Industries—*The Lillingtons* are once again giving this band thing a go.
Having signed to Fat Wreck Chords, The Lillingtons toiled away on their new record in secret, crafting an album that is both a continuation of the band’s legacy and a dramatic reinvention. It’s called Stella Sapiente, a title that vocalist-guitarist Kody Templeman says roughly translates to “wisdom of the stars,” and that phrase proves apt given his claim that it’s “centered around secret societies, astrology, and the occult.” This kind of subject matter makes perfect sense for The Lillingtons, a band that has never— and likely will never—find much interest in the mundane. Their songs are pulpy vignettes steeped in intrigue, unraveling mysteries, conspiracies, and cloak-and-dagger operations while bashing through buzzy, pop-focused punk songs.
J.B: Okay well let’s start off every society has secret societies it’s been that way for thousands of years from Gobekli Tobe to the Stonehedges to wait is known as the Skull and Bones. Do you feel that there are many evil forces at work shaping our society as they see fit?
KODY:: I would’t say evil but yes, I do believe there is a network of people that shape our world to their will. It’s pretty obvious if you start to look into it. The top 1% of the population that hold more than half the wealth in the world definitely have a large say in all matters.
J.B: I mean almost every president of the United States of America was in some kind of Secret Society including George Bush,but do you think Donald Trump could be really a part of one?
KODY: I think you’re probably referring to the Bohemian Grove. I would like to think that Trump is too dumb to be asked to participate in anything like that, but I wouldn’t doubt it. It doesn’t matter either way.
J.B: You wrote Golden Dawn/Knights Templar which the Templars were believed to be the founders of the new frontier in America?
KODY: The Knights Templar didn’t really play any part of it. It was the Freemasons that formed out of the Knights Templar that laid a lot of the foundation of America. Most of the “founding fathers” were Freemasons and they used a lot of the symbology in everything they had their hands in.
(Theory of the 13 lost Templar ships containing there wealth that formed the Free masons)
J.B: You also have the inverted pyramid of the ever forseeing eye a well-known symbol of the free masons with the insignia “Sumus Vigilantum”?
KODY: You’re talking about the eye of Providence. It’s usually depicted upright and is said to be “The eye of god watching over humanity”. We use it upside down in opposition of that. Also Sumus Vigilantum roughly translated means “We are watching”. In a Theistic sense, there are “Watchers” on both Right and Left hand sides of religion.
J.B: Of course everyone knows what happened on Friday the 13th to the Templars ( The persecution of the order of the king France against the Templars) but that song has that killer synth line to it?
KODY: Is this a question?
What are you talking about?
J.B: This album is so amazingly rad from start to finish but you have “Insect Nightmares” which you have an obsession with bugs and killers is this one titled after a serial killer also?
KODY: No, this one is really about bugs and becoming an insect. I don’t like insects, but I like Insect Warfare.
J.B: This album has so many tracks that have that 80’s new wave feel to it like Sisters of Mercy/Joy Division meets punk rock?
KODY: Yeah, I love a lot of that style of music. We decided not to limit ourselves to one specific sound on this record. So we wrote songs that we would like to listen to. It was fun to experiment with different styles of writing and playing.
J.B: The cover of the album has star trails over a church steeple and you wrote “Zodiac” which is about cult rituals when stars align and many pagan rituals where about that including Anton Lavey’ rituals wrote about certain elements of that? Where did you find the inspiration behind the lyrical content on Zodiac?
KODY: A lot of occult research. I’ve read a lot about the occult so I used what I learned to write the story. For the most part it’s a song written for shock value, but there are a lot of things I put in there that have to do with real rituals. Astrology plays a big part of the occult. LaVey got a lot of the context for his rituals from older sources and shaped them to his liking.
J.B: You almost have an inspirational feel from H.P Lovecraft and his feel for the strange and mundane, what was the creative writing process like on this release?
KODY: Obviously "Cult of Dagon” is heavily inspired by Lovecraft. He was a great horror writer. As far as the creative writing process, we just wrote about stuff that interested us. Whether it be bullshit or real, or we believed it or not.
J.B: A lot of this album has heavy reverbs and really distinctive sounds like “Pursuit of Pleasure” are there any sequence of pedals that you use to achieve that awesome sound?
KODY: We used a lot of effects on the guitars. Mostly chorus and reverb for the clean stuff. We also used distortion pedals for some of the leads. We used a lot of different amps and guitars for different parts. Cory and I demoed all the songs on Garage Band before we went in to record and we actually used some of those tracks on the album when we couldn’t get the sounds we were looking for.
J.B: For this release you went from Red Scare Records to signing with Fat Wreck Chords I know they wanted to sign you a lot earlier what’s it like working with Fat on this project?
KODY: Fat is great! Everyone that works there is rad and they’re very easy to work with. We knew we wanted to do a lot of different stuff in the studio so we went with Fat to have a recording budget to get what we wanted.
J.B: You guys have always been known to deliver and amazing sound and this album is produced so well and so clean what was the recording process and mastering like?
KODY: It was fun. Like I mentioned earlier, we experimented a lot in the studio with everything. We worked with Andrew Berlin and I think we owe a lot to him. He was really stoked to record something so weird and he really put a lot of work into it.
J.B: Are there any rituals going into the studio environment or the writing process maybe some classic arcade games or reading some literature that draws inspiration?
KODY: Not really, we’re either in the studio working or sleeping.
J.B: Your touring with Ray on his own is then doing a tour in North America with Make War and Eastern Inquisition?
KODY: Yes….I Think?!
J.B: We always end of course with a famous book or quote that inspired your life anything come to mind?
KODY: Keep your stick on the ice! “Shut It Down Bruno!”.