Judah & the Lion talk about tour & album as they launch headline tour tonight
Judah & the Lion will launch a U.S. headlining tour in support of their new album Pep Talks Friday in Memphis, Tennessee. banjo player Nate Zuercher talks about the new album and promises that the tour will boast the group’s “biggest show yet.”
“[We’re] playing a lot of rooms that we never thought we would get to,” Zuercher says. “So with that, it opens up some more doors for bigger production and ideas to come to life. We’re gonna try and ramp it up.”
Zuercher explains that he doesn’t “want to give away too much,” but adds that he and the rest of the band “always put so much pride into what we do live.”
“[We] feel like this is gonna be our best opportunity to put our vision out there,” he says.
Pep Talks, the follow-up to 2016’s Folk Hop n’ Roll, is an emotional record largely written about the divorce of frontman Judah Akers’ parents. Musically, though, it’s an upbeat album, which reflects its ultimately positive outlook.
“No matter what you’re going through, you always have a reason to move forward and hold on to hope that there will be a brighter day,” Zuercher says of the Pep Talks message.
As the banjo player, Zuercher adds a fair amount of brightness to the sound of Pep Talks. After all, in the words of Steve Martin, “You just can’t sing a depressing song when you’re playing the banjo.”
“I always say it’s hard not to smile with a banjo in the room,” Zuercher says. “So, a little bit different [than what Steve Martin says], but same kind of idea: that it just brightens up the room, no matter what.”
Pep Talks, featuring the singles “Why Did You Run?” and “Over My Head,” is out now.