Nashville-based folk-hop band, Judah & the Lion, just kicked off a new tour with singer-songwriter Ben Rector. The trio, consisting of Judah Akers (vocals/guitar), Brian Macdonald (mandolin) and Nate Zuercher (banjo), formed in 2011 while attending Belmont University. Last September, they released their debut full-length, Kids These Days. Their unique blend of styles including southern grit, rock n roll, bluegrass and gospel has landed them several spots on various Billboard charts. Judah & the Lion kicked off their most recent tour, The Brand New Tour, with Ben Rector in Cleveland, Ohio on September 17th. Because of their recent extensive touring, the band has become known for their youthful, passionate, and spirited performances. Learn more about Judah & the Lion from their responses and be sure to check out the music video for “Rich Kids” below. Don’t forget to check out the rest of Kids These Days and catch them in a city near you!
How would you describe your music to others?
Folk, Hip-hop, rock and roll with a light-hearted twist : )
How did you guys meet?
College kids didn’t know each other. Jock and music majors come together after a random phone call and hit it off!! Played music for the first time and never looked back.
What made you pick the band’s name, Judah & the Lion?
It’s like naming a baby I would imagine. But coming up with it with 3 people it’s a bit more difficult. We liked the name Judah cause it was unique and we loved what a lion represented.
Who and what influences your music? Why?
All kinds. We all are different. Nate is a metal punk kid from the 90s. Brian likes classical stuff, Irish and blue grassers, and Judah yields from 70s and 80s rock to 90s hip hop. We love it all.
How would you describe your writing process?
It’s always different. What inspires us is the key and staying true to who we are as people. Sometime the melody comes. Sometimes a lyric comes. Just let music be music. We hate overthinking. Cause that’s not what music is to us.
How often and how long do you practice together?
A lot. : ) Touring is practice. Haha we love playing together.
From start to finish, how long did it take to create Kids These Days?
The writing process was a bit different probably over 5 months. But the record was done in a week in a half. Again we hate overthinking and so does our producer : )
Can you talk about the inspiration behind some of the tracks on Kids These Days?
Every track has a similar message. Love life and love people. Enjoy life and don’t worry about stupid things. It’s so easy to get carried away with the stresses of life and allow yourself to become someone who you never wanted to be. Songs like “Rich Kids” and “Hold On” probably describe that the best : )
Do you play covers at practices or shows? If so, which ones are your favorites?
Remix and Fat bottom Girls have been the funniest covers for us. We love jamming on stuff all the time too : h
What do you typically do post-gig?
Post gig! Load out, and merch hangs. After that we usually go to our place we sleep and well just sleep. Call it boring but it’s also practical. Early morning blvan rides are the worst off no sleep. Getting up tomorrow at 4:30am to make a show in Indiana : )
Do you have favorite venues/cities? If so, what are they?
We love them all to be honest. Everyone is different but it’s hard to have a favorite. Kinda like having multiple kids. Would you pick a favorite or would you just love them all for uniqueness?
What image do you think your music conveys?
Hopefully a joyful one. Lighthearted yet deep.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Being away from people we love so much at home : h
What has been your funniest or craziest fan experience?
Well in Denmark an old mom came and kissed me on the lips and said “veeee were da beast band in da wuld”. So that was cool and funny : )
Anything funny your fans should know?
Umm… We love our van. And her name is Cleatus and she is awesome.
What can we expect from Judah & the Lion in the coming months?
New record and it’s literally something we are so excited about. Done with the same producer as last time but just better. We cannot wait. Help us spread the word. : ). Much love.