While we can never really get tired of the “classic” rock songs that have been on repeat for the past four or five decades, it’s always refreshing to hear a new take on them. Luckily, Lombardy, a young foursome bringing fresh energy to rock and roll, is creating just the tunes the genre needs.
Based out of Nashville, the group consists of Mike Scott on vocals and lead guitar, Jonathan Plevyak on vocals and rhythm guitar, Nick Stafford on bass, and Ryan Rasmussen on drums. With separate musical backgrounds and various solo endeavors behind them, each member of the Lombardy brings a distinct sound — whether it be metal-inspired guitar chords or vocals reminiscent of outlaw country — to the groups’ collective style; a familiar yet contemporary take on rock.
Their latest single, “Hurricane,” follows previously released songs “Sally” and “Don’t Wanna See You Round Here.” With Pearl Jam-esque guitar riffs and percussion that mirrors the song’s stormy motif, the group’s latest single is a continued display of their ability to flawlessly mesh various sub-genres of rock together.
Formed in the era of COVID-19, Lombardy got its start last September when the four were out celebrating Rasmussen’s 19th birthday with pizza and a soundtrack of Rage Against The Machine. Thinking it would be fun to create a musical collective, they wrote “Sally” in one hour after returning home that night. Since, eight original tracks have been written and recorded. As finalists in Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem competition, Lombardy is already gaining traction in the industry, and their music is beginning to gain recognition among various audiences.
We got to speak with Plevyak about their experience in the competition, the latest single, their upcoming debut album, and much more.
So how did y’all find each other, and how do all of your individual sounds combine to create Lombardy?
Jonathan Plevyak: It was interesting how we all found each other. Nick and I have been great buddies for about five years when we both lived in Maryland together. Mike is also from Maryland, but we did not meet until we were all in Nashville. Ryan just met us all like seven months ago. He is from the Destin, FL area, which Nick lived in for about three years before he moved up to Nashville. Lot’s of intersecting circles, but now we are a family!
We all bring something unique to the table. Ryan is a producer and produces all of our music. Ryan brings a ton of hip-hop influences and really unique ideas to the table. Nick also does videography and does the band’s visuals. Nick’s background in music is more the bedroom pop / indie R&B sort of sound. Mike comes from a more classic rock and blues background, and I come from a more Folk and Americana background. We were all raised on rock music though, and we all bring something unique and different to the table. It’s a great creative force.
How does living in Nashville influence your sound?
I’d say our sound is not very Nashville at all. We said when we started the group we wanted to be the anti-Nashville, Nashville rock band. We love Nashville and it’s our home, but we think we bring something super unique to the table sound-wise. Living in Nashville though has definitely pushed us to be the best we can on all fronts. The talent here is amazing and beautiful to witness.
So you recently released your new single, “Hurricane.” Where did the inspiration for it come from?
As we were writing our upcoming debut album, it was just an explosion of creativity. We had a bunch of songs we had written in two weeks and decided we wanted to set ourselves up in one room. No click, and record super old school like they used to make classic rock records. Nick’s parents let us use their beach house for the week. A few days before we left, Hurricane Sally was coming towards Florida and our parents told us we may want to postpone the trip. We had this cool vision of recording a rock record at the beach while a hurricane was barreling down on us and that’s where the song inspiration came from. We wrote it and rehearsed it a few days before we left and it ended up being one of our favorites on the first record.
Did the production process of it differ from past singles “Sally” and “Don’t Wanna See You Round Here”? If so, how?
We had the same recording process for all of those songs. We did that entire first record in the beach house. Ryan is also the producer and mix engineer on our music, so he mixes each song differently and gives each song their own life and unique-feeling colors to them. “Hurricane” in my opinion, from a production standpoint, definitely sounds the most stadium rock anthem ready. The song feels huge.
What was your favorite part of creating the track/music video?
We rented a film studio in East Nashville with a giant green screen and wore the rain ponchos we used from the artwork shoot. Honestly, it was just so fun rocking out with nothing behind us on an empty wall. We all love tacky and cheesy humor so it fit well. Our teammate Ainsley was off-camera holding a leaf blower to our faces to make it look like we were getting hit with wind. That was a memorable day.
Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?
Oh yes! Our debut album will be coming out this June. We also already have our entire second record finished as well. We want to outwork everyone this year!
So what was your experience like participating in Music City Mayhem, and did you expect to get as far as you did?
The experience was super fun! We honestly forgot we submitted originally, and when we found out we made it to the final 32 we were so thrilled. Being a part of that is something that I’ve wanted to be in since I moved to Nashville and never heard anything back every time I’d submit, so the fact a three-month-old band made it all the way to second place against bands/artists that have been here so much longer is amazing.
People are really excited and believe in this band, so it was just the coolest thing to see the support and love. We did not expect to get as far as we did. Once we made it to the final four, we knew we could win it. We came so close, but that just makes us even hungrier! Overall, it was a great experience with great exposure and we made so many amazing new friends along the way. Thankful for Lightning 100 to give us that opportunity!
How did the process work, and what was the protocol for artists to take part?
Any eligible independent Nashville-based artist or band could submit their music. There were (I think) over 400 submissions and the station narrowed it down to the final 32. Each week they would pit artists head to head against someone else and do online fan-voting while promoting their music on the radio. That went on for three weeks to get down to the final four. Then there was a giant live production show and matchup between all final four contestants. The production Lightning 100 put on for that final was insane. The light show made SNL look like child’s play!
Was it something you might plan to pursue again next year?
Not sure, honestly. It became way more emotionally and physically investing than I think we were all prepared for. We worked as hard as we possibly could. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there next year. Not ruling it out at all!
What might the rest of spring and summer hold for Lombardy?
Working as hard as we possibly can. Even though everyone in the band has individually been doing music in their own projects, this is a whole new entity and it isn’t even four months old. I think what we’ve done in this short amount of time during a pandemic is insane. We want to play as many shows as we can, release as much music as we can, and make as many new friends and fans as we can. This is as fun as it gets. In one word, dominate!