The basement of New Paltz house show venue The Pickle Jar welcomes you with the smell of about 100 sweaty bodies moshing, making the foundation shake on beat with the drum solo occurring just inches from the walls. Renditions of Led Zeppelin and Tyler, the Creator fill the room, leading the crowd to chant for their favorite local artists performing right in front of them.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, a new band by the name of Dr. Lemon made their debut at The Pickle Jar. The band — consisting of vocalist Jimmy Purr, lead guitarist Matt Florio, drummer Taylor Setterstrom, and bassist Sarah Hock — has New Paltz music lovers in the palm of their hands, but they’re only just beginning. “We’re taking this town by storm. We’re the hardest rock band in New Paltz,” said Purr. Their name, proposed by Purr, was not their first option.
“We were talking about a wide variety of topics, like baseball, Kirby, video games, random stuff,” said Hock. Their current name was agreed upon by all four members, and now, we all know them as the one and only Dr. Lemon.
Although they are primarily a rock band, their setlist ranges from a multitude of artists that kept the crowd’s attention, appealing to diverse music tastes. “We range from artists like Stevie Wonder, to Harry Styles, to Led Zeppelin, to Tyler, the Creator, to Greta Van Fleet, the list goes on. Basically, what sounds good and what motivates people,” said Hock.
The audience is thoroughly considered when arranging their setlists, as they want to put on the best show possible for the people that come to watch them perform.
“Something that we strive for is taking care of our audience because they support us every show and we want to give them the best, hardest rocking show ever and they’re always going to be our first priority,” said Purr. The show was everything they hoped for, with heads banging as all the best rock hits from various decades echoed within the basement walls. “If the crowd is enjoying it and they’re moshing around and stuff, that’s the best feeling,” said Setterstrom.
Though their audience is the band’s primary focus, the inclusion of their own sound to add a personal touch makes their music more specific to them. “We picked a whole setlist of songs that we really like, and we put our own voices on it, like I’m definitely into the guitar parts,” Florio said. “I play with the style to make it more like my voice coming through, but still a cover song.”
Dr. Lemon’s chemistry is undeniable, and their stage presence is something that is hard to come by. “One thing about us is that we’ve been playing together for a year, so of course we have that kind of chemistry, like we can communicate so well without saying anything,” said Hock. Something equally as important as their chemistry is the interpersonal communication within the band to keep everything running smoothly, which is something they prioritize. “Being in a former band, there were some communication issues, but I think that, in general — not just with music and bands, but in life — communication is key,” said Purr.
Being a part of Dr. Lemon’s audience that Saturday, you could feel the electricity in the air. It’s exciting to see what comes next for the four artists as they take on the venues of New Paltz for the first time under their new name.
Dr. Lemon will be performing at Snug’s on Tuesday, Dec. 20. “It’s in the distant future, but there will probably be some more things popping up every now and then,” said Purr. Be sure to follow their Instagram official account, @drlemonofficial, for more updates on upcoming shows, and for their highly anticipated Reels.