Atlanta’s power punk-pop outfit Lesibu Grand was recently named one of the top “100 bands to watch in 2021” by Alternative Press. The band explores issues like racism, social justice, and reproductive rights in her lyrics. This Saturday, the band is playing their first show in over a year as part of Punk Black’s pop-up Juneteenth celebration. Singer Tyler-Simone Molton and bassist John Renaud are the songwriting duo behind Lesibu Grand and they joined “City Lights” senior producer Kim Drobes to talk about their music.
The origins of the band:
“We’ve known each other for over 10 years. I met him originally when he worked with my mother and I would go into work and visit my mother and see John. We got reacquainted when we went a couple years ago to see a show at The Earl, separately. He was with his wife and I was with my friend. I pointed him out in the crowd and said ‘Are you John Renaud?’ And he said ‘Jennifer!’ which is my sister. He didn’t know who I was all the way, but I made it clear it was Tyler,” said Molton. Renaud responded, “I did recognize her, but last time I had seen her, she was in high school so it had been seven or eight years in between since I had seen her, but it didn’t take me long to dial in my memories. *laughs* She had mentioned that she was into music and I had seen on Facebook that she was in a band at the time.”
Molton continued, “Dylan Michael and the Family, I was in that band at the time. You [Renaud] were talking about Cadillac Jones, your other band and said that it might be cool if we did something in the same vein as M.I.A or Santigold and then we were talking about possibly collaboration and that’s how the conversation got sparked.”
Lesibu Grand’s latest single is called “Not Sweet Enough:“
“I definitely wanted to have a song that spoke about issues that were personal to me but were also relevant to what was going on especially in Georgia with the government regulations on women’s rights. We thought it was a good time to write a song in a ‘punk fashion’ because historically that’s what punk does, talk about ‘the man’ and how to stick it to ‘the man’ and stuff,” said Molton.
The evolution of their music incorporating more topical matters:
“I feel like we kinda did take a bit of a turn halfway through the Trump era. I think our natural tendency is to sing about happier things or emotions or romance, but like the world just felt like it was getting worse and worse and it felt a little bit irresponsible or oblivious to keep writing songs that were sort of light-hearted nature,” said Renaud.
The pop-up show will be Saturday, June 19 at 4 p.m. at Boggs Social & Supply.