Lemonade Mouth Actors Talk Music and More!
By: Lynn Barker
Check out what the stars of the new Disney Channel Movie have to say.
This Friday the 15th on the Disney Channel you can get back into a musical groove with a new gang who rule their school for a good cause. Based on the novel by Mark Peter Hughes, “Lemonade Mouth” focuses on five outsider teens who have nothing in common, meet in detention and are motivated by their music teacher to follow their passion, form a band and fight for what they believe in.
Starring in the new musical film and performing ten original songs are Bridgit Mendler (Disney Channel's "Good Luck Charlie") as lead vocalist Olivia White, Adam Hicks (Disney XD's "Zeke and Luther") as keyboardist Wen Giford, Hayley Kiyoko (Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place") as guitarist Stella Yamada, Naomi Scott (Disney Channel UK's "Life Bites") as bass guitarist Mo Banjaree and newcomer Blake Michael as drummer Charlie Delgado.
Reporters caught up with some of the cast earlier to get some insider info.
Q: Were any of you fans of the “High School Musical” movies?
- Blake Michael: I was cast from an open call, and I was a total normal kid, and I loved "High School Musical." I had a poster in my room and everything. So Disney was the cool thing for me. And to be in something like this now is amazing, and I'm so glad I got the opportunity. But I was just one of those kids watching Disney, and now, to be sitting right here is, like, whoa!
- Hayley Kiyoko: I think we are still those normal kids.
- Bridgit Mendler: Yeah. I watched “High School Musical”.
- Hayley: Every day is just something new, and we are so excited and fortunate to be a part of this project. I definitely watched “High School Musical”.
- Adam Hicks: Yeah. I watched.
- Naomi Scott: I did. Everyone loves it.
- Hayley: I think everyone watched it.
- Naomi: The same as Blake, I was sitting at home, watching it and it was just so much fun. You say “Oh my gosh. That would be so much fun to film or do”. I think “Lemonade Mouth” has got the same energy when we were filming it.
Q: Hayley and Bridgit, you were both on “Wizards of Waverly Place”; one as a vampire and one a wizard so did you know each other?
- Bridgit: I feel like we met, like -- I visited set on one of the episodes you were shooting.
- Hayley: Yeah, we knew of each other but we were never like “Hi, nice to meet you… blah blah”. We actually met on this film. And it’s awesome now because we are all best friends after this show. It was just a coincidence that we were on “Wizards”.
- Bridgit: Who would have thought…
- Hayley: A wizard and a vampire…
- Bridgit: Hitting it off.
Q: You were on tour already. Can you talk about that?
- Hayley: I had an amazing time. We opened for Justin Bieber for 20 dates, and the opening night was 17,000 people. And for anybody, that's your dream, just to be a part of that tour was amazing because everyone on that tour were kids. So we had fun. You know, they had water fights, and we were doing what we loved to do, and we were surrounded by kids while doing it. So I had a blast.
Q: Can someone talk about their favorite musical numbers in the movie or on tour?
- Bridgit: "Breakthrough" was really fun. That was our Madison Square Garden performance. We had, like, backup dancers.
- Naomi: They were amazing. There were flames going up.
- Blake: And Forty-foot screens behind us.
- Naomi: I got to slide down a slide on stage. Like, who gets to do that? It was so much fun!
- Blake: Dancers were back-flipping off of my drums!
- Adam: I think one of the greatest things about performing on stage is you get a lot of choreography, but, at the end of the day, it really comes down to yourself, you know. You get a lot of freedom to really do what you like. Pretty much every take, we would mess up so many times. Naomi: I remember once in the song “Determinate.” We bashed into each other. Do you remember?
- Adam: Yeah.
- Naomi: And you just have to, like, carry on, and you are just in the moment. And there's so much energy. It's just buzzing. And when we were doing "Breakthrough," it genuinely felt like we were at this concert and with millions of people watching, when, really…
Bridgit: There might have had, like 200 people in the audience.
Note: The filmmakers want you to know that “Lemonade Mouth” is a dramady with a moving story. It has plenty of songs but the actors aren’t singing the story like in a true musical.
- Naomi: Adam actually wrote all the raps to the songs. They were so incredible. He won’t say this himself so we have to say it for him. And one of the raps was just so fast that no one could do it. From "Determinate."
- Blake: His raps make me want to listen to songs over and over again and try to get the rap. Like "Hey, Mom, look what I can do."
Q: Your characters are using their music to support a cause. Do you guys have causes you use your art to support?
- Bridgit: I don't know if I use music directly but I work with a charity called First Book, which promotes education for kids that don't have the access to books that they need.
- Adam: I feel like music motivates people. I mean, that's personally why I write songs. Music is a language that pretty much anyone can relate to. Whether they know the actual words of the song or not, they just get a feeling or a vibe or, you know, some type of subconscious connection. That's one of the reasons I love to write music. And as soon as I'm done, the first thing I want to do is go tell people and just expand and see their reactions because everyone's got their own opinion, and that's the greatest part about music.
- Hayley: I think what was so much fun outside of shooting is that we all have a very strong music base. We do play guitar. We do play drums. And so it was cool because we were shooting this movie, and then we go back to the hotel…
- Naomi: And jam out.
- Hayley: ….and we’d all meet in Bridgit's room and we'd all jam and write music together. For me, I never went to a music summer camp before. I felt like I was in this music summer camp where I was just surrounded by these great people, great musicians. And we all truly support each other.
- Naomi: Most people go back to the hotel room and just zonk out completely.
- Hayley: But we were jamming.
- Naomi: We were just "Whose room are we going to?" That was so much fun. I think that's also what made it look more real on screen. We do sing. And a lot of us are so passionate about music. I think that really comes through, and I think you can really see all our friendship and our affection.
- Blake: When I first met these guys, I felt like I knew them for years. We did everything together. We would have water-gun fights around the hotel. We would be doing crazy stuff together. On the first weekend, we just clicked and bonded.
- Naomi: We won by the way.. our team did.
- Bridgit: We’re very different people but we somehow manage to all mesh together very nicely. Musically too, we all have completely different styles.
- Adam: We did so many rehearsals. And just to pretend like you were the Rolling Stones type of band right off the bat, because scenes don't go in order, you’d have to have that chemistry immediately when you start filming. And I feel like that's what helped us a lot because we really legitimately believed that we were a band on and off camera.
- Bridgit: We would rehearse the songs in each other's rooms with the actual instruments and play. This is our story.
Q: You guys have built up a lot of credits with Disney shows and films so you have fans. What has been the wackiest fan encounter so far… even before the movie comes out?
- Bridgit: I've had people have me sign weird things before, like cell phones and shoes. I get presents sometimes, you know. Like people are very giving.
- Adam: It was my second season of "Zeke and Luther," and I went home to Las Vegas, because and one of my brother's friends had figured out that I was the brother on "Zeke and Luther” so he stopped by the house, and he knocked on my door. And as soon as I answered, he made me sign his skateboard and he was really shocked. And then 10 minutes later, no joke, throughout the whole day, like, kids nonstop, just random kids, came knocking at my door. It's definitely a great feeling, though, to know that you put so much hard work into something and finally it pays off and it motivates and helps people.
- Bridgit: That is so cool. It’s all over the world too. I was in Argentina, and there were people stopping me even down there. It's crazy how it reaches so many people.
Q: Bridgit, you don’t usually sing on TV shows. Were your castmates surprised that you can sing?
- Bridgit: Well, I'm kind of one of those people that unconsciously I will sing all the time. So I don't really hide it very well. I harmonize to the radio and everything unconsciously. I just don't realize that I'm doing it. So I think that I started out aspiring to be an actress, and music was always something that was a hobby of mine. I sang a song that I wrote for my church when I was 6 years old. It's just something that I've always done. Acting came first and music has followed.
Q: Adam, how long have you been writing raps?
- Adam: In the fourth grade, I wrote a rap for my talent show. I love it so much. And I love the element of surprise because I'm red-haired and I have freckles, so for me to rap is, like, beyond the question until they actually hear me. So I just love it. And I love putting words together. It's one of my favorite things to do.
Q: We hear you are a heart-breaker in the film.
- Adam: Well, I got to play a completely different character to "Luther" in "Lemonade Mouth," which I was very happy about, just to show my variety and skills of acting. And it's a blessing.
Q: Naomi, your character in this is East Indian. What is your own background?
- Naomi: My mum is from Uganda, but she is Asian. She's Gujarati. And my dad is just from London, a normal English guy. So I'm mixed-race. Sometimes you can't really tell what I am.
Q: Did you have to break any from any family traditions like your character in this movie?
- Naomi: I was brought up in England, and I'm very much British, I'd say. But I don’t think that Mo, my character wants to break away from her culture. I think she loves her culture. I think it's just sort of balancing between the two, because obviously she's brought up in America but then also there's certain expectations that she has to live up to. I think that lots of kids can probably relate to that because there are so many mixed-race kids about. I think she goes through what a lot of kids go through. I think it's about her finding herself and balancing between the two.
Q: Can you talk about who your musical faves are?
- Adam: As far as an individual artist, I don't really have an individual favorite. I love all types of music. Like even though I rap, some of my super oldie faves are like the Stones, Clash, David Bowie. My dad is from London also, so I have that big influence also.
- Bridgit: I really like songwriters, so my all-time favorite is Bob Dylan, just because I think he's such a great songwriter. Somebody a little bit more modern that I like is Adele. I think she’s a great songwriter, and she has an amazing voice. As far as, like, on the radio and that sort of thing, I really like Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars. Those guys are excellent.
- Hayley: I have more of an indie or alternative background. So Fiona Apple is one of my favorite songwriters, artists, performers in life. Metric. I love Blondie, Berlin, the Cranberries. Go back to the 1990s way back when.
- Naomi: I was actually brought up on gospel music, so I love gospel music. I love Kirk Franklin, and one of my favorites is Stevie Wonder. I love, like, Simon & Garfunkel and, like, some of those sort of old-school ones. And, in terms of, like, more modern, Alicia Keys. She's got a lot of soul. Anything with a bit of soul, gotta love it.
- Blake: Alternative rock is something that really inspires me. I could just rock out, geton my bed and just jump up and down and stuff like that. But a lot of old stuff. My dad has a huge collection of the Beatles and Elton John so I can even rock out to that old stuff.